The floppy ears and interesting vocalizations are the reason why we fall in love with beagles. They are adorable puppies, and lately, very popular.
One question new and prospective owners ask is how long do beagles live. After all, nobody wants to say goodbye to their dog after just a few years.
Beagles are a breed of small hound that is similar to much larger foxhound in terms of appearance. Being a scent hound, beagles were developed primarily for hunting hare. Their superior sense of smell and tracking instinct make beagles great detection dogs.
Beagles have existed for more than 2,500 years. However, the modern breed you see nowadays was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s, like a mix between breeds like Talbot Hound, North Country Beagle, Harrier, and Southern Hound.
A healthy beagle can live anywhere between 10 and 15 years. On average, they live up to 13 years, but there are no guarantees.
There are so many factors determining how long do beagles live. We will go over those factors, specific beagle health issues, and how to help your dog live longer.
Life-Limiting Beagle Health Conditions
Health problems are a concern for both humans and dogs. When we talk about life expectancy, we have to consider health issues that can appear.
Those can be acute, something that happens once like an accident or an infection, and genetic, which are specific to the beagles.
Generally speaking, beagles suffer from epilepsy, cherry eye, glaucoma, and other general dog problems. But they also have some specific health issues that are more common among beagles. Here are those.
Beagle Pain Syndrome
Nowadays, this syndrome is known as Steroid Responsive Meningitis, or SRM. However, there was a point, especially during the 1980s, when this syndrome was referred to as Beagle Pain Syndrome. The reason is simple, it was first associated with the beagle species.
SRM starts with puppies around the age of 4 to 10 months. There is no exact cause. Some vets believe there is a genetic component that makes beagles more susceptible to the disease.
The disease causes the immune system to attack blood vessels that feed the lining around the brain, which results in swelling. If caught in time, the disease is treatable with steroids.
Chinese Beagle Syndrome
Another disease that is specific to beagles is the Chinese Beagle Syndrome, or also known as Musladin Lueke Syndrome (MLS). Characterized with short and upright front toes, your beagle will walk like a ballerina.
Other symptoms include tighter skin and look more muscular. Flathead, slanted eyes, and ear folds are easily recognizable symptoms.
This syndrome can easily be diagnosed within the first month. There is no cure, and it gets progressively worse when your Beagle turns 1 year. Vets believe it is inherited through a recessive gene.
Obesity is a concern for all dogs, not just beagles. However, we must mention that it haunts beagles more. Simple reason, beagles will eat just about anything. Beagles are known for being always hungry and looking for tasty treats.
Same as humans, obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, and joint issues.
You have to be careful with your beagle to prevent obesity. That means regular exercise, wise and timed routine for treats, watching for any unguarded and unattended food leftovers, and more.
Because of their long and floppy ears, beagles are more susceptible to ear infections. Air can easily get trapped inside of the ear, and along with moisture and debris, provide a breeding ground for parasites.
Constant head shaking is a symptom you need to pay attention to. There will also be some bad odor coming from the ears of your dog. Treatment at the vet can easily alleviate the infection.
This is a beagle genetic disorder, causing poor development of cartilage. In beagles, the disorder manifests as a dog having short legs. The intervertebral discs in your dog’s spines also prematurely degenerate.
It is important that you know the health of the parents before getting a beagle. The symptoms do not manifest when the dog is born. It may take up to one year to notice the symptoms.
Dwarfism later develops and causes intervertebral disc disease, which can be fatal to your dog’s health. Symptoms of IVDD include back pain, stiffness in the back, neck pain, impaired urination, reluctance to rise, dragging of one leg, and lack of coordination.
Some beagles can live a relatively normal life even with dwarfism and IVDD. Others, however, live a shorter life in pain and arthritis.
How do beagles compare to other breeds?
When you talk about how long do beagles live, the life expectancy of the breed is fairly typical and normal compared to other dogs.
Being a medium-size breed, beagles reach something in between large and small dog breeds. Large dog breeds, in general, live shorter, up to 10 years. Small dog breeds have the longest life expectancy, up to 15 and 18 years.
Taking all breeds into consideration, the lifespan of a beagle is typical for dogs in general.
Vaccination and prevention
Vaccination is the most proactive thing you can do to make sure your beagle lives a long and healthy life. Beagles need vaccination against deadly diseases early in life, and then every year. Vaccination against Parvovirus and distemper is a must.
Also, you want to protect your beagle against rabies, fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Take your dog to the vet on a regular basis for a checkup.
Other measures you can take to help your beagle reach full life expectancy are the following:
- Feed your dog a well-balanced and healthy diet
- Offer snacks that are packed with antioxidants, including fruits like blueberries and raspberries
- Dogs can eat fruits and vegetables, but be sure to check which of them are healthy
- Keep your dog on a leash in environments where traffic is high to prevent trauma and accidents
- Protect your dog from 2nd hand smoke, dogs can inhale harmful chemicals just as humans
- Have your dog spray or neutered to prevent ovarian cancer in females, and testicular cancer in males
- Maintain a healthy weight, and provide your dog with proper exercise
- Remember, beagles are naturally energetic, and they are programmed to be on the move. Do not keep them indoors all of the time, as they can develop obesity and anxiety
Milestones in beagle’s life
Just so you know what to expect as your beagle is growing up, here are some milestones your beagle will hit.
Birth to one-year-old
This is the time of rapid growth for all puppies, beagles included. Called the puppy year, your baby requires a lot of care, vitamins, minerals, and healthy food to ensure proper growth.
Calcium is a must during this period so that your beagle can develop healthy bones that will support its muscular body. Expect the round appearance to turn into a slimmer and sleek look.
One to seven years
For beagles, the adolescent and adult period lasts until they are seven years old. This is the change from teenager to adult. Remember, it is not always the same. This period can vary from one dog to another.
Some 1-year-old beagles still display puppy-like tendencies. But generally speaking, during the teenage to adult transformation, beagles develop their hormones, and they start showing signs of being an adult.
In males, that can mean signs of domination and aggression towards other male dogs.
Eight years and beyond
Once your beagle turns eight years, you can classify him as a senior. However, a veterinarian check is required to determine whether your dog is a senior or not.
No beagle goes past the 9-year mark without being classified as a senior. Once your beagle is a senior, you have to be even more careful. They have less energy for moving and walking, and they can quickly become obese. Pay attention to snacks and food.