As the adage goes, a dog is for life. Beagles live on average 14 to 15 years, so it is a significant commitment and proportion of your life to own a beagle. Caring for your beagle will not only save you money, it will ensure your beagle is happy and healthy.
Your beagle and food
The most challenging part about owning a beagle is keeping their weight under control. Nothing is more damaging for a beagle than being overweight but it is in the nature of most beagles to eat as much as they can when they can.
Beagles can also be prone to “recycle”. As disgusting as it may be to humans, many beagles will eat their droppings. Making sure you clean up as soon as possible after your beagle. This assists with maintaining their weight and prevents your beagles from being in the habit of eating their droppings or the droppings of other dogs.
Beagles can also be prone to eating many things they shouldn’t. This can be anything from socks, cardboard, or old towels, to plants and food items detrimental to their health. Obviously when a beagle eats something they are not supposed to, it can cause them pain or internal injury and can significantly affect their health, as well as you having a costly vet bill. Make sure that you attend to your beagle, picking up anything they are likely to eat. The Australian Dog Lovers web site provides a list of numerous plants found in Australia that can be toxic to your beagle. https://www.australiandoglover.com/2015/09/common-plants-toxic-to-your-dog.html
Beagles are relatively low maintenance for grooming when compared to other breeds. Being a short coat, they don’t require as much grooming as other breeds. Nevertheless, they do still require regular grooming to ensure they stay healthy. The most common parts of the beagle to groom are the coat, ears and teeth.
Even though the beagle has a short coat, the breed is still considered to be average in shedding their coat, particularly during the change of seasons. A regular brushing two or three times a week for about 10 minutes does three things. Firstly, it keeps the beagle’s coat shiny and healthy, removing the old coat and leaving the new coat in good condition. Secondly, it ensures the beagle’s coat comes off when you want it to and not all over your furniture or carpet. Thirdly, beagles love the attention and it gives you quality time with your beagle.
A beagle is a very active breed, not just physically but mentally. Beagles can get bored very quickly. Often this leads the beagle getting into mischief.
It is important to make sure the beagle is kept occupied, particularly if they are on their own for lengths of time.
Enrichment activities and devices such as snuffle mats, puzzles or treat toys can exercise the beagle’s mind, keeping them working and preventing them from chewing up things around your house they shouldn’t.
The nature of the Beagle makes them a dog that can certainly be trained but which has some specific requirements as part of their training program. As the nature of the Beagle is to keep their nose on the ground and to sniff everything in their path, it can be frustrating at times when you are wanting a nice leisurely walk yourself. Training will assist to alleviate this but keep in mind that this is what a Beagle is bred to do and is happiest doing.
The Beagle’s sense of smell is their most acute sense and they rely on this as much as a human relies on their sight or hearing. When a Beagle is in a training program, often their instinct is to put their nose on the ground, find out what smells are around, and then pay attention to their trainer. To successfully train a Beagle it is most important for the Beagle to focus on the trainer. This can take a lot of work but must happen before any form of training can take place. One big advantage with a Beagle is that they are almost always very motivated by food. A Beagle will focus on their owner when they have food, so you can use food as a reward when training your Beagle.
Walking Your Beagle
Beagles love to go for walks and it is probably one of their greatest joys in life (apart from eating). They can sniff all the new smells around the neighbourhood, dog walks, beaches or wherever you are taking them. They are never happier than with their nose down and their tail in the air.
As the nature of the Beagle is to keep their nose on the ground and to sniff everything in their path, it can be frustrating at times when you are wanting a nice leisurely walk yourself. Training will assist to alleviate this but keep in mind that this is what a Beagle is bred to do and is happiest doing. To a Beagle, a walk is more like an investigation.
Dog off leash areas are ideal for a Beagle, as it gives them the opportunity to run, smell and sniff as they wish. Owners will often train their Beagle to walk with their nose up getting to and from the off leash park, then they can have their play time when they are in the off leash area.