When watching a Beagle scarf down their meal as if it’s the first time they have seen food in ages, one could easily think that there is something wrong with them. Are they getting enough food? Do they have worms? Why on earth are Beagles always so hungry?
Beagles cannot regulate their own appetite. Their digestion process only begins when the food hits their stomach, so it takes longer for them to feel full and stop eating. Beagles have been bred as hunting dogs, so they are opportunistic feeders. They will always jump at any opportunity to eat.
Beagles are highly prone to overeating and becoming overweight. It is vital to control the amount of food they get and to feed them at specific meal times. Free feeding does not work for Beagles! In this article, we explain the root causes of Beagles’ obsession with food and how to manage their appetites.
Why Do Beagles Act Like They Are Starving?
One thing that all Beagles have in common is their insatiable hunger. Beagles will eat as much food as they can find and then some. They have almost no ability to regulate their own appetite. But what is the reason for this?
Beagles’ digestive systems work differently from many other dog breeds. For humans and many dog breeds, the process of digestion begins in the mouth. Enzymes in the saliva start breaking down food as it is chewed.
This helps speed along the digestion process, and consequently, the feeling of being satiated sets in a short while after the appropriate amount of food has been consumed.
For Beagles, digestion does not begin in their mouth. Their bodies only start breaking down food once it enters their stomach. Because of how much time it takes for the food to move through the esophagus and get to the stomach, it takes much longer for Beagles to feel full.
Experts theorize that it can take as long as three days for a Beagle to feel satiated from a meal. It’s no wonder that these dogs behave as if they are perpetually hungry!
Beagles Have The Appetite Of A Hunting Dog
A Beagle’s voracious appetite is a by-product of what this breed of dog has been bred for. Beagles are hunting dogs. A characteristic of a good hunting dog is a constant craving for food because if they are always hungry, they are always focused on tracking down food.
Because Beagles have been bred to hunt in packs, it has made them opportunistic eaters. The competition for food between dogs in a large pack causes them to eat very fast, and it means they will feed on whatever they can get their paws on.
Beagles are always in hunting mode, even if they have never hunted down an animal in their lives! Beagles have very strong hunting instincts in their genes.
Beagles Will Eat Themselves To Death
Because of their never-ending appetites, Beagles are prone to overeating, especially when their access to food and their portion sizes are not controlled.
Beagles are one of a handful of dog breeds that will quite literally eat themselves to death because they just do not have the ability to regulate their appetite.
If Beagles overeat consistently and do not get enough regular exercise, they will start to suffer from obesity. This causes secondary health problems, like joint issues and heart disease, that can significantly shorten their lifespan.
To prevent a Beagle from becoming obese, owners must carefully control their portion sizes and feed them at set meal times. Free feeding is simply not an option for Beagles. It is also critical to exercise Beagles regularly.
Low-Quality Dog Food Can Cause Perpetual Hunger
It is important to feed a Beagle (or any dog, for that matter) a high-quality diet. Cheap, low-quality dog food contains lots of filler ingredients, like corn bran, oatmeal, corn gluten, brewer’s rice, and potato by-product.
These things have little to no nutritional value for dogs. As obligate carnivores, their digestive systems are adapted to a diet of protein, not carbs.
So, you may be feeding your Beagle the right amount of food, but because their bodies cannot absorb the nutrients they need from low-quality food, they will remain hungry.
Always opt for the most expensive, highest quality food that your budget can afford. The label should contain the words “complete and balanced”, and the dog food must contain at least 18% crude protein.
Medical Reasons Why Beagles May Be Hungry All The Time
Sometimes the reason that a Beagle is hungry all the time is that they have internal parasites, like worms. These parasites take up all the nutrients a dog eats, leaving them malnourished and hungry.
If your hungry Beagle is losing weight, despite feeding them in the correct quantities, their coat is looking scraggly, and they are shedding a lot, they may need to be dewormed.
It is good practice to deworm a dog on a regular basis. It is cheap and easy to do and will keep your Beagle healthy (albeit a little hungry).
How To Feed Beagles
Owners of Beagles should calculate the portion of food their dog needs based on age and size and weigh out individual portions. Feeding small portions multiple times per day is better than large portions once or twice a day.
Beagles should be fed at set meal times. They should not have access to food 24/7. Treats should be restricted to 10% of their daily calorie intake.
To slow down how quickly they eat their food, you can feed Beagles in a slow-feeding container. These discourage them from scarfing down their meal and then vomiting it up. A slow-feeding bowl also engages their brain because it is like a puzzle for a dog.
Beagles behave like they are hungry all the time because of the way their digestive systems work. They do not have the same ability as other dog breeds to regulate their appetite. As hunting dogs, it is in Beagles’ genes to constantly be on the lookout for food.