Known for being intelligent, friendly, energetic, and low-maintenance dogs, beagles are great family pets that enjoy exploring the world around them. So how much exercise do beagles need?
The general rule is that beagles need five minutes of exercise per month of age. Consequently, while beagle puppies require minimal exercise but lots of attention/affection, adult beagles need two and a half hours of exercise, usually split across two exercise routines.
Although the general rule of two and a half hours of exercise a day for a beagle is recommended, various factors affect the amount of exercise a beagle should have. The type of exercise they do depends on their age, health, and development:
Why Is It Important To Give Your Beagle Exercise?
Although it is essential for dogs of all breeds to get ample exercise, different dog breeds require different types of exercise to appeal to their nature, energy levels, and physical characteristics.
Originally bred as hunting dogs, beagles are very energetic and intelligent dogs that enjoy running, being in different environments, socializing, playing games, swimming, and being allowed to experience different smells.
Fortunately, while the idea of a hunting dog may conjure up images of aggressive dogs that are only suitable for wide-open spaces, beagles are very friendly, adaptive dogs that are easy to train.
Therefore, beagles are excellent dogs for first-time owners, whether in a rural or urban environment (although beagles appreciate variety when going on walks/adventures!)
Furthermore, beagles can be prone to certain conditions if not exercised enough or if they are over-exercised/not exercised correctly:
- Back, spine, and neck injuries,
- Cruciate ligament disease,
- Rapid weight gain/overeating.
Although injuries and ligament disease may be out of an owner’s control, beagle owners have a significant role in avoiding overeating and weight gain from beagles. Namely, beagles that are happy and stimulated are less likely to overeat and enjoy their exercise routines.
Let’s explore exercise routines for each stage of a beagle’s life in greater detail below:
How Much Exercise Does A Beagle Puppy Need?
Most beagles only reach full maturity and adulthood at approximately 18 months; therefore, beagle owners should focus on socializing, training, and engaging with their beagle puppy subject to some essential exercise advice.
Before three months, beagle puppies should have limited exercise and should be stimulated with basic games, dog toys, and social interactions with other animals/people. Doing so is to build a relationship with your dog, feed their curiosity, and introduce them to a daily routine.
For example, studies have shown that puppies younger than three months that consistently use stairs are prone to joint issues like hip dyspepsia later in life. However, by six months, most beagle puppies reach physical maturity where regular exercise is vital.
Beagle puppies between 6 and 12 months should be exercised to promote the development of their core muscles without putting undue strain on their development/over-exercising them.
While there are some basic signs of over-exercising, such as panting, lying down, or whining, there are some “encouraging signs” that should be discouraged for the risk of overtraining and injury.
For example, because beagle puppies do not have fused growth plates until they are a year old, excessive jumping and rough play should be discouraged, leading to development issues later in life.
Once a beagle is a year old, it should be given regular exercise of approximately five minutes of walking/running per month of age. Therefore, a year-old beagle should have a minimum of an hour of exercise a day.
Because this is quite a lot of exercise, owners are advised to divide the hour over two sessions, such as a 30-minute morning walk and a 30-minute evening walk. Splitting exercise routines means that beagles can also enjoy exercising at different times of the day, bringing other sights and smells with them!
These routines are highly recommended to include a variety that speaks to a beagle’s intelligence, curiosity, and joint development. Therefore, different exercises like swimming and scent work are encouraged.
How Much Exercise Does An Adult Beagle Need?
At 18 months of age, most beagles would have reached adulthood, meaning they need to be exercised two and a half hours a day.
Young adult beagles are also known for being very confident and curious dogs; thus, owners must ensure their homes/gardens are secure; their beagle is well trained and comfortable on a leash. Failure to do so could result in a beagle that wanders or gets lost!
Furthermore, because beagles are pack animals trained initially for hunting, it is vital that they have space to roam when you’re not home, toys to keep them entertained, and you start introducing more advanced exercises/activities such as playing Frisbee or tracking.
Failure to do so means beagles may become anxious and depressed, which can lead to health problems and overeating in the absence of a healthy stimulus. While overeating may require specialized dog food, the core requirement of having a happy and stimulated beagle is vital to healthy living and eating.
How Much Exercise Does An Elderly Beagle Need?
Although it can be challenging to determine when a beagle is considered “elderly,” they typically have a lifespan between 12 and 15 years of age. Because of their longevity, it is crucial to take your beagle for yearly checkups and to closely monitor their health as they get older.
The reason is that beagles will maintain their energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm, meaning that older beagles need to be stimulated in different ways from younger beagles, as this can lead to over-exercising in their old age.
Therefore, older beagles should have increased exposure to sights, smells, and gentle games during their two-hour daily exercises, rather than excessive running or rough play.
Furthermore, older beagles may be subject to lumps, bumps, and skin conditions that could be aggravated by sweat and excessive heat. Thus you should opt to exercise your beagle in cooler temperatures, have plenty of water breaks, and do not exert them when they display signs of tiredness.
In conclusion, although beagles do require a lot of exercise, they are flexible, friendly, and intelligent jobs that enjoy engaging in a host of activities and exercise routines!