All Things Dog

Helping Your Beagle Stay Trim

Beagles are well known as a breed that will eat anything put in front of them, whether they are hungry or not. And though they're big food fans, they don't always tend to be exercise fans. So it's not surprising that many Beagles are overweight.

Excess weight on your Beagle isn't just unattractive, it's unhealthy. Canine obesity can lead to a variety of health problems, including hip dysplasia, respiratory conditions, osteoarthritis, and heart trouble. That's why it's important to keep an eye on your Beagle's weight. If you're not sure if your pooch is packing extra pounds, use one of these simple methods to find out:

Feel his ribs: If you can feel your beagle's ribs and the spaces between them without an intervening layer of fat, your dog is probably at a good weight.

Look from above: If your beagle appears thinner at the waist, he's a good weight. If there isn't an "hourglass" shape to him, he may need to lose weight.

Tips for Battling Beagle Bulge

Change feeding habits. Switch your Beagle to a low-calorie or senior-formula food, and cut back on the amount you feed him at each meal. Divide his daily allotment of food into 2-3 meals. Avoid table scraps and make sure every member of the family is on board with the plan.

Change exercise habits. Increase your dog's daily walks by just a few minutes each day until he is getting ten additional minutes of exercise daily. When you fill his time with fun activities, he'll spend less time hanging around the food bowl.

Limit his treat intake. Treats shouldn't make up more than 10% of his daily calorie intake. Consider healthy, low-calories treats, such as carrots and frozen green beans. Many dogs love them.

Feed other pets separately. If you have more than one dog, feed them separately so your Beagle won't have access to that "second helping." If you have a cat, try elevating his food bowl so your Beagle won't be able to sneak a few gulps.

Finally, be sure to take your pooch to the veterinarian for a checkup and advice for your particular dog. He can give you guidelines on exercise appropriate for your Beagle's age and health, as well as specific advice on how much he should be eating. With a little extra care, you can ensure that your Beagle stays slim and healthy for years to come.

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