What Is the Best Dog Food for a Beagle?
The fifth most popular type of dog in America, Beagles are a small breed traditionally bred for hunting. Because of this they have a very powerful sense of smell and a well-deserved reputation for running off at great speed in pursuit of interesting scents! They have friendly natures and make good family pets.
Beagles are renowned for enjoying their food and, as a result, being overweight or obese are fairly common issues in the breed. Hunting Beagles are by nature very active, but pet Beagles often get little exercise, which along with overeating can contribute to weight gain and associated health issues.
The typical weight of a show Beagle is 20-25lbs, but it isn’t uncommon for pampered pet Beagles to weigh much more than this. Owners need to take care to measure out portions of their dog’s food to prevent them eating too much. A 25lb adult Beagle typically requires 1010 calories a day to maintain good health, but the optimum caloric intake for an individual Beagle will depend on factors such as its weight, how much exercise it gets and its age.
The best dog food for a Beagle, as for other breeds, is one that provides enough good quality protein and fat, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. The Association of American Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) recommends an adult dog’s food, whether dry or wet, is at least 18% protein and 5% fat. Even the cheapest brands of dog food tend to far exceed these recommendations, so the main issue for owners to pay attention to is that a quality meat protein is the main ingredient, such as whole beef, lamb, fish or chicken. Owners might also want to avoid brands that use a lot of cheap filler ingredients, by-products, or artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
Beagles as a breed aren’t particularly prone to any diet related health issues such as skin allergies or a sensitive stomach. Hypothyroidism may be an issue, which is usually manifested by rapid weight gain and lethargy and can easily be treated by a vet. Some Beagle owners find a low carbohydrate or grain free dog food recipe seems to have health benefits, including a shiny coat and increased energy, and can help maintain a healthy weight.
As already discussed, the main health issue that commonly affects Beagles is excess weight or obesity, which can lead to a range of issues including diabetes, heart, joint and breathing problems. As well as measuring portion size, it is a good idea for owners to remove their dog’s dish after 15 minutes of eating and avoid handing out too many unhealthy treats. The same principle applies to feeding Beagle puppies, to encourage regular set meal times and avoid free feeding.
The best dog food for an adult Beagle depends to a certain extent on an individual dog’s preferences, nutritional needs and health issues, and the owner’s budget. Good dry dog foods can be those aimed at any adult dog, or those developed specifically for small breeds.