With their voracious appetites, beagles will pretty much eat anything in sight if you let them, quickly packing on the pounds. To prevent your pup from becoming overweight, you'll need to put him on a diet, restrict his calories and hide any food lying around from your clever scent hound.
Bring your beagle to the vet to determine if he is overweight. The ideal weight for a beagle is between 26 and 33 pounds, according to Dogster. A pup heavier than this may be overfed.
Your vet can evaluate your little one's body condition and prescribe a low-calorie diet food for him. These foods contain more fiber than traditional foods, keeping your pup feeling full for a longer period of time.
Feed you beagle her food in puzzle toys. This draws out the feeding process for a long period of time, keeping your beagle's attention engaged in the task of getting to the food. You can also hide your pup's food around the home, giving your scent hound a way to "hunt" for his food, playing into his natural instincts.
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations when feeding your beagle so that you don't over feed him. Divide his daily portion into several smaller feedings throughout the day to keep him feeling full.
Keep garbage away from your pup. Beagles can sniff out food anywhere in your home, including in your garbage can. A hungry beagle will quickly make a meal of your discarded food, contributing to his obesity and possibly making him sick. Place the garbage in a covered trash can or outside of the reach of your pup, such as in your garage or an outdoor area he can't get to.
Lock your cabinets and store your beagle's food in air-tight containers. That food-obsessed little pup of yours could make his way into these tight spaces, sniffing out some tasty snacks to satisfy his hunger. Child-proof locks can help prevent this from happening.
Exercise your beagle regularly to help him burn off excess calories and keep him fit, recommends the National Beagle Club. A brisk walk daily or a fun game of fetch can keep your pup in tip-top shape. Remember to keep him on a leash when outdoors -- beagles can easily become distracted by a fascinating scent and wander into traffic.
- Resist those big brown eyes and avoid giving potentially calorie-rich treats to your beagle. If you want to treat your furry buddy for good behavior, substitute something healthy, like a piece of carrot or green bean instead.
- Add some healthy veggies, like canned pumpkin, to your beagle's portions during the day to increase the amounts of food, but not the calories. He'll feel like he's getting more food, making him happy, but it will actually help him lose weight.
- Sudden weight gain is reason for concern in your beagle and should be mentioned during your vet visit. Some medical conditions, like hypothyroidism, can cause weight gain in beagles, according to the American Animal Hospital Association.
- Obesity in a beagle is a serious problem, one that could result in back problems and joint issues for your furry buddy. Constantly over feeding your hungry beagle may seem kind, but it's actually harmful for him.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.