Overweight Beagles’ Lifespan – How Obesity can affect their health

These adorable little cuddle-monsters will eat anything that they can fit into their mouth. Beagles love to eat. I won’t be surprised if my beagle jumps and grabs all the pancakes and eat them in one go, even right after having his meal. Due to their obsession with eating, beagles are prone to obesity. This affects their health drastically. Let’s look into the average lifespan of an overweight beagle.

According to the data published by Banfield Pet Hospital, on average, the lifespan of overweight beagles is 2 years shorter than the beagles with normal weight. While beagles with healthy weight live for 15 years, overweight beagles live for 13 years.

Let’s look into more about the research conducted to find how weight can affect a dog’s lifespan. We will also see how you can find out if your beagle is overweight.

What does the research say

A study was conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital, where scientists examined how weight can have a negative or positive effect on the lifespan of a dog. The research was done over two decades and included popular breeds like labrador retrievers and beagles. You can find the Journal here:

Association between life span and body condition in neutered client-owned dogs.

This study examined more than 50,000 dogs of a 12 different breed, both male and female, and aged between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 years.

The research proved that overweight dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to dogs with a healthy weight.

The lifespan of an overweight beagle is reduced by 2 years. While a male beagle with a healthy weight lives for 15.2 years, an overweight one lives for 13.2 years. A female beagle with normal weight lives of 15.3 years, and an overweight female lives for 13.3 years.  

How to find if your beagle is overweight

an overweight beagle standing

A healthy weight for a male adult beagle is 22 to 35 pounds (10 to 15 kg). Whereas, 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 13 kg) is healthy for a female beagle.

According to AKC, there are two varieties of beagle:

  1. Beagles whos full-grown size stand under 13 inches at the shoulder.
  2. Beagles whos full-grown size stand between 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder.

A healthy weight of these two types of beagles is:

  • Under 13 inches: 22 to 30 pounds (10 to 13.6 kg)
  • Between 13 and 15 inches: 25 to 35 pounds (11 to 15.8 kg)

Anything above this is considered overweight. 

Other ways to tell if your beagle is overweight

There are some other ways to confirm that your beagle is overweight. Let’s have a look into them.

Note: The ways mentioned below are for adult beagles only. It’s okay for a puppy to look chubby or fat even after feeding healthy food. They are supposed to carry extra weight.

Check their ribs

You can put your hand on your beagle’s ribs and gently apply a little pressure. Healthy beagles have a layer of skin with thin fats over them, and you can feel the ribs.

And if you can feel a good amount of fats before you can feel the ribs, then your pooch is overweight.

And in case if the ribs of a beagle are visible and popping out of his skin, then the beagle is underweight.

They look chubby

Beagles are hunting dogs, and the breed, in general, is athletic, and so is their body. You can easily spot an overweight beagle by looking at them. They are chubby and have lots of fats on their body.

They are not flexible.

Overweight beagles struggle to scratch behind their ears and find it difficult to lick their other body parts.

They get tired easily.

Healthy beagles are a powerhouse of energy. They love to play and run.

However, an overweight beagle will struggle to run and get tired quickly. They become lazy and lethargy.

Why overweight beagles have a shorter lifespan

unhealthy overweight beagle

Obesity in beagles can create lots of health concerns and invite diseases that can reduce their lifespans.

Let’s discuss some common health risks found in overweight beagles.

Sugar Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes is prevalent in overweight beagles. Obesity increases insulin secretion. If it keeps increasing over a long period, it can burn out cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which results in diabetes.

Complications in Joints, bones, and ligaments

As the bodyweight of the beagle increases, the pressure on joints and bones increases too, causing severe damage over time. Overweight can cause joint problems, arthritis, and hip dysplasia.

Heart disease

The heart needs to pump more blood in an overweight body. This can cause congestive heart failure.

Hypertension (increased blood pressure)

Excess body weight can cause increased blood pressure in dogs too. You can read more about it here.

Other common health concerns

Other common health concerns in overweight beagles include difficulty breathing, decreased stamina, decreased liver function, digestive disorders, lower immunity, and a higher risk of cancer. You can read about these complications in detail here.

All these diseases and health complications are caused by excess body weight in beagles. This increases the chances of early death and results in shorter lifespans.

Helping your Beagle to Lose weight

Please consult a certified veterinarian first before you come to any conclusion. If your vet has confirmed that your dog is overweight and needs to lose some pounds, then it’s time to become strict with your beagle’s diet and routine.

Step 1: Try to make this as fun as possible for your beagle.

Begin with a positive mindset. In any case, losing weight should not be a negative experience for your beagle.

Try to keep things excited and fun for both of you.

Step 2: Slow and Steady Wins the race.

Set a realistic goal that can be achieved over a period of a comfortable time. The plan is to transform your dog slowly but steadily.

Setting unrealistic goals for quick results will put your beagle through a lot of physical as well as mental stress. And we don’t want that.

Losing 1 to 2 pounds a month seems like a safe and reasonable goal.

Step 3: Feeding Guide

Two things you need to check:

  • What are you feeding
  • How much are you feeding

Ask yourself, what are you feeding your dog? Is it healthy? If it’s not, then try finding a healthier option.

Weight-loss dog food for your beagle should have more protein, less fat, and fewer calories.

My top three suggestion of dog food for weight loss are:

The second thing to look for is how much are you feeding your canine. You neither want to overfeed nor underfeed him. Every dog food has its own feeding guide printed on its package, so follow that to find the correct quantity.

One more thing to keep in check is the treats that you feed him. The number of treats and snacks must be reduced. Try switching to a low-calorie treat. My recommendation for a healthy low calorie treats:

Step 4: Exercise

Regular exercise is essential for keeping your beagle in shape and increase his lifespan.

Overexercising your beagle out of his capacity can cause joint or bone injury. Ask your veterinarian or a dog trainer to create an exercise plan for your beagle according to his weight.

Apart from that, make sure your pooch drinks enough water while exercising so that he doesn’t overheat.

You can go through these 7 best ways for beagle to lose weight.

Final Thoughts

Beagles are supposed to be active and healthy. If you stop exercising your beagle and allow them to eat unhealthy food, then it will most definitely cause him to overweight and decrease his lifespan.