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Canine Nutrition

"The right amount of nutritious food is essential to every dog's health. Food provides the fuel to grow, maintain a healthy body, fight infection and reproduce. Plenty of fresh water is equally important.

"The right food contains balanced proportions of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. High-quality dog foods offered by reputable companies can meet these needs. The correct proportion of each key ingredient and the amount to be fed depends on the individual. Is the dog young or old? Thin or fat? Active or sedentary? Does the dog spend most of its time indoors or outdoors, in a hot climate or a cold one? Is the dog a working dog? A pregnant bitch? Each of these cases presents its own nutritional needs.

"Every dog in the household should have a separate food dish and access to fresh, clean water. The dishes and utensils used to prepare food should be kept clean at all times. For best results, a regular feeding schedule should be maintained.

"Puppies need more calories and essential nutrients than do adult dogs. Food quality is as important as quantity, especially just after weaning -- usually at four weeks old. Eggs, milk, meat and cottage cheese are appropriate puppy foods because they are palatable, digestible and contain plenty of high-quality protein. Foods with a very high fiber content are less desirable during the period of rapid growth. If a commercial dog food is offered, it should be formulated for puppies, or an adult food can be supplemented with the high-protein foods just mentioned.

"Most young puppies are fed two times a day, although some breeders prefer three times daily for the first month and two thereafter.

"Perfectly healthy dogs occasionally skip a meal or eat less than normal. Unless the dog is showing signs of illness or its appetite doesn't pick up again soon, there is no cause for alarm. Be careful to avoid overfeeding young dogs because it can lead to a variety of medical problems. A puppy should be weighed weekly, and the growth rate should be compared with published charts for that breed. An average growth rate is preferable to a maximum one. Exercise is also important at this time. Small breeds often approach maturity at seven to ten months, at which time their total nutrient requirements gradually decrease. Larger dogs mature at a slower pace.

"Always remember to provide fresh drinking water, even if your dog's food seems very wet. Between-meal snacks should be avoided, except for the occasional treats used as rewards for good behavior." We recommend Great Choice® Biscuits for Dogs. The proper size for Beagles is the Small/Medium size. They come in a multi-flavor variety and every Beagle we have ever owned loves them. You can save the most money by buying the large 8lb size bag and they will not spoil if kept dry. Another great treat for Beagles are cooked vegetables. Try giving your Beagle cooked carrots, green beans, or whatever and see if it likes them. Vegetables make great low-calorie treats and many Beagles love them. We also give our Beagles rawhide bones, dried pig's ears, and large beef bones as treats and to help growing pups with their teething process. DO NOT feed your Beagle table scraps or small bones such as chicken bones. Table scraps will make it impossible for you to monitor your dog's diet and chicken bones can often get caught in your hound's throat.

Here at Mojave Desert Beagles we have been feeding our Beagles Purina Brand® Dog Foods for over 30 years. We recommend Purina Puppy Chow or Purina Hi-Pro for all growing puppies up until they reach 6-12 months of age. We also recommend Puppy Chow or Hi-Pro for all pregnant and lactating female Beagles because of its higher protein content. The only deciding factor between feeding Puppy Chow or Hi-Pro is the cost since both contain about the same high level of protein for growing pups and pregnant/lactating bitches. We recommend Purina Dog Chow for all Beagles that have stopped growing in height which can be anywhere between 7-10 months of age.

Most Beagles should only eat about 1-1½ cups of dog food twice per day. A good test is to lightly squeeze your dog's skin between your fingers and thumb -- if you feel fat under the skin, slowly lower the amount you are feeding your dog, or increase the amount of exercise your dog is getting. We keep our Beagles fit and trim, at all times, with no excess weight. Remember, that dogs are a lot like people with different appetites, metabolic rates, activity levels, and nutritional needs. Feed each dog a premeasured amount of food, in its own dish, on a twice daily schedule and you will be amazed at how easy it is to keep your Beagle at that perfect (fit & trim) weight.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).