Your beagle is a loyal and loving dog. They’re also prone to health problems, which makes them even more valuable as companionship. Here are some things you should know about your puppy’s health so that you can take good care of it and its needs ahead of time. If you’ve had experience with this, the chances are that you already know how important it is to take care of your dog when it comes to its general well-being. While for some dogs, it may not be an issue at all, for others, getting the necessary nutrients and keeping them hydrated is difficult and expensive. In any case, caring for your dog requires effort and attention on your part but does not have to be overly complicated or difficult.
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Why a Beagle?
The Beagle is a small hardy hound dog with a sweet, gentle, and loving disposition. Beagles are always happy to see their human friends. They greet you with the same exuberance regardless of whether you’ve been gone for days or simply out to the mailbox. It’s heart rendering to see these loving pets get sick, but they do. It’s important that owners understand the symptoms of their common illnesses and how to respond to them.
Beagle Health Issues
Most beagles, when properly fed and cared for will live out their expected 12 to 15 years in good health, but, as with all living creatures, they are susceptible to disease, parasites, and accidents that can threaten their health and longevity. One disease, recognized and experienced by humans, is epilepsy. The symptoms of seizures are easy to recognize, but specific diagnosis is difficult because the symptoms are normally gone when the dog is with the veterinarian. Treatment usually consists of the life-long administration of Phenobarbital, an anticonvulsant. Unless the seizures are very long or frequent, your dog’s brain should not be affected.
Hypothyroidism is another disease to which beagles are prone. It is not life threatening, but can affect weight and behavior. Treatment consists of life-long treatment with a synthesized thyroid hormone. The beagle’s long floppy ears are the culprit regarding ear infections. The floppy ears cover the inner ear so efficiently that moisture becomes trapped and infections develop. Once an infection is resident, an antibiotic treatment is necessary. Prevention is a matter of regular grooming during which the ear canals are wipe dry with a clean cotton swab.
Eye problems (Glaucoma)
Beagles are prone to glaucoma, which acts much as it does in humans causing eventual blindness if not treated. The current treatment involves the administration of anti-glaucoma drugs to reduce inner eye pressure. When drug treatment is ineffective, several surgical techniques are available. Older beagles that are sedentary or overweight can develop hip dysplasia and heart trouble. This can be prevented by providing adequate exercise opportunities. good eating habits, and controlled snack practices.
Some beagles are born with a condition called Pulmonic Stenosis, which is an abnormal stricture of the pulmonary artery. This condition can lead to severe high blood pressure. Treatment involves corrective surgery to reshape the valve. This reshaping can be done in some cases by balloon valvuloplasty, but is not as effective as the surgical approach.
As the beagle ages it becomes more prone to the discomforts of polyarthritis, in which the dog’s own immune system attacks the joints. Cortisone treatment helps to relieve the symptoms. Various cancers become more common in old age, as with all dogs. Standard treatments reflect those used in humans, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Funny Puppy, the name undoubtedly coming from observing a dog’s uncoordinated behavior, causes the beagle to develop weakness in the legs and a crooked back. This condition appears to be unique to beagles. The afflicted animals are normally healthy but do seem prone to frequent illnesses.
Being active field dogs, beagles are always bringing home parasites and exhibiting small cuts and sprains. Most of these problems can be taken care of at home by the owner. Tapeworm, however, would be best treated by a veterinarian.
One final affliction, that is not really an illness, is worth a mention. It’s called reverse sneezing. When the dog experiences this. it sounds like it is choking or gasping for breath. It apparently does no harm to the dog, but it certainly does scare the daylights out of the owner until he gets used to the sound.
Tips On How To Care For Your Beagle to Prevent most Beagle Health Issues
Have a diet and exercise plan in place
A good diet for a healthy dog is one that includes plenty of fresh, healthy ingredients. While a highly processed dog food may provide some nutrients, it’s not a balanced diet and won’t provide the same amount of calories as a balanced meal would. A balanced diet should include a variety of whole and processed foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, fish and other watery foods, lean meats, and whole grains. Your dog’s diet should also include a healthy amount of exercise. Exercise is critical for proper and healthy canine nutrition. It helps to build muscle and burn calories, helping to prevent the loss of weight that can come with aging. Exercise should be a priority for both you and your dog, and something you look forward to doing.
Make eating a priority
You should never miss meals with your dog. They’re meant to be eaten regularly, and you should make an effort to get them on a daily or weekly schedule. If you have to put your dog down for a meal, try to make sure you’re giving it the best food possible. You should also make an effort to keep your dog’s appetite at all times. If you see your dog reaching for food, grab a piece for your dog as well. This will help to ensure that your dog is always happy and full.
Help your beagle hydrate
Your dog needs to drink water, both during its day and during exercise. Try to get it from a source that is easy for your dog to access. A drink bowl placed in a dog’s bed or a crate where your dog can drink while you sleep make ideal hydration sources. Some dogs may urinate in their water dish even when it’s not needed. This is known as bad hydration and should be combated with special training. If your dog is drinking too much water and you’re not sure why, try to provide them with the necessary incentives such as giving them a bone or offering a treat when they drink.
Provide a soft surface for your beagle to lay on
Hard surfaces such as concrete, tile, and Formica are not good for your dog’s skin. These materials contain chemicals and pollutants that can cause your dog’s skin to become sensitive. A soft surface such as a downy warm blanket is moreEnvironmentally friendly and provides your dog with the necessary comfort that it crave. If you’re using a blanket that has a ‘fleece’ part to it, make sure that it isn’t too warm (i.e., it’s not too hot) for your dog. You should also be careful when choosing a blanket. Some pillows are made of synthetic fabrics that are harmful to your dog’s skin. Similarly, cuddly toys made of polyester, vinyl, or other similar materials can cause skin irritation.
Make taking care of your dog an enjoyable activity for you too
Caring for your beagle will require you to spend time in the garden, the park, the beach, or the snow. While you should make an effort to get your dog involved in these kinds of activities, you should also make sure that it isn’t too much for it. You should also make an effort to socialize your dog. This will help to bond with your dog and keep it happy and healthy. Socializing your dog also provides it with the necessary exercise that it needs to stay happy and healthy.
Avoid overfeeding your beagle.
Overfeeding a dog is one of the most common mistakes new pet owners make. overfeeding your dog can lead to unwanted and complex health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and liver and pancreatic diseases. Overfeeding is when you give your pet too much food. While it’s normal for dogs to eat a certain number of meals per day, overfeeding can cause a variety of health problems. Over the long term, overeating can cause your dog’s digestive system to become inefficient, which can lead to regular stomach (gastroenterology) visits, constipation, and potentially an eating disorder.
These illness and diseases mentioned above are common ones seen in beagles and other dogs. Once recognized, the illness should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure that your beagle enjoys a long and healthy life as your faithful companion.
Caring for your beagle is not only important before your new friend but throughout its lifetime. Be it its puppies or adult dog, getting the necessary nutrients and keeping them hydrated are crucial for your pup’s health. When taking care of your puppy, you don’t have to be an expert. With a few adjustments in your part, caring for your puppy can be less stressful for both of you.