If you’ve adopted a Beagle into your family, then you’re up for the most wonderful entertaining, fun and busy few years of your life. They are a relatively robust breed considering that they don’t have a lot of complex health concerns to deal with.
They are one of the most active breeds too, which is why you’re going to be pretty busy throughout the year. But they are also quite prone to obesity if they are not on a well-balanced diet, which can lead to other more serious issues like heart diseases and arthritis. Hence you do need to pay due attention to their eating habits.
For all these reasons, a lot of people adopting Beagle puppies have one pressing question in their minds, and that is “how much should a Beagle puppy eat?”
In this article we’re going to cover everything you need to know from what to feed your puppy to how often you should feed them.
How Much Should a Beagle Puppy Eat?
The amount of food that you should ideally be feeding your Beagle generally depends on your dog’s age, type of food and his or her activity level. Puppies are of course more active than adult dogs and hence they need more food than adults.
On average a Beagle puppy needs about fifty five calories of food per pound of body weight. However, if your puppy is very active, the amount of calorie intake should be changed accordingly.
Up till the age of two, your Beagle can be considered as a puppy. It is only after at least one year that your pooch starts developing into an adult dog. Throughout their growth stage they will need more calories to match their metabolism than their adult counterparts. There will also be times when you’ll need to consider special factors as well, as they are growing up.
There are two types of food that you can consider for your dog; either store bought food or home cooked food. Both types have their own impacts on the health of your dog.
If you are considering store-bought food, on average you can feed your puppy up to two cups of dry food or two cans of wet food per day. Other than that, the package will also have information on the daily recommended quantity of the food age-wise, which you can very well follow. When you are buying store food, you have to make sure that it is specifically meant for puppies and that it contains an ample amount of proteins as well as micronutrients like phosphorous and calcium.
As they grow into adults, reduce the amount to one cup or one can per day, distributed into 2 times during the day.
In case you’re considering home-cooked food, you can go to a vet to take the current as well as the probable future weight of your pooch and then start feeding accordingly.
After 6 months, you can slowly start reducing their food intake, and maintain an optimal amount in relation to their weight and activity so as to avoid obesity. Your puppy may ask you for more, but do not give in to those puppy eyes. Stay firm and maintain a regular amount of food. Unless your puppy starts losing weight progressively, you don’t have to change the diet.
How Often Should You Feed a Beagle Puppy?
Needless to say, Beagle puppies love food and they need more amounts during their growth stage. On average, according to the recommended quantities, puppies can be fed as follows.
Below 2 Months Old – the puppy can be free fed. There is bound to be a lot of activity and so they will need access to food throughout the day. Do not worry too much about overeating at this stage, though, if you want to maintain a schedule, you can consider feeding your puppy 6 to 7 times spread throughout the day.
2 Months To 5 Months Old – the puppy can be fed up to 4 meals a day, plus a few treats and snacks when you are training him or her. If your puppy is extra active, you can consider 5 small meals a day as well.
5 Months to 1 Year Old – the puppy needs 3 meals a day. Reduce the number of meals systematically and gradually, and pick time slots in such a way that your puppy has enough to draw energy from at all times.
Above 1 Year Old – You can reduce the meals to 2 times a day, plus a few treats in between when you are training him or her.
How to Know if You Are Feeding Them Too Much
To know if you are feeding them too much, you can do a simple test. Place your hands on your puppy’s chest or back and you should ideally be able to feel the ribcage or spine when you apply a little pressure. If you can’t feel the bones even after applying a little pressure, then that’s a sign you’ve overfed your puppy.
Once again, it is important that you don’t give in to your Beagle’s puppy eyes every time he or she wants more food.
If you keep feeding them regardless of the recommended amount, here’s what will happen.
Beagle puppies are most prone to obesity. They never know, as a matter of fact, no puppy knows how much food they need. As a result, if they have any food around, they are going to eat it, whether or not they feel hungry. This tendency can make them overweight and obese, until you have chubby fluff balls. And these chubby puppies will grow into chubby adult dogs with a whole range of issues including hypothyroidism, Diabetes and heart problems. All of these can severely affect the lifespan of your pooch.
The nutrient rich food that you feed your pooch naturally helps him grow and develop strong bones and muscles. Hence, if you feed him more than what he needs, his body will likely go into overdrive building bones faster than normal. This put together with the extra weight will wreak havoc on your dog’s health causing arthritis, weak and brittle bones.
Bloating is also a serious issue that may affect your dog if they continue eating even when they are not hungry. In extreme cases it can also lead to a life threatening condition called Gastric Dilation Volvulus which is when they get a twisted stomach. Symptoms like excessive salivation and restlessness can be an indication of this condition if you think you may have overfed your dog.
How to Know if You Are Not Feeding Them Enough
If you can visibly see the ribcage or spine of your puppy, then you are most likely not feeding them enough.
Too much concern about your puppy’s diet and too much monitoring with regards to the weight and activity levels can often cause you to underfeed your dog. You need to remember that as long as you feed your pup the recommended amount, systematically, you don’t have to worry too much.
Underfeeding your dog can lead to the following problems.
We all already know that Beagle puppies are super active. Their high metabolism rate required that they consume a high amount of calories as well, failing which they don’t get the resources to grow and develop. When they don’t get enough proteins, calcium and other nutrients that they need, their bones and muscles don’t grow well, and they are left with no energy to feed their high activity level and as a result they develop deficiencies, which can even be life threatening if left untreated.
Puppies are always hungry and ready to eat pretty much any time of the day. Underfeeding your puppy can cause him to be excessively hungry and always whining for food. It is quite difficult even in the normal course, for a Beagle puppy to feel satiated after regular meals. An underfed puppy will be even more whiny and restless due to lack of food.
As an extension of being undernourished throughout the developing years, your Beagle also may stand the risk of a reduced life span. If properly raised, the average Beagle can accompany you for up to 15 years. But if they are not fed properly, this may go down by a few years as they may start developing bone, joint as well as metabolic issues leading to reduced longevity.
Beagles are the most fun, friendly and affectionate dogs you can get for your family. There’s literally never going to be a dull moment with a Beagle in your house. To maintain the very active nature of a Beagle, it is important that you feed them the right way, and develop a systematic and disciplined eating schedule, right from when they are puppies. As long as you stick to the recommended average consumption quantities prescribed for different ages in Beagles, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about their health, as they are fairly robust by nature with less reported health issues.
The key is to get them to be disciplined eaters, and remember not to give in to their puppy faces and cute little gestures. Follow a routine and your puppy’s eating habits will be much easier to manage.