Beagle are renowned for being always hungry and ravenous with food, to the point that food bins and food storage have to be made beagle proof.
The reason lays with the fact that beagles have 220 million scent receptors against the mere 400 of a human, which make sure that the Beagle sees the world as a gigantic food basket, which combined with a non-existing sense of fullness, makes our lovely quadruped in a real food monster.
A standard beagle should weigh between 10 and 14.8 kg. How can you understand if your Beagle is overweight? Here are some simple steps:
Feel the rib cage: Can you feel all the ribs, or is there a fat deposit making it difficult to touch them?
- Has he got a defined waist?
- Is the proportion between the head and rest of the body, right?
- Is his/her belly bending down without a relatively flat belly?
- Is there a fat deposit on the base of the tail?
Similar to human's obesity brings a myriad of potential diseases from diabetes to much strain on bones and joints, and sugar can negatively affect teeth, shorting the life span of the Beagle significantly. (More on this here)
Our Beagle managed over a short summer period to nearly gain 2 kilograms reaching 16.1kg and here are some tips on how we managed to get him to his right weight, with some good advice from a veterinarian. (Disclaimer, we are not vets, and therefore always advise you to talk to a vet first, about the requirements of your pet).
The process we used was as follows:
Check up from a vet to understand the dog's requirements, where he advised us to radically stop and human food consumption, and he gave us some weight loose food brands that he reputed as being good. Our choice fell on Advance Weight Balance due to some other pet owner's success stories and the quality of ingredients. It is not the cheapest option, but we have been amazed by the results.
The diet was 165g of dry food per day divided into 3 meals, and oven-roasted dry beef muscle for treats.
Additionally, we made sure that no food was available and in reach of our Beagle and food was provided only on precise times, which we religiously kept.
We also started using a Kong to make sure the dog took longer to finish his meals and also sometimes did hide his food around the house for the same purpose. Beagles are a scent dog, and it is also an excellent way to keep his hunting instinct up.
For nearly all the period on which our Beagle was on a diet, we made sure that he would be highly active, providing at least one-hour walks and some fetch games. My husband and I are also very busy, and we used a neighbour's teenager son to cover when we were not available.
After 8 weeks our Beagle managed to go back to 14.9 kg, and we have now increased the food to 180g for weight maintenance, which he has kept now for nearly one year.
So, to sum it up:
- No treats during the day
- Rigorous food routine
- Right food, specific for weight loss as the main diet
- Lots of exercising
- Use of a Kong to delay food intake over time (and keep the dog occupied)
There are a plethora of recipes around in which you can home cook food for your dog and achieve similar results; nonetheless, our vet advised us against, and it would have been difficult for our circumstances to adhere to it. We, however, would have loved to have the time to do it!
Author Dina Dina.