Obesity doesn’t matter if it’s in dogs or humans, can be toxic for both! If you have a Beagle or you are planning to have one, you need to be a responsible pet parent who knows how to keep their baby healthy!
Well, today we are going to share the easiest and most effective ways to help reduce your dog’s weight, in the right way, without taking the life out of him!
Is Obesity Harmful in Dogs?
Dogs in the wild or stray dogs engage in day-to-day activities for their survival, including hunting and a good amount of play in search of food from here to there. That’s the reason you would hardly find a chubby dog on the streets!
Pet dogs are prone to become obese because they are deprived of the daily activity a street dog has to perform. Well, this problem is worldwide and becoming very common.
Just like obesity can affect any humans’ life, it indeed does affect your dogs’ life; let’s see how:
- The lifespan of an overweight Beagle gets shorter by two years than the Beagle of average weight.
- Among medium-sized dogs, a normal-weight Beagle male can live up to 15.2 years old, and an overweight Beagle male, only 13.2 years old.
- For female Beagle dogs, an average weight Beagle has a life expectancy of 15.3, while an overweight Beagle has 13.3.
- Overweight Beagles are less likely to get a natural death because they can fall victim to life-threatening health issues like cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and hypertension.
- An overweight dog is more likely to become lazy and inactive.
- They spend most of the time either sleeping or sitting in a corner with no enthusiasm for life.
Is Your Beagle Overweight?
Beagles are different in their physical appearance than the rest of the dog breeds, so you need to find out the appropriate way to know if your Beagle is overweight or not.
Though Beagles are super active most of the time, they are also very eager to munch the slightest nibble off the floor!
Also, older Beagles are more inclined towards gaining excessive weight. Well, if we talk in numbers, your male Beagle should not weigh more than 10-12 kg, female Beagle should not weigh more than 9-10 kg.
There are other very effective ways to measure your Beagle’s weight, just in case you don’t want to depend on the weighing machine.
The flexibility of your Beagle plays a significant role in determining the health and fun quote. To check its flexibility, play some stretching exercises with your dog. It does not require any toys or equipment.
After playing a few stretching games with your dog, you will better understand its flexibility.
Also, dogs and cats are perfect groomers, they spend half of their time cleaning themselves. An unfit dog will also be dirty in appearance, as they can’t reach towards their tail or parts of the body with their tongue.
Beagles are pretty famous for their chubby and short appearance, but they have a leaner and athletic appearance too, and if you cannot detect your Beagle’s ribs when you press them a bit on the chest, your Beagle is overweight.
Also, how a chubby Beagle looks like:
- From above: an inward bend between the ribs and the rib cage should be visible.
- From the side: the abdomen should have a gentle but noticeable up-curve where it meets the rib cage.
- Feel their tail: You should be able to feel the base of their tail and spine.
- Feel the ribs: Does your Beagle have well-defined ribs? If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs, they are undoubtedly overweight.
You can easily spot the difference between a chubby and a lean Beagle.
3. Check Their Ribs
Assisting your dog’s appearance is the best way to find out if they are getting too thick or not. A Beagle whose ribs are visible is considered to be malnourished or too weak! On the other hand, press a bit on your Beagle’s chest, and if you cannot feel its ribs, then your Beagle is overweight or obese.
The same applies to their spine. However, a fit Beagle features a slightly smaller waistline than its chest, with a small layer of fat on its tail.
4. Get Tired Easily
Beagles are primarily active and playful, but it might be a concern if your dog is not as active as you would like. Exercise of 45-50 minutes is a daily requirement when a Beagle fails to perform.
A poor diet and lacking proper nutrition can also aid in laziness or tiredness. This breed requires a lot of running, walking, and a good amount of playtime to realize its energy. These are signs that your Beagle has gained unnecessary weight.
What Problems Can Overweight Beagles Have?
Being such an incredible breed, Beagles don’t get fat at a young age, and they tend to put on unnecessary weight in the later stage of life. However, being overweight makes him lazy and can become a house of many health risks.
These dogs are very fond of eating, and they will grab any edible thing in a few seconds without giving it a thought. That’s the core reason why they are so prone to gain excessive weight.
Here are a few problems an overweight Beagle develop:
1. Sugar Problems
Hypoglycemia in dogs, a blood glucose concentration less than 3.3 MML/L, is common. Beagles have an above-average incidence to be affected by it.
Your dog’s diet, stress, exertion, and medications are a few fairly common reasons for high blood sugar. The most common symptoms are increased thirst and frequent urination. Your poor Beagle will have to deal with the administration of painful insulin treatments for regulating blood glucose levels.
There are few herbal remedies for treating diabetes in dogs that can be less painful.
2. Joint & Ligament Problems
When your Beagle is overweight, its legs are solely responsible to carry himself, and you might notice that he/she is having difficulties in conducting even the most common activities like, getting up on the sofa, going up the stairs, or taking a lot of time to get up and move from one place to another!
Well, this can also be a sign of joint and ligament problems such as ACL( anterior cruciate ligament) tears and osteoarthritis. These kinds of health issues are most common in dogs; the risk doubles up for overweight dogs.
Overweight Beagles often suffer from secondary hypertension or high blood pressure. The most common symptoms of hypertension are seizures, disorientation, blindness, weakness, heart murmurs, and nosebleeds.
Chronic kidney diseases are a roadway towards hypertension. Though, measuring blood pressure in your dog is very similar to measuring your own blood pressure!
There are two types of hypertension in dogs, secondary and primary hypertension.
4. Heart Disease
The symptoms include trouble breathing, getting tired easily, coughing, fluid retention in the stomach, pot-belly, decreased appetite, excitement, weight loss/more weight gain, and lethargy.
How To Help Your Beagles Lose Weight?
Maintaining a healthy weight of your Beagle should be on your mind from the initial stage because if you wake up after the visible signs, it’s going to be the toughest. Well, don’t worry, we are here to help your Beagle with the effective ways to lose weight:
- Be positive, don’t make it a mission but take baby steps in a healthy lifestyle! Because your Beagle can catch negative energy, and you never want that.
- Fetch your own treat: don’t just swipe a kibble into your dog’s mouth but make him earn it, for e.g. If your boy wants a treat, make him run from the living room to the bedroom.
- Keep count of the calories: read the details given on your dog food, keep track of the calories. An average Beagle needs 674-922 calories a day. You can switch to low-calorie diet food.
- Low-calorie options: go for 100%natural dog food with no added preservatives or artificial flavours. No MSG high grain contains corn, soy, fillers. Etc.
- Encourage proper eating habits: Beagles are very fast to grab even the smallest kibble off the floor. They eat as they have never tasted the food! Which might cause them to eat without even thinking! Give smaller portions at a time and let their brain and body process the food they are eating, once it’s done pour another portion of food.
- Daily exercise: your Beagle needs 45-50 minutes of daily exercise to remain healthy. Now initially with an overweight Beagle, it can be quite tough to play for that much time, take them on walks regularly, and as soon as they get more active, switch to fun games.
Beagles have a tendency to become overweight, as they also have a big appetite! If you deprive them of various activities, good exercise and allow them to eat whatever they want, they will become overweight! And overweight beagles don’t stay alive for a longer period.
Helping your beagle to maintain a healthy weight will keep them around for a much longer period. We have stated the most effective and appropriate ways which are safe to be followed. Let us know if you found our information useful? Let us know in the comment section below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.