Beagles really love to eat! Not only do they snack on just about everything, but you have to be careful about leaving your own food out on accident! They’ll snap it right up and play innocent! If you’ve got a Beagle that you think is gaining a little extra weight and you’d like to know what you can do, then you are in luck!
Today we’ll talk about how to help a Beagle lose weight and give you some very good reasons why this is so important for this amazing breed and also some symptoms to look for in case that new weight is a symptom of something else.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Do Beagles Tend To Be Overweight?
Beagles do require a lot more living space and activity than most dogs, but they don’t really have a specific tendency to get fat. They have about the same chances as most other dogs of becoming obese, which is actually quite high at around 60%!
That said, they do have a higher likelihood of developing fatty tumors than other dogs, which is something that your vet can keep an eye out for.
Why Do Beagles Become Overweight?
There are a number of reasons why your Beagle might be getting overweight. Just like with humans, it’s not always a cut-and-dried answer. To answer the question a little more definitely, we’ve listed the most common reasons below.
Beagles Are Quick To Beg (And To Get The Snacks They Ask For)
If they aren’t encouraged out of the habit early, Beagles are very quick to learn that begging gets results. If your Beagle is new, then it’s a good idea to encourage them to get out of this behavior, as it will be much harder at a later date (and let’s admit, it’s hard on us too).
Beagles Aren’t Always Picky About Snacks
Beagles love all kinds of foods. For instance, some Beagles will chew carrots, and this is nifty, as it’s their teeth a little in the process. That said, they tend to like just about everything edible, and they tend to gobble up their food quickly. This makes it easy to think that maybe they didn’t eat enough and can lead to overfeeding if you aren’t careful.
Beagles Need An Active Lifestyle
Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs, and as a result, your Beagle needs a lot more exercise than the average dog. This means a lot of walks, trips to the park, and if you have a neighbor or friend that also has a dog, then a little shared playtime on a regular basis might just do the trick!
Existing medical conditions or even just the treatments for them can slow down your dog’s metabolism, and your dog might start gaining weight from it. Some dietary changes can often help, but it’s a good idea to ask your vet, as they might be able to change the dosage or the type to minimize these effects while still providing effective treatment.
Just like when we get older, Beagles begin losing muscle mass slowly as they age. This is especially the case if they’ve got a fairly sedentary lifestyle at home. While older Beagles certainly don’t have as much energy as they used to, a little playtime can help when it comes to dealing with the slower reduction of muscle mass.
Female Beagles are actually more prone to becoming overweight, and spaying can increase the likelihood of later obesity.
What Are The Signs Your Beagle Is Overweight?
There are a few methods that you can use to determine if your Beagle is potentially overweight. We’ve compiled some of the basics so that you’ll have them handy for checking your own.
Check Their Ribs
First off, if your dogs’ ribs are showing fairly easily, then your dog is probably a little underweight! If they are lightly visible and you can feel them when you are softly petting your dog, then this is ideal.
If you have to pet a little harder to feel the ribs, then your dog might be putting on some extra pounds. If your dog has a distended belly and the ribs are only felt with more applied pressure than you would use petting, then your dog might actually be obese (or ill). Check with your vet, and they should be able to quickly sort out the cause.
Age Is A Factor As Well
Older dogs are a lot less active, and as a result, they do tend to put on a few pounds as they age. Puppies are less of a worry, as they tend to store a fatty layer in their early years, so it’s actually quite normal for them to be a little plump.
Check Against The Standards
There are some standard weights that you can use if you want to do a home weigh-in for your dog to see how they match up. It essentially is going to boil down to their height and gender. For females, 19-22 pounds is the standard norm, while males should weigh in at 22 to 24 pounds.
Next, you’ll want to factor in the height of your dog. If your dog is taller than 13 inches, then 25 to 35 pounds is going to be the ideal weight; dogs that are shorter than this should be around 22 to 30 pounds.
Does Your Beagle Have Difficulty Grooming Lately?
Another warning sign that your dog may have some unwanted pounds is a noticeable change in their grooming. If it looks like they are having trouble accessing the usual spots, then it might be time for a little change in diet or at least a checkup with your vet to be on the safe side.
Does Your Dog Tire More Easily Than Usual?
Beagles have lots of energy. While it gets less as they age, you still won’t generally notice them tiring out quickly unless they are much older or if they are gaining a little unhealthy weight. This will be quite noticeable when you take them out, as they will have more frequent stops than usual when you are taking them out.
How To Help Your Beagle Lose Weight
Once you’ve become aware that your dog might be overweight, you have many great options for helping them get a little more fit, trim, and healthy. While you won’t see results overnight, of course, adding one or more of the Beagle-lifestyle changes below will definitely make a difference in time.
Extra Play Time
One of the best options for helping your Beagle to lose weight also happens to be a lot of fun! When you’ve had your dog for a long time, it’s easy for the two of you to develop a more relaxed relationship when it comes to playtime.
Some new toys and a little extra outside-time can help, and Beagles respond wonderfully to the extra attention. It’s a good time for everyone!
Higher Protein Content In Their Diet Can Help
Some of the commercial dog foods out there are really not so great for your dog. They have low protein amounts and are often high in fat content, so it might be time for a little higher-grade dog food. Look for brands with no grains and with more fresh meat for the best results.
That said, it is still a good idea to check with your vet first before making any major diet changes.
Veggie Treats Are A Great Idea
Beagles love all kinds of food, so you can generally with switching them to the occasional fruit or veggies treats every now and again. Your Beagle might already have some favorites, such as bananas or carrots, that you can give them more frequently.
Keep it in moderation, and note that some veggies will need to be cooked first. Finally, check with your vet or a veterinary website that you trust to see if they’ve already got an ‘approved’ list that you can use.
Keep A Regular Exercise Schedule
A regular walking schedule (or an increased frequency schedule) is a good idea, and it’s good for you as well! If your dog likes it, swimming is also a great option for overweight dogs. It is low-impact, and with the water supporting the dog’s weight, your Beagle can get a lot of exercise with less stress on the body.
Just be sure to get your Beagle a doggy life-vest, and you’ll have a new summer activity that you can enjoy together.
Count Those Calories
While it’s no fun, calorie-counting is a surefire way to get results. Your vet can help you determine the recommended daily calories for your dog, which can make a world of difference. While you can see calorie amounts online, you’ll want to remember that a lot is going to depend on your dog’s activity level.
So, get the vet to give you the ideal number, and you personalize a doggy-diet quite well from there.
Watch Those Carbs As Well
Check and compare some of the foods at home, and you’ll discover that a lot of them have a heavy amount of carbs that aren’t good for helping your Beagle lose weight. Lower carb foods are a good idea and can make a real difference over time.
Separate-up Your Daily Servings Of Dog Food
Following up on our ‘calorie counting’ tip, another trick for helping your Beagle to lose weight is to weigh out their food portions in advance and dive them up into smaller portions. You want to ideally feed your dog these smaller portions every 4 to 6 hours.
The frequency helps to make sure that your dog isn’t feeling hungry, and dividing up the food portions means that it takes more energy to digest what is the same amount of food. More energy used, more calories burned!
Remember To Keep Things Realistic
Making dietary changes needs to be approached carefully, so our final bit of advice on helping your Beagle lose weight is to keep things measured and realistic. Your vet needs to be involved in this process, and results are going to be slow.
This is normal, and it’s the same way to do it. Ideally, your dog should lose 1 to 2 pounds a month to keep things safe and healthy. Just be patient with the process and take it slow and methodically, and you’ll see the results over time.
What Medical Conditions Cause A Beagle To Become Overweight
Overeating is not always the reason why a dog is becoming overweight. There are many medical possibilities that could be at play as well. We’ve compiled some of the more common reasons that your vet can easily help you to rule out.
Parasites Are A Possibility
Parasites found in the intestines and other parts of the body can cause fluid buildup that can be mistaken for weight- gain. Sometimes, it gives your dog a pot-bellied appearance that seems to have shown up suspiciously quickly. Your veterinarian can rule out parasites with a blood test if this is the case.
Your Dog Could Be Pregnant
If you have a female, un-spayed Beagle, and she’s suddenly gaining a lot of weight, it could simply mean that she is pregnant!
It Could Be Bloat
Beagles eat their food very quickly, and while it’s uncommon for them, all that food and air in their belly can sometimes cause a condition called Gastric dilation or simply referred to as ‘Bloat’. This causes noticeable distention in the belly but also a host of dangerous symptoms, including:
- Increased heartrate
- Painful belly
- Breathing difficulties
Bloat is serious and can be fatal, so if you suspect that this is the case, then get to the vet immediately.
Hyperthyroidism Might Be The Cause
Hyperthyroidism is another possibility for weight gain. The Thyroid glands play an important role in your dog’s metabolism, and when don’t produce enough hormones, you end with a tired-looking Beagle that seems to be eating less but mysteriously gaining weight. Some other symptoms to look for include the following:
- Itchy skin and ‘coarseness’ in their fur
- General fatigue
- Lowered heart rate
Your vet can identify this condition quite easily, and it is treatable.
Fluid In Their Abdomen Is A Common Side Effect Of Heart Disease
Fluid in the abdomen is commonly seen with heart disease, but other diseases or organ defects also produce this side-effect. Generally, in this case, the enlargement shows even though your dog is still quite active and eating a healthy diet.
However, any sudden abdominal distention is highly suspect and warrants a checkup so that the issue be appropriately determined and dealt with.
It Could Be Hyperadrenocorticism
More commonly known as Cushing’s disease, this condition occurs from the overproduction of hormones related to your dog’s metabolism, and along with the distended belly, there are some other telltale symptoms to look for that should warrant an immediate vet visit:
- Severe muscle fatigue
- Dramatically increased appetite and thirst
- Hair loss may occur
Medication Side-effects Are Also Possible
If your Beagle is on medication and doesn’t seem to be losing weight in response to all the dietary and activity changes you’ve tried, it’s possibly just medication-related. Some medicines can cause your dog to gain weight over time, and it occurs slowly enough that you might not suspect the prescription as the cause.
Check with your vet to ask about that specific medication if you think that this might be the case. There are often alternative medications or some strategies that your vet can give you to help with your Beagle’s unexpected weight gain.
What Are The Risks Of A Beagle Being Overweight?
Overweight Beagles are at a much higher risk level for quite an array of conditions. The reasoning behind this is related to new research that indicates that fat is actually biologically active.
It was previously thought that it was just for storing energy, but these studies determined that fat can actually release inflammatory hormones that can because of a number of issues over time. Below we’ve listed some of the more prominent risks involved if your dog is overweight.
Increased Chance Of Heart Disease
Being overweight greatly increases your Beagle’s chances for heart disease at a later date.
Diabetes Risk Is Higher
Studies have shown that dogs that are overweight have a 2.6% increased likelihood of developing canine Diabetes. Overweight Beagles are quite prone to ‘Sugar Diabetes’ or ‘diabetes mellitus’. Basically, your dog is producing too much insulin, which causes eventual damage in the pancreas, resulting in Diabetes.
Cancer Risk Also Grows
Overweight dogs are also at an increased risk for Cancer. Overweight Beagles are more likely to develop fatty tumors than most other breeds, so watching their weight is very important.
Joint Damage And Arthritis Issues
Joint damage and arthritis risk are also both greatly increased in overweight dogs. In fact, 25% of overweight dogs are at risk of serious joint damage from the extra weight over time. Bone damage may also occur over time from the cumulative effect of the excess weight over the years.
Hypertension, also known as ‘high blood pressure, also occurs more commonly in overweight dogs.
Urinary Bladder Stones
A study from the Morris Animal Foundation has determined that overweight dogs are more likely to develop painful calcium oxalate bladder stones. These crystal stones can make your Beagle more prone to urinary tract infections and even block urine flow completely in the most severe cases.
Reduced Overall Life Expectancy
While previously, we pretty much believed the idea that being overweight could reduce the expected lifespan of dogs by 6 to 12 months, new studies have shown that the impact can be worse with some breeds. Beagles are among these breeds, with an estimated reduction in their lifespans by as much as 2 years!
Want To Train Your Beagle With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Beagle properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Beagle completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Before we answer some frequently asked questions about how to help a beagle lose weight, we’d just like to give a recap of the information presented today in this article. Studies posted publicly show us that being overweight is very bad for Beagles and many other breeds.
Contributing to many health problems and even a potential life-expectancy reduction of 2 years, it’s a serious but manageable issue. We hope that you take advantage of these weight-loss tips for your Beagle, and don’t forget to get your vet involved to get that perfect calorie combo figured out and to select some new, healthier doggy treats.
Beagles absolutely love to eat, and you can still spoil them, just do the same trick as with human children. Don’t tell them that those new favorite foods are good for them!
What’s The Lifespan Of An Overweight Beagle?
Male and female Beagles which are overweight may have their life expectancy reduced by as much as 2 years. Studies have shown that male and female Beagles who were overweight tended to live about 13 years, as opposed to 15 years for Beagles who were not considered to be overweight.
This study was published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and may be viewed here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvim.15367.
How Much Should A Beagle Eat?
Adult Beagles require one cup of dry food each day, with half being served in the morning and the remaining half in the evening. Puppies require twice that much. It boils down to their specific caloric requirements.
Adult Beagles require about 45 calories per pound of body weight, while puppies need 55 calories per pound bodyweight. Senior dogs require the least amount of calories, at 42 per pound. More calories will be required for hunting or otherwise more active Beagles, so each case will vary.
Do Beagles Know When To Stop Eating?
Beagles are basically furry ‘Foodies’ in that they love to taste just about any edible items (and often a lot of inedible items in the house), and they do not know when to stop themselves. Firm and consistent delivery of ‘no’ can help and consider ‘baby-proofing the house.
However, the bottom line is that these delightful hound-dogs like to chew and taste whatever is around, and their innate curiosity means that you’re going to have to keep an eye on them.