How Long Do Beagles Live? | 3 Top Factors to Consider
How long do beagles live? Typically, a purebred beagle will have a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years of age. As a beagle owner, there are several factors that you can keep a close eye to make sure you get as many years as possible out of your canine family member.
Small dogs tend to have a longer life expectancy than large dogs – as small to medium-sized dogs this holds true for beagles as well. On average beagles live longer than many other breeds, but its important to provide them proper care and be on the look out for health conditions.
Fun Fact: The oldest beagle lived to 28 years of age. His name was Butch, he lived in the United States. Butch was born in 1975 and died in 2003 – using simple math, that’s a whopping 196 years old in human years!!!
Average Lifespan of Other Popular Breeds
How Long Do Beagles Live?
Top 3 Factors to Consider to Help Life Expectancy
High-Quality Diet For Your Beagle
From puppy through adulthood its very important to feed your beagle high-quality food with minimal fillers and low-quality ingredients. Beagles require a high-protein diet to support their active lifestyles. Look for dog foods that are approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Pick a dog food that lists chicken, fish or whole meats as one of the first ingredients. Vegetables, fruits, and rice are also nice additions that add fiber and additional vitamins. A healthy diet of high-quality food will be packed with the necessary ingredients and leave out the waste. This will result in lower consumption and smaller stools. For proper nutrition, avoid ingredients such as meat by-products, corn and wheat.
Consistently feeding your beagle a high-quality diet will go a long way towards preventing health issues and helping them live their best and longest life!
Exercise and Physical Activity For Your Beagle
Beagles require moderate to high levels of exercise and physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and good health. It’s no mystery that beagles love to eat, so becoming overweight is a very real threat to many beagles.
Providing your beagle with at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day is a good start. There are many ways to get your beagle in motion – walking, swimming, agility training, scent work, or throwing a ball all count and are easy to accomplish.
Your beagle’s age will also dictate how much exercise they should get. Puppies seem to have unlimited energy but don’t overdue it since their bones and skeletal system are still developing, while senior beagles just want to sleep all day. Whatever life stage your beagle is in, don’t fall into the trap of inactivity. Senior beagles may benefit the most from a quick walk around the block – remember “motion is lotion” for the joints!
Pedigree and Genetics of Your Beagle
Just like their human counterparts, family history and genetics play a significant role in the long term health of your beagle. Often times it’s hard to identify health problems from previous generations. However, if you purchased your beagle from a reputable breeder you can get a pretty good idea of your pups lineage. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, both before picking out your pup and after he or she is already home.
If you purchased your dog from a pet store or adopted it from a shelter there’s still a chance that family history can be uncovered. At the same time, not knowing the good or bad of a pedigree is pretty nice too!
Health Conditions to Watch for in Beagles
There are several health issues to keep an eye out for with your beagle, some of which will impact your beagle’s life expectancy and some of which are a function of quality of life – regardless, your beagle’s overall health is what’s most important.
Heart Disease – Beagles can inherit a heart condition known as pulmonic stenosis. This disease causes a partial obstruction of blood flow in the heart. In severe cases of the condition, symptoms will show up in the form of fainting or heavy fatigue after running or playing. Your pup may also have difficulty breathing, have cough attacks, or grow to be smaller in size than expected. Veterinarians can test for this disease if its suspected with surgery as an option when symptoms are severe.
Cancer – Cancer is the leading cause of death in old dogs, and beagles are particularly prone to a cancer called Lymphoma. Pets that aren’t spayed or neutered will be at risk for ovarian cancer and testicular cancer.
Early detection is so critical. Be on the look out lumps and bump. Your veterinarian can perform a simple blood test to screen for cancers as well. Regular exercise and healthy diet are important to keep your beagle’s weight under control – canine obesity is a risk factor for some types of cancers.
Tooth Decay – Dental disease and decay is the most common problem in pets, affecting approximately 80% by the age of 2 years. Beagles are more prone to tooth decay and gum issues than other dogs, unfortunately.
Dental disease is progressive, starting with tarter buildup and progressing to infection of the gums and the roots of the teeth. Without proper care this can then lead to damage of the liver, heart, kidneys and joint problems. Dental disease left untreated can decrease your beagle’s lifespan by 1 to 3 years.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – This is a common back condition in beagles. IVDD occurs when the jelly like cushion between the vertebrae slips or ruptures, causing the disc to put pressure on the spinal cord. It is important to call your veterinarian immediately if you notice your beagle in severe pain, has a hunched back, unwilling to jump, unable to go up stairs or refuses to eat.
Rest and medication may help fix the condition, but in more severe cases surgery could be required to remove the ruptured disc or discs. As with other medical issues, weight control will help to prevent this problem.
Viral and Bacterial Infections – Like most dogs, beagles are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as ear infections, rabies, distemper and parvovirus. Vaccinations are readily available for these infections and should be a part of your pet’s routine veterinary care.
Cherry Eye – This condition is more common in beagle puppies and young beagles. Cherry eye occurs when the gland within a beagle’s third eyelid becomes infected, sore or swollen. It appears as a reddish mass in the corner of the eye, it can appear suddenly and affect one of both eyes at the same time. Cherry eye in beagles can be treated with an ointment first, but often times will require surgery if it gets worse or is recurring.
Quick Tips to Keep your Beagle Safe and Happy
High-Quality Diet – Dog owners know that feeding your pets can become expensive. Buying lower quality food is cheaper initially, but the effects of a poor diet can often be seen in poor health later in life and increased vet bills.
Life Cycle of a Beagle
Beagle puppies typically weigh between 4 and 7 pounds at birth. The American Kennel Club recommends that newborn beagles stay with their mother until they reach 8 weeks of age. Mother beagle is able to provide the correct nutrition and antibodies to give the very young beagle puppy a solid foundation for life.
Like most breeds, beagle puppies are cute, playful and rambunctious. It is important to puppy-proof your house prior to bringing the pup home. This will beneficial to both your beagle’s health and your own sanity!
Beagle puppies are highly entertaining and fun to play with, but remember that the puppy stage is the best time to instill good habits and teach proper behavior. Training and obedience classes are highly encouraged at this stage. These classes offer a great opportunity to learn from a professional dog trainer, while also providing your young dog very important social interaction time.
We take a deep dive into Beagle Growth Stages in another article – be sure to check it out for a lot of great information on your beagle’s development!
Beagles can be considered fully grown by 1.5 – 2 years of age. At this point your beagle won’t get taller or longer, but will most likely “bulk up” a little bit. By this time your beagle should be off of puppy food and eating a standard adult style of dog food. Although very active still, adult beagles don’t need the higher calorie puppy diet.
Putting on weight as an adult beagle after 1.5 – 2 years of age is normal and is a combination of both additional muscle and fat reserves. Beagles are notorious for being good eaters, so make sure to control your beagle’s diet and give them plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy body weight as they age and their metabolism slows down.
Your beagle is considered to be senior starting between the ages of 8 – 10 years. During this time of their lives you may notice a change in hearing, struggles with house training, change in eating habits, stiffness after laying down, increased hours of sleepiness, and quicker weight gain or loss.
Senior beagles still have several years of high-quality life remaining. This stage of life is as important as ever to keep up with veterinary appointments and vaccines. The aging immune system of senior dogs will be less able to fight off infections and disease. Preventative measures for heart worm, viruses, ticks and parasites are always very important to the health of your beagle; however, this is especially true during your beagle’s golden years.
The Beagle lifespan averages 12-15 years of age. There are several factors that can contribute to reducing or increasing a beagle’s life expectancy – diet, exercise, and genetics are the main ones.
Beagle owners want as much time as possible with their beloved, sweet, pets. It’s important to establish routines for exercise, nutrition and veterinary care to improve the life and longevity of your beagle.
Heck, these routines will probably even benefit the owner’s physical and mental health! So get out there and take your beagle for a walk – A quality harness for your beagle will make walking way more fun too!