The Beagle is a lively, sturdy little dog, known for its robustness and endurance. A tireless runner with generally good health, this dog breed is, nevertheless, not completely infallible. Find out about the Beagle’s lifespan and most common diseases below.

The Average Lifespan of a Beagle

The average life expectancy of a Beagle is between 12 and 15 years. Bear in mind that the average life expectancy of any dog breed is only an indication; several factors can affect it. If you use your Beagle for hunting, for example, it is more likely to get injured or be taken ill, due to its proximity to wild animals and other dogs. Beagles are pack hounds after all. Accidents must also be taken into account. Beagles can be stubborn and stop listening to you when they smell something interesting. Finally, your furry friend is not immune to disease. However, you can help prevent the onset of common diseases by taking a few simple precautions.

How Can I Increase My Beagle's Life Expectancy?

There are a few precautions you can take that will help you extend the life expectancy of your Beagle.

Choose a High-Quality Diet

The Beagle is a greedy little dog who will pounce on the smallest bite of food. They will take any and everything they can get their paws on! These little thieves will even steal from your plate. So, try not to encourage this behaviour. Don’t feed your Beagle scraps from the table, for example. Beagles are prone to weight gain and obesity, which can dramatically shorten their life expectancy.

Your dog's food plays a vital role in their health. Low-quality dog food will have a direct impact on your Beagle's health, and vice versa. Choose dog food rich in high-quality animal protein, not vegetable protein. Remember: your dog is a carnivore! Try to avoid buying supermarket dog food, as this tends to be very poor in quality and thus incapable of meeting your dog's nutritional needs. You can even opt for tailor-made dog food for your Beagle, specially designed to meet all their needs. Remember that your Beagle's diet will change over time: a puppy will not eat the same amount of food as an older dog, for example. The good health of your dog should be your main priority when considering their diet. If in doubt, always check with your vet!

Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure the good health of your pooch. Adhere to your dog's vaccination schedule and keep their antiparasitic treatments up to date to protect them against fleas and ticks. This is all the more important if you take your Beagle hunting with you. It's also essential to regularly deworm your furry friend because intestinal parasites can weaken their immune system. Finally, make sure to visit your vet every year for a little check-up, especially when your Beagle starts to get older.

Prioritise Dog Training

It may seem like dog training has very little to do with your Beagle’s health. But the two are surprisingly closely linked. Quite simply because, with proper dog training, you will be able to keep control of your pooch during walks, and thus avoid accidents. A dog who understands exactly what is expected of them and knows how to obey commands is much more capable of responding when they're called and stopping what they're doing when asked. By having control of your dog at all times, you can prevent accidents or stop them from running away. Beagles can be quite independent, especially if they smell prey. So, you need to know how to be firm with them. Overall, however, training a Beagle doesn’t usually prove too difficult.


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What Diseases are Common for Beagles?

Beagles generally enjoy pretty robust health but, like all dogs, they do get sick. While they may be spared from certain diseases that affect larger dog breeds, Beagles are still subject to other health issues:

  • Chondrodystrophy: Also known as canine dwarfism. This is a genetic disease, characterised by shortened limbs, the result of early changes in the structure of a dog’s growth plates. Symptoms appear when a puppy is around 3 to 4 weeks old. The disease can cause developmental delay, pain, deformation of the vertebrae, and sometimes paralysis. As such, it’s essential to know where your pup came from. Don't hesitate to ask your breeder lots of questions and to see the puppy’s parents if possible.

  • Eye Diseases: The Beagle is particularly affected by glaucoma, which is characterised by too much pressure inside the eye. The most severe cases lead to blindness.

  • Diabetes: Beagles are quite often affected by diabetes. Diabetes can be type 1 (genetic) or type 2 (acquired). Generally, Beagles are more affected by type 2. Type 2 diabetes is characterised by an inability to regulate the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and requires lifelong treatment. Without treatment, diabetes can be life-threatening.

  • Primary Epilepsy: Also known as Idiopathic Epilepsy (IE), this type of epilepsy is defined as recurrent seizures with no identifiable cause. Seizures manifest as a loss of consciousness and convulsions that can last for several minutes. This is a common health problem for Beagles. There is no cure for epilepsy, but treatment can be prescribed to help limit seizures and improve the animal's quality of life.

  • Hip Dysplasia: This joint disorder is more commonly associated with large dogs, but Beagles can be affected by it as well. Hip dysplasia involves abnormal formation of the hip socket, wherein the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind against each other, causing lameness and, in more severe cases, paralysis. Sometimes surgery is needed to correct this health problem.

  • Hypothyroidism: This is a fairly common endocrine disease involving a decrease in the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It is often associated with unexpected weight gain. Treatment is based on the injection of synthetic hormones.

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