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Beagles are naturally very active and energetic breeds. They tend to eat a lot – and not only due to high energy expenditure, but because they have no appetite control and are, thus, prone to obesity. Luckily, they’re not a particularly picky breed. As long as you give them some yummy food, they’ll be satisfied, which means as soon as you’ve figured out what to feed your beagle, how much, and when – you’re more likely than not to be set long-term.
A Beagle can maintain a healthy diet both on ready-made kibble and/or wet food, with occasional raw food snacks, or a fully raw food diet. The raw food diet should be planned and curated by a professional vet to ensure your beagle is getting enough calories and micronutrients.
What should I feed my beagle?
Beagles need an energy-dense but calorie-controlled diet that’s rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
The easiest way to ensure you provide for all of the beagle’s nutritional needs is to talk to your vet and choose a high-quality grain-free kibble and/or wet food (some combinations of the two also work fine) that have been accordingly fortified. This will help you maintain their health and control their weight.
However, if you wish to keep your beagle on a raw diet, you will need to keep a keen eye on its macros.
Consult a qualified vet and make a meal plan with their help. To make sure they get adequate sustenance, you will need to strictly control what they eat, keeping beagles’ proneness to overeat (and gain weight) in mind. Readymade food will likely be easier.
How much should a beagle eat daily?
Rough estimates put an adult beagle’s caloric need at around 45 calories per pound of its weight, and a puppy’s at around 55 calories per pound of bodyweight. A pregnant adult female will need around 30%-40% more than their adult counterpart.
An adult beagle should eat twice a day – half a portion in the morning and half a portion in the evening. Maintaining a strict routine will help you maintain your dog’s weight.
What vegetables can beagles eat?
Most vegetables are safe for your beagle. As long as you memorize the few that contain substances that could harm his health, you can usually take a calculated risk and feed your four-legged friend vegetables that aren’t on that list.
In fact, if you wish to have your beagle on a raw diet, vegetables are not just a healthy low-calorie snack but important addition to their meal plans, ensuring they get all the vitamins they need.
Important: that said, you must keep in mind that while dogs are omnivores, most of them cannot survive healthy long-term on a fully plant-based diet. A vegetarian/vegan/plant-based dog parent may be tempted to cut animal products from their beagles’ diet – but do remember that it’s risky to do so.
Do not transfer your beagle on a plant-based diet without consulting a vet beforehand for a comprehensive meal plan. And be ready to keep a keen eye on your dog’s behavior after you do. Beagles are, usually, unable to thrive on a fully plant-based, and chances of you having to add animal products back to their diet are quite high.
But as long as vegetables are just an addition to their diet – be it commercially produced dog food or whole food diet – it will only benefit your pooch.
Here are some of the best vegetables for beagles:
Vegetables make an especially beneficial snack if your beagle has weight problems and needs to be on a calorie deficit. Make sure that all of these vegetables are given to your dog in moderation and don’t make up the majority of their diet – and everything will be well.
- Carrots – will need to be peeled, but most beagles enjoy the taste, are a great source of Vitamin A and fiber;
- Cucumbers – contain Vitamin K which benefits dogs’ bone health;
- Leafy greens (most notably Kale and Spinach) – are excellent sources of Vitamins C and K, and, you guessed it, fiber;
- Green beans – are packed with multiple micronutrients, most notably iron and calcium, along with Vitamins A, B6, C, and K;
- Green peas – great source for vitamins A, B, and K, iron, and zinc;
- Broccoli – a great source of fibers, but should be given in moderate amounts.
- Sweet potato – multiple beneficial antioxidants, Vitamin A, and is a great source of fiber.
- Radish – contains Vitamin C, is good for dogs’ dental health.
What human food can beagles eat?
Most whole foods people eat, beagles can eat too.
Aside from toxic foods listed below, in moderation, most “human food” is fine for a beagle to consume in moderate amounts.
There are certain “obvious” choices like meat, fish and seafood, eggs, certain fruits, and vegetables, which most owners give their pooches even if they’re on kibble.
But aside from that, you can, in moderation, give your beagle:
- Porridges (oats, quinoa, wheat, etc.) – most grains are safe for dogs unless they’re allergic;
- Natural peanut and almond butter (with no artificial sweeteners);
- Popcorn – as long as it’s unsalted and unbuttered. Salt may cause gut irritation, while high-fat content can both complicated digestion, and add unnecessary calories.
What are the foods beagles shouldn’t eat?
Dogs, despite their overall resilience, are quite vulnerable to multiple substances. Some of what is harmless to us can be surprisingly toxic to them.
Important: if your beagle grabs a bite of something they shouldn’t have from your plate – you don’t need to panic. Most of the toxins listed below need to either be a part of their regular diet over some time or be consumed in a particularly large amount to do serious harm in one swoop.
At best that naughty bite will do them no harm, at worse it may lead to some concerning but usually not life-threatening symptoms like lethargy and diarrhea.
If your dog consumes something they shouldn’t have, just keep an eye on their behavior and if you notice any concerning signs – contact the vet.
Nuts – Some nuts, like macadamia, are outright toxic to dogs, but even those that are considered to contain no harmful micronutrients – like peanuts or cashews – can be dangerous.
First of all, they’re high in fat and very high-calorie. Beagles, who’re already prone to obesity and have no appetite control are likely to gain a lot of weight if nuts are a permanent diet mainstay. The high-fat content is likely to trigger vomiting/diarrhea if the pooch consumes too much.
And to top it all off, nuts are small and hard, making them a choking hazard – the dog may just not chew through it before swallowing.
If you want to give your beagle a nut-based treat – stick to a lick of natural peanut or almond butter (after ensuring they contain no artificial sweeteners, especially Xylitol).
Products containing Xylitol – Xylitol is sugar alcohol often used as an artificial sweetener in mass-produced foods (such as peanut butter). It’s popular for its low glycemic index and is even considered beneficial to humans, but in dogs, it tends to cause rapid insulin release causing abrupt hypoglycemia which can turn fatal.
Avocados – contain a toxin called persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in smaller quantities, and more permanent damage if consumed on a semi-regular basis.
Chocolate – contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs, as well as caffeine.
Caffeine – can cause uncontrollable arrhythmias. Dogs are very sensitive to it, so all products containing caffeine should be avoided, even if they don’t contain anything outright toxic.
Nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.) – contain high amounts of toxin solanine, which is harmful to dogs. However, cooking somewhat reduces the toxicity levels, so while none of them should be a part of their regular diet, if your beagle grabs a wedge of baked potato from your plate, he should be fine.
Allium family vegetables (garlic, shallots, leeks, chives) – contain a toxin N-propyl disulfide, which facilitates red blood cell breakdown, leading to anemia in dogs.
Grapes, raisins, currants, sultanas – the exact toxin harmful to dogs has yet to be identified, but consuming them regularly may cause kidney failure.
Fruit pits (peach, apricot, cherries, plum) – are a choking hazard, but if your dog does manage to swallow them, he’s at risk of kidney failure due to a toxin called amygdalin.
Mustard – mustard seeds may cause gastroenteritis and/or inflammation.