The beagle is a very popular dog breed, and for good reason. They are kind, loving animals that make great companions. Beagles have a lot of character too – they’re curious and outgoing! But what do you feed your beagle? There are so many foods out there on the market today- from grocery store brands to raw food diets – but how do you know what is best for your beloved pup?
Read on for an in-depth guide about how much to feed, what they can eat (and what foods they shouldn’t), as well as their ideal weight range.
Beagle diet & nutritional needs
Initially bred for tracking and hunting game birds, a beagle would spend most of its time running and chasing around in large packs. Hunting would require enormous amounts of stamina and energy, so a beagle would eat whatever came its way. Given a chance, a beagle will eat anything and everything.
Beagles are known for their voracious appetite and will eat just about anything and everything. If allowed a beagle would keep on eating, and even though they are a relatively robust breed some of the scraps they pick up or the sheer volume of food they eat could result in an upset stomach or affect your dog’s health in other ways.
Modern-day beagles are much more likely to be family pets. Unchecked, their ravenous appetite could lead them to become an overweight hound in no time. Beagles are prone to become overweight.
Keeping a beagle at a healthy weight means strictly monitoring the quantity and quality of food and if your beagle is overweight a strict diet might be needed.
It’s important to watch the calorie intake and feed a beagle nutrient-rich food as part of a balanced beagle diet, with little to no manufactured food, healthy fats only, and generally, quality food to avoid excessive weight gain as the beagle breed is prone to obesity.
It may be tempting to give your beagle puppy scraps and treats, make sure you make allowances in their diet for this extra food, a fat beagle is an unhealthy dog.
Less active or older beagles might require a different amount of food than active dogs.
What is a healthy weight for a beagle?
I did a little research to see how many calories an adult beagle needs throughout the day. According to Beagle Pro, they recommend 45 calories per pound for an adult dog, a little less at 42 calories per pound for a senior dog, give or take 20%. Pet Care RX says “Beagles range in weight from 25 to 30 pounds and need between 674 and 922 calories per day.”
These figures are only good for dog foods that list out the calorific content.
With a little trial and error, you will see how much food to give your beagle to maintain healthy body weight and nutritional needs.
|Beagle height range||The ideal weight range for an adult beagle|
|13″ and under||22 – 30 Pounds (9.97 to 13.60 kg)|
|13″ to 15″||25 to 35 pounds (11.33 to 15.87 kg)|
Food for your beagle
There are three main different types of food for beagles that could make up an adult beagle diet, these would include;
Adult dog food
Raw food diet – homemade food such as raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables such as sweet potatoes
Dry food, kibble/biscuit, commercial dry food (grain-free if possible)
Store-bought ‘wet’ tinned foods sometimes mixed with dry kibble
If you have a beagle puppy, presuming you got the dog from a reputable breeder, it’s best to stick with the feeding regime they have in place. If the diet suits your dog, then you may decide to stay on this diet, why fix what’s not broken?
Beagle raw food diet
Raw food diet
To some, the best dog food is homemade food such as raw meat and vegetables. However, to some, the thought of feeding their dog raw meat, whole bones, eggshells veggie scraps, etc. may seem weird.
Raw food makes a great beagle diet and is rising in popularity. While it’s a little odd for us, for the dogs, it’s perfectly natural and what they would have eaten before becoming domesticated.
We still find it fascinating when our youngest, Bonnie, comes running as soon as crack an egg; she loves eggshells!
To some, the best dog food is homemade food such as raw meat and vegetables. However, to some, the thought of feeding their dog raw meat, whole bones, eggshells veggie scraps, etc. may seem weird. However, raw food diets are rising in popularity. While it’s a little odd for us, for the dogs, it’s perfectly natural and what they would have eaten before becoming domesticated. We still find it fascinating when our youngest, Bonnie, comes running as soon as crack an egg; she loves eggshells!
A raw diet could typically include raw meat, bones, some fruits, and vegetables, fish oil. These kinds of foods would provide a beagle with all the healthy fat and sufficient calories for a nutritional diet and healthy growth.
Those who are in favor of feeding your beagle a raw food diet report benefits such as;
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller and stiffer poops
- Fewer food allergies
You could choose to prepare the food yourself, buying in bulk from a butcher or other source and freezing ready for use. Or, like us, if you want the convenience of pre-packed raw then use one of the many companies that supply frozen prepared meals. Choose a quality brand. A quality brand is more likely to contain high-quality, natural, human-grade ingredients. The food should contain the essential amino acids, vitamins, and macro-nutrients your beagle needs.
When we had our first Beagle, Bracken, over ten years ago, we fed her on a quality dry kibble; if my memory serves me right, it was Eden Pet Foods. After a few years, we heard more and more about raw food and gradually switched all of our beagles over to a raw food diet. As we are in the UK, our favored prepared raw food is from Nutriment.
Dry kibble/biscuit dog food
Kibble is another word for a dry biscuit. Consisting of ground-up ingredients, formed into various shapes or pellets. Kibble ingredients usually include meat, grains, vegetables, and other materials. Kibble is the most popular type of food for dogs and, compared to tinned food, can prove to be the best nutritional source, after raw food, for your beloved pet.
There are many different kinds of kibble/dry food from low-budget to high-cost premium food products. Avoid the cheap supermarket filler biscuits. These biscuits are often purchased as they are low-cost and convenient. They can be used on their own or mixed with food found in cans.
Cheap kibble is full of preservatives, bulking agents, and byproducts such as chicken meal and beef meal, it’s like feeding your dog fast food for 365 days of the year, if you want a healthy beagle it’s probably better to watch what you are feeding your beagle.
If you choose to use kibble, there are many quality brands out there. We gave our first two beagles kibble for years without much issue, though the most significant difference when on kibble was the size and consistency of their poop. On kibble, it was much looser and more of it.
A raw diet has seen their poop become much harder and with much much less of it. Because the dogs’ digestive system makes more use of natural food, much less comes out the other end.
Tinned wet food
Now before I jump in and say that wet food is terrible for your beagle, I have to admit that I have personally not fed any of our beagles’ wet food. Well actually, when I was a child, my mom fed our old beagle, store-bought food, but that wasn’t really my choice!
All I can tell you is that of all the beagles we have had the breeder has not once suggested wet food. People I know with more experience than me, have all stayed clear of tinned food. They cite inferior quality ingredients, easy weight gain, and large runny or loose poop.
Beagles tend to be bred by breeders who are incredibly proud of their lineage of Beagles. Subsequently, they want what is best for their dogs, so if they recommend a particular diet or food I think it’s a good idea to listen!
Check your beagle’s poop
Now, this might sound disgusting, and I don’t mean you should go out and handle the poop, though sometimes that can tell a story, by keeping an eye on your dog’s poop you can gauge if their diet is as good as it could be.
You will ‘hopefully’ pick up your dog’s poop daily as you clean your yard or are out on a walk. This is a good time to monitor your beagle’s poop; any changes in the stool could be a clue about the wellbeing of your dog.
In my experience, dry kibble foods tend to produce quite a lot of poop, and the poop is more likely to be soft or ‘loose’ than if on a raw food diet. Switching to raw has reduced the amount of poop my dog leaves behind. The poop is also hard in comparison.
Two of our Beagles have had issues with anal glands, needing them squeezed regularly, which neither dog enjoyed, nor did my bank balance! Switching to raw food more or less stopped the need for the regular visit to the vets as passing the hard stool helped clear the anal gland as it passed by.
If you suddenly notice your dog’s poop become loose, then this could be a sign they have an issue or eaten something they shouldn’t have. Either way, you can monitor it, and if it doesn’t clear up quickly, you should take your Beagle to see a vet. You may need to adjust their diet, though your vet or dog nutritionist will advise accordingly. If in doubt seek pet medical advice.
To ensure your beagle puppy has the best possible start to life, you need to make sure they are getting the nutrients that beagle puppies need. Puppies require a lot of protein and essential fatty acids. It is important that your puppy has enough fiber in order for them to have good digestion and keep themselves regular.
How often to feed a beagle puppy?
If you have a beagle puppy, it is best to stick to the meal plan and puppy food provided by the breeder.
If you plan on changing the brand of beagle puppy food, then this should be done gradually, over at least 2-3 weeks, mixing the foods more and more each day until they are entirely on the new food. This gradual approach to changing the puppy food ensures your beagle puppy doesn’t get an upset tummy.
When to feed your beagle puppy?
A beagle pup would usually have three meals throughout the day. However, try to stick with the same routine the puppy had when with the breeder. Keeping to the same routine keeps disruption to a minimum for your puppy beagle. It maintains continuity, necessary for house training, and dogs, especially a beagle puppy love routine.
Our breeder recommended feeding a beagle puppy two meals a day around the 6-month-old age. Two feeds per day are much easier to fit into a normal lifestyle, one before and one after work. Always make sure your beagle puppy has access to fresh, clean water.
An adult or senior beagles’ diet will be different from a beagle puppy diet, so make sure what you feed a beagle puppy is a specific beagle puppy food, not adult food.
How much should a beagle eat?
Given a chance, a Beagle would eat anything and everything and would quickly become a fat little Beagle. All too often, I see Beagles that are overweight. It’s difficult not to give your dog your dinner scraps or a little extra at mealtime, how can you resist those pleading brown eyes? However, you must resist, or if you give them extra food, then reduce the amount they eat at their set meal times.
If you feed your Beagle dry kibble then always follow the manufacturer’s recommended quantities. In our experience, it’s never a simple case of just 1 or 2 cups of food. Most manufacturers will require you to weigh out the food based on your dog’s ideal weight.
How much should a beagle eat a day?
Before we moved our Beagles onto a raw diet, we fed our Beagles using the excellent Eden Kibble for many years. Based on an ideal weight of 13kg for our size of dogs, the recommended amount was 140g per day. In the summer, when we were much more active we up the quantity to 154g. We would give half in the morning and the remaining in the afternoon.
140g, when placed in a cup, doesn’t look like much; however, most quality kibbles are high concentrated food sources, and as such you don’t need much, don’t be tempted to give them more!
How much food to give your beagle?
Below is a table showing how much food to feed a medium-sized dog when using Eden dry kibble as an example.
Beagle feeding guide
|Normal Adult Beagle||Active/Working Beagle|
|Body Weight (kg)||Daily Portion (g)||Body Weight (kg)||Daily Portion (g)|
Remember to check with whatever your chosen manufacturer is for their quantity guidelines for how much food to feed your beagle.
What treats to give a beagle?
We all love a food treat now and then, and your Beagle is no different! To ensure your Beagle doesn’t become overweight treats should be healthy and as natural as possible. Avoid giving them processed snacks, or your food scraps as these can be high in carbs, fats, salts, and sugars, all of which will make it easier for your dog to gain weight.
If you use treats as part of your training regime, then ensure you adjust the quantity they have at mealtimes to accommodate the extra food intake.
Used a distraction, treats can be an excellent way to keep your Beagle occupied for a while. I work from home quite a lot, and sometimes I need to ensure my dogs are quiet while I make an important call.
At this point, I give my dog their favorite treat, a 6-8″ piece of deer antler. Deer antlers are a hard bony material that most Beagles find interesting and love to chew. They are long-lasting, great for Beagles that eat most things in super quick time, and are full of nutrients such as calcium. You can buy antlers from all kinds of places, even Amazon.
Another alternative to keep your dog occupied while giving them treats is the use of a Kong. Kongs are non-toxic rubber dog toys. They have a hollowed-out middle where you can place your dog’s favorite treat, peanut butter, training treats, whatever else they might like.
Beagles love to get stuck in and get all of the treats out of the Kong. Not only do they get a treat, but they are also stimulated while they work out how to get every last morsel from the inside of the Kong. Remember to adjust your dog’s food intake or have more exercise if you give them extra treats.
What foods are bad for beagles?
I did some research to see what foods Beagles definitely can’t eat. Most people know that grapes and chocolate are off-limits to all dogs, but some of the items on this list might surprise you and could cause health problems.
This list was compiled from various online sources.
- Apple seeds
- Apricot Pits
- Cat Food
- Sugarless gum
- Macadamia Nuts
- Mustard Seeds
- Peach Pits
- Potato Leaves and Stems
- Tomato Leaves and stems
- Yeast Dough
Unfortunately, we have experience of one of our Beagles eating one of the items on the list, chocolate, that very nearly cost our Beagle her life. We had friends staying with us over from the Netherlands. They had kindly bought us gifts, expensive, dark Dutch chocolate, with a high cocoa content. In the excitement at arriving at our home, they took their bags to their room and left the chocolate in their luggage ready to give to us later.
My eldest Beagle at the time, Bracken, broke into their room, sniffed out the two 500g bars and ate both. Wrappers and everything. Fortunately, we quickly realized what had happened. A quick call to the out-of-hours vet and we were on our way. The vet gave Bracken an injection to make her throw up her stomach contents. After twenty minutes, the poor dog had puked up the contents of her stomach all over the grass. She was feeling very sorry for herself, but she was alive.
The vet said that if she had started to digest the chocolate, then she would have likely died. We were fortunate we caught her in time, it certainly saved her life and made us extra vigilant going forward!
Slowing down a beagle that eats quickly
Not only can a Beagles keep eating and eating, but it also does so as fast as any other dog I have ever seen! Of the Beagles we have had, all have taken seconds to devour their food. As soon as the bowl hits the floor, and you give the command to eat, it’s gone! Slurp finished!
Gulping their food is probably an instinct leftover from when Beagles were bred for hunting, out all day as part of a large pack, running around, tracking small game. They would eat what they found, and quickly, so as not to share it with all the other greedy Beagle pack members.
Luckily there are a few options to slow down how quickly they eat. You can buy bowls designed to slow down how quickly they can get to their food, like the one below.
There are many types of bowls in various sizes. Some have ridges, some with ‘mounds’ and some with a mixture of the two. The design is such that the dog has to get their tongue around the bowl to get all of the food; they can’t just slurp up the food in one go.
You could also feed your Beagle by hand, but this is not convenient for most and can be a little messy.
Regardless of what type of food your beagle eats, you should monitor their weight and make sure they are not over or underweight. If they’re overweight, cut back on the total amount of food they get each day until they reach a healthy weight. Try to feed them at least 2 times a day and never give them more than the recommended amount per feed, factor in daily walks, and your beagle will be fit and healthy!
Why do Beagles eat so much? Beagles struggle to regulate their appetite like other breeds. Used in large packs to hunt, Beagles are the ultimate scavengers. Hunting all day is hungry work, always on the lookout for food and taking every opportunity to eat. A strict meal schedule is essential to avoid your Beagle becoming overweight. Read the full post here.
How much exercise do Beagles need? Adult Beagles should have two walks a day for a minimum of 20-30 minutes for each walk and set at a brisk pace. A puppy should be limited to a maximum of one mile per day and spread over several short walks. A puppies skeletal system does not fully develop until 18 months old, so exercise must not be overdone so as not to disrupt the healthy growth of bones. Read the full post here.