Beagles are amazing little dogs and have gained popularity as house pets in recent years. Even though they were bred to hunt, people have begun to realize that Beagles are affectionate family dogs. While they make great pets, it's often difficult for owners to find the right diet for these dogs. The best dog food for Beagles will provide the right balance of nutrients for your dog's body type and life stage.
Just 30 years ago, the humble Beagle was very much a hunting dog and was most popular in rural America. Now, they sit at #5 on the 2016 AKC Most Popular Breeds list While Beagles have only recently become an indoor dog, they are no stranger to the veterinary and scientific community.
Lucky for Beagle owners, a lot is known about this sturdy little breed, as they are the most popular breed used in research settings. The Beagle is a medium-sized breed with a stocky body, floppy ears and a characteristic tri-color coat pattern. They are excellent runners with a keen sense of smell.
Beagles are known for their stamina and not giving up while chasing down the scent of a rabbit or other game. If there is a Beagle in your neighborhood, you will know it by their unique bark – also known as baying.
Beagles tend to be very high energy dogs throughout their lives and require daily exercise. Jogging, playing fetch, Frisbee and even agility will keep your Beagle engaged and athletic. They are easy-going, have good temperaments and are good with children. For active owners that are also hunters, the Beagle is a perfect match.
Today I'm going to discuss the nutritional needs of Beagles in more details, but for now here is a quick look at the products that I'll be recommending in this article. Remember that each of these Beagle dog foods address the nutritional needs of the breed in a certain stage of life with a certain body type:
|Beagle Dog Food Brands||Price||Value||Rating|
|Royal Canin Medium Puppy Formula||$$||$1.77/lb||4.5/5|
|Royal Canin Beagle Breed Health Nutrition Adult||$$$||$2.06/lb||4.5/5|
|Native Performance Dog Food||$$||$1.82/lb||2.0/5|
|Hill’s Science Diet Metabolic and Mobility||$$$$$||$6.75/lb||2.8/5|
|Eukanuba Lamb and Rice Senior Maintenance||$$||$1.27/lb||4.6/5|
* Click on the Beagle dog food brand for information and prices. Or scroll down below for more details.
What makes the best dog food for Beagles?
Beagles enjoy eating, and some may seem to want to eat you out of house and home. They are truly scavengers and can sniff out the most appetizing (and most disgusting) things that appeal to them most.
The Beagle’s healthy appetite can be a blessing and a curse. Most are not picky eaters, so they will typically enjoy any dog food you decide to give them. This means that Beagles are one of the easiest breeds to overfeed and can easily become overweight or obese, especially if they are not active.
It's important to find the best dog food for Beagles to ensure that your pooch gets the right nutrition to meet his individual needs. Too many calories in his diet could quickly lead to an obese pooch, which makes him much more susceptible to serious diseases like diabetes, arthritis and kidney disease.
Best Dog Food for Beagles
5 vet recommended brands
How To Feed A Beagle
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Beagles are generally very healthy and don’t suffer from many of the puppyhood developmental diseases that are common in other breeds. While orthopedic developmental diseases like hip dysplasia are uncommon in Beagles, it is best to feed them appropriately as puppies to add an “ounce of prevention.”
Medium-sized dogs like Beagles have a higher calorie requirement than you would expect from a dog their size. Royal Canin Medium Puppy Formula is one of the best dog food for Beagles, and one that I recommend to puppy parents often.
Royal Canin is one of the most reputable dog food companies out there with a clear commitment to quality assurance and evidence-based nutritional research. Their ‘medium’ puppy formula stands out as one of the best dog food for Beagles due to its kibble size and appropriate calorie content.
The kibble size is perfect to encourage Beagle puppies to actually chew their food. Beagles are notorious for not chewing their food properly (we call it “hoovering”), so this Royal Canin kibble is specifically designed for optimal digestion, even if it isn’t chewed all the way.
Best Dog Food for Adult Beagles
If you are looking for the best dog food for Beagles that are older than 12 months or are transitioning from puppy food to adult food, it is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can help determine your Beagle’s current body condition score. With this in hand, you can decide which ‘maintenance’ adult diet is best.
Normal Body Condition Beagles
A great place to start for an active, normal body weight/condition Beagle is Royal Canin Beagle Breed Health Nutrition Adult. This adult formula is excellent for adults over 12 months of age to 7-8 years of age. Royal Canin provides the right balance of nutrients to optimize a lean body condition over a lifetime.
Beagles have square, medium-length muzzles and level jaws. Royal Canin has created the optimal kibble shape, the “X”, which is easiest for Beagles to pick up and chew.
Very Active/Hunting Beagles
Is your Beagle a seasoned hunter? She may need a higher calorie food than your average house dog. In this case, I recommend Native Performance Dog Food.
If your Beagle is training hard, this is the food for you. Native provides different “levels” of nutrition, from Level 1 “off season, low activity” food to Level 4 for dogs engaging in intense activity 4-5 hours a day.
Many adult Beagles have taken to the “easy life” inside of the house and become overweight or obese. As Beagles age, they can lose a bit of their spunk and settle down into a more sedentary lifestyle. Like their human counterparts, up to 60% of American dogs are overweight or obese.
It is important to talk to your veterinarian if your Beagle has become overweight or obese. The ingredients in the best dog food for Beagles that you choose to combat this issue can matter.
For example, studies have shown that certain carbohydrates in the dog’s diet can affect how well they maintain blood glucose levels. What these ingredients are is important in managing consistent blood glucose levels after a meal – as there is a common relationship between poor glucose metabolism and obesity in pets.
Corn, barley and sorghum are the ingredients most associated with keeping blood glucose levels consistent and may help to reduce or prevent obesity. With that being said, don’t fret if you see corn as a main ingredient in your dog’s “diet” food. It is by design.
My top pick for the best dog food for Beagles that are overweight is Hill’s Science Diet Metabolic and Mobility – Prescription Diet. This diet is by prescription only, but it works beautifully in dogs that can’t seem to shed the pounds.
Over time, excess weight can cause predispose your Beagle to arthritis, so the mobility component (glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) will help to keep their joints in top form.
Senior Beagle Dog Food
Beagles are considered “senior” or “geriatric” around 8-10 years of age. As they age, their nutritional requirements change as well. Joints start to ache and mental function can start to decline. Active ingredients in my top pick for the best dog food for Beagles in their senior years will help your pooch go strong for as long as possible.
Eukanuba Lamb and Rice Senior Maintenance is my recommendation for Beagles in their golden years. Eukanuba is another high-quality dog food manufacturer with a great track record for quality products and high quality control standards.
This food stands out due to its high level of antioxidants, which can help support proper cell function in aging dogs. It has also been proven to reduce tartar buildup on teeth by 46%.
The Doggy Bag – Take Home Message
Beagles tend to live the longest, healthiest lives when they are kept in a leaner body condition, receive life-stage-appropriate balanced nutrition and routine veterinary care.
Regardless of which dog food you choose for your furry family member, it is important to follow feeding instructions carefully and consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s health or nutrition.