Our dogs are what they eat – just like us. Therefore, it is essential that we choose the best diet for our Beagles. Considering the nutrition your Beagle needs is vital to avoid preventable health issues.
Here’s everything you need to know about choosing a quality food for your canine:
1. Prioritize Protein
Beagles are not wolves, and they do not have the same nutritional needs. Dogs have evolved to consume grains after living next to humans for thousands of years. That said, you should still prioritize proteins.
Dogs need quite a bit of protein, and much of this should be in the form of animal meat. Proteins from meat are “complete,” which means they have all the needed amino acids. Plant-based proteins are “incomplete.”
Besides that, the exact meat your Beagle consumes doesn’t matter all that much. Salmon, chicken, beef, and other options are all suitable. Beagles aren’t prone to allergies. However, if your dog does have a food allergy, you should avoid that protein.
Meat “meals” are completely fine and actually better than whole meats, especially in dry foods. Meat meals are very digestible and simply dehydrated versions of whatever animal source they come from. This meat has to be dehydrated to be used in kibble. Whether they weigh the food and add it to the ingredient list before or after dehydrating is mostly a matter.
2. Don’t Forget Fats
Fats are an important energy source for dogs. They’re designed to get a lot of their energy from fats. Fats are created with fatty acids, which come in two types: Omega-3s and Omega-6s. Your dog needs a balanced variety of these two types to be healthy.
Animal-based fats are a great option. You’ll often see ingredients like “chicken fat” in dog food. Not only do these additions improve the taste of the food, but they are also healthy.
Beagles are prone to obesity. If your dog is overweight, prioritize fats over carbohydrates (which come from grains, veggies, and fruits). Eggs, nuts, and yogurt are also great options, too.
3. Carbohydrates Are Important, Too
Your Beagle should also eat a range of carbohydrates. Fiber is particularly important, as it helps regulate your dog’s digestive system. Otherwise, your Beagle may have chronic diarrhea and similar issues.
Great sources of carbohydrates include beet pulp and different kinds of bran (corn, rice, wheat, etc.)
Beagles often benefit from high-fiber food. Fiber keeps your dog full for longer. Therefore, more fiber can help prevent obesity. Many diet dog foods are exceptionally high in fiber for this reason.
4. Schedule Feedings
Yes, free-feeding your Beagle is often the most convenient option. However, these dogs are extremely food-driven. Therefore, if you leave food out for your Beagle, there is a pretty high chance that they will eat far more than they need, leading to obesity.
Just like in humans, obesity can cause all sorts of health problems for your canine. You should schedule feedings and measure your dog’s food to avoid overfeeding, which is the primary cause of obesity. Follow the guidelines on the food package, but remember these are only guidelines. You may need to adjust them for your canine.
5. Life Stage is Important
Your Beagle requires a puppy food formula when they are growing. Puppies simply need more nutrition to help them grow properly. They also tend to be pretty energetic, as Beagles don’t calm down until adulthood.
All of this translates to a higher dietary need for puppies. If you don’t feed them food that meets this need, they may not grow properly, leading to health issues. Overfeeding a puppy can also lead to health issues, so be super aware of portion sizes when your Beagle is younger.
After growth slows, you can switch to an adult dog food. This should be done gradually, though. Switching too quickly can lead to stomach upset.
Senior dogs don’t necessarily need senior dog food until they start developing health issues related to being older. For instance, joint and eye problems would fall into this category. Senior dog food is formulated to help with these problems, not indicative of any special nutritional needs for this life stage.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © alex_ugalek/iStock via Getty Images
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