Beagles are smart, loving, playful, and loyal companions, making them one of the best dog breeds you could get as a family pet. That being said, one important thing to consider when adding a Beagle into your family is how long they will live. Since many people consider their dogs as part of the family, it’s only natural to want them to be around for a long time. Dogs grow faster than we humans do, with different breeds having different life expectancies. Most dogs live anywhere from 10-13 years, but there are certain breeds with a significantly shorter lifespan, while others can surprise you by living 15 years and beyond.
So, what is the life expectancy of the Beagle? Small dogs live longer than large dogs. And, since the Beagle is a small breed of dog, they will likely stay by your side for quite some time. Their average lifespan is 12-15 years, but they can live longer or less than this time frame, depending on genetics, your dog’s general health, the care you provide.
The Beagle lifespan is considered to be fairly average compared to other dog breeds. Some have a shorter lifespan, like the Irish Wolfhound who’s only estimated at 6-8 years. A Chihuahua, on the other hand, can live up to 20 years. Keep in mind that this is just the average lifespan, and your dog is not guaranteed to live into their teen. Do you want your dog to have the best chance at living a healthy life until old age? Well, today, we cover the leading causes of death and any other issues that could affect your dog’s lifespan, how to care for your Beagle, and so on. So, let’s jump right in!
How Long Do Beagles Live As Pets
As mentioned earlier, the average Beagle can live between 12 and 15 years, a relatively long lifespan for dogs. You’ll notice that similar smaller breeds have a similar lifespan, but what has size got to do with this? Small dogs usually have a longer lifespan than larger breeds because their small bodies don’t have to work as hard. Also, larger breeds tend to grow from puppies to adults pretty fast, and this rapid transformation increases the likelihood of abnormal cell growth, which can later lead to death from cancer.
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That being said, it’s important to note that the average life expectancy is different from the actual lifespan of a particular dog. Some Beagles have lived up to 20 years, while others don’t make it past six years. That’s because several factors contribute to the length of a Beagle’s lifespan. Some important questions to ask are:
- Is your dog a purebred Beagle or mixed?
- What are the common health problems for this breed?
- What are your dog’s lifestyle and diet like?
Sadly for most dogs, old age is not even on the top of the list for what causes their death. There are so many causes of death for Beagles, and they differ depending on their age.
Common Causes of Death in Puppies
According to The Veterinary Medical Databases (VMDB), there are three leading causes of death in Beagle puppies. This includes:
Infection – Your Beagle puppy is prone to various infections, starting with the parvovirus. This virus is extremely contagious and is often passed through litter onto dogs if contact is made. Even if your pup is vaccinated, it could still get infected during the window of vulnerability. If left untreated, this infection can be life-threatening. Other infections that could be fatal to your pup are distemper and bacterial infections.
Trauma – Trauma in puppies is very common. It’s usually a result of falling down the stairs, being dropped, getting hit by a vehicle, walking into a ditch, and so on. Whether accidental or intentional, these incidences could lead to death.
Congenital disease – These are diseases and health conditions passed from the parents to the pup. They can also be caused by poor breeding conditions, poor nutrition, and trauma. These issues commonly include liver shunts and heart defects.
Common Causes of Death in Adults
Cancer is the leading cause of death in adult Beagles, which is true for most dog breeds. The most common cancers affecting Beagles are lymphoma, osteosarcoma, melanoma, and mast cell tumors. We can also include kidney disease, liver disease, lung cancer, and testicular cancer. Just like with puppies, trauma could also be the cause of death for an adult dog.
Lastly, adult Beagles commonly develop neurological diseases such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which affect the brain and spinal cord. These neurological problems can lead to seizures, paralysis, fatal strokes, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and brain or spinal cord tumors. Canine Cognitive Disorder (CCD), a disorder that affects senior dogs, is also included in this category. It’s comparable to dementia in humans as it slows the brain functioning down, making your dog lose its memory and motor functions.
Overweight Beagle Lifespan
Beagles are scavengers and will eat just about anything in front of them. They seem to have little control over their appetite and always act hungry. If given unlimited access to food, they can eat themselves sick or even to death. Due to their obsession with eating, this dog breed is prone to obesity, affecting their health drastically and reducing their lifespan. Additionally, this breed is made to be active, and if they don’t get rid of their excess energy, they’ll gain weight.
Banfield Pet Hospital conducted a study that found that excess weight reduced the average life expectancy of a Beagle by two years. While a Beagle with a healthy weight can live for 15 years, the lifespan of an overweight one is 13 years.
Why do overweight beagles have a shorter lifespan? Obesity affects dogs the same way it does humans. It increases the risk of hypertension, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, arthritis, hip dysplasia, decreased liver function, lower immunity, digestive disorders, etc. All these health problems increase the chances of early death, resulting in shorter lifespans.
How Do You Know If Your Beagle Is Obese?
A healthy weight for a female adult Beagle is 20-30 pounds (9-13 kg), while that of a healthy male is 22-35 pounds (10-15 kg). Obesity is loosely defined as 30% above ideal body weight. However, vets say that just being overweight impacts dogs’ health. Some ways to know if your dog is overweight are if they look chubby, are not flexible, and get tired easily. You can also put your hand on their ribs and gently apply a little pressure. A healthy beagle will have a layer of skin with thin fats over them, allowing you to feel the ribs. But with an overweight dog, you’ll feel a good amount of fat before you can feel the ribs.
Many dog owners don’t realize there’s a problem until it is late; you look at your dog, and she seems healthy without any apparent health issues, so you say it’s normal. A beagle’s ideal weight varies depending on its height, age, and overall health condition. Speak to your vet about the normal weight for your dog.
Helping Your Dog Stay At A Healthy Weight
Diet determines the biggest part of your dog’s health. So, if you want them to live a long and healthy life, provide high-quality dog food that contains all the nutrients they need at different stages of their life. Be sure to watch the number of calories your dog eats each day; this includes treats. Beagles love to eat, so don’t give them access to food because they’ll keep eating, and sooner or later, they’ll become obese. Daily exercise is also important for helping your dog lose or maintain a healthy weight.
How Long Do Beagle Mixes Live
Beagles are very popular. Their gentle temperament is the perfect complement to highly energetic dogs. They are friendly, sociable, and loyal companions, which makes them great family pets. As prevalent dogs, it’s no surprise that there are so many Beagle mixes.
Beagle mixes are a result of crossbreeding between a purebred Beagle and another breed of dog. Some of the most popular Beagles mixes include:
- Bagel (Beagle and basset hound)
- Beabull (Beagle and Bulldog)
- Bookie (Beagle and Yorkshire Terrier)
- Puggle (Beagle and Pug)
- Beagador (Beagle and Labrador Retriever)
- Poogle (Beagle and Poodle)
- Beago (Beagle and Golden Retriever)
- Cheagle (Beagle and Chihuahua)
- Beashund (Beagle and Dachshund)
- Malteagle (Beagle and Maltese)
- Pomeagle (Beagle and Pomeranian)
Most pure breeds are inbred to keep their bloodlines pure; unfortunately, this translates to a limited gene pool. It makes their puppies more prone to developing genetic disorders, which we already saw are one of the leading causes of death in Beagle puppies. On the other hand, mixed dogs are a wonderful creation as they offer the best of both worlds and widen their gene pool. They tend to have hybrid vigor, making them much healthier dogs with a much longer lifespan. Beagles are already relatively healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. And, with plenty of healthy genes to choose from, Beagle mixes don’t have as many health problems as purebred Beagles.
Beagle mixes have varying life expectancies, but they all fall in the range of 10-16 years on average. Some Beagle mixes live more than these years and are into their 20s with proper care, medical attention, and a hygienic environment.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Beagle Mix
While mixed breeds tend to be healthier and live longer than their purebred counterparts, one potential downside to crossbreeding is you cannot always guarantee what genes the puppy will inherit from each parent. If a particular breed is predisposed to certain diseases, there’s a chance the mix could be born with those congenital disorders.
Secondly, irrespective of the breed used for crossbreeding, all Beagle mixes are prone to infections, which can shorten the lifespan of such a mix if left untreated. This includes parvovirus, fungal infections, bacterial infections, distempers, eye infections, and ear infections.
Like any other pet, trauma can cause premature deaths in Beagle mixes. Being hit by a vehicle is a common cause of major trauma in dogs. Others include falling from a height, dog fight or attack, cuts & scratches, being stepped on, etc.
Cancer doesn’t just affect adult Beagles alone, but all dogs in general. This means Beagle mixes are still prone to cancer. This danger is not as easily cured or avoided, making early detection key to prolonging your dog’s lifespan. Regularly examine them for lumps and bumps to ensure that cancer doesn’t take their life early.
Can a Beagle Live 20 Years
Beagles reach maturity between one and seven years, after which they are considered senior dogs. As Beagles grow old, their bodies weaken and will need a few adjustments here and there to stay in optimal health. But just because your dog is in the elderly stage doesn’t mean they’re about to go. Your Beagle can live past 15 years and well into its 20s.
In fact, a Beagle named Butch made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest living Beagle. He lived in Virginia, USA, from 1975 to 2003, making him 28 years old at the time of his death. This is a pretty long time for a dog to be alive as it works out to be over 140 years old in human years. While it may be rare, it’s certainly possible for a Beagle to live 20+ years if they are well-cared for.
Improving Your Beagle’s Life Expectancy
Provide proper nutrition – Providing high-quality dog food that contains all the needed nutrients helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. A well-balanced, healthy diet helps to keep your dog from becoming overweight and lowers the risk of common health problems in Beagles, such as cancer. While you’re at it, avoid overfeeding as it can lead to obesity, which in turn causes many health issues for your Beagle.
Have them spayed or neutered – As mentioned earlier, cancer is the leading cause of death for Beagles and most dogs. Spaying or neutering them reduces the chances of developing reproductive types of cancers such as prostate and testicular cancers in males and uterine infection and mammary tumors in females, all of which have high fatality rates. Additionally, your dog will no longer be able to go into heat or be desperate for a mate. This makes them less likely to escape and possibly getting hit by a car.
Keep them on a leash – Beagles are driven by their noses, and powerful scents can tempt even the best-trained dogs to run across the road, chasing after prey. Keeping your dog on a leash, particularly when outside the house, prevents trauma accidents.
Exercise your dog – Obesity can lead to many types of terminal illnesses if left untreated. Providing plenty of regular exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight. An active and mentally stimulated dog will also have far less anxiety and stress, which naturally results in a healthier and longer life. Physical and mental stimulation also keeps dogs from feeling bored, which would otherwise cause them to resort to something dangerous like escaping.
Consistent check-ups with the vet – Taking your Beagle to the vet at least twice a year will likely afford you early detection of any health problems that may crop up so you can start treatment early enough and increase the chances of full recovery. Stay up-to-date on all vaccinations as it eliminates the chances of developing life-threatening diseases such as distemper and parvovirus.