Beagles are pretty popular. They have become a favorite family pet for generations thanks to their small size, gentle temperament, loyal and loving personalities, and sweet nature. Stubborn as they may be during training, they are smart and love to learn new things. But like any other dog breed, they require a lot of attention. One downside to dog ownership is shedding, and no one really likes cleaning up all those stray hairs. If you’re allergic to dog dander, even the slightest bit of shedding can cause bad allergy symptoms. So, before bringing this delightful pet home, let’s find out about the shedding of the Beagle.
So, do Beagles shed? This dog breed may not have the longest dog hair or the fluffiest of coats, but yes, they shed. They do so all year, but it’s moderate and not as noticeable because they are relatively small dogs with short hair. Beagles have very distinct coat colors, and hiding their hair, especially when they shed heavily during the two shedding seasons, can be challenging.
The Beagle has a short, thick, tightly packed coat. Though they generally have average shedding tendencies, some are more prone to excessive shedding than others due to health, nutrition, coat care, and so on. No matter what size your Beagle is, the color of their coat, or their age, we’ve got you covered. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about the Beagle’s coat: when they shed most, triggers for excessive shedding, grooming, and other ways to manage excessive shedding, when it’s normal and when you should be concerned, and much more. Without much delay, let’s jump right in:
Do Beagles Shed? – Everything about Beagle Coat
The Beagle’s coat is one of its defining features that set them apart from similar hound dogs. It has very distinct coat colors, including patches of white, black, and brown. The tricolor makes them look adorable, but it also means the hairs will be more difficult to hide. There’s no single color upholstery that will be able to camouflage the fallen hair; if you have dark-colored upholstery, the white hairs will be prominent, and vice versa.
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Secondly, while Beagles are short-haired, they have a double coat, meaning two layers of fur. The bottom layer, which is the undercoat, is dense, fluffy, and feels a little bit like wool. This is the layer that insulates the dog’s body heat. The top coat acts as an external layer of protection from elements such as dirt, twigs, rocks, and other debris. The latter is coarser with longer, tightly packed hair, which makes it somewhat waterproof.
Beagles have some unique evolutionary advantages, which apply to what they have been used for in years. This breed originated from England, where owners used it for hunting wild game. Something about this region is it is constantly cold and rains a lot. Beagles developed an advantage by having two layers of fur, which helped protect their skin from the elements.
How Much Do Beagles Shed?
Many think that long-haired dogs shed more than short-haired ones, but this is not always the case. Despite the appearance of a short, smooth coat, Beagles have two layers of fur, meaning there’s more opportunity for this breed to shed.
It’s important to understand that all dogs go through a shedding cycle that’s unpreventable. This is a natural process whereby old or damaged fur falls out to give way to new fur. Beagles shed a good amount of fur throughout the year. But since they have short hair, the shedding may not be as noticeable as with long-haired breeds, especially if you groom them regularly. That being said, Beagles also experience seasonal shedding in spring and winter in preparation for the cold and hot weather, which is when they shed at their maximum. Therefore, the amount of fur and dander scattered around the home during this time may be a problem. This is especially true for those with allergies.
When Beagles Shed the Most
Shedding is a natural, ongoing process. Dogs have fur that gets old and needs to be replaced; a process called the hair growth cycle. It involves four different stages:
- Anagen where new hair growth occurs
- Catagen where hair stops growing because it has reached the required length
- Telogen (resting phase) –here, hair is neither growing nor shedding
- Exogen phase where hair falls out
Shedding occurs the most when the coat moves rapidly to the falling-out stage. There are times when the process speeds up and when it slows down but the faster your Beagle processes through this natural hair growth cycle, the more fur it loses.
Another factor that causes shedding to occur a lot has to do with seasons. Like most dogs, Beagles undergo seasonal shedding. For instance, in spring and early summer, your dog will start shedding its thick winter coat. It’s much warmer during this time, and it makes sense to get rid of that extra winter thickness to give way for a lighter summer coat to keep the dog cool in summer. Similarly, come fall/autumn or at the beginning of winter, they will shed their summer coat to regrow the heavy, dense winter coat. Colder temperatures characterize winter, so a heavy-duty winter jacket is needed. While Beagles are moderate shedders throughout the year, expect heavy shedding during these seasons.
Interestingly, the significant factors that affect the thickness of your dog’s coat are temperature and the number of daylight hours. A dog grows out thicker strands of fur when temperatures are low and there’s less daylight. Once the weather changes to become warm with longer daylight hours, the body loses the thick coat in preparation for the summer. Since Beagles are mostly kept as house pets, their cycle can be disrupted. Artificial light and controlled temperatures can confuse their natural coat cycles, causing undefined shedding throughout the year.
When to Worry
Although Beagles are year-round shedders, there are some alarming things you should watch out for. For starters, it’s not normal for your dog to shed hair in clumps. This could be a sign of an infection or an allergic reaction to something. It would also be best to investigate excessive hair loss as it could be a sign of stress, skin infection, skin allergies, hormonal imbalance, or an underlying health issue. The best solution is to have your Beagle checked by the vet as soon as possible.
Shedding Frequency and Triggers
As mentioned earlier, Beagles shed moderately throughout the year. However, during the shedding season, which occurs in spring and at the beginning of winter, they are heavy shedders and can literally drop their entire coat in a few weeks. Regular day-to-day shedding and even seasonal shedding are nothing to worry about. However, if your Beagle starts to lose hair in clumps, even during the pesky shedding seasons, it’s time to take it seriously. Excessive shedding can be a result of many things. Here’s a look at some common causes that trigger shedding and make your dog drop hair heavier than usual:
Stress – Stress can affect your Beagle just like it affects humans. And a common symptom of stress in dogs is hair loss. There are several reasons dogs feel stressed, ranging from separation anxiety, fear (of new environments, large or strange objects, loud noises, big groups of people, etc.), confusion, moving houses, rehoming, memory loss associated with aging, and so on.
Skin infection – Beagles have sensitive skin, which makes them vulnerable to various kinds of skin infections. Therefore, excessive shedding could be a sign of an underlying skin condition, which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic scratching and itchiness. This will, in turn, cause yeast and bacterial infections. Excess hair loss could also be a sign of parasitic infections such as fleas and lice.
Hormonal imbalance – This is another trigger for shedding, with the most common one resulting from thyroid disorders and adrenal gland deficiencies.
Skin allergies – With their sensitive skin, Beagles tend to suffer from seasonal, environmental, flea-bite, and food-related allergies, which cause rashes, hot spots, dandruff, and other skin irritations. This can result in shedding at excessively high or low levels.
Using the wrong grooming products – This can agitate your dog’s skin, which in turn affects his coat. Common mistake dog owners make is they use human or cheap, low-quality shampoo on their dogs. Just as certain shampoos can dry out our scalp, dogs react similarly to inferior products, causing dry, flaky skin and itchiness. This, in turn, causes excessive scratching and shedding. Having agitated skin leaves your Beagle vulnerable to infections, which causes even more shedding and affects your pet’s overall health.
If you’re worried about the amount of shedding your Beagle is experiencing, it’s best to consult a vet. They might diagnose the underlying cause and offer the right treatment to your Beagle.
Grooming Your Beagle
Sure, Beagles can potentially shed a lot, and it can be a nightmare dealing with hair everywhere. But with some time and patience, there are several ways you can manage your Beagle’s shedding. The first method involves grooming.
Grooming a Beagle is relatively easy as they have short hair. All you need to do is brush their hair at least once a week. You should, however, up the grooming antics to 2-3 times a week during spring and winter when shedding is prevalent. With that being said, avoid brushing every day. That will be over-grooming and can lead to skin and coat conditions.
Brushing goes a long way in managing your Beagle’s shedding. For starters, it stimulates the blood flow to the hair, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair to make it healthy and distributes the natural oils in the skin to make the coat shine. Brushing also stimulates the hair to release a natural conditioner called sebum.
Secondly, brushing picks up all those loose hair, including those in the undercoat, thus preventing knots and tangles that would otherwise make grooming your dog and vacuuming your house more time-consuming. While it doesn’t prevent shedding altogether, brushing ensures that the shedding occurs in a controlled manner. That is, hair is contained in a brush rather than everywhere in the house.
To get the most out of grooming your dog, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for brushes, hound gloves, and other grooming tools. Just remember to find something designed specifically for short-haired, dense, double coats. For shedding seasons, a good quality de-shedding tool along with the regular grooming brush will go a long way to reducing the amount of fur your dog sheds.
Does bathing help?
Beagles don’t require too many baths as they are not particularly dirty dogs; plus, frequent baths can cause skin sensitivities and strip off all the good natural oils. Ideally, you should aim for every 2-6 months, although this may not be possible if your Beagle loves to run in the mud. Bathing helps with the removal of dead hairs, excretes oils and dirt, and prevents dry skin. Be sure to use quality dog shampoo.
How Do I Stop My Beagle from Shedding
Shedding is a natural process, meaning you can’t stop it completely. The good news is there are several ways of managing it and reducing the overall amount of shedding. This includes:
Regular Physical and Mental Exercise – Regular exercise plays a vital role in a Beagle’s overall health. And a healthy dog will likely have healthier skin and fur. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety levels, which are the biggest culprits of excess shedding.
Proper Nutrition – A Beagle’s diet hugely affects how much they shed. Generally, a diet rich in high-quality, wholesome, nutritious foods promotes a healthy coat. Ensure your Beagle is getting foods high in protein and fatty acids but low in grains and fillers. Being overfed doesn’t mean your dog is getting the right kinds of food. If your dog is malnourished, it will have weaker, more brittle hair that breaks off and falls out more often.
It would also help to include plenty of omega fatty acids as they are incredible for skin and hair. Fish, fish oils, egg products, and flaxseeds are a few good sources of omega fatty acids. Don’t forget plenty of water. Hydration also plays an important role in skin and coat health.
Supplements – Excessive shedding can be due to a lack of dietary fat; this is where nutritional supplements come in. One of the single most essential supplements to buy is the Omega-3 supplements. Omega fatty acids are incredible for skin and hair, and a healthy coat will manage its own shedding as best it can, not excessively.
You can also provide the micro-ingredients vitamin E, folic acid, and biotin, which are also believed to encourage a healthy coat. Be sure to consult a vet before providing any nutritional supplements to your dog or making drastic changes to their diet.
Shaving Your Beagle
Some dog owners resort to shaving as a way to stop shedding. This is not recommended; dogs have a coat for a reason, and shaving removes their natural defense system that helps to regulate body temperature. Additionally, this is a temporary solution since Beagles grow new hairs continually. Plus, the double coat may not grow back the same; they might have a more velcro-like, sticky coat, which requires much more care and can irritate your dog’s skin.