Nutrition

Feeding the Beagle: What and When?

“How many times a day should I feed my puppy?” “Until when can I use the “puppy” croquettes?” “How many grams of food should I give to my beagle?” These are just some of the many questions that may come to mind when we think about your dog’s diet. Let’s dissolve some doubts.

Feeding the Beagle: Before you start…

First of all, in this post, I am referring to a dry industrial diet. That is, the famous “croquettes,” because they are by far the most common food for reasons of convenience, cost and nutritional balance.

It is often believed that industrial food would be harmful or of poor quality. Surely, there are inferior products that you should avoid buying, but there are also excellent solutions to feed your dog. Those products can make us save plenty of time and be confident of how much nutrients you are giving to your buddy.

Dogs were born as carnivores, and it is on this premise that we must base its entire diet. Naturally, they can eat other types of food, but everything has to start from there, the type and amount of the protein component.

Another note is that, as for a human being, the amount of food should be measured according to the dog’s lifestyle, avoiding to get into the traps of malnutrition (obesity, etc.).

In fact, it is obvious that by doing more exercise its daily intake of calories would be higher, and if it’s sedentary, the demand will be lower.

So the amount I am talking about refers to a beagle that is active daily and has his/her basic needs met regularly.

The general advice, however, can also be applied to other types of food, with a glance at the labels of food and always asking a vet’s opinion.

When? 
Let’s start with the puppy. A beagle is considered a “puppy” until it’s 12-15 months old.
Usually, a puppy receives three meals a day (morning, midday and evening): it isn’t just important to set a particular hour, it’s vital. Once the times of its meals are set, we must keep them the same daily, to let it grow with a stable, balanced routine toward its food.
From an age of 5 months onwards, you may switch from 3 to 2 daily meals, usually skipping the midday one.

It is appropriate to make this change happen gradually: when I say “increasingly” I mean in 3 or 4 days handing out slowly the amount of food of the midday’s meal in the remaining two meals (morning and evening).
It is better to feed him/her twice a day for the rest of his life, without eliminating another meal: by feeding him/her once a day the dog would remain hungry for too long.
Let’s also remember that it should be fed with food for puppies in the first 12 months of its life, and then you can change to adult food.

How had much food?

Regarding the quantity, it all depends on the nutritional properties of the food you chose for it. If you consider a complete and full balanced dry food (croquettes) you shall refer to the nutritional data reported on the label.

There are several types of dry food. A range of age divides almost all of them. “Puppy” or “Adult” are just two examples. The first one should be given in the first year of age of your dog followed by the second one. There are other categories for dogs with eating disorders or old dogs.

Let’s have a look at the label in the picture and let’s also say that our beagle is eight months and a half old and its weight is 12.2 Kg.

You must choose the quantity reported in the column 8-12 months crossing the row 11-15 Kg. So we may give between 270 and 340 grams of food split into two daily meals.

You may test its shape. When the dog is standing on its four legs, stand behind it looking down at him/her and focus on where the ribs end (its waist).

– If the dog is gaunt and the bones can easily be spotted, they certainly need more food.

– If the dog is a bit thinner than the chest but you can’t see the ribs, they are in shape.

– If the dog is the same diameter of the chest or even wider, they are overweight.

Making this test regularly, you can measure out the right amount of food to give. This is important, always keeping in mind the table we just explained always to have a beagle fed to perfection!

 

 

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