Why Do Beagles Eat So Much? (And When Is There Something Wrong?)

Beagles are well-known for being dogs that seem as if they are constantly hungry. If a Beagle ends up in a shelter, chances are that it will be obese. An owner that does not care about their Beagle will almost always end up with an obese dog. So, why do Beagles eat so much?

On this page, we want to go through some of the theories about why Beagles eat so much, as well as give you a couple of tips on how you can rectify the problem.

Are Beagles Always Hungry?

It is true when people say that Beagles are constantly eating. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are hungry. The Beagle is a food-focused breed of dog. They will eat a lot. However, it is very rare that they are going to be eating a lot in a bid to satisfy their hunger. It is just that the breed works a little bit differently on the food front.

Why Do Beagles Eat So Much?

Perhaps the big question is why do Beagles eat so much in comparison to other dogs? Well, it is all about the breed here. While they were not bred to eat so much, it is a side-effect about whý they were bred.

Beagles Are Scavenging Animals

Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs. Specifically, they were bred to hunt in packs, often over the course of several days.

This meant that Beagles were not actually getting food from their owners in that time. They would be scavenging throughout the trip. Of course, they had other Beagles to compete with for the limited resources, and thus they would try and get whatever they could whenever they could.

You have to remember that one of the main reasons why Beagles make such good hunting dogs is because they are constantly in a ‘hunting’ mood. When a dog is in a hunting mood, it is craving food and will do absolutely everything that it can to track down that next kill.

Obviously, as the breed was developed, this hunting instinct became more and more pronounced, resulting in a Beagle having an even greater taste for food.

Boredom

Again, this stems from the fact that Beagles are hunting animals.

Beagles haven’t really been bred to sit around all day. They haven’t really been bred to play with toys either. In order for them to be mentally stimulated, they need to be outside and exercising as much as they possibly can. Beagles need a lot of exercise.

Learn The: 9 SECRET Tips You Can Use To Train ANY Dog Successfully!

If Beagles are not getting the exercise that they need, they will just end up doing the only other thing that they know how to do properly. That is eating.

Beagles May Have a Slightly Different Digestive System to Other Breeds

This is a situation where the ‘jury is still out’.

Some people have theorized that Beagles have a slightly different digestive system to other dogs.

People seem to believe that the dog’s stomach sends ‘delayed’ signals to the brain. This means that the Beagle doesn’t actually know that it is full. This is something that does actually make sense. Beagles have been known to eat kilograms of food in a single sitting if nobody is there to stop them. Therefore, this would indicate that the dog doesn’t actually know that it is making itself sick.

The thing is, even when this happens to a dog, they can’t connect the fact that they are sick to their overeating. The Beagle never really learns, so they will just do it again and again.

As we said, nobody knows if this is actually the case. However, the evidence does certainly stack up here. 

Exploration

Beagles are animals that love to explore their environment. Again, this is what helps them to be good hunting dogs. This means that they will be trying to get their mouths over everything to see what is what. This means that they may end up eating foods that they shouldn’t be eating.

This tends to be a bigger issue with puppies than adult dogs.

Medical Issues

If your Beagle seems to be eating a lot of non-edible food, then they may have a condition known as Pica. We will talk a little bit more about this later on.

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How Do You Stop Your Beagle Eating All the Time?

If you do not control how much your Beagle is eating early on, then we promise you that it won’t be long until the problem gets out of hand. A Beagle that has no limits placed upon them is going to overeat. If your Beagle is allowed that opportunity, then it will die. This is either be because they eat the wrong thing (i.e. non-edible objects) or they die of obesity-relatedrelated conditions.

These are a few methods that you can use to control your dog’s eating. However, you will have to use several of these to stand any chance of being successful. Remember, because the Beagle is naturally prone to overeating, you will need to be constantly using these techniques to control your dog’s eating. You aren’t really ever going to be able to train that Beagle to not eat every bit of food that they can simply because that overeating is part of their natural instincts.

Have Set Meal Times

It is important that you have set meal times for your Beagle. Your Beagle needs to know exactly when they will be eating next. Do not deviate from these meal times outside of a couple of treats here and there.

If your dog has set mealtimes, then they are going to be less-likely to scavenge food. Remember what we said earlier? A lot of a Beagle’s overeating is because they may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Remove Edible Items From Your Beagle’s Reach

Do not leave food out on countertops. Your Beagle will try and grab it. If your Beagle seems to have ‘enjoy’ eating plants, then you may want to remove them from the room too.

One issue that many people have with their Beagle is leaving dog food in an easy-to-reach place. You may think that your Beagle isn’t going to be tucking into that multi-kilo bag of dry food. However. Guess again. If your dog gets anywhere close to that, it is going to devour the food no matter what.

Most people will have success putting their food up in cupboards up high. Don’t leave it in lower cupboards. Beagles may not be the most intelligent dogs in the world, but they will show off their limited intelligence when they have a bit of food on the line.

Feed Your Dog a Higher-Quality Diet

A lot of dogs, including Beagles, will overeat because they are not getting all of the nutrients that they need from the food that they need. This means that they will always be trying to overindulge in a bid to try and fill up their stomachs with something that can help them be healthy.

Perhaps the best way to combat this is to give them a better quality food. While it is probably going to cost you a bit more cash to buy food that is of a higher quality, your dog will probably need to eat less of it, so the extra expenses will sort-of end up balancing out.

Keep An Eye On Your Dog

Beagle puppies tend to eat a lot more than adult Beagles. This is because puppies have yet to determine what can and can’t be eaten. So, they will end up going for things an older dog would never touch.

During the first few weeks of dog ownership, you should always be around your dog. If you catch them munching on something that they shouldn’t be munching on, then try to distract them from the object. Give them a curt ‘no’ and divert them towards a toy.

Over time, your dog will stop focusing on the inedible objects (unless they are suffering from Pica, which we will discuss soon!). If you are a good dog owner, then there will be no edible food within reach of the dog. You will have full control over when your dog eats, basically.

Remember, as with all training, you should not be punishing your dog for the eating objects here. It is diversion and then positive reinforcement once they have been successful diverted. Although, of course, do not use food as part of their positive reinforcement in this case. It will just make the problem a whole lot worse for you. 

Do Not Feed Your Dog Scraps From The Table

It is vital that you attempt to teach your dog that the only time that they will have access to food is if they have it in their bowl. If you feed them from the table, then they will be forever loitering around you, trying to get their mouth on a tasty morsel. While it may be a bit annoying at the start, it can end up being dangerous because that dog will want that food.

The Best Training Program For Beagles

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!)

How Much Should a Beagle Eat a Day?

A fully-grown Beagle does not need anywhere near as much food as a Beagle puppy (we will talk about puppies in the next section)

How much you are feeding an adult Beagle will be dependent on the food that you give them. You should check the label of the food to give you a rough idea of how much to serve up based upon the weight of your dog. Remember, different foods will have different ingredients, so the manufacturer will know best when it comes to how much food you should be given your dog.

In most cases, the Beagle should be eating around 1-cup of dry food per day. In the case of wet food, it is likely that the dog will only need half of a can. If you are taking your dog out on a lot of walks, or they are part of a hunting trip, then they will probably need more than this in order to ensure that their energy levels are kept up.

No matter how much food you do end up feeding your Beagle, it is important that the food is not given in a single serving. You will need to spread it throughout the day. Most people will give their Beagle half of their serving in the morning and half in the late afternoon. However, you may need to adjust these to the requirements of your dog e.g. if your dog is spending  a lot of time walking in the evening, then they will need a serving of food closer to then to ensure that they can keep up their energy levels!

How Much Should a Beagle Puppy Eat a Day?

This is going to be dependent on the type of food that you purchase, as well as the overall size of the dog. If you check the packaging of the food, it will likely say exactly how much food you should be feeding your Beagle puppy. However, it will likely be along these lines:

  • Two cups of dry food per day OR
  • Two cans of wet food per day

One thing that we absolutely must point out here is that you should only be feeding a Beagle puppy food that has been specifically designed for puppies. All puppies will have different nutritional requirements to an adult dog, because they are still growing. Therefore, you will need to ensure that they are getting the nutrients or their growth could be stunted!

The food will need to given to them throughout the day. This is because they will just eat it all in one go if given the opportunity, which means they will get hungry in the latter half of the day. Most people recommend that you should be feeding a Beagle puppy between 2-3 times per day. 

When Can Their Appetite Be a Sign of a Problem?

Beagles may try and get their mouth wrapped around anything that is food. However, the key word here is ‘food’. While dogs shouldn’t really be overeating and you should be doing your best to prevent them from doing so, it is still food. This is part and parcel of owning a Beagle. However, once your Beagle starts wolfing down non-food items, that is when their appetite could be the sign of a problem.

A compulsion for a dog to eat non-food items is known as ‘Pica’. Now, all dogs will eat non-food items at times. For example, you may sometimes find a dog eating a bit of grass. However, if that problem starts to happen regularly, then you have a major problem.

There probably isn’t going to be an issue if your dog is only eating grass or plants. The real issue with Pica is when your dog has a compulsion to eat items such as toys, rocks, and anything else it finds. They will normally focus on just one of these items, but they will eat it often. For example, in rare cases, a dog may end up with several stones in their stomach. Obviously, this isn’t a good thing.

There are a few causes for Pica. Perhaps the main one is anxiety, but it could also mean that the animal is seriously sick. In most cases, it is probably best not to try and diagnose things yourself. If your dog seems to be doing a lot of eating of non-food items, then you will almost certainly want to head to a vet. They will be able to help you to deal with the problem.

Once again, we have to reiterate that while Beagles do eat a lot of food, they will overeat just edible items. Anything else is going to be a serious issue. 

FAQ

Can a Beagle Eat Itself to Death?

Yes. A Beagle can eat itself to death. They are one of the only dog breeds that can do this. If a Beagle is given unlimited access to food, they will constantly be eating it. This can lead to obesity. Therefore, it is vital that Beagle owners take time to moderate their Beagle’s food intake.

Why Do Beagles Eat So Fast?

There are several theories for this. Some believe Beagles eat fast because of them being bred to be pack animals. If they don’t eat quickly, another dog would eat their food. Others believe it is because of the way Beagles digest food. It takes a lot longer for a Beagle to register that their stomach is full, which means they may feel very hungry when they are chowing down on their food.

Recap

Beagles are prone to overeating. There are a variety of reasons for this. However, it pretty much all boils down to the fact that this is just a Beagle being a Beagle. As a Beagle owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that the dog doesn’t over-eat. This means that you will have to spend a lot of time controlling their food intake. This is something that you will need to be doing for the rest of your Beagle’s life. However, it really is vital for your dog that you do this.

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