It’s safe to say that all dogs love eating, but beagles really love eating; it’s like they’re always hungry. Beagle owners don’t know whether it’s a behavioral or medical problem that’s making their beloved pet eat so much. So, what could be the reason why beagles are always hungry, and is there a solution?
Beagles seem like they’re always hungry because it’s their nature. Initially bred as hunting dogs, beagles will always crave food and will gladly eat anytime they get a chance. Also, when a beagle doesn’t get enough exercise, the next best thing it’ll do is eat.
However, your beagle eating all the time might be a medical issue and you should have your pooch checked out by a vet.
Is it True That Beagles Are Always Hungry?
Beagles eat a lot, but this doesn’t mean that they are always hungry. The fact is, dogs have a different digestive system than we do. When we eat, digestion starts almost immediately, i.e., the saliva breaks down the starch in the food for easier digestion once it reaches the stomach. Once the food gets to the stomach, it only stays there for around 30 minutes.
This is not the case with dogs because undigested food can stay in your pooch’s stomach for up to 8 hours.
So, if you feed your beagle sufficiently, he should be good for at least another 8 hours until he eats again. This means that beagles, even though they eat every time they get a chance, are not always hungry.
Why Do Beagles Eat So Much?
Beagles eat so much because of the following reasons:
- It’s in their nature as hunting dogs
- Medical Issue
Let’s break down each one of these reasons further.
It’s in Their Nature as Hunting Dogs
As we stated earlier, beagles eat so much because it’s in their nature. Beagles were initially bred as hunting dogs, and they would do so in packs. This means that food resources were limited because any prey that they caught was “shared” amongst the pack. The competition for food was high, so the dogs would eat anything they could, anytime they got an opportunity.
I am no expert in animal genetics, but it’s safe to speculate that this hunting instinct was passed on for generations to today’s beagle dog pets.
Today’s beagles don’t hunt anymore and spend most of the time in the house all day. That’s probably why most beagle owners wonder if their furry friend will ever calm down or why they’re always stubborn.
Beagles Eating Too Much Because Of Boredom
A bored beagle is a bad beagle. This is also due to the fact that beagles are hunting dogs, and your pooch at home still has this instinct.
If you’re a beagle owner, you already know that these dogs can’t be left to their own devices all day. They are highly energetic, and if you don’t give them an opportunity to let the energy out, it can lead to serious problems.
Beagles are also smart dogs and, therefore, require constant mental stimulation to stay happy. Playing with toys in the house is fine, but a beagle needs to spend time outside to get as much exercise as it can.
If your pet beagle doesn’t get enough exercise, it will become stubborn, and the next thing that your pet will do is eat.
Lots of eating and little exercise mean one thing, obesity.
Can beagles become obese?
Yes, beagles can become obese if you don’t give them enough time to exercise and you fail to control the amount of food they eat.
The Exploration Habit
This also stems from the fact that these adorable dogs are hunting dogs. Beagles love exploring the environment, and you’ll see them in the house moving around and sniffing around.
When exploring, a beagle will sniff out items and test them with their mouth to see if they’re edible.
This means that anything that they come across that they see fit to eat, they’ll eat it.
This behavior is more evident in beagle puppies than in grown dogs, and they tend to eat things they shouldn’t be eating, leading to health complications.
When beagles start exploring, their hunting instinct kicks in, and they will do anything to get to the food. Beagles are greedy opportunists, and being athletic dogs, they can get food that you would think is out of reach.
For example, if a beagle gets to a 30 kg bag of kibble, it’ll eat to the last bit. When an opportunity presents itself, a beagle will eat to the point of gorging itself. As a result, your dog will be so full that he’ll either start vomiting, constantly go out to poop, or fall ill.
Medical Conditions That Make Beagles Act Hungry
If your beagle’s appetite changes all of a sudden, it could be a sign of a health problem. Just like in other pets, a medical condition that’s detected early is easier to treat in beagles.
Don’t make the mistake of ruling out a medical condition because your dog is young and not overweight. Take your dog to the vet to be on the safe side.
The three medical conditions that make beagles act like they’re hungry all the time are:
Diabetes: When a dog develops diabetes, the body produces too much insulin, which sends a hunger signal to the brain, making the dog eat more than usual. Keep a close eye on Fido to see whether he develops other signs of diabetes like increased urination, lethargy, and excessive thirst.
Cushing’s Disease: This condition affects older dogs and occurs when the body produces excessive glucocorticoid hormones. Beagles as young as 5 years old can develop this condition, so you shouldn’t rule it out. Major signs of this condition include weight gain, loss of bladder control, increased urination, and thirst. Other signs include shortness of breath, developing a potbellied appearance, and poor mobility.
Worms: certain types of worms absorb the nutrients taken into your dog’s body, leaving him hungry. A dog that has intestinal worms has a rough coat, sheds a lot, and is weak due to weight loss.
Other health conditions: there are other diseases that affect your pooch’s ability to absorb nutrients. There are many health conditions that attack the dog’s ability to absorb key nutrients, but the main one is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI. These health conditions are caused by bacterial overgrowth in your dog’s small intestines, and the main signs include weight loss, loose stools, loud tummy gurgling, vomiting, and a change in coat appearance.
The Solutions; How to Stop Your Beagle from Eating All the Time
You need to control the amount of food that your beagle eats per day to keep this issue from getting out of hand.
Beagles don’t seem to have an off switch when eating, and they can truly eat themselves to death through obesity-related conditions.
The good thing is, you can intervene and control your beagle’s eating habits by using these 5 methods:
- Have set feeding times
- Keep food from your dog’s reach
- Feed your beagle high-quality food
- Keep an eye on your dog
- Observe good feeding habits
Have Set Feeding Times for Your Beagle
Almost everything that points to beagles always being hungry stems from their hunting dog roots. Think about this for a second: when hunting, an animal doesn’t know where its next meal is going to come from.
This is the reason beagles will eat at every opportunity they get. However, you can solve it by having a set meal time for your dog. This way, your beagle knows exactly when to expect a meal. With time, your beagle will get accustomed to this feeding routine and will stop scavenging for food.
Keep Food from Your Dog’s Reach
Beagles have a sharp sense of smell, and when they pick up the scent of food when exploring, they won’t stop until they get to the food.
Never leave dog kibble or any other type of food in an easy-to-reach place because if your beagle gets to it, he’ll eat it.
Don’t leave food in easy-to-reach cupboards, and if you have to, make sure that they are locked. The best place to leave food is in high cupboards because you can forget to lock the lower ones.
Feed Your Beagle High-Quality Foods
There are low-quality foods that are sold as healthy dog food. These foods contain fillers that bulk up the kibble, but they don’t add any nutritional value to your dog’s diet. So, you’ll feed your beagle enough food, but he will remain hungry since the food has little or no nutrients to absorb.
Check the food that you feed your dog to see whether it has the right nutrients to keep Fido full and satisfied.
In addition, high-quality foods improve your doggie’s health and this means lesser visits to the vet.
Don’t forget to provide your dog with snacks or treats and, most important, vitamin and mineral supplements.
Observe Good Feeding Habits
Observing good feeding habits means knowing how much your dog should eat. So, feed your beagle pet the right amount of high-quality food.
How Much Should Beagle Puppies Eat?
A beagle puppy that’s 6 to 7 weeks old and is fully weaned should have three meals per day. The amount of food should be 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality food spread over 3 meals until they are 12 weeks old.
How Much Should Adult Beagles Eat?
A fully grown adult beagle should eat one cup of dry or wet, high-quality dog food per day, spread over two meals, in the morning and early evening. Remember to feed your dog at set times to keep him from scavenging for food.
When buying snacks and treats for your beagle, make sure that you buy high-quality stuff. Avoid the high-color ones because, as much as they look yummy, they are loaded with fillers.
Another thing that most dog owners do that is not a good feeding practice is to feed the dog table scraps. Your dog should know that the only time he eats is when food is in the bowl or when handed a treat.
Keep an Eye on Your Beagle
Don’t lose sight of a beagle puppy when it’s exploring the house because it can eat things that shouldn’t be eaten.
If you catch your beagle puppy chewing on an inedible item, give them an abrupt “no” and divert their attention from the item with a treat or a toy.
Using positive training with beagle puppies gets them to learn faster and respond positively to whatever you want them to do.
What If It’s a Medical Condition
If your beagle spends most of the time outside, then there’s a probability of having intestinal worms. Constant deworming is essential to keep dogs healthy.
How Often Should I Deworm My Beagle?
Deworm your beagle every 2 weeks until they are 3 months old, then once per month until they are 6 months old. After that, a beagle should be dewormed once every 3 months.
If you suspect that your dog might be suffering from a more serious health condition, then it’s best to consider visiting a vet. The sooner you do it, the better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do beagles eat so fast?
Beagles are fast bowl cleaners because they have pack animal instincts. They like to eat as fast as possible before another dog gets to their food. Others claim that beagles are fast eaters because their brains take longer to register that their tummies are full. Use a slow-feeding bowl to stop your beagle from binge eating.
Should I beagle-proof my house if I have a beagle puppy?
Yes, you should beagle-proof your house by removing small objects from the floor that the beagle puppy will happily munch on. Don’t forget to clear the tables and lock the cupboards where you keep food or dog kibble.
Beagles are incredible pets, but they do eat a lot. As an owner, you need to set specific feeding times to stop bad behaviors like scavenging that make beagles appear like they’re always hungry. Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise and eats high-quality food at the right time, and you won’t have a problem with your furry friend.