Best Dog Food For Beagles: 5 Top Rated Dog Foods (2017)
What’s the best diet for a beagle? That’s a pretty tough question, especially since these guys will eat just about anything you set in front of them. So when you’re setting out to plan a diet for your little beagle bud, figuring out something that provides optimal nutrition and satisfies his bottomless pit of a belly can be kind of tough.
We consulted with several dog handling experts to figure out exactly what your beagle should be eating. We also grabbed ourselves a few samples and had our dog do some small taste tests (not that taste really matters that much for this breed). We put together a short guide of recommendations for some really great dog foods. Check it out!
Quick Picks: Top 5 Food Choices for Beagles
**Below, you'll find our expert's science-backed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Chewy.
Beagle Diet & Nutrition Needs
**Please note: these estimates are based on an average weight for this breed. Every dog is different. Please talk to your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.
The calorie estimates above are based on a 23-pound dog. For beagles, that’s about average. Guy beagles can weigh 22-25 pounds, and bitches can weigh 20-23 pounds. So, 23 pounds is on the high end of the weight range for the ladies of the breed, but it’s almost exactly average for the fellas.
At that weight, an average beagle—a dog typical dog that gets a long walk or two per day but doesn’t necessarily run around a lot—would need about 650 calories per day. A lower energy dog (e.g. an older dog or a dog who’s kind of low-energy) might need more like 520 calories per day.
On the other hand, if you have an active dog or a working dog. Or, especially with beagles, if it’s hunting season, and you take your dog with you—you’re looking at something like 1,000 calories per day (give or take).
Macronutrients & Good Dog Food Ingredients
Beagles can do pretty well in, say, an apartment environment, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have boatloads of energy. They do. They have tons of energy, and they’re perfectly at home running around, hunting, or working.
So, like all active dogs, they’re going to require a bit more protein. We typically recommend dog foods that contain at least 25% protein. For beagles, you generally want to go a bit higher. The best dog foods for beagles will usually have at least 30% protein, and plenty of beagle enthusiasts recommend even higher—as much as 40% or 50% protein.
Beagles are one of those breeds that finds it easy to put on the pounds. Because of this, you generally want to stay away from simple carbohydrates. Instead, opt for a few sources of good, slow-burning carbohydrates in your beagle’s food, like sweet potatoes or brown rice.
Of course, like all dogs, it’s important to keep your beagle’s coat healthy and shiny. Any dog food you buy should have plenty of good fats. You should take special care to include good sources of omega fatty acids—like fish and flaxseed.
Lastly, because beagles are prone to a few health problems (listed below), try to include these ingredients in their diet:
- Vitamin E (for skin and coat)
- Iron from fish, liver or beef (for anemia)
- Vitamin B9 from stuff like pumpkin, eggs and carrots (also for anemia)
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Beagle Health Problems & How Good Food Helps
Your trusty beagle is at risk for a few health problems—mostly because of his genetic makeup. And, honestly, sometimes, you can’t do much about it. However, feed your dog a balanced diet geared to promote good general health in his problem areas certainly goes a long way to nipping them in the bud before they develop into something serious.
Here are some of the things you should be watching out for.
Hypothyroidism is a condition common to several different breeds. It causes your pup to have trouble producing T3 and T4 hormones. When that happens, they tend to gain weight really easily.
So if you’re a beagle owner, keep an out eye out for the tell-tale symptom: weight gain without any changes to diet or exercise.
To prevent (or ameliorate) hypothyroidism and related weight-gain, stay away from simple or low-quality carbohydrates. In particular, avoid corn in your dog’s food (which, unfortunately, is really common for some big brands).
Anemia is a condition of the blood. Specifically, it’s a condition in which your pup’s body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, which decreases his ability to get oxygen to all the parts of his body that need it. If untreated, it can make him lethargic and even lead to more serious problems.
To help avoid this, you want to make double-sure your beagle gets enough iron. Iron comes from lots of different places, but some of the best sources include fish, beef and animal liver.
SnapShot Reviews of Some of the Best Dog Food for Beagles
Dr. Harvey’s freeze-dried raw food is really cool stuff and very rich in lots of great ingredients. Nutritionally, there are few, if any, drawbacks.
We listed this first because, as we mentioned, beagles need lots of protein! This food gets roughly 40% of its total calories from protein, which is higher than the typical dry dog food.
And it comes from good sources, too: beef, whole egg and chicken. In other words, this is a meat-rich formula with plenty of good, wholesome sources of protein.
The carbs here come mostly from sweet potatoes, and you’ll be able to find a bunch of good veggies here as well, including carrots, green beans, zucchini, kelp and a few others.
Lastly (and in case you didn’t notice), this food contains eggs, carrots and beef, all of which are excellent sources of iron, which beagles need to help keep them from developing anemia.
Acana’s Meadowland formula is another good option, and it’s especially well-formulated for lower-energy
The protein content is 29%--so almost a third of the calories come from protein; it’s just not as much as some beagle owners recommend for active members of this breed. Still, it’s plenty for a less-active dog.
One of the other things we like is that this formula includes oats, which are a great source of B-vitamins, and those can help with some of the beagle’s nagging health problems.
Along those same lines, this dog food includes liver, egg and pumpkin, all of which contain B9 and can keep anemia at bay.
There are plenty of fruits and veggies here, too, including apples, squash, pears, cranberries, and a bunch other great ingredients.
Our dog got to taste this one, and she highly recommends it.
Beagles don’t have any particular problems with allergies (although all dogs are at risk to some extent).
However, eggs fit in really well in a beagle’s diet because they’ve got lots of B9, which (for the millionth time so far!) can help stave off anemia.
The main ingredients in this formula are chicken meal, turkey meal and whole eggs. Meat meals typically make for a higher protein content, since they’re basically meat concentrates and lose less water during process, and you can see that reflected here.
The protein content is 35%. That’s right in the sweet spot for beagles and passes by almost everyone’s standards.
There several other beagle-friendly ingredients here as well: liver, pumpkin and dried carrots (for all the same reasons discussed above).
The verdict? This is a great, well-balanced dry dog food. Highly recommended.
Horizon’s Legacy adult formula is a pretty good, protein-rich recipe with lots of good ingredients.
We’d recommend it for any dog—it’s a great food—it just isn’t as tailor-made for beagles as some of the others on this list.
This particular dog food contains about 33% protein, and most of that comes from chicken. Chicken is a great, raw ingredient, but it loses a lot of water during processing, which means the actual protein content is sometimes lower than list. Nothing to worry about, though.
Other ingredients we like include salmon meal, flaxseed and carrots.
There’s also plenty of good produce. Lastly, it passed our pup's taste tests with flying colors.
We’ll wrap up this guide with a dog food from Great Life.
This recipe contains no grain and no potatoes, making it a good choice for any beagles that do happen to have allergies.
About 30% of the calories come from protein. Of that, most comes from whole chicken and freeze-dried chicken, although it also includes chicken liver (another plus, since it has B9).
The nutritional profile of this formula is pretty well rounded, and there a lot of good, premium ingredients, such as chia seeds, kale spouts, papaya, and broccoli sprouts.
It’s got a slightly lower fat content than some other foods, so you may want to go with a food a bit more omega-rich if your dog has dry skin or dry fur.
Other than that, though, this is certainly worth a try.
**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.