Beagle BreedThis natural pack dog likes to spend lots of time with their family and doesn’t enjoy being alone. The beautiful Beagle is a popular family pet and companion. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), they consistently rank in America’s top 10 most popular dog breeds. They are also considered one of the best hunting dogs in the world, with an incredibly skilled nose. They are super merry and howl too, which is a comical trait that some neighbors might not agree with. There are two sizes of Beagle, one measuring 13 to 15 inches tall from paw to shoulder and the other measuring 13 inches and under. The taller Beagle usually weighs between 20 and 30 pounds, and the other under 20 pounds. When it comes to lifespan, they are both expected to live between 10 and 15 years. Some irresponsible breeders market their pups as pocket Beagles, which are smaller variants than the two sizes above. They are usually the runt of the litter or suffer from dwarfism. Sadly, their crooked legs and shortened necks, among other health problems, mean living shorter lives. Please avoid these breeders.
How Long Do Beagles Live?The average lifespan of a Beagle is between 10 and 15 years. This is a relatively healthy lifespan for a dog breed, which can be essential for families searching for a canine companion. However, all dogs are different, some Beagles might not reach ten years, and others live well beyond this. The longest-living Beagle was a pooch named Butch, and he lived for a whopping 27 years in Virginia. He held the Guinness Book of World Records’ oldest dog title for a while, although he doesn’t anymore. Little is known about Butch, but he likely lived a healthy and active lifestyle and enjoyed good genes, among other factors we are about to explore.
Health Factors That Impact Beagle Health
All dog breeds are predisposed to certain health conditions that run in their bloodline, including Beagles.
Cardiac ConcernsThe Beagle is predisposed to several heart conditions, commonly pulmonic stenosis. It is a heart valve disease that occurs when the pulmonary gland narrows, constricting blood flow to the lungs. Symptoms include exercise intolerance, unusual coughing, collapsing, and heart arrhythmias. There is no cure, but daily medication, such as beta-blockers, can effectively manage it. Some Beagles with mild pulmonic stenosis might not experience any issues and live an average lifespan.
Eye ConditionsLike many dog breeds, Beagles are prone to several conditions that affect their eyes and vision. The most common are cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and glaucoma. Some also experience something called cherry eye, which is a prolapse of the inner eyelid. Depending on the condition, eye problems don’t usually affect a dog’s lifespan. However, it can heighten their chance of accidents, which could result in severe injury or death. Find a breeder who can provide you with an OFA or CERF certificate, which means an ophthalmologist screens their dogs.
Hip DysplasiaHip dysplasia is the abnormal formation of the hip socket. It can result in an uneven gait, painful movement, reduced mobility, and eventually cause arthritis and lameness. If you notice any of these problems, please speak to your vet. Hip dysplasia can be a painful condition that can affect your dog’s quality of life, cause stress, and reduce their lifespan.
HypothyroidismHypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive, leading to a slower metabolism that affects most organs in the body. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, weight gain, cold intolerance, high cholesterol, slow heart rate, and a dry and dull coat. Beagles with hypothyroidism can be treated with a daily dose of replacement hormones. However, it is incurable and tends to shorten a dog’s lifespan, especially if left undiagnosed for some time.
Luxating PatellaLuxating patella is usually found in smaller dog breeds, characterized by a kneecap that moves out of its normal position. Depending on the severity, it can be treated with physical therapy, medication, and sometimes surgery. With the proper treatment luxating patella doesn’t usually affect a Beagle’s lifespan.
Musladin-Lueke SyndromeMusladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS) is also referred to as ballerina Beagle syndrome. It is an autosomal-recessive connective tissue disorder where the skin, bones, muscles, and organs develop abnormally. Signs might include small size, thick and taut skin, reduced mobility, tip-toe gait, broadened skull, and slanted eyes. MLS can shorten their lifespan dramatically. Responsible breeders should obtain an MLS DNA test for their dogs and not breed those affected by it.
ObesityObesity can affect dogs if they do not eat a high-quality diet in moderation combined with an active lifestyle. But some breeds are more prone to being obese, including the Beagle. The Beagle is always on the hunt for their next snack, and other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, increase their chances of being overweight even more. Being overweight and obese can lead to secondary health problems, which can lower their life expectancy.
Other Factors That Impact Beagle Lifespan
Here are some factors that can affect your Beagle’s lifespan.
Care & LifestyleThe lifestyle that your Beagle leads can considerably impact their life expectancy. These hounds need at least one hour of daily exercise, although they could happily go for longer. However, Beagles are also renowned for their love of afternoon naps and idleness in the home, but they need to live an active lifestyle to stay healthy. This keeps their cardiac system healthy and their mind stimulated, contributing to a healthy life expectancy. Beagles also need a happy and safe environment to live in, and this can reduce their stress considerably. This includes providing them with proper training to build their confidence as a pup. Beagles are also social canines and need a lot of interaction with their humans and other animals. They are also inquisitive creatures, and this curiosity can lead them to injury, so you must be a safety-conscious and responsible dog owner.
GeneticsYour Beagle’s genetics is one of the most influential factors in their life expectancy; unfortunately, it is something you cannot control. But working with a responsible breeder who screens their dogs before breeding them maximizes your chances of having a healthy puppy. Talk to your breeder about the health concerns listed above and ask for a copy of the relevant health certificates. Many irresponsible breeders are only interested in one thing, and that’s making as much money out of dog lovers as possible. They do this by breeding dogs without medical care, which means sick dogs usually produce sick puppies. It’s crucial to research your breeder thoroughly. An excellent place to start your search for a breeder is on the AKC’s Beagle breeder page.
Health & VaccinationsKeeping your Beagle up to date with their health checks and vaccinations is essential. It is one of the easiest ways to protect your pup against infections and diseases. Regular vet visits for health checks are also vital for your dog’s life expectancy. They can help you to identify health problems early and improve the chances of successful treatment if required.
NutritionNutrition is a critical factor in your Beagle’s health and life expectancy. It is essential to feed them a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet that meets the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. Their diet must also be age-appropriate, especially during puppyhood when their body is developing. Puppy food provides them with everything they need to grow as they should. Only feed your Beagle what they need according to the instructions. Although you might be tempted to shower them with treats, please don’t. Beagles are prone to obesity and other weight-related health problems, which can reduce their life span considerably. Whether you pick kibble, wet, raw, or fresh diets like The Farmer’s Dog, only feed them what they need. Keep everything else out of paws’ reach.
Spay & NeuterSpaying and neutering your Beagle is vital for their health, and it has benefits beyond breeding control and can increase their life expectancy. The University of Georgia found that spaying and neutering can improve the canine life expectancy of males by 14% and females by 26%. They also found that not neutering or spaying your dog can shorten their lifespan by around two years. This is an important procedure to consider unless you want to breed your Beagle.
How To Help Your Beagle Live A Long Life
Here are some things dog owners can do to enhance their dog’s health and potentially improve their life expectancy.
- Work With A Responsible Breeder. This is one of the first and most important steps to ensure that the puppy you purchase is as healthy as possible. Research them thoroughly. You cannot guarantee a healthy puppy, but you can be sure that responsible breeders do everything possible to produce healthy pups. Sure, they are usually more expensive to work with, but you are less likely to face costly medical bills in the future.
- Visit The Vet Regularly. Ensuring your Beagle is vaccinated and has regular health checks is necessary to fight disease and infection. They also help to identify health problems early on. Frequent trips to the vet raise the likelihood of a long and healthy life.
- Spay Or Neuter At The Right Time. These procedures can improve your Beagle’s health and also decrease cancer development. However, correct timing is also vital to their health. Picking the right time varies between dog breeds, so speak to your vet about the best time to book your Beagle in.
- Physical Exercise Is Key. Your Beagle is a hunting breed and should lead an active lifestyle. It’s necessary to keep your Beagle active no matter how much they would love to laze around and eat all day. Exercise prevents obesity and other weight-related problems and is the key to overall health.
- Mental Stimulation Is Important. Mental stimulation is as essential as physical exercise to keep your Beagle healthy and happy. They become bored and stressed without stimulation, resulting in destructive and problematic behaviors. Provide your Beagle with puzzle toys, chews, interactive challenges, and playtime with the family.
- Feed Them A High-Quality Diet. Feeding your Beagle a high-quality diet is vital to meeting their body’s nutritional needs. And it can prevent weight gain too. Look for a diet that meets AAFCO guidelines and contains high-quality meat protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Dental Health Is Crucial. Your Beagle’s dental health plays a surprisingly considerable role in their health, which many pet parents aren’t aware of. Brush their teeth several times a week from an early age so that they get used to it.
- Think About Safety. Your Beagle is likely to be curious, and their nose often leads them into trouble. And their safety is your responsibility. Keep human food, toxic foodstuffs, broken dog toys, and other dangerous objects or environments out of their way.
- Proper Training. Ensure your Beagle receives socialization and adequate training from an early age. A good start in life increases the likelihood of a happier and healthier pup.
- Lots Of Love And Affection. Last but certainly not least is providing your Beagle with the love and affection they deserve. This keeps them happy and healthy and can extend their lifespan significantly.