Beagle Diet & Meal Plan Advice
By Hungry Bark | March 1, 2021
Beagles are a fun, engaging, friendly, and loyal breed. The food you give them should reward their love for you by giving them the best dog food you can find and provide them with a happy, healthy life.
Anyone that loves a beagle knows that their begging looks adorable, and the temptation to offer them treats and human food is difficult to ignore.
Still, according to the American Kennel Club (or AKC), you should avoid feeding your dog human foods. They must get enough exercise and only eat high-quality dog food. This plan will avoid allergies, weight issues, and get the nutrition needed for a long, happy life.
When selecting your dog food, your dog’s age, amount of exercise, and weight should factor in your food choice. Some beagles may also develop foodborne allergies and food intolerance, so reading the product label closely and understanding the types of ingredients used is crucial to guarantee your pup’s health.
The most common mistake people make concerning dog food is the belief that all dog food is alike. This belief can lead to severe health issues, from overweight dogs, diabetes, joint disorders, and other problems.
As a pet parent, what food you offer your dog should be as much a priority as what you would feed your children, and proper nutrition is a must.
Keep reading as we’ll discuss ways to have a happy, healthy beagle that you share a positive relationship with for a long time.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise
All dogs need a life that includes exercise, proper nutrition, and regular trips to the veterinarian. As a pet parent, you should provide your furry companion with all the things they need to live a long, prosperous life.
Beagles are a friendly breed, eager to please, and have plenty of energy. All this means they need lots of exercise and one great way is to use training activities to get them the exercise they need.
Exercise for dogs is as essential as it is for humans. Exercise helps with muscular development and maintenance, increases mental function, improves cardiovascular performance, aids with digestion, helps with sleep, and plays a significant role in the overall life expectancy.
Additionally, dogs exhibit many behavioral issues, from aggressive play, digging holes, and poor listening and obedience, which are typically symptomatic of a dog that needs exercise.
Getting enough exercise for your beagle is essential then for health and behavior. Exercise will calm the dog’s mind. The calmer a dog is, the more attentive they become toward your directions and speech. This calm state of mind makes them more manageable and teachable. As the saying goes, “a tired dog is a happy dog.”
Understand that dogs at various life stages have different exercise and nutritional needs. As you begin an exercise routine, take into account their age, weight, and physical conditioning as well as the weather conditions.
Weather can affect your dog’s health as much as their weight or age. Taking your beagle on a run on hot asphalt or cold concrete can singe the pads of their paws, making walking or running painful and difficult. If the ground is too hot for you to stand on it barefoot, it’s also too hot for your dog.
The Health Benefits Associated With Exercise
In addition to the previously mentioned benefits of exercise, having your beagle be on a routine is vital for their overall health.
Exercise helps manage weight, which can have significant ramifications on your beagle’s health if they are overweight.
Dogs that are overweight are more susceptible to chronic injury and illness such as:
- Type-2 Diabetes
- High-Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Osteoarthritis and Hip Damage
- Labored Breathing
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Shortened Life-Expectancy (by as much as 2-3 years)
There are plenty of suggestions to help you get your dog the right type of exercise, from running and hiking to playing fetch and more. Below we have a list of some great ideas to help you get your beagle some exercise, teach and reinforce the types of behaviors you’d like them to adopt, as well as the health benefits you both receive from the activities.
Walking: Dogs love to explore their surroundings. Dogs are known for having a powerful sense of smell, and smell is the primary way they experience the world around them. Taking time every day to go for a walk gets your dog exercise while letting them engage the world around them. As they become more tired, you can introduce behaviors you’d like them to learn as well.
Also, as a low-impact activity, walking is an excellent exercise for dogs of all ages and physical conditions.
Fetch: Use this fun game to engage lessons with your dog, such as teaching patience and obeying directions, as well as getting them the exercise they need. Don’t be worried if your beagle lets its inner stubbornness take over and loses interest in the game after a little bit of time. Encourage the behavior with rewards and treats as they fetch and return.
Swimming: Another low-impact activity that is heart-healthy as well as reduces the impact on joints. Swimming is an excellent activity for older beagles that may suffer from joint pain and arthritis. The problem with swimming is that water may get into the ear canal of your beagle and become trapped, leading to painful ear infections.
Visit A Dog Park: Instinctually, beagles hunt in packs making them very social with other dogs. Letting them run and wrestle with other dogs is an excellent way for your beagle to learn socialization skills, understand hierarchies, as well as burn off a ton of calories.
Exercise also serves one principal purpose. It strengthens the bonds between you and your dog.
Why Your Beagle’s Food Ingredients Are Important
In order to understand the value of the types of dog food you offer your dog, first, you need to understand some of the ramifications for choosing subpar food sources.
Dogs are as susceptible as humans to allergies, including foodborne allergic reactions. Often foodborne allergies are due to low-quality fillers found in their food. Grains such as soy, corn, and wheat may cause allergies in dogs, and once beagles have an allergic reaction, they may be more susceptible to other types of foodborne allergies in the future.
Allergies that stem from food also mirror more severe issues. Getting your dog examined by the veterinarian is the best way to be sure of the underlying cause. In general, foodborne allergy symptoms can range from excessive itching and digestive issues such as diarrhea and excessive flatulence.
Additionally, the quality of the food you offer your dog should provide plenty of macronutrients, help build bone and teeth strength, and assist with brain function, energy levels, and any degenerative issues such as hip dysplasia in older age.
What Are Macronutrients
Macronutrients are the primary nutrients needed for healthy living. They include protein, carbohydrates, and fats necessary for good health and should be the main ingredients listed in your dog’s food ingredient list.
Manufacturers list the ingredients by the weight of the ingredient in the recipe. For example, the first couple items listed are the heaviest of all ingredients, making them the most prevalent thing in the recipe that makes your dog’s food.
The best options will highlight the macronutrients and balance your beagle’s nutritional needs with their size, weight, and age. High-quality ingredients will list pure protein sources such as chicken, salmon, and beef, rather than have listed items such as “meat meal”.
The problem with “meat meal” is that the protein source is unknown, and the combination of unknown protein may include fillers such as corn, soy, or wheat.
Subpar ingredients may cause severe health issues for your dog, but even subtle issues such as foodborne allergies can impact your beagle’s quality of life. Avoid foodborne allergies by choosing a dog food provider that highlights their ingredients stemming from natural forms and avoid processed sources.
Types Of Allergies
Just as with people, dogs can suffer from a variety of allergies. Causes may be foodborne, seasonal, inhalant, and from skin contact, especially from their paws becoming exposed and spreading to other parts of their body from scratching or licking their paws.
Once a dog suffers an allergic reaction, it causes the immune system to overreact. Common symptoms may include excessive itching and “hot spots” on the dog’s body. As the skin becomes itchy and irritated, your dog may scratch and chew excessively, causing inflammation that may lead to bacterial infections, heightening skin irritation, and itchiness.
Other reactions may include ear infection, watery eyes - “eye boogers,” runny nose, or swelling in the face, throat, or paws. Like people, allergies may cause sneezing, coughing, asthma, or gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting.
Symptoms of ear infections, especially with dogs with large ears that overlapped the ear canal like a beagle, may shake their head from side to side and have a strong odor or smell discharge. If that is the case, get a diagnosis from your beagle’s veterinarian.
Foodborne illness and allergies can happen at any time of varying levels of seriousness. The most common cause of food allergies stems from lamb, chicken, eggs, wheat, soy, corn, dairy, potatoes, and other common ingredients found in most commercial food products.
To avoid foodborne allergies, you should be able to track the type of food they eat and figure out if that may be an issue. For example, if you are giving your beagle food with fillers and “meat meal” in the ingredient list or has protein listed later in the list, it may be a challenge to determine the cause of their allergies.
Why Your Dog May Not Be Eating
All dogs find ways to communicate through non-verbal ways, from whining, barking, wagging their tails, nipping, and even not eating. Drastic behavioral changes may be due to a serious reason. If your beagle makes a dramatic change in its behavior, it is always a cause for worry and one you should ask your veterinarian.
The reason your dog may not be eating can stem from several things ranging from a change in their hunger to changes in their daily routines. Like people, dogs operate on habits, and significant changes can disrupt their attitudes. Dogs that choose to change their eating behavior may be trying to communicate with you about their feelings about themselves or their surroundings.
Some of the main reasons your dog may not be eating can be due to:
Illness: Dogs that are sick exhibit lower appetites and lower energy levels, similar to humans. If your pup exhibits any prolonged changes to its appetite or energy levels, discuss it with your veterinarian.
Vaccine Reaction: Vaccines can have similar side effects as humans with a vaccine. They can make your dog tired, uncomfortable, and lose its appetite. Diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling of the face, throat, or paws may be symptoms of more severe complications, and you should consult your vet as soon as possible.
Dental Disease: From tooth pain to sensitive gums, dogs with dental disease will be less interested in eating dehydrated, crunchy food. Bad breath is a symptom of bacterial buildup in the mouth, and if your pup has worsening breath, this bacterial buildup could be a symptom of broken teeth, ulcers in the mouth, or other dental issues.
Excessive Pain: If you notice your dog moving slower, more stiffly, or having difficulty performing regular tasks, they may be in pain. Pain may show in a whimpering, head shaking, limping, or whining while resting. Excessive pain may impact your dog’s appetite, so if you notice any change in their movements, consult your veterinarian for guidance.
Your dog communicates by its actions and sounds. If you notice a change in its behavior for more than a couple of days, consult your veterinarian. There could be severe issues affecting your pup, and only your vet can diagnose and treat the problem.
How To Read The Ingredients Label
Better dog health comes from a combination of plenty of exercise and better nutrition. And as dog food is a highly regulated industry, you still need to avoid some subpar food makers.
In order to find the highest quality dog food is to understand the food label.
Manufacturers list their ingredients by weight, meaning the items listed first are the heaviest and most abundant in the product. Look for a product label with protein from a pure source such as chicken, salmon, etc., as the primary ingredient. High-quality food will list in order protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins in order of importance.
As mentioned before, your product label should be transparent regarding food sources. Instead of “meat meal,” proteins should be listed from the original source, as should other ingredients such as fruit and vegetables.
For example, carrots and peas should be listed instead of the generic term, “vegetables.” Subpar manufacturers will look to cut corners on their ingredient list, but high-quality food makers like Hungry Bark will be transparent and clear about the ingredient source. The more direct the labeling, the purer the source of the ingredient.
Look for a list of other minerals and vitamins that are included. Calcium, potassium, for example, should be clear. The food label should also have a probiotic for your pup’s gastrointestinal tract’s health.
To select the best dog food for your beagle, you should avoid any that have many “fillers” in their recipe. Fillers such as the term “grains” or “meat meal” are too generic and don’t give a clear picture of the source of nutrients.
Other ingredients to avoid:
High Grain Count: If grains are the primary ingredient, you can be sure that the food lacks the amount of protein that your beagle needs to develop and maintain healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. Also, an ingredient list that relies on grains as the primary ingredient may include some sources that can trigger an imbalance in your dog’s nutrition and may lead to allergic reactions.
Preservatives: Do not get subpar dog food that lists “preservatives” in their ingredient list. This generic term is to hide that the preservatives used may be from a chemical source that is harmful to your dog’s health.
Additional Fillers: Fillers such as “meat meal” and “grains” don’t explain where the source of those items comes from and that uncertainty is indeed a red-flag; why? “Grains’ can reference the use of soy, wheat, corn, among others, that dogs who are susceptible to foodborne allergies may suffer from consuming.
Fillers are a cheap alternative for a more pure source and often lack the nutrients needed for your beagle’s optimal health. Side effects from digesting unclear fillers range from loss of appetite, foodborne allergies, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Selecting The Right Meal Plan
In selecting the right meal plan for your dog, the label should have clear descriptions of pure food sources and not hide behind general terms like “meat meal.” The brand should prioritize macronutrients in order of importance: protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Higher-quality food manufacturers aren’t shy in listing their ingredients. These have labels that include specific terms and claims such as “100% all-natural chicken” and specify what is used, like “carrots, peas, and potatoes.”
Look for ingredient labels that eschew grains as a priority ingredient. Instead, look for grain-free, limited-ingredient, and gluten-free options to avoid certain types of allergens.
As dogs age, their individual tastes, preferences, and nutritional needs change. A puppy has different needs than a full-grown dog. Taste buds evolve, their teeth may become sore or brittle, and gums become irritated. Finding the right type of dog food for their particular need is crucial at every age.
Your beagle’s age and activity level should also be part of your consideration in choosing the right type of meal plan. The Hungry Bark Custom Meal Planner will, in as little as 2 minutes, consider your dog’s age, breed, and activity level to offer you a meal plan designed specifically for your beagle’s optimum health and nutrition.
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