With their great sense of smell, Beagles are one of the best of all breeds when it comes to their scenting abilities. In fact, they have been called “a nose with a stomach attached” since the breed enjoys a good meal so much. Adult Beagles can weigh 20-25 pounds which means they can eat a food for small or medium-sized dogs. We can help you choose the best dog foods for Beagles.


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Whether you prefer the “big” Beagle (up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder) or the small Beagle (up to 13 inches tall), this breed is gentle and intelligent. However, they can be a little hard to train. Centuries of hunting on their own has made the breed an independent thinker so they don’t always follow commands. A Beagle that finds an interesting scent, especially something like a rabbit, can start following it and pay no heed to you. Beagles are usually very good with children and make good family pets. They do require regular exercise. Beagles can be prone to gaining weight so regular exercise is important. As your Beagle gets older you will need to be vigilant about how many calories you are feeding him so he doesn’t become obese.

One of the good things about Beagles is that they are not predisposed to many health issues. You can choose your dog’s food based on his age, activity level, and your own thoughts about dog food, along with your budget.

Let’s take a look at what you should know about your Beagle’s nutritional requirements.

Key Nutritional Needs of a Beagle’s Diet

Like other dogs, Beagles have certain nutritional requirements for their diet:

  1. Your Beagle needs good protein in his diet to maintain his health. Meat protein is easier for dogs to digest than plant protein.
  2. Animal fat is good for dogs. Some vitamins are only soluble in fat; and essential fatty acids (EFA) are necessary for your dog to have a healthy skin and coat. Fat is also a good source of energy and adds flavor to your dog’s food.
  3. Carbohydrates are a source of energy for dogs. They also provide dietary fiber and prebiotics to your dog’s diet.
  4. Fiber helps your dog’s gastrointestinal system function smoothly. The fiber can be soluble or insoluble. Most dog foods include both kinds of fiber.
  5. Dogs must have the correct vitamins and minerals, in the correct amounts, for good health. While vitamins and minerals come from the ingredients in your dog’s food, most dog food makers also add vitamins and minerals to the food to make up for any nutrients that are lost during the cooking process.
  6. Your dog requires easy access to water. The only times when your dog should not have access to water are if your veterinarian tells you to withhold water from your dog because he’s sick; or if you are house training your puppy overnight. Use common sense.

7 Special Considerations for Beagles

  1. Beagles can have problems with patellar luxation. This condition (PetMD, 2020) is somewhat similar to a slipped kneecap. It can range from a severe problem to a mild one. It’s a fairly common problem in some small breeds. Surgery is the best option when the condition is severe. This condition may be inherited but keeping your Beagle slim may help prevent the problem from worsening.
  2. Some Beagles can have intervertebral disc disease. IVDD (PetMD, 2020) occurs when the cushioning discs in the back press on the nerves that run through the spinal cord. This causes pain, nerve damage, and can even cause paralysis. Care can range from giving your Beagle anti-inflammatories to surgery. Keeping your Beagle slim and not letting him become overweight is believed to help prevent IVDD.
  3. Beagles can have problems with diabetes. Beagles are one of the breeds that are more prone to diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is found in Beagles (Canna-Pet 2020; AKC 2020). Type 1 tends to be genetic so you can talk to your dog’s breeder and find out if this problem is likely to occur. Type 2 is not genetic. Type 2 diabetes is related to being overweight and having too much sugar in the bloodstream. Watching your dog’s weight and making sure he gets enough exercise can help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
  4. Adult Beagles can eat a food for small or medium-sized dogs. Most adult Beagles will have a top weight between 20 and 25 pounds. This means they are considered small dogs. You can feed your Beagle a food for small dogs. If your Beagle is a little larger, you can choose a food for a medium-sized dog.
  5. Beagle puppies will do well eating a puppy food for small breed puppies. Since Beagles are generally considered to be a small breed as adults, Beagle puppies will do well eating a puppy food that’s formulated for small breeds. These foods have the extra calories and nutrients that small breed puppies need.
  6. Some Beagles can be prone to food allergies. Some Beagles can be susceptible to food allergens, though it’s not believed that the breed is more prone to allergies than other breeds. Itchy skin and other skin problems can be a sign of a food sensitivity or food allergy. If you suspect that your dog has an allergy, see your veterinarian.
  7. Beagles can be prone to obesity. Beagles are well-known for enjoying their food. They are one of the breeds often used by dog food companies for food trials for this reason. The good news is that your dog won’t likely be a picky eater. The bad news for Beagles about liking their dog food so much is that the breed can easily pack on extra pounds. We suggest that you count calories and monitor your Beagle’s portions throughout his life so he won’t be tempted to over-eat. Make sure he always gets regular exercise.

Best Dog Food for Beagles

 

Blue Buffalo Carnivora Prairie Blend Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Adult maintenance formula
  • High protein formula
  • No corn, wheat, soy, peas, or potatoes

Overall Best Dog Food for Beagles – If you like a dog food that has lots of animal protein, Blue Buffalo Carnivora is a great choice. Ninety-percent of the protein in Carnivora Prairie Blend Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food comes from animal sources – and it contains no peas, corn, wheat, or soy. So your dog is getting protein from beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and fish instead of plant sources of protein. Most dog foods with high protein have to use plant sources to boost their percentages but that’s not the case with this food.

Nutrient-rich organs and cartilage supply vitamins and minerals that your Beagle can use for better health. Plus, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat.

Available in 4-lb and 22-lb bags.

Pros:

  • 90 percent of the protein comes from animal sources (beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and fish)
  • Organs and cartilage supply vitamins and minerals your dog needs
  • No corn, wheat, soy, peas, or potatoes
  • No chicken/poultry by-products
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance formula so it’s not suitable for puppies

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Turkey & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food – Special! 

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Adult maintenance dog food
  • Formulated for small breeds
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
  • Smaller kibble size

Wellness makes a variety of good dog foods. We especially like Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Turkey & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food for small dogs like Beagles. Deboned turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal are the first three ingredients, providing your dog with lots of meat protein. Grains come in the form of oatmeal, ground brown rice, and ground barley. These grains/cereals are complex carbohydrates and good sources of dietary fiber. They help provide energy for your little dog for hours instead of making his blood sugar spike right after eating.

The smaller kibble size in this food makes it easier for small dogs to eat.

Available in 4-lb and 12-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Save 30% on New Autoship Only valid on New Autoship orders for Wellness items. Must select Autoship at checkout for offer to automatically apply. Limit 5 per customer. Can be combined with First Autoship offer.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Formulated specifically for small breeds
  • Has chondroitin sulfate for healthy joints
  • No meat by-products or fillers

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance formula so it’s not suitable for puppies

The Farmer’s Dog – Discount!

Key Features:

  • Real food, made fresh
  • Uses human-grade meat and veggies
  • Made in USDA kitchens
  • Delivered to your door

Fresh food is becoming very popular for dogs and you might want to try it for your Beagle. The Farmer’s Dog has personalized, vet-designed plans that you can customize for your dog. Just create a profile for your dog and the meals will be pre-made and pre-portioned. This could be a good choice for a breed that likes to over-eat!

Just complete your dog’s profile and you can choose from the meal plans offered by The Farmer’s Dog on their site. Plans start at $2/day and include free shipping. You can find answers to many questions on the FAQ page https://www.thefarmersdog.com/faq.

Pros:

  • Discount! Get 20% OFF your first first purchase!
  • Uses human-grade meats and veggies
  • Made in USDA kitchens
  • Delivered to your door

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, you cannot see the meal plans and exact costs unless you fill out the profile/questionnaire for your dog.

Nutro Grain-Free Premium Loaf Slow Cooked Chicken, Potato, Carrot & Pea Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Canned/wet food
  • Adult maintenance dog food
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • GMO-free, grain-free

The Best Canned Food – Nutro has been making good kibbles for a long time but many people aren’t aware that they also make good canned dog foods. We can recommend Nutro Grain-Free Premium Loaf Slow-Cooked Chicken, Potato, Carrot & Pea Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food as a very good canned/wet food. This food contains no grains, GMOs, chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives! Real chicken is the first ingredient. The food also contains chicken liver – something most dogs love. The food is covered in chicken broth and pork broth to make it even more appealing to dogs. We think most dogs, including your Beagle, will love this food.

Suitable for adult dogs. Since Beagles are small, you could use a canned food like this as the basis of your dog’s diet. Or, feed a good kibble and use this Nutro canned food as a topper or mixer for your dog’s food.

Sold in 12.5 ounce cans in cases of 12.

Pros:

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No grains or GMOs; no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • No chicken by-product meal

Cons:

  • Not suitable for puppies

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food – Special!

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Puppy formula
  • Smaller kibble for puppies
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Formulated for small breeds

The Best Food for Puppies – Similar to Wellness Complete Health for adult dogs, Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for small breed puppies. It contains no corn, wheat, or soy. Deboned turkey and chicken meal are the first two ingredients. It also includes salmon meal which provides a natural source of DHA. DHA is important for a puppy’s brain and eye development.

This food also contains guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus to support your Beagle puppy’s bone and muscle development while he grows. Probiotics, prebiotics, and chicory root aid your puppy’s digestion. Plus, this food contains guaranteed levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support your puppy’s skin and coat health.

This small breed puppy formula also has a smaller kibble size so it’s easier for puppies to eat.

Available in 4-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Save 30% on New Autoship Only valid on New Autoship orders for Wellness items. Must select Autoship at checkout for offer to automatically apply. Limit 5 per customer. Can be combined with First Autoship offer.
  • Contains no meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Includes DHA for good brain and eye development
  • Contains guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus for good bones and teeth
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Small kibble size is easier for puppies to eat
  • Formulated for small breed puppies

Cons:

  • Not suitable for large breed puppies

6 More Top Rated Dog Food For Beagles

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry Kibble
  • Adult maintenance dog food
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Affordable and very popular, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food has deboned chicken and chicken meal as the first ingredients. This food contains no corn, wheat, or soy. Grains come in the form of brown rice, barley, and oatmeal which provide energy and are good sources of dietary fiber.

Blue Buffalo adds glucosamine for joint and mobility support. Chelated minerals help your dog’s body absorb minerals more easily. And, this formula contains no chicken or poultry by-product meals.

Available in 3-lb, 6-lb, 15-lb, 24-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No chicken or poultry by-product meals
  • Includes glucosamine for joint and mobility support
  • Chicken is the first ingredient

Cons:

  • Does not contain peas in the first five ingredients but lists pea starch, peas, pea protein, and pea fiber lower down in the ingredients, if this is a concern for you

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Uses a single animal source of protein (fish)
  • Limited carbohydrate sources
  • Adult maintenance formula

The Best Food with Limited Ingredients – For a Beagle with a food sensitivity or food allergy, you might think about feeding a limited ingredient diet. A LID diet typically has one kind of protein and one kind of carbohydrate. Natural Balance makes quite a few LID diets. One limited ingredient diet that we like is Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Salmon and fish meal supply the animal protein; while sweet potatoes make up the  carbohydrate.

This Natural Balance recipe is grain-free and contains no corn, wheat, or soy. It also does not contain any artificial colors or flavors. Many dogs respond well to this kind of diet.

If your Beagle can’t eat fish or some of the ingredients in this food, check out some of the other Natural Balance formulas.

Available in 4.5-lb, 13-lb, and 26-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Single animal protein (fish)
  • Limited carbohydrates (sweet potatoes)
  • Grain-free with no artificial colors or flavors
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance food so it’s not suitable for puppies
  • Many limited ingredient diets, including this one, have lower protein percentages and lower fat percentages. If this is a problem for your dog, talk to your veterinarian before starting one of these foods.

Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Puppy formula
  • Formulated especially for small breed puppies

Looking for a top rate puppy food for your little Beagle puppy? We’re happy to recommend Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food. With a strong record of nutritional research and veterinary nutritionists on staff to develop their foods, Eukanuba makes some very good puppy formulas. The ingredients may look humble but the results are super.

This small breed puppy formula has optimal levels of calcium and phosphorus, DHA for brain and eye development, and optimized fats and carbs to help your puppy grow up strong. Natural fiber and prebiotics aid your puppy’s digestion.

Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, and 40-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Specifically formulated for small breed puppies
  • DHA for brain and eye development
  • Natural fiber and prebiotics for better digestion
  • Chicken is the first ingredient

Cons:

  • Contains corn and wheat so some people won’t like the ingredients but Eukanuba has been making good puppy foods for decades

VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Adult maintenance formula
  • Formulated for senior dogs
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Gluten-free

Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is an adult maintenance formula that’s made for senior dogs. It’s also considered a weight control dog food because it has slightly less fat than many regular dog foods. However, unlike many senior/weight control dog foods, this food will not put your senior dog on a starvation diet. It contains 360 calories per cup. Your senior Beagle might consider that amount to be abuse but that’s a perfectly normal amount for most adult dogs. A senior dog won’t get fat eating this food. If he’s overweight, he might lose a little weight – as long as you don’t overfeed him.

This is a gluten-free food with no corn, wheat, or soy. It has a good amount of protein; and 78 percent of the protein in the food comes from meat sources such as beef, chicken, fish, and pork. This food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support your old dog’s joints and mobility.

Available in a 5-lb, 15-lb,, and 40-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Beef meal is the first ingredient
  • Made for senior dogs
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance dog food so it is not intended for puppies

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Special! 

Key Features:

  • Dry Kibble
  • Adult Maintenance formula
  • No corn or wheat
  • Grain-free, gluten-free

Another very popular and affordable dog food is Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This formula is high in protein and features real buffalo as the first ingredient. It also contains lamb meal and chicken meal. Fatty acids help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Antioxidants help your Beagle’s immune system stay strong. Taste of the Wild also includes a proprietary strain of probiotics to improve your dog’s digestion.

As with other TOTW formulas, this food is grain-free and gluten-free. And it doesn’t contain any corn or wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Available in 5-lb, 14-lb, and 28-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Buy 1 Get Treat FREE with New Autoship Must add this item and Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey Recipe Dog Training Treats, 4-oz and select Autoship at checkout for offer to automatically apply. Only valid on New Autoship orders for Taste of the Wild items. Limit 1 per customer. Offer subject to change and valid while supplies last.
  • Real buffalo is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free and gluten-free with no corn or wheat
  • Contains no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance formula and should not be fed to puppies
  • High in protein but some of it is plant-based

VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Pea-Free
  • No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • High in protein
  • All Life Stages

Are you concerned about peas in your Beagle’s dog food? Looking for a food that is pea-free? One food you might consider is Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food. This formula is high in protein and fat (30/20 all life stages) but it contains no peas, corn, wheat, or soy. It’s a good choice for any active dog such as a performance dog, a pregnant mother, or a growing puppy. If you hunt with your Beagle, this would be an excellent dog food since it provides plenty of calories for a day in the field.

The first ingredient is beef meal. Other meat proteins include pork meal, chicken meal, and menhaden fish meal. Eighty-eight percent of the protein in the food comes from animal sources. Carbs include grain sorghum and whole grain millet.

Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, 40-lb, and 50-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Pea-free
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • High in animal protein
  • All life stages
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • This food is high in calories so it’s recommended for active Beagles

Our 2020 Beagle Feeding Guide

Beagle Puppies – Beagle puppies are absolutely adorable. They’re playful and full of energy. We recommend a good puppy food formulated for small breeds for your Beagle puppy. These foods have more calories per ounce than other puppy foods so your Beagle puppy will have all of the energy he needs. Small breed puppy foods also have the nutrients that small breeds need so your puppy will be at optimum health.

If you bring your puppy home between 8 and 12 weeks, he will probably need about four meals per day. You can continue to feed your puppy four meals per day until he is four months old. Between four and six months, you can feed your puppy three meals per day. From six months to 12 months you can transition to feeding your Beagle puppy two meals per day. We recommend feeding two meals per day as an adult dog. Exact feeding times are up to you but puppies and dogs will do better if you feed them at regular times each day. This will also help your puppy have a regular time when he can expect to relieve himself outside.

Between 9 and 12 months of age you can start to consider feeding your puppy an adult dog food. Small dogs such as Beagles will reach physical maturity earlier than larger breeds. At this age your puppy will probably already have most of his adult size.

Puppy growth charts can show you what to expect for your puppy’s growth  (Belpatt, 2017). These are only estimates. Your puppy could weigh a little more or a little less. For Beagles, you can expect the following weights for a male puppy:

  • At 3 Months: between 9.6 and 10.3 lbs
  • At 6 Months: between 17.3 lbs and 18.7 lbs
  • At 12 Months: between 22.1 and 24 lbs

Using these weights your puppy would need the following calories:

  • 0-3 Months: Total Daily Calories between 634 and 668
  • 3-6 Months: Total Daily Calories between 657 and 697
  • At 12 Months: Total Daily Calories between 711 and 756

All puppies experience the biggest growth spurt during the first several months of life. Their brain, organs, bones, and muscles are all growing rapidly at this time. After this initial growth, things start to slow down. Your puppy continues to grow fast during the first year but gradually the growth slows as he approaches his first birthday. By this time he’s ready to eat an adult dog food.

Beagle Adults – By the time your Beagle puppy is 10-12 months old, he won’t need as many calories as he did when he was a small puppy. Most of his growth will be finished. You can choose an adult food at this time. An adult dog food, even one made for small dogs, will have nutrients that are slightly different than a puppy food has. It won’t have as many calories either. (Purina, 2020)

It’s up to you what kind of food you choose for your Beagle. Adult dogs can eat a food that is “adult maintenance” or a food for “all life stages.” Both grain free and foods that include grain are suitable. Canned and kibble dog food are also both good choices for Beagles. Look for a food that you and your dog both like and that fits your budget.

Beagle Seniors – At this time there are no particular AAFCO requirements for senior dog foods. Some companies made senior dog foods that are also sold as weight control food. They can have less fat and fewer calories; and they may have lower protein. These foods could be a good choice if your older dog is overweight. However, they would not be recommended for an older dog that is thin.

Senior dogs can often begin to have some metabolic problems. They can start to have difficulty digesting food as efficiently as they did when they were younger. If your older dog has lost weight, you can look for a food that is easy to digest. Foods with more protein can also be recommended unless your older dog has a kidney or urinary tract problem. If your dog is losing weight, it’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian.

If your older dog is doing well on his current food, there is no real need to change his food. Many people continue to feed their dog the same food until there is a need to change the food.

FAQs

Should a Beagle eat dry or canned food? Beagles can eat both dry and canned dog food. It’s your choice which kind of food to feed your dog. Many dogs prefer canned food because it has a higher fat percentage so it’s tastier. Since Beagles are a small breed, feeding a diet of canned dog food should not be cost prohibitive. Or,  you can feed a dry food and add a little canned food for taste.

Should my Beagle eat a grain free diet? As long as your Beagle doesn’t have a food sensitivity or allergy to grains, there’s no real reason to feed a grain free food. It’s up to you whether you feed a grain free dog food or not. Grain free dog foods are not any healthier for dogs than foods which include grains. Recent research shows that dogs have adapted to be able to digest starches, which sets them apart from their wolf ancestors (LA Times, 2013, Nature, 2013). There are very good dog foods that include grains; and very good foods that are grain free.

Do Beagles have sensitive stomachs? We didn’t find any information to suggest that Beagles have stomachs that are more sensitive than other dogs. Of course, any dog can have a temporary stomach upset if he eats something rotten, gets in the trash, or steals food off the table. If your dog has an upset stomach for more than 24-48 hours, take him to see your veterinarian (PetMD, 2020).

Why does my Beagle fart so much? Farting is common for many dogs. If your dog seems to be farting a lot, it could indicate that he has a stomach or digestive problem. His food might contain more fiber than he needs or a lot of peas and legumes. A sudden change in dog food can sometimes make a dog gassy, too. If your dog’s gas really smells bad, it could be something more serious such as irritable bowel disease. If the problem doesn’t get better after a day or two, see your veterinarian.

Is a Beagle considered a small breed? Yes, Beagles are a small breed. Beagles come in two sizes – the 15 inch Beagles for dogs up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder; and the 13 inch Beagle for dogs that are 13 inches and under. The 13 inch Beagles weigh up to 20 pounds; while the 15 inch Beagles weigh up to 30 pounds (AKC, 2020). Unlike many small breeds, however, the Beagle is an active hunting dog for many owners, and not a Toy breed. Beagles are not recommended as apartment dogs because of their barking/baying. They also require quite a bit of daily exercise.

Conclusion

Many people love Beagles because of Snoopy, the world’s most famous Beagle. Like Snoopy, Beagles tend to have minds of their own. They are intelligent but not always easy to train. These little dogs are lovable and make good pets for homes with children. But watch out if a Beagle catches the scent of a rabbit or something else interesting! He is apt to follow a scent under a fence and over the next hill, and never listen to you calling him back. These are terrific little dogs but you do need to watch them! As far as feeding your Beagle, a good food for a small breed dog is a good choice. And watch the calories – Beagles can become quite porky if you let them.

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