Did you know that the ancestors of Beagles were actually bred to hunt things with their excellent smelling skills?
Well, it’s certainly no surprise as this explains why they are the happiest when they’re out and about, following some sort of trail.
Generally, Beagles can live up to 15 years. So, having a Beagle as a pet means you’ve signed up for a long-term canine best friend.
However, it is your job as a pet owner to take care of all of your dog’s needs and make sure that your Beagle leads a happy and healthy life.
Feedfond has put together an informative guide on how you should be taking care of your beloved Beagle dog!
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Beagle Food & Nutrition
- How to Groom Your Beagle Dog
- Beagle Exercise Needs
- How to Train Your Beagle Dog
- Things to Look Out For
- Bottom Line
Beagle Food & Nutrition
Beagles survive pretty well on store-bought dog food. However, the food has got to be of very high quality and contain the nutrients that small breeds need.
In the ideal Beagle food package, meat and vegetables should be listed as the first three ingredients.
As with other dogs, you don’t want your Beagle to be overfed or even underfed.
Importance of the Right Balance
A tip to make sure you are feeding your Beagle the right amount of food is to keep a measuring cup at hand when pouring out its food.
How much you feed your dog greatly depends on its weight, age, and health. While you should definitely consult with a vet, you can start off by following the recommended servings stated on the pet food packaging.
You should also constantly keep your dog’s weight in check, to be aware of any changes you should be making to its diet.
Also, be very careful with any extra treats and snacks you give your Beagle. Even the tiniest bit can lead to overfeeding.
Useful Nutrition Tips
- A typical Beagle weighing 25 to 30 pounds should be having 674 to 922 calories every day.
- In general, a Beagle’s diet should include ¾ cups of store-bought dry food and no more than 100 grams of meat every day.
- The dog food you buy should have whole meat, poultry or fish as its top three ingredients.
- Stay away from preservatives in commercial food and even breath-freshening gums because they tend to contain xylitol which is toxic for your Beagle.
- Sunflower and fish oil are the healthiest sources of fatty acids for your Beagle.
- Chocolate, caffeine, and avocados can be toxic for your Beagle. They can cause permanent damage to the heart, stomach, lungs, kidney and nervous system.
- To make sure your dog has enough energy throughout the day, avoid useless fillers and stick to vegetables and carbohydrates like brown rice.
How to Groom Your Beagle Dog
Beagles aren’t at all high maintenance, which is why they make really good pets. However, this does not mean that you can neglect your pet’s appearance.
Grooming is not just important for your Beagle’s health, but it also helps you to bond with your dog.
1. Bath time
Unlike us humans, Beagles don’t really need frequent baths. A bath every two to six months will suffice.
Beagles can be bathed in the bathtub with a spray attachment, but puppies should be washed in a sink. Always remember to use special shampoos and conditioners made for dogs, and never use your own.
Also, make sure that you are rinsing these products out properly, or it may make your Beagle’s skin itchy.
A towel or hair dryer is a good way to dry off your dog. However, make sure that the hairdryer is set at the lowest temperature.
Be very careful about washing your dog’s face. Putting on some ophthalmic ointment on your dog’s eyes is a good way to prevent soap or running water from irritating them.
2. Dental Care
Just like us, Beagles can also have plaque build up on their teeth. This is why regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is very important.
However, you’ve got to make sure that the toothpaste and brush you’re using is designed specially for dogs. You can’t use your own toothpaste because it will be toxic.
Brushing for the First Time
If you’re about to try out brushing your Beagle’s teeth for the first time, don’t panic. The key is to introduce it to your dog slowly.
Don’t use a brush right away. Start off by putting some toothpaste on your finger and rubbing it along its teeth, in a manner similar to brushing for about 30 seconds.
This way your Beagle gets used to this weird new taste and learns to accept the brushing process more easily.
Overlooking Dental Care is Not an Option
We understand that brushing your dog’s teeth every day is no easy feat. But there should be no compromising when it comes to your dog’s dental care.
There’s no need to worry though. There are other ways to clean your dog’s teeth. You can always use dental treats to do the job.
However, you should still brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week. Remember, with patience and practice, you’ll reach your goal.
3. Nail Trimming
Long nails are a nuisance for your Beagle as well as for yourself. But trimming your dog’s nails for the first time can be quite a traumatic experience.
If your Beagle is old and suffers from arthritis, it can actually be quite painful.
Keep in mind that you should never use scissors or even your own nail trimmers at home to cut your dog’s nails. Buy a special dog nail trimmer because your Beagle’s nails aren’t the same as yours.
If the whole process of nail trimming just isn’t your cup of tea, that’s okay too. But don’t skip out on it! Just go to your vet and get it done professionally.
How to Start
For the initial attempt, get another person to hold your dog while you do the trimming. This is because your dog might freak out and move around a lot, harming itself in the process.
You’ve got to be very careful when cutting your dog’s nails because you don’t want to be cutting through any veins.
Start off with the nails on the back paws and try to identify the ‘quick’. This is basically the pink flesh where all the blood vessels are located.
You should now begin cutting two to three millimeters away from the quick to avoid accidents.
Always remember to give your dog a treat or praise it after the whole nail trimming process – positive reinforcement really helps.
4. Hair Care
Beagles are short-haired dogs, but they still need their hair cared for. During spring and fall, your Beagle will shed its undercoat. However, hair fall is not just restricted to these two seasons.
If you want to reduce shedding and seeing Beagle hair all over your house, you’ve got to brush your dog pretty regularly.
In addition, brushing also stimulates circulation and keeps your Beagle’s skin looking shiny and healthy.
A brush with short bristles or a hound grooming glove is ideal for Beagles. Slicker brushes also do a good job of removing dirt. While you’re brushing, make sure to check for any fleas and parasites.
Here’s another tip. If you want your Beagle’s coat to be extra fabulous, all you have to do is go over its coat with a chamois cloth dipped in alcohol. This will keep your dog’s coat shiny and clean.
Beagle Exercise Needs
Beagles have very high energy levels and need a lot of exercises. If Beagles don’t get the exercise they need, they can feel quite stressed out and upset.
Therefore you should definitely arrange physical and mentally stimulating activities for them every day.
Your Beagle will need at least two hours of physical activity every day for its overall well being.
Naturally, the best form of exercise is a long walk around the neighborhood. This will stretch their muscles and release any pent-up energy. Ideally, walks with Beagles should last at least 20 minutes.
Beagles also love cardio exercises that involve chasing and fetching frisbees and balls. You could even try out cycling or running, and get your dog to run along beside you.
Even taking them to an open space like a park and letting them run around to their heart’s content will allow them to be happy and release all of their energy.
Mental exercises are equally as important as physical ones. In fact, you should try incorporating activities that make your Beagle think during their exercise routine.
A great way to do this is by setting up an agility circuit course. These provide challenges to your dog in the form of hurdles, like going through a tunnel or jumping over an object.
Since your Beagle loves sniffing out food, you could also try hiding dry food in different parts of the house as a fun game. This will keep your dog entertained and stimulated.
How to Train Your Beagle Dog
There seems to be a misconception that because of their willful nature and tendency to get distracted, Beagles can’t be trained. That is absolutely not true. All dog breeds can be trained with enough patience and love.
As for Beagle’s it’s really not that hard to train them because they will do almost anything to get to the food. Keep treats in zip-locked bags and take them with you whenever you go out.
Your Beagle is more likely to listen to you if you give it immediate treats.
However, don’t just rely on treats and positive reinforcement to train your dog.
When your Beagle is doing something naughty, correct it in a stern voice or by a gentle tug on the leash. Never yell or stress out your Beagle to correct its behavior.
1. Teaching Basic Instructions
- Training should take place in an area that is quiet and free of distractions.
- Start off by getting your dog to recognize its name. Call out its name until your dog responds and then press the clicker, before giving it a treat.
- After getting your dog to recognize its name, move away and call again. When it responds, repeat the click and treat process.
- The basic commands you should be teaching your Beagle after its name are ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’. Make sure you keep repeating the process for every command until your dog knows it off by heart.
Housebreaking any dog requires a lot of patience and attention. This is easier if you start at an early age, but adult dogs can be house trained too.
First of all, decide on a fixed potty place. This can be a specific arrangement made indoors like a litter box, or even just the backyard.
Observe your Beagle’s bathroom habits and timings and set alarms accordingly. Take your Beagle to the potty place in those specific times every day, such as after meals, and before sleeping. If your Beagle is a puppy, bathroom breaks are needed more frequently.
After a few weeks, let your dog carry out the routine on its own. If your Beagle’s potty place is outdoors, install a doggy door so that it can go out on its own. Reward them when they do it right.
3. Noise Control
Beagles are not a quiet breed. So, you’re going to have to accept some amount of barking. However, if your Beagle tends to go off on a barking frenzy, there are some things you can do to manage it.
Beagles tend to bark when they want attention and if they are scared or excited. The best thing you can do when they create a racket is to give them no attention whatsoever.
When your Beagle notices you not reacting, it will eventually stop. And when it does stop, praise it and give it a treat. Repeating this process over weeks will teach it that barking does not make it a good boy.
You should also observe what makes your Beagle scared or excited and try to find solutions. For example, if your Beagle barks at squirrels outside, keep the curtains closed.
4. Teach Your Beagle to Socialize
Beagles are inherently social animals as they are meant to be in packs. However, you should definitely expose them to the outside world more so that they learn to accept new people and animals.
Regular walks and trips to the dog park should do the trick. This way your Beagle will know what cars, bicycles and different noises like honking are. They’ll also get used to other dogs and people.
Over time your Beagle will be more accepting of its surroundings and know how to behave in different social situations.
However, when taking your Beagle outside, remember to always keep it on a leash. Beagles can get distracted quite easily and they will try to follow any scent that interests them.
Important Read: Dog Crate Training – Everything You Need to Know!
Things to Look Out For
If you let your Beagle out in the backyard or garden, always make sure that it is fenced. Beagles are very curious creatures and might go off into the unknown, without sensing any danger.
This fence should be secure and stand at least 1.5 meters high. Also, make sure to place a concrete plank or log at the base of the wall so that your Beagle doesn’t dig its way out.
As for health problems, Beagles are generally pretty fit. However, they are prone to becoming overweight, which is another reason you should maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Some other common health problems Beagles might face include allergies, cherry eyes, epilepsy and back problems.
However, with regular vet check-ups and proper care, you’ll have a healthy and playful Beagle, even as it ages.
Beagles are an absolute joy to be around. In fact, for many Beagle owners, the decision to bring a Beagle home was because they fell in love at first sight with these hyperactive little pooches.
So if you’re thinking of adopting a Beagle, congratulations. However, before bringing any sort of pet home, you’ve got to be aware of its needs and your responsibilities.
A Beagle in your house at any age is a blessing, and should definitely be cherished and well cared for.
Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will know exactly how to look after your Beagle and give it a long, healthy and fun-filled life. So go on and put your newfound knowledge to good use!