Beagle Life Expectancy: A Detailed Guide
Beagle life expectancy is something that can be altered by controllable variables. Not only that, but many leading causes of death are intrinsically avertible.
Fortunately, we do get a great deal of time with our beloved canine ones. A typical beagle life expectancy range is 12 to 15 years. I can personally attest that every beagle I have ever adopted has had a lifespan exceed that range.
Let’s discuss what factors can play a role in your beagle’s life expectancy.
As a smaller breed, Beagles have the propensities to live longer lives than their larger breed counterparts. This is quite contradictory to the general rule: Larger mammals, like whales, tend to live longer than smaller ones, like rodents. So the question remains: Why?
Cornelia Kraus, an evolutionary biologist, has alluded to the fact that larger dog breeds grow from puppies to adults in a wildly-accelerated fashion. This rapid transformation may create an environment where there is a greater likelihood of abnormal cell growth and/or death from cancer.
Remember when I mentioned about their typical life expectancy of 12 to 15 years? Well, compare that to the life expectancy of a large dog, such as a Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound, which can range from 6-10 years on average.
What Are The Leading Causes of Death In Beagles?
The Veterinary Medical Databases (VMDB) is one of the world’s largest veterinary medical data repositories that has been collecting data on animal diseases since 1964 from North American veterinary colleges.
Researchers from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a 20-year study observing the mortality in North American dogs from 1984 to 2004.
Their findings indicated that beagles (2 years and younger) most frequently succumbed to trauma, secondary infections, and congenital diseases.
Cancer (23.1% of the time) is the 1st frequent cause of death in beagles. Sadly, it’s much more frequent as you could probably imagine. It is the leading case of death for all but approximately 6% of the 192 breeds acknowledged by the AKC. Going on a tangent for a moment: since it’s also the 2nd leading cause of death in humans, that’s what encouraged me to be much more mindful of what myself and my loved ones are consuming. Oh and another thing: If you want to significantly lower the odds of your dog potentially getting lung cancer, be sure to avoid subjecting them to 2nd hand smoke. Just saying.
Trauma (16% of the time) is the 2nd most frequent cause of death in beagles. This leading of cause of death can most definitely be mitigated as this is just unfortunate. One beagle being struck by a car, for example, is one too many.
Neurological causes (13% of the time) are the 3rd most frequent cause of death in beagles. This encompasses diseases and disorders of the neurological system (which includes their brain and spinal cord). One of which is intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
What Are The Milestones In A Beagle’s Life?
Puppy To 1 Year Of Age: This is a phase that your beagle will experience unprecedented growth. Your beagle’s pudgier, more rounded appearance will be replaced by a slimmer, more streamlined look.
1-7 Years Of Age: Your baby is no longer a baby. They’ve now in their adolescent-to-adult phase.
8 Years+ Of Age: Guess what? If your beagle were human, they’d be eligible for social security. Now, this really doesn’t mean much. Your dog may very well be the epitome of health, and they may still even have the activity level of a puppy.
How it can change is if their activity has in fact tapered. Not that it’s an immediate switch of activity as soon as they hit their 8th birthday, it’ll be a slow progression. Because of this, you may have to progressively adjust how much food + treats you’re providing to your beagle. If not, you may end up with an overweight beagle. This leads us to…
Controllable Factors That Can Affect Beagle Life Expectancy
Since you’re reading this and doing your research, clearly you are a responsible pet parent. Even though death is eventually inevitable, there are plenty of things we can do to help ensure that our beagles remain active and healthy for as long as possible. They include:
Avoid Overfeeding + Stick With Healthier Foods.
Obesity leaves your beagle more susceptible to many health-related issues.
Are you someone who gives their beagle some table scraps? Occasionally is not an issue. When they eat the table food as frequently as you do, then you have a problem. I know — but they’re so cute. Of course, they are. But if you want to keep their cuteness around that much longer, you’ll heed my advice.
If you’re feeling very bold, and wish to make your beagle their own dog food and/or snacks, we wrote an article about that in greater detail here: Beagle Home Cooked Food: A Culinary Guide. The article will even show you where you can have home-cooked meals tailored specifically for your beagle, delivered to your home. How cool is that?
Spaying And Neutering
Did you know that ‘altered’ beagles have an increase in their lifespan by an average of 1 to 3 more years? This can keep reproductive types of cancers at bay; such as breast, uterine, prostate and testicular cancers; as it directly affects their long-term hormonal balances.
Crossbreeding vs Inbreeding
Crossbred beagles have a longer lifespan than dogs that are inbred. Crossbreed dogs are ones that have been intentionally bred with two or more recognized dog breeds. Inbred dogs are ones that are genetically similar to one another, such as a sibling or cousin.
Mixed Breeds vs Purebred Dogs
Mixed-breed beagles tend to have longer lifespans than their purebred counterparts.
Keep Those Teeth Pearly White
Your beagle’s mouth is the entryway to their digestive and respiratory tracts. Their mouths are teeming with bacteria — albeit most are harmless. However, without proper oral hygiene, the harmful bacteria levels can creep up leading to oral infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. To tell you how much of an issue it is: Nearly 80% of all dogs are believed to have periodontal disease by age 2. Providing your beagle plenty of water (which I’m sure you’re already doing), and brushing their teeth at least every other day will put them into that much better of a scenario. Just be sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush and only use toothpaste scientifically formulated for dogs. If you’ve already got toothpaste for your beagle? Awesome. If not, CooZero Dog Dental Care Kit is very well-rated on Amazon.
Move, Move, Move
Just like us, our beagles need their consistent exercise. However, every dog is different, and as such, you’ll be able to see what best accommodates your beagle.
Beagle puppies often get the “zoomies”. You know what I’m talking about. They start racing around the house like they’re doing laps at the Indy 500, and then quickly make an abrupt pit-stop on the couch. Only to probably start resuming a few seconds later.
Adult beagles are well known for their endurance. After all, they are a hunting breed.
Senior beagles may or may not be able to run as effectively as they used to. However, exercise is just as important, if not more so now.
A good guideline for time-frames are:
- Beagle puppies should walk 5 minutes for every month of your puppy’s life, up to twice a day.
- An adult beagle needs 60-90 minutes of exercise each day.
- Senior beagles need about 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, split up in 2 or more sessions.
If you’d like more details about beagle exercise, we’ve written a more in-depth article here: Beagle Exercise: From Trails To Treadmills
Make Your Beagle’s Life + Your Life Easier
Products that can enhance your beagle’s health are always welcome. Regardless if it is a new teething ring for your puppy, multivitamins that will enhance their overall health, or even an anti-anxiety jacket; we’ve created a list for you here.
Try your best to minimize situations where your beagle may get needlessly stressed. Are you having a party over at your house? Well, you may want to sequester them into a different room in a crate, to avoid being overstimulated.
Consistent Check-Ups With The Veterinarian
This one I can’t emphasis more. Being proactive regarding your beagle’s health, would likely afford you early detection of any illnesses that may crop up. Take your pup to their vet at least 2 times per year.
Supplements That May Strengthen Your Beagle’s Health
- Coconut Oil – Prevents integumentary (skin) related issues, possibly aids in mitigating the chance of diabetes. Virgin coconut oil can be applied to skin rashes.
- Fish Oil – Excellent for cardiac health, immunity support, inflammation reduction or prevention, and a shiny, lustrous coat.
- Glucosamine & Chondroitin – These are great for supporting joint health.
- Yogurt – As a probiotic, it helps to ensure a healthy balance of bacteria in their gut. Just make sure to always buy the unsweetened and unflavored version.
Common Effects of Aging
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Decreased physical activity
- Weight gain; due to lowered caloric needs
- Weakened immune system
- Integumentary (skin) changes
- Joint related issues
- Loss of dentition [teeth]
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Urinary issues
- Heart murmurs
Dealing With The Loss Of Your Beloved Beagle
If you’ve ever been through it before, you know what I mean by saying it’s really no different than losing any other close family member. It can be a particularly emotional experience if the loss is unexpectedly sudden. Here are a few comforting ways to get yourself through:
Find Comfort in Friends And Family
Chances are, you have friends or family members that have been through a pet loss themselves and they can wholeheartedly empathize and help you overcome the struggle one day at a time.
Acknowledge Your Grief
Sometimes, you may want to cry — and cry — and cry. This is good as you won’t want to internalize the emotions. You may not even cry at all. We all grieve differently. Which leads me to the next thing…
Do Not Allow Anyone To Discredit Your Pain
Chances are a person who is more likely to act this way, is someone who has never had a pet themselves. You don’t need this negativity. This is a fair-weather friend, you know what I’m saying? It’s one thing to be constructive. It’s another to be destructive.
Plan A Funeral Or Memorial
This is helpful for the closure process. Your close friends and family know how important your pup is to you, so they will very likely be willing to attend a small gathering in honor of your recently-departed family member.
Keep Tabs On Your Own Health
Your health is everything.
It reminds of that saying, “when you have your health, you have 1,000 dreams. When you don’t, you have one.”
Keeping that in mind, it may be difficult to cope at times and you may eat junk food, not get proper sleep, etc.
If you feel that the grief could lead to a comprise of your physical and/or mental health, consider seeing a professional accordingly.
We all want our canine counterparts to be healthy and happy for as long as possible. Being mindful of their diet, lifestyle and environment can help increase the life expectancy of your beagle.
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