Why Does My Beagle Eat so Much?
Many Beagle owners have already experienced their dog rushing through his meal as if he had an important appointment to attend.
You might ask yourself whether your canine has parasites or is suffering from a disease.
Although most of the time, there's no need to worry in this regard, the question remains:
Why do beagles eat so much? Beagles are scavengers and thus usually had to eat fast in the wild for them to be sure to get the nutrients themselves, instead of other animals. Also, their digestion starts very late compared to other dogs, which reinforces the behavior.
However, eating fast and a lot can lead to serious health problems next to obesity.
In this article, I will show you how to properly deal with your Beagle's never-ending hunger.
Reasons For Your Beagle to Eat Much
In order to be able to properly prevent your canine from overeating, you have first to understand why he's behaving the way he does.
This is particularly important to foresee and discourage the possible development of serious illnesses.
There are several categories of potential causes for your Beagle to stuff his belly with everything edible he sees, which we will uncover in the following.
A Beagle's digestive system works much slower than that of other dog breeds.
Furthermore, unlike that of humans, the saliva of dogs has no significant enzymatic activity.
This fact delays the actual digestion of the food your dog just ate until it finally made it to the stomach.
The complete break down of a meal can take a Beagle up to three days.
This especially slow digestion makes your canine realize rather late that his stomach actually isn't that empty, which increases the risk of overeating and obesity.
The most alarming cause for your Beagle's gorging is potential health issues, which should always be ruled out first.
Please be sure to go through the following conditions and their symptoms thoroughly to gauge what your dog's problem could be.
If you find your dog to show any of the symptoms below, please visit a veterinarian for advice on further steps to take on fighting the problem.
Older and overweight dogs are prone to this disease.
However, just because your Beagle is young and of normal weight, you should not rule out the possibility of him suffering from diabetes.
This medical condition can show in weight loss and increased appetite.
Other symptoms to keep an eye out for are excessive thirst, general weakness, and frequent peeing.
Additional, but less likely signs for diabetes are UTIs (urinary tract infections), fruity-smelling breath, chronic skin infections, and recurrent vomiting.
This condition is caused by an overproduction of cortisol and is usually present in canines of the ages 10 to 14, but can also show in much younger dogs. It develops slowly and is often not noticed in its early stages.
Because of the susceptibility of Beagles for this disease, owners should be particularly aware of the Cushing's Disease.
The typical symptoms are "laziness" (reduced activity), a potbellied appearance, increased urination, appetite, and thirst, excessive panting, loss of hair, fragile skin, and skin infections.
If your Beagle is suffering from a malabsorption condition, either his ability to properly digest food or absorb the given nutrients is negatively impacted.
Such conditions mainly occur within the small intestines.
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) are the most common diseases.
The symptoms usually include diarrhea, flatulence, weight loss, and vomiting.
Another explanation for your Beagle's seemingly never-ending hunger could lie in his behavior.
While some for this dog breed typical demeanors can hardly be changed, other, inadvertent trained behaviors can be reversed with enough patience and consistency.
Being a good pack leader also means being able to properly control your dog.
If you're wondering how to do that, read on and try applying the knowledge.
Sometimes owners accidentally reward behavior that is not desired.
It could be the cute eyes your Beagle makes when he watches you eat in order to possibly get some of your food or even generally act as if he was starving although he recently ate.
For a habit to be obtained which leads to easy food it generally takes only a few experiences made.
This is especially tricky because every person in the household has to be aware of the possible inadvertent positive reinforcement.
If you have a kid that gave your canine food just once or twice outside of his mealtimes, he will quickly remember as this is an easy way of getting food.
Be sure to inform everyone in the household and even your guests about not giving in to those cute puppy dog eyes.
Don't let your dog trick you into thinking you have not given him enough food when you see him inhaling his meal within the blink of an eye.
If you add even more food to his bowl, he will simply also eat that instantaneously and in the worst case, you will make him learn that eating his food fast leads to you giving him even more.
Beagles are smart and fast-learning, so don't let him train you - it should be the other way round!
Beagles are scavengers and their slow digestive system allows them to not feel saturated after they have eaten.
This is why they will never skip an opportunity for a possible meal, especially when it's easily obtainable.
Always keep his food and other edibles closed-off and out of reach of your dog, so his clever mind doesn't get the idea of snacking while you're not looking.
It is advantageous to teach your Beagle basic commands such as sit or the recall to strengthen your position as the owner and pack leader.
This makes it also more likely that you can keep control of your dog even if you're outside walking him and there are potential meal opportunities given.
On top of that, it's best to feed your Beagle scheduled, small meals several times a day instead of fewer, large ones.
This makes him less susceptible to suddenly rushing over to a picnic and making you as the owner look bad.
Refrain from giving your dog any additional treats when there's no valid reason such as reinforcing positive behavior.
This is an important habit to acquire in order to keep your Beagle in healthy shape and stop him from begging or showing other undesirable behaviors.
In case you want to slow down your Beagle's gorging, there are useful bowls - the slow-feeders or anti-gulp bowls - that make your dog use his brain in order to be able to eat his food.
This will allow for the digestive tract to have more time until your canine is done eating.
Low-Quality Dog Food
This issue is similar to malabsorption, but instead, the culprit lies within the dog's food.
Sometimes, owners simply forget to check the label when thinking they're buying food of good quality.
But a high price isn't always an indicator of quality.
Sadly, very often the food contains so-called "bulking agents".
These help the manufacturer produce cost-effective food, while these fillers don't have any actual nutritional value.
This makes the owner think the Beagle's needs are fully met because he is eating a good amount of food, although the bulking agents and other inferior ingredients reduce the sustenance by a whole lot, depending on the brand.
Keep in mind that the potentially heftier price tags of high-quality dog food will lower the costs of veterinarian consultations in the long run.
A note for beginners: wet food typically contains more meat and fewer carbohydrates than its dry counterpart.
This alone makes canned food superior to kibble.
But there's more to be mindful about when choosing the right food for your Beagle.
Owners should also be on the lookout for foods that contain corn gluten and other vegetable-based proteins.
The manufacturers often emphasize the fact that there were vegetables used in the processing, but such proteins can actually lead to obesity in dogs and decrease muscle mass.
Checking the label for meats such as lamb, chicken, and others is important for your canine's health.
But meat doesn't always equal meat.
If it has a "with" before the meat ingredient, the actual percentile of the meat inside the foodstuff can go as low as 4%.
Such foods often use more plant proteins for compensation.
Independent veterinarians generally state that up to 90% of a dog's protein intake should have its origin in animal sources.
These are often praised as being healthy and necessary in dog foods because they make a good source of carbohydrates and fiber.
Of course, this can be true, but manufacturers often use way too much of cereals in their dog foods.
Sometimes it even goes up to 80% cereal, but also way lower amounts are already unnecessary.
In such cases, it's clear that these ingredients are simply used as bulking agents and therefore act as an alternative to ingredients of higher quality.
Redundant sugars can cause diarrhea in your Beagle as this is the most efficient way of getting rid of these unhealthy ingredients.
They will be listed as wheat or rice gluten meal, corn, sugar beet pulp, or corn syrup.
These kinds of sugar slow the break down of toxic waste in your canine's metabolism and therefore make the liver and kidneys having to work over a longer period of time what results in fewer regeneration phases.
Furthermore, the sweet taste of the added sugars brings the potential of making your dog addicted to a specific brand of dog food, making your dog less accepting of other food.
BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin are all dangerous chemicals that have no place in food.
They can cause liver damage, fetal abnormalities, metabolic stress, and even cancer in your Beagle.
On top of that, they can provoke irritations of the skin and eye, and unnatural changes of the thyroid, kidneys, and liver.
Never feed your Beagle foods that contain any of these.
Vitamin E and C are often used as preservatives.
While this might not sound too bad, they have a very short shelf life and they are also sensitive to light and heat.
Preservatives that have gone bad turn the dog food unhealthy.
Bright colors in foods remind us of vegetables and other healthy edibles.
But Beagles don't care about colors in their food, only about the taste.
Keep an eye out for bright red and yellow colors, as these are probably containing cancer-causing colorants such as Omega Red or Sunset Yellow.
As a Beagle owner, you probably have already wondered how your beloved companion is capable of eating so much.
This never-ending appetite is mainly caused by the slow digestion of this breed.
It can take them up to three days to fully digest a meal.
Nevertheless, you mustn't rule out any possible medical conditions if your dog shows any kind of symptoms and visit a vet as soon as possible.
Another reason for your canine to not stop eating could lie within an inadvertently reinforced behavior.
If you or someone else has ever given food to your dog after he's been making those cute puppy eyes, you probably already have conditioned him unintentionally.
On top of that, Beagles will never miss out on opportunities to snack if there are any.
This is why it's important to keep anything edible closed-off and out of range of your dog and teach him some basic commands to strengthen your position as the pack leader.
To prevent possible picnic raids of your dog, try feeding him several times a day, but smaller portions, to keep him saturated over the course of a day.
Furthermore, your Beagle's gorging could be the result of poorly-made food choices which results in your dog lacking nutrients.
Try to keep your dog's diet rich in animal protein - this can be up to 90% of the protein intake of your furry friend.
Also, keep an eye out for inferior filler agents that compensate for ingredients of higher quality and preservatives which could cause serious health issues such as cancer in your Beagle.