Beagles: The Ultimate Pet Care Guide

Fun, happy-go-lucky, and insanely loyal — these characteristics perfectly define your little beagle friends. No wonder beagles have been a beloved pet in most households around the world. With their floppy ears and hyperactive personality, it would be hard not to fall for a beagle’s charm! And beagle is my first pet, you can read about how a beagle saved my life in this article.

However, taking care of beagles, like any other pet, can be a big responsibility. Read through our ultimate beagle care guide to prepare you for your journey to becoming a fur parent!

Beagle Size And Appearance

Perhaps the most distinguishable characteristics of the beagle are its big brown eyes and floppy ears. Their size can range from small to medium, weighing an average of 10 to 40 pounds.

All beagles possess short and smooth double coats that come in a multitude of colors. The commonly seen colorway is a tricolor of black, tan, and white. However, according to the National Beagle Club of America, beagle colors also come in combinations such as:

  • tan and white
  • lemon and white
  • red and white, and
  • chocolate and white.

Types Of Beagles

The beagle can be categorized into two types: American and English. Technically, the only difference between the two beagle types is their size. The American Kennel Club defines American beagles as those having a size of 13 inches and below. English beagles, on the other hand, are a minimum of 13 inches and can grow at a maximum height of 16 inches.

The Purpose Of Beagles

As descendants of pack hounds used by hunters in Europe, you can say that beagles are expert trackers. A beagle’s nose is highly sensitive, so they were originally bred as scent hounds for game tracking and rabbit hunting. Apart from small animals, beagles were also used in jackal and fox hunting.

Small beagles, specifically “pocket beagles”, also served in horseback hunting. Due to the small size of this beagle variety, they could be easily carried by hunters inside their pockets. In the past, it was even reported that Queen Elizabeth I had her own collection of 9-inch tall “pocket beagles”.

To this day, beagles are still celebrated as hunting hounds. You can expect to find this breed as scent detectors in airports. However, the modern beagle is now more recognized as a good household pet. It isn’t unusual to spot a beagle out for a walk in most neighborhoods.

Beagles As House Pets

Beagles are social dogs. They become fast friends with humans, other dogs, and even cats. Although initially wary of strangers, wooing a beagle is not such a difficult task.

Because beagles are generally friendly dogs, it is easy to build rapport with them. Moreover, most beagles love hanging out with kids, which makes them good family dogs.

Beagles are also highly adaptable. Despite popular belief, beagles can actually adapt well to apartment living. But because they can grow big in size, it is still recommended to have enough space for them to roam in and exercise.

Beagles As Watchdogs

Beagles are also great watchdogs. Their strong hunting instinct as hound dogs make them sensitive to unfamiliar scent or noise. Expect them to bark and howl at the first sign of danger or unfamiliarity. This serves as a good warning so you can protect yourself and your family from any unexpected circumstance.

However, since it is easy to curry favor from beagles, they might not be the best breed for guard dogs. The genial personality beagles have is great for acclimating them to friends and family. Unfortunately, this won’t serve a purpose when it comes to intruders.

The Beagle Temperament

For new pet parents, getting your first beagle puppy could be challenging. The beagle is a cheerful and active breed. These are lovely characteristics that can sometimes lead to a mess the puppy is left unsupervised. Many beagle puppies, if left alone, are prone to excessive barking and destroying furniture. If you aren’t committed to training your puppy, then don’t be surprised to come home to ripped cushions, chewed-out shoes, and annoyed neighbors.

Although beagle puppies can be a handful, they are a very affectionate breed so it is nearly impossible to stay angry at these little troublemakers. As long as they are well-trained and supervised, they are gently and playful dogs who will definitely make for a warmer home.

Training A Beagle

The beagle is a smart and curious dog breed so training it could be both fun and challenging. A beagle’s ears and nose can easily pick up any faint noise and interesting scent that could distract them during training. It usually takes a year for this breed to become fully house-trained.

Also, the beagle loves exploring. And since it is part of its instinct, crate training your new puppy is extremely recommended.

Patience will be a top requirement when training these dogs. It may take weeks for them to learn tricks that other dogs can master in days. Make sure to stockpile treats since this is the easiest way of making them obedient. You will have to allot time since they need consistent positive reinforcement training sessions.

A Beagle’s Home Requirements

As pack animals bred to hunt, beagles tend to sniff the ground for any interesting scent. Since they can roam around needlessly, it is important for these dogs to be secured in a fenced yard.

If you are living in an apartment without a yard, it is important to have easy access to the great outdoors. Beagles need their daily exercise, so it is best to be in a neighborhood where you can take long walks. Having a nearby dog park is also an added bonus.

Caring For Your Beagle

Exercise Your Beagle

Being an active dog breed, you will have to walk your beagle daily. If you lack the time, you may hire dedicated dog walkers who can take them out for a visit to the dog park. Taking your beagle out for a walk not only gives him enough exercise but also boosts their happiness meter. Remember that the beagle dog breed was born to hunt, so using their tracking skills during walks makes them happy.

Additionally, you may opt to register your beagle in dog sports. Agility trials are perfect for fast and athletic dogs like the beagle breed.

Feed Your Beagle Properly

The beagle is not a picky eater. In fact, this breed is very food-motivated. They can usually chow down any brand and type of dog food. What’s more, is that this dog boasts a big appetite. They will always eat any available food, regardless if they already had a meal.

Since the beagle is known to be a big eater, they are not discriminating about what goes into their mouth. You might catch your dog digging into the trash and mistake them for dog food, so be vigilant.

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Adult beagles are prone to obesity. To avoid overfeeding, consult with a veterinarian about your dog’s nutrition and diet. The doctor will likely recommend a diet based on your dog’s size and activity level. Be sure to note the appropriate measure and type of food to give your beagle to keep them healthy. You might also want to cut down on giving your pet food rewards.

Grooming Your Beagle

Beagles have a short and dense double coat that is fairly easy to maintain. A downside of this, however, is that you may find your house full of dog hair on many occasions. Since beagles shed frequently, you will have to brush your beagle two to three times a week. This keeps dead hair from accumulating in your home. Additionally, constant brushing helps promote new healthy hair to grow. And as a heads up, beagles can shed heavily during spring so you might have to switch to brushing them daily. If you want to try a different approach on your dog’s shedding, try this shed defender as seen from Shark Tank.

Beagles do not need to bathe as often as other dog breeds. Unless your dog gets into a dirty situation, bathing them one to three times a month is enough. Bathing your beagle too often can strip essential oils from its body.

However, it is a good practice to regularly groom your pet. You can drop by your local groomer once a month to check your dog’s coat sheen, nail length, and dental health.

Beagle General Health

A Beagle’s Life Expectancy

Typically, a beagle’s life expectancy ranges from 10 to 15 years. Compared to other dog breeds, this is considered to be a relatively long life span. When well-cared for, their life span can even shoot up to 20 years.

Sadly, there are cases where a beagle only lasts a couple of years. Health complications and accidents are factors that influence your pet’s expectancy. To guarantee more years with your furry friend, regularly have them go for health check-ups.

You may also help increase your dog’s years by closely monitoring their growth period. Once your beagle turns 18 months old, they officially become an adult dog. Adult dogs will have very distinct needs compared to beagle puppies. Providing the appropriate care your beagle needs per their life period can grow him into a healthier dog.

Common Health Problems For Beagles

Many beagles suffer from ear infections due to their large floppy ears. To ensure your dog’s ear health, have their ears regularly and properly cleaned.

Beagles can also have unique health disorders. Some genetic health problems in beagles include epilepsy and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative genetic disease that causes dislocation of the bones. This results in pain and difficulty in moving, which can be detrimental to active dogs.

To know more about beagle health concerns, you may seek help from your local veterinarian. Alternatively, you can also get advice from a beagle breeder as they can also offer some tips and tricks in caring for your pet.

Getting A Beagle

Advantages Of Owning A Beagle

Beagles are among the most popular dog breeds for a reason — they present a number of pros! Aside from being cute and loveable, beagles are:

Sociable

If you are hesitant about getting yourself a beagle because of kids or other pets in your house, then worry no more! Again, the beagle is a very friendly and sociable breed. Although not built for babysitting, they are definitely safe to be around children.

The beagle is also not an aggressive breed. Though they tend to be excitable and can play rough, they are mostly gentle with other dogs.

Low Maintenance

On average, beagles are healthy dogs. With proper care, you won’t have to worry about your beagle getting sick until later in their adulthood. They also require minimum grooming. You only have to watch out for heavy shedding and ear cleanliness.

In terms of food, beagles generally accept anything as long as they’re edible. This can really help you save your budget since you won’t have to buy expensive chow.

Adaptable

Beagles are versatile. Many beagles can survive in a variety of living conditions. Whether you live in the suburbs with a wide backyard or in a single bedroom apartment, your beagle buddy won’t have any trouble settling in.

A Ball Of Sunshine

Many pet parents settle for beagles because of their happy and loving dispositions. Let’s face it, we raise dogs because we want companionship, stress relief, or a happy place – or dog – to return to. It would make anyone’s day to have your dogs wag their tails and nuzzle with you on the couch. With that, getting a beagle – who offers affection and loyalty – seems like a sound decision.

Disadvantages Of Owning A Beagle

It’s reasonable to say that having a beagle has its downsides. For first-time pet parents, raising this dog breed can be overwhelming. Some cons you might want to consider include:

Too Much Energy

Beagles are energetic dogs. While that can be a good thing, it can also lead to some undesirable behaviors. Without a proper outlet, your beagle might turn to digging holes in the backyard or chewing out shoes in the foyer. In any case, you’ll most likely be cleaning up a mess after they’ve burned themselves out.

Clingy

A dog’s affection is a welcome thing. However, an excessive amount of it can be exhausting. Since beagles don’t like being lonely, finding solitude when you need it can be difficult.

Excessive Barking

These dogs can be loud. Due to their nature as hound dogs, beagles are very sensitive to noise and sound and can bark at the slightest disturbance. You may expect to be woken up in the middle of the night because of false alarms.

Stubborn

Beagles mostly operate on instinct. This can make training them a pain. They will require consistent, creative, patient, and positive training. If you’re not ready to put in the effort, then you might need to think twice about raising this breed.

Cost Of A Beagle

A beagle puppy can cost between $500 to $2,000 depending on several factors. The purchase price for beagles is subject to the beagle’s age, pedigree, health, location, and breeder.

The cheapest way of getting a beagle is through adoption. However, the beagles usually up for adoption are older in age.

Commercial pet stores also offer a reasonable price for beagles. Pet store beagles usually cost around $500 to $600. If you are not fussy about breed purity, then you can consider this as an option.

However, if you want your new beagle to come with proper and complete documentation, then purchase from reputable breeders. Although expensive, you are guaranteed to receive vaccinated and well-documented beagle puppies.

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