Feeding a beagle is a difficult topic because there are many factors to be considered.
On the other hand, dealing with it is very appealing because feeding your dog is the most important thing to take care of regarding the health (healthy foods) of the animal that you love the most. However, the sheer amount of information that is around may be confusing.
Which food is more suitable for its growth? Dry? Wet? Homemade?
Those are just some of the questions that haunt us when you can think about how to feed him/her.
Don’t worry, this is normal: you simply care about its health and want the best for it!
Here are some tips that can help us to choose the right food for it.
First step, talking to the veterinarian:
Professional suggestions are significant in this matter because food is the primary step to take care of your friend. That’s why it’s important to choose the right veterinarian. Only those with medical skills and who know in detail the situation of the individual dog (which is unique for every dog!) can help you choose the right food. Don’t be afraid of asking your vet too many questions.
Considering the age of the dog:
First of all, we must follow-up their needs, which vary according to age. A puppy needs more calories and an adequate balance of nutrients that would help its growth while an adult beagle needs a diet that sustains its proper maintenance.
Giving food to puppies to an adult (from usually around 1-year-old) for a long term can lead to harmful imbalances!
Choose what kind of food:
Dog food is divided into two categories: wet (canned) and dry (such as croquettes). The wet food is more palatable to dogs because it contains non-dehydrated meat and having a proportion of water of around 70% is less caloric. This kind of food is preferred by the owners of small dogs because they find it particularly convenient for their type of consumption. In medium-sized dogs, like the beagle, we need to maintain a proper oral hygiene, because wet food can promote dental problems. Dry food is by far the most common. Being dehydrated, with equal volume, has a greater caloric intake and is easier to transport in bulk. For medium to big and active dogs, the famous croquettes can be a safe, comfortable and reliable choice. There are many varieties of dry food to suit every taste and nutrition intake. Precisely for this reason, every beagle owner that wants to save time and headaches should opt for dry food. Also, this type of food has a positive effect on the dog’s teeth thanks to its abrasive action.
Read the label!
A broad reading of the name give us the chance to be able to make the right choice, your dog may be either a puppy or an adult. You would then know the right amount to give it, and you may avoid buying poor food.
Do not hesitate to try different brands and flavors. To avoid causing diarrhea or another food-related problem, alternate the food you give to him or her.
Without advertising some particular brand from the ingredients, you can get an idea of the quality of what we have in front of us.
The label lists the components starting with those in greater quantities, so the protein element (meat or fish) must be at the top.
The products of poor quality will report in rather vague names like “meat,” “meat meal,” “bone meal” or “derivatives,” which means they can contain meat derived from any part of any animal, without specifying.
The food of average quality will indicate, for example, the most used type of meat as chicken, lamb or beef and also the by-products will be shown in more detail. For “by-products” I mean any part of an animal that can be used.
The best brands will have a particular type of meat such as essential ingredient, leaving at the end or not using at all by-products.
Ingredients such as corn and soybeans are important and should be present in abundance while the skins of vegetables are usually present in foods of lower quality.
Knowing the proportions of protein, fat, fiber and water optimal for our dog (ask your vet!) is important! You can compare the tables of nutritional foods of different brands and choosing the one that suits your friend’s needs.
“Feeding a beagle” with homemade food?
You might do that as well, but you must be willing to devote so much time and patience to the preparation.
Sure, let’s face it: a dog can live very well with the food we may prepare; indeed, in some cases, it is healthier. It is uncomfortable. To achieve a well-balanced diet with the correct amount of nutrients is complicated! That’s why there’s the food industry: primarily for the convenience of owners. Also, I strongly recommend that you choose the high quality.
Although your neighbors may say that they have grown a very healthy dog with pasta and tomato sauce, remember that the beagle will be with us for a lifetime: the effects of unbalanced nutrition may affect it in the future.
Don’t transform your beagle into an obese dog that limps on the sidewalk!
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)