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From Shilo to Snoopy, Beagles have been worming their way into people’s hearts for years. With large, melting brown eyes and a merry disposition, it’s easy to see why the AKC has ranked this breed as its fifth most popular. Whether you’re bringing home your first Beagle or your fourth, you’re in for a world of love with this adorable and loving breed.
Did you know that Beagles don’t have a specific origin? They seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle when it came time to document their history. But we do know that since the mid-19th century this breed has been helping in hunts and keeping family’s company throughout the U.S. and beyond.
What’s not to love? The Beagle has a playful demeanor and boundless energy, making it an ideal hunting companion and family dog. And, due to the popularity of films such as John Wick, Inspector Gadget, Shiloh, and more, this loveable hound continues to gain popularity.
There are a lot of questions you have to ask yourself and information you need to research when bringing home a Beagle puppy. One of the most important is, what should I feed my Beagle puppy? Not all dog foods are created equal, nor are any two dogs the same. Today we’re walking you through how to choose the right puppy food for your Beagle.
First, you should know that your Beagle will be eating solid food before you bring it home, so no need to worry about newborn formulas. Since your puppy will have already started its diet of solid food, you’ll need to determine what food they were eating before they came home with you. This could include either asking the puppy’s breeder or the shelter from which you adopted your new furry family member. It’s important to keep a puppy’s diet consistent and introduce change gradually. If you decide to change your puppy’s food, you should do so slowly over the course of a few days.
Ok, so now that you know what your puppy is already eating, how often should you feed your puppy? Well, most vets recommend spacing out your puppy’s daily food intake into three even meals throughout the day. When you space out a puppy’s meals, he’ll feel more satisfied after finishing his meal, and he’ll be on the right track as far as weight control goes. Beagles, like some other small dogs, are prone to obesity. Part of the problem is their powerful nose. If a Beagle smells food, he’ll eat it. Beagles were originally bred to hunt rabbits, something that took a lot of time and energy. If you don’t use your Beagle for hunting, you’ll need to keep an eye on his exercise to food ratio, even while he’s a puppy. Try to start healthy lifelong habits while your puppy is young.
Lately, we’ve seen a rise in popularity in “free feeding,” but we strongly counsel against this practice for this breed. Free feeding is the practice in which food is made available to dogs at all times, but this feeding method can have many downsides. For example, free feeding will make it much harder to potty train your puppy. Since most owners can estimate when a puppy will need to go potty based off of when he ate, eliminating your knowledge of when or how much your puppy ate last can make this task exponentially harder. Here’s what we recommend for a typical puppy feeding schedule:
- Breakfast between 6-7am
- Lunch at noon
- And dinner between 5-6pm
Most owners will switch their Beagle from three meals a day to two when he reaches 12 weeks of age. But, it should always be noted that each Beagle is different. You’ll always want to make sure that you are consulting with your vet before making any changes to your puppy’s diet or feeding schedule.
Beagle Puppy Food
So you know how much, and when, but what food should you be giving your Beagle puppy? Well, it’s helpful to first gain an understanding of the difference between puppy and adult dog food. Puppy food is specially formulated to support a puppy’s specific needs, meaning that it has twice the daily nutrient requirements of adult food to assist your puppy as she develops her bones, muscles, joints, internal organs, and immune system. Adult food is made to keep your pet healthy and prevent future injury or fatigue. One builds your puppy up and the other support your dog through his life. There are even some senior formulas, but that’s a topic for another day.
Generally speaking, a good puppy food will be made up of at least 30% protein. It will also have added vitamins and minerals as well as a high-fat content to promote energy to promote energy and wellbeing. For Beagles, a little food goes a long way. Due to their high functioning noses, Beagles will eat just about anything put in front of them. However, some run into the problem that their Beagle puppy eat a little too enthusiastically, resulting in their puppy wolfing (pun intended) down too much food at once. This can lead to choking, gagging, and a multitude of other undesirable side effects. In these cases, most find it helpful to employ a slow bowl feeder. These bowls have obstacles inlaid in their design that limit how much food your Beagle puppy can eat at once.
There is a multitude of puppy food varieties out there, but the best way to find the formula that’s right for your Beagle puppy is to talk to your vet. He or she will be able to factor in all of your puppy’s unique qualities and potential concerns before making a recommendation.
Beagle Breed Profile Overview
You to start you on your path of learning about your new puppy, here’s a brief Beagle breed profile. As always, each dog is unique, so allow room for your Beagle’s individual personality or appearance. For more in-depth information, such as ideal vaccination schedules or potty training tips, visit our online archive of over 10,000 vet approved articles.
Though extensively researched, the origins of the beagle can only be traced back to the mid-19th century, though a Beagle-like hound was used to hunt rabbits in the 14th century. The breed was developed in the British Isles where it became a favorite of Queen Elizabeth. The Beagle is a scent hound through and through.
Appearance and Size:
Beagles are small, short-haired hounds with long ears that lie against the head. The coat colors are a combination of tan, black and white. As with most hounds, the eyes of the beagle are soft and pleading. The breed is divided into two size categories, 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder and under 13 inches at the shoulder with the average weight of a Beagle being somewhere between 18-30 pounds.
Friendly and lovable, the beagle’s tail is perpetually wagging. The breed is not aggressive but, with his baying bark, will alert the homeowner of intruders. They make wonderful family dogs or adventure partners.
In general, the breed does well in obedience training, but some find the beagle somewhat stubborn. And due to their strong nose, the breed can often be easily distracted, making capturing their attention very difficult.
For more details on this breed, including info on home and family relations, special care, and common diseases and disorders visit our Beagle breed profile.