Beagles are a relatively robust breed with very few health concerns. However, if not kept on a strict diet, they are prone to overeating and obesity, which can cause heart disease and arthritis.
How much food a Beagle should eat per day will depend on three factors: the age of your dog; the type of food you are giving him; and his activity level. In this guide I am going to explain to you how much you should be feeding yours, plus include Beagle feeding charts for puppies and adults.
How much should a Beagle eat? As a general rule of thumb, adult Beagle dogs should be eating one cup of dry food each day, split between the morning and early evening. Beagle puppies will eat more, with two cups of dry food usually sufficient.
If you are feeding your Beagle home-cooked food, the right portion size will depend on the age of your dog. Puppies should be eating fifty-five calories per pound of body weight. Adults need forty-five calories per pound of body weight, and seniors need forty-two calories per pound of body weight.
If your Beagle is very active, the calorie intake may need to be adjusted to accommodate this.
Ideally, when you put your hands around you Beagle’s chest or back, you should be able to feel the ribcage and spine with a little pressure. If you can visibly see the bones, your Beagle is underweight.
However, if you can’t feel any of the bones as you apply a little pressure, this is an indication that your Beagle is being overfed. If you are worried your Beagle could be overweight, read these notes I wrote recently which explain how you can quickly check.
If you are concerned about your Beagle’s weight, then a trip to your veterinarian would be advisable. They will be able to give you more tailored advice after examining your Beagle and should be able to suggest a diet plan if any weight gain or weight loss is necessary.
Beagle feeding chart
Below you can see a feeding chart for an adult Beagle courtesy of the Royal Canin dog food company. It explains how many cups of food a Beagle should eat if it’s a dry food diet, and takes into account their weight.
How much to feed a beagle puppy
Up to the age of two, your Beagle is still very much classed as a puppy. Not only will they need to consume more calories per pound of body weight than their adult and senior counterparts, but there will be different stages through their puppyhood when specific considerations need to be taken into account.
How much to feed a Beagle puppy? The exact amount of food that you will need to feed your Beagle puppy depends on the type of food you are giving him, and his activity level. However, as a general rule of thumb, puppies need fifty-five calories per pound of bodyweight.
As your Beagle puppy is still in the process of growing, you will need to keep an eye on their weight to ensure you are always feeding them the right amount of food.
If you are feeding your Beagle store-bought food, it would be best to check the feeding recommendations on the packaging. On average, however, you can expect to feed your puppy up to two cups of dry food, or up to two cans of wet food per day.
Although wet food is pricier, it does have the benefit of being more manageable for your puppy to eat while he is teething.
Handy Hint: I’ve written a comprehensive guide to Beagle puppies and teething.
On the other hand, if you are feeding your Beagle puppy homemade food, you will need to keep a close eye on the calories to ensure you are giving him the right amount for his stage of development.
If in any doubt, your veterinarian should be able to help you put together a suitable diet plan that will work for your Beagle.
How many times should you feed a beagle puppy?
But what about the regularity? As we know, Beagle puppies need more food than their adult counterparts to help them grow and develop, but what’s a good rule of thumb?
How much should an 8-week-old beagle eat? From eight weeks to six months old, Beagle puppies should be fed three times a day. However, once they reach six months, you can start to reduce meals down to two times a day.
Experts recommend implementing a strict mealtime schedule, as Beagles will behave better if they have a routine in this area. They will also be less likely to scrounge for food during the day if you do this.
If you can, try feeding your Beagle in the morning and the early evening. Doing this ensures that your puppy will stay full throughout the day.
How to feed Beagle puppies
When you first adopt a Beagle puppy that is over eight weeks old, it’s vital that don’t make any drastic changes to his diet. The breeder or adoption centre should be able to advise you what brand of food he was eating before. To avoid any upset tummies, you need to continue feeding him this brand for the first few weeks after adoption.
If you’d prefer to transition your puppy to a different brand or a different type of food, you must do so slowly. On average, you can expect a transition to take between three to four weeks.
Start by slightly reducing the food they are already used to and adding in a little of the new food. After a few days, reduce the old brand again, and then add a bit more of the new food.
Continue doing this until your puppy has completely transitioned. It is essential, however, to keep a close eye on them as you do so.
You need to make sure that they don’t develop an upset stomach during this process. Signs to look out for include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Increased gassiness.
- Gurgling stomach
- Eating grass.
If you notice any of these signs, try cutting back on any new adjustments to their diet. If this still doesn’t help, have a word with your veterinarian.
Dogs can be prone to food allergies, so sometimes it’s a case of trial and error to find what works best for your puppy. At any rate, take it slow and keep a close eye on your dog for any sudden changes in health.
Feeding Beagle adults
From the age of two, your Beagle is considered an adult. As a general rule of thumb, adults will need forty-five calories per pound of bodyweight.
This amount will vary a little depending on how active (or how lazy!) your dog is, but it will rarely change by more than 20% in either direction.
How many times a day should a Beagle eat? If you have opted for feeding your Beagle dry food, you should be feeding him roughly one cup each day. Typically, it’s recommended you feed your Beagle half a cup in the morning and half a cup in the early evening.
However, the amount will depend on the brand you’re buying, and whether you’re feeding your Beagle wet, dry, or home-cooked food. To be sure that you’re feeding your dog enough, you need to monitor the calories and check the instructions on the food packaging for a more accurate portion sizing.
Feeding Beagle seniors
Once your Beagle reaches nine years of age, he can be considered a senior. As your companion starts to slow down, it’s important to adjust his diet once again.
As a rule, experts recommend that senior dogs eat forty-two calories per pound of bodyweight. Just like before, this should be split over two meals. Doing so should keep him full throughout the day and should help to keep him out of mischief.
Once your Beagle reaches this age, you will need to make sure that he is eating foods enriched with essential fatty acids. You will need to keep an eye out for the following ingredients in particular:
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (view Wikipedia definition).
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (view MountSinai.org definition).
These ingredients will help to promote healthy hair, bones, joints, and skin. In addition to this, it will also help with healthy gut movement.
Some experts also recommend switching your senior over to softer food, as it will be easier for them to eat.
Whatever the case may be, it will be essential to monitor your Beagle’s health during this time. If you notice any dips in appetite or if your Beagle struggles with any illnesses, it’s recommended that you have a chat with your veterinarian to see how best to proceed with your Beagle’s diet.
Why do Beagles eat so much?
One of the reasons why it’s so essential to maintain a strict diet with your Beagle is because they eating machines!
Why do Beagles eat so much? Beagles are in a league of their own and eat so much more than other dogs. If left to their own devices, most Beagles would never stop eating as they simply never seem to get full. They simply don’t know when to stop eating!
If you’ve ever been faced with a Beagle who eats his meal and then looks at you like he’s never been fed a day in his life – know that you’re not alone!
One of the biggest reasons why Beagles seem to have bottomless stomachs is because of how much slower their digestive systems are than a human’s. From start to finish, it can take up to three days for a Beagle to fully digest a meal.
As a result, it takes much longer for Beagles to feel satiated.
Of course, there can be other factors that exasperate this issue such as:
1. Behavioral reasons
One way to help manage a Beagle’s bottomless stomach is by having a fixed feeding time. If your Beagle has a solid routine, then he knows what to expect. Doing this may also help to reduce potential anxiety around feeding since he always knows when he can expect his next meal.
Additionally, unstructured feeding times can lead to destructive behavior, and may also encourage your dog to scrounge for food throughout the day.
Something else to avoid at all costs is feeding your Beagle scraps from your kitchen. By rewarding your Beagle for begging or giving you puppy dog eyes whenever you are eating or preparing food, you are encouraging the bottomless-stomach mentality. It’s best to eradicate this expectation from day one.
Finally, if you find yourself faced with a Beagle who has eaten all his food, and is giving you puppy-dog eyes, resist the urge to give him a second portion. Not only does this reward his quick eating, but it also reinforces the idea that you will give him more food if he begs for it.
If you want to teach your Beagle to slow down, it’s vital to be consistent with feeding times and with servings.
As long as your Beagle is maintaining a healthy weight, you must not give them extra. In the end, if you are willing to provide more food, your Beagle will be quite happy to take you up on the offer, even if he really isn’t hungry.
2. Medical reasons
Although Beagle’s are notorious for their seemingly bottomless stomachs, it is important to know that there are a few medical conditions where increased appetite is a key symptom.
If you notice a sudden increase in appetite, it would be best to monitor them for other symptoms. The three biggest concerns to look out for are:
Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease is a condition that produces too much cortisol in the body. It typically affects senior dogs but can also be seen in younger Beagles as well. As Beagles are prone to this illness, it’s important to keep a close eye out for this one.
Other symptoms that indicate this illness include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Hair loss,
- Abdominal swelling
- Lesions and skin infections
Malabsorption conditions and bacterial overgrowth
This includes any illnesses that affect a Beagle’s ability to absorb the necessary nutrition properly. Signs to look out for here include weight loss and chronic diarrhea.
Effecting the body’s ability to regulate insulin development, a dog with diabetes will feel the need to eat more than usual. Aside from increased hunger, additional signs to look out for here include:
- Weight loss.
- Excessive thirst.
- Increase urination.
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, you must get your Beagle examined by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
How to encourage a Beagle to eat slower
If you want to encourage your Beagle to slow down, a lot of owners recommend using slow feed bowls. You may need to try a few different types before you settle on one that works, but it’s worth a shot.
When my friend first attempted this with their own Beagle, he sniffed at the dish for a minute before tipping it over and eating the food directly off the kitchen floor. If your dog tries this, look for a bowl that is either weighted or that sticks to the ground.
Another method for slowing your Beagle down is filling a Kong ball with a portion of his dry food. Not only will this give him plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day, but it will give him something to snack on if you work long hours.
Choosing the right food for your Beagle
When it comes to finding the right food for your Beagle, it’s important to remember that a lot of the stuff you can find in stores is quite bad for your dog’s health.
The cheaper it is, the more likely you’ll find that the food is filled with fillers, chemicals, and animal by-products. All of these things do nothing for your Beagle’s health and may only exasperate your dog’s sense of hunger.
When searching for a good brand of dog food, check the labels carefully. Ideally, it should have the following:
- Real meat: Beagles can eat most meats, including beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and fish. When you check the ingredients, you want to look for any of these meats. Meals are also excellent options (chicken meal, beef meal, etc.)
- Healthy fat levels: Although dogs do need fat in their meals to stay healthy, you also want to avoid giving them too much. When looking for store-bought foods, aim for 5-10% fat content.
- Healthy nutritional balance: The best dog food should offer a large amount of meat-based protein. You also need to look for food that has vegetables for fiber, and that has a good balance between carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
- No chemicals: Avoid anything that includes chemical additives, preservatives, artificial colours, or artificial flavors. All of these can cause massive health issues for your dog, including skin reactions and digestive problems.
- No fillers: Any ingredients that offer zero nutritional value can be counted as filler. These include animal by-products, corn, rice bran, oat hulls, cereal by-products, soybean hulls, wheat mill run, and peanut hulls.
By ensuring you are feeding your Beagle a balanced, nutritional diet, it will not only help your Beagle to feel fuller, but it will allow them to be healthier and happier as well.
Now you know how much a Beagle should eat and how often to feed them, please do make sure that you give them the right diet for their personality. Active Beagles might need more than average – all the guidance in here is generic, so make sure to consult with your vet if unsure.
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