Show me a person that can keep from feeling all mushy when looking into the eyes of a Beagle, and I’ll show you a human with no heart! The Beagle has won over the hearts and minds of not only hunters, but of families with children also. This stout hunting dog will love nothing better then laying on the couch with its owner. Something they love even more, is using those sad eyes to beg for tidbits of table scraps. Unfortunately, this can be the downfall to an otherwise healthy breed of dog.
The Beagle breeds number one health problem is not to be susceptible to cancer or hip dysplasia, but to be obese! Beagles love their chow, any time, anywhere and as often as they can get it. If they loved to exercise as much as they love to eat, there probably wouldn’t be much of a problem, but alas, the Beagle is known as a couch potato that doesn’t necessarily love to exercise.
One problem with exercising a Beagle is that they must be kept on a leash at all times. Their noses, which have the ability to sniff and hunt rabbits, are known to get many lost. They get a whiff of an interesting smell, and poof, they’re gone, not always able to use that great nose to find their way back home. Too many Beagles that have been let loose to run, have also run straight onto a busy road. Although Beagles need exercise, it has to be some sort that is supervised.
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One other health issue that a Beagle may encounter is problems with their ears. Because they have heavy, droopy ears, they have to be kept dry. Most Beagles don’t care all that much for water, ( swimming means exercising!), but if by chance you have a dog that likes to play in the water, it’s important to dry their ears well on the inside, with a soft towel or wash cloth. If water is left in the ears it can cause ear infections.
The Beagle is known to be a healthy breed, much more so then some of the other types of sporting dogs. The average life span for a spayed or neutered beagle is about thirteen years. Beagles that are kept inside the house may even live a bit longer. Probably the biggest problem for Beagle breed owners, is learning to say no when their sad-eyed friend begs for extra food. Low calorie dog treats are available, and may help curb the appetite while not adding extra, unneeded pounds.