Beagles are one of the most active dog breeds out there, and maintaining a healthy weight is paramount for their health. However, despite their seemingly infinite energy levels, beagles are paradoxically inclined toward obesity and have little control over their appetites (in other words, if you put something in front of a beagle, the chances are it will be eaten, even if they had dinner just a minute ago). This makes it of utmost importance for the beagle owner to know when, what, and how much to feed their beagle, to make sure they maintain a healthy weight.
How much should Beagles eat? A healthy adult beagle needs around 45 calories per day per pound of body weight, or around 1 (8oz) cup of food (dry), with a pregnant female needing around 30-40% more. Puppies usually need more, up to 2 cups of food a day, with around 55 calories per pound of their weight is considered to be a healthy caloric intake.
How much should an adult beagle eat?
As general guideline states – an adult beagle needs around 45 calories per pound of its weight. But again, this is a very general guideline. Things like activity level, and the type of diet you’ve chosen also play a part.
If you’re feeding them commercial adult dog food, the packaging may give you a more concrete idea of how much to give your pup for each meal (total food per day intake). If you’ve decided to keep them on a raw food diet, you’ll need to do a bit more math when preparing a food portion.
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Thankfully, you can notice if a beagle is being underfed quite easily – they’re very active and energetic dogs, so if they’re behaving lethargic, their fat percentage seems to be shrinking, their coat isn’t as shiny as it’s supposed to be, and they start experiencing digestive complications, start increasing their caloric intake and keep a keen eye on their behavior.
How much should a beagle puppy eat?
A beagle puppy needs considerably more calories than an adult beagle for two reasons: 1) they’re still growing and need more energy to facilitate healthy growth; 2) they are generally more active and expend more energy.
Food for puppies and calorie intake – According to (very) general guidelines, your beagle puppy should be eating 55 calories per pound of body weight. Though the same warning applies – this is a very general guideline, and other details such as activity level, the type of food you’re giving them (dry food or wet food) if you’re mixing the commercially produced puppy food and whole foods, should all be taken into account.
How many times should a beagle eat?
A beagle puppy that’s less than 6 weeks old can be free-fed depending on its activity level while being gradually eased into a routine. Remember that senior beagles have quite an appetite, and while eating a lot is okay when they’re little and need the energy to grow, they also need to start getting used to a routine, so they don’t expect food to be coming their way all day every day.
Between 6 and 8 weeks old a beagle puppy should be fed around 4 times a day, preferably at set times, to get used to a feeding routine. When they reach the 2-month-mark, you should slowly start transitioning them to 3-meals-per-day, with the puppy getting used to the new routine and feeding time by the time they reach the 12-week-mark.
An adult beagle should be given quality food 2 times a day. Meal times – Half of their daily portion in the morning and half of it in the evening. Keep an eye on the portion sizes as overeating will lead to excessive weight gain – Beagle is known for bottomless stomach:)
Where the opinions differ is exactly when is a beagle considered to be an adult. Most specialists offer to start transitioning the dog to a twice-a-day meal plan at 6 months old, but others think that a beagle should be fed twice a day up to 9 months, or even until they’re a year old.
The best strategy would be to start gradually transitioning your beagle to two meals a day when they’re around 6 months old, by slowly decreasing the amount they get during the day, keeping an eye on their mood and behavior. By the time they reach the 1-year-mark, they should be used to being fed twice a day.
What should you feed a beagle?
The easiest choice would be to select quality grain-free dry food and/or wet food with the help of your vet. It may take some time to figure out which brand works best for your beagle (remember, dogs are just as individual as people, what’s best for one pooch may not be all that great for another), but once you’ve found what works, maintaining your beagle’s diet will be relatively easy.
However, if you decide to feed your beagle raw food diet (it is becoming more and more popular with beagle owners these days), you do need to keep a careful eye on both the quality of products in your beagle’s diet and maintaining macros.
According to feeding guidelines, each meal should contain around 30-40% protein, 15-20% of (healthy) fat, and 30-50% carbs.
Meat and fish: beagles do great with most types of meat and fish, regardless of their fat content (which sometimes seems to worry the owners). Healthy fats are good! Health-wise there’s no difference between lamb and pork, chicken and turkey, shrimp, or fatty fish like salmon and tuna. Even if you prefer to keep your beagle on a dry food/wet food diet, whole meat/fish products make for a great healthy snack.
Most vegetables: can be a healthy snack or an important source of fiber and vitamins on a raw diet. Carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, kale, and spinach are all excellent safe choices. Easy to prepare as a part of your family homemade food.
Certain fruits: fruits can be great sources of vitamins, but do keep them as a snack for both types of diets. Apples, bananas, and oranges are the best options, along with berries and melons (but do remember to peel off the hard skin and remove any seeds).
Eggs: great source of protein and healthy fat!
Porridges: most grains are safe for dogs unless they’re allergic (the chances of which are very low). Quinoa, wheat, oats, and other grains should all be good sources of fiber and a balanced meal along with a protein source.
Yogurt, (pop)corn, ham, honey, cheese, and milk are all safe for your beagle to consume in moderate amounts, and are great snack ideas! Just make sure not to overfeed them.
Interestingly, organic peanut or cashew butter without artificial sweeteners is considered to be fine in moderate amounts, though you better err on the side of caution.
We’re about to discuss why.
Food For Beagles – What should you not feed a beagle?
If you’ve had a pup friend before a beagle, you’ve likely got most of the foods that would be detrimental to them already covered – there’s not a whole lot of difference between beagle’s dietary needs nutrient-wise (essential nutrient) compared to most other breeds.
If you’ve got the quantity correctly figured out and have selected quality dry food intake (or keep your pooch on a raw diet full of quality products), pampering them with leftovers from your dinner table every once in a while should be fine.
However, there are certain products that you should keep out of their maws at all times as these can cause upset stomach or even be toxic.
Nuts: nuts are among the most dangerous products for your dog, beagle or otherwise, for 3 major reasons.
1) Certain nuts (walnuts, macadamia nuts, apricot pits) are outright toxic to dogs, beagles included;
2) Smaller nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds) are a choking hazard;
3) Even nuts that are said to be safe in moderation (like peanuts and cashews) are very high in calories, which is bad enough for any dog, but worse still for a pooch like a beagle that’s prone to obesity and has no appetite control.
Gut irritants (alcohol, chocolate, candy, garlic and onion, mustard, etc.): Most of these products contain ingredients that are poisonous to dogs. If your beagle grabs a small bite (sip) from your plate, the worse you can expect is some vomiting and diarrhea, but continuous consumption can lead to larger problems, so try to keep your pup away.
Avocados: avocados contain persin, a toxic that is detrimental to animal health. In smaller amounts it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, in larger, it can even lead to death.
Caffeinated products: dogs are very sensitive to caffeine, and consumption can raise their blood pressure and cause cardiac arrhythmias.
Products containing Xylitol: sugar alcohol that causes rapid insulin release from the pancreas, causing hypoglycemia, which can turn fatal.
Grapes (and raisings), currants, cherries, cinnamon, potato, and tomato leaves and stems have all been shown to contain substances toxic to dogs, and are best kept out of their diet.
Important: do remember that smaller amounts of even toxic products can be safe for your beagle, so don’t panic if they grab something they weren’t supposed to. A bite or two is not likely to cause irreversible damage. Just keep an eye on your four-legged friend and contact the vet if you notice any alarming changes in their behavior.