Beagle Information: Health and Nutrition
Beagles are generally healthy dogs and lack many of the inherited conditions to which other breeds are prone. Beagles are a chondrodystrophic breed of dog, as are Dachshunds and Bulldogs, which means they have cartilage formation issues. As such, Beagles are subject to disc problems. Also, as with many dogs with long, floppy ears, special care must be taken to keep the ears clean, dry, and disease free. The lifespan of these robust dogs is typical of their size, ranging from 12 to 15 years.
Primary Health Conditions of the Beagle
Beagles are prone to hypothyroidism, and owners should be aware of the signs. Hair loss, dull coat, weight gain, and lethargy are symptoms of this condition. Hypothyroidism tends to present in middle age, and the condition may be treated with prescription medication administered once or twice a day.
Many beagles may suffer from epilepsy, which can be controlled with medication. Epilepsy in beagles is thought to be a genetic complication, which means inheriting the condition can be avoided. When purchasing or adopting a purebred, ask breeders for documentation of sire and dame genetic testing for epilepsy.
Beagles can develop spinal problems when the discs between the vertebrae are injured, resulting in leakage or swelling. A unique condition to beagles is chondrodystrophy, or funny puppy, in which puppies are slow to develop and are small in size, the legs are weak, and the back is crooked.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Beagle
The long, floppy ears of the beagle make for an ideal breeding ground for yeast, bacteria, and mites. Weekly cleaning is recommended. Also, the beagle’s ears should be dried after exposure to water. Cherry eye is a condition in which the tissues of the tear gland weaken, causing the gland to push outwards and become visible in the corner of the eye. This can lead to infections of the duct or cause it to stop functioning.
Beagle Exercise and Walking Needs
Beagles are very active dogs and require long walks and vigorous play every day. Your beagle will be calmer at home with regular exercise. Being scent dogs, beagles are keen to explore their environment and relish the chance to sniff out their surroundings. Older beagles are prone to obesity, so dogs of latter years should be encouraged to get outside and exercise.
Beagle Nutritional Needs
Being an active dog, the beagle is a hearty eater and needs a protein rich food. Beagles tend to gobble down about as much food as is given to them. Since obesity is a problem for many beagles, portion regulation is important, especially in later years. Beagles love to chew, and giving your dog appropriate chew toys will satisfy their chewing urges, as well as serving to protect your shoes and other personal items from damage.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.