Feeding Your Beagle

Love Dog
In This Chapter
  • Deciding what to feed your Beagle
  • Creating the right dining atmosphere
  • Tempting your Beagle with treats
  • Bypassing culinary hazards
  • Discovering Beagle beverages

Back when you were a kid, you probably got sick of hearing your mother tell you to eat your peas, drink your juice, or that you’d have no dessert until you finished everything on your plate. Your health teacher probably irritated you just as much when she lectured you about needing to drink four glasses of milk every day, and then proclaimed that you are what you eat.

But you know something? They were right — and not just when they applied their adages to you and your peers. Good nutrition is just as important to the Beagle body as it is to the human bod.
That said, good nutrition doesn’t always mean holding your nose and eating those veggies. And eating right certainly doesn’t preclude eating for fun. This chapter not only gives you the lowdown on what to feed your Beagle, but also tells you what you need to know to make eating a pleasure for your little hound — and a great training tool for you to use.

What a Dog Wants . . .  What a Dog Needs

Many a food-loving Beagle would probably love to give you her idea of what a dog wants and needs to eat happily. Of course, her idea of happy dining (dumpster diving, anyone?) may bear little resemblance to her nutritional needs. That’s one reason why your Beagle needs you. You’re the parent in this relationship, and your knowledge of canine nutrition enables you to devise a food regimen that’s not only good for her, but also good to eat.

What about carbs?

Traditionally, experts have included carbohydrates on the list of must-have canine nutrients — but these days, that opinion isn’t unanimous. Most carbs come from grains, such as wheat and corn, which not only are tougher for dogs to digest than other food sources, but also may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. Consequently, some veterinarians and breeders now advocate keeping grains out of a dog’s diet. Such dogs ingest relatively few carbohydrates, but that absence of carbs doesn’t deprive them of robust health.
“Um,” you’re saying. “I don’t know beans about canine nutrition.” Not to worry. Here’s a primer on the nutrients that every Beagle needs to stay in tip-top condition:

Proteins, which enable your dog’s body to change food into energy, come mainly from meats, vegetables, and grains. However, all protein sources are not created equal. Most dogs, for example, can digest a protein that comes from meat more easily than a protein that comes from grain.

Fats, which play a huge role in keeping a dog’s hair and skin healthy, are found not only in foods but also in special dietary supplements. Fats also help promote healthy digestion and keep your Beagle’s body temperature stable.

Vitamins and minerals, which help the dog’s body maximize all those other nutrients, are already present in many foods. Vitamins and minerals also keep your dog’s immune system and coat healthy and prevent many health and behavioral problems.

Choosing Your Beagle’s Chow

In just a few short years, the food choices available to the discriminating  Beagle and her person have expanded exponentially. Justpick up a copy of a high-end dog magazine, such as The Bark (a great read for any dog-lover, by the way), and you’ll see a cornucopia of food options to buy from a store or online, not to mention a bunch of ideas for making your dog’s food yourself. Such an abundance of options can make you crazy, unless you have some basic info on your Beagle’s possible dining choices. Without further ado, here’s the scoop.

Store-bought and savory

The vast majority of Beagle people and other dog owners prefer to have someone else create their dogs’ meals. Who can blame them? Most people are so busy these days that they don’t have time to cook their own dinners, much less their dogs’. Not to worry, though. Pet food manufacturers have created two basic types of chow for you to buy for your beloved Beagle.

Consuming kibble

If you’re looking for the ultimate in convenience and value, dry food is the way to go: Just pour, serve, and count your change. Often called kibble, dry food consists of baked pellets that are bite-sized or smaller. They’re derived from grains, meats, and sometimes vegetables, with supplements such as vitamins added. In addition to its ease of preparation, dry food generally is nutritionally complete, which means you don’t have to feed your Beagle anything else to keep her healthy. A Beagle whose daily fare consists of nothing but kibble also produces poop that’s easy to scoop, and she’s likely to have cleaner teeth than a dog that consumes softer fare. Need more advantages? How about the fact that kibble doesn’t need refrigeration and costs less than any other type of dog food.
Alas, however, no food is perfect — and for many dogs, kibble carries a big disadvantage: It’s relatively bland. Many dogs like to have some variety in their diets — and to such dogs, kibble may seem boringly, depressingly the same. More than one dog in my acquaintance has gone on a partial hunger strike after being subjected to too much kibble for too long a time. And face it, the most economical, nutrientpacked food is a total waste of money if your dog refuses to eat it.

Canning it

If your Beagle turns up her nose at kibble, try giving her canned dog food. I’ll bet that as soon as you pour it into her dish and serve it, she’ll practically fall into the dish. Dogs everywhere generally prefer canned food to dry, because of canned food’s enticing aroma and better taste. It’s also just as easy to fix as dry food: Just pour and serve. But for all that ease of preparation and great taste, canned food does have some disadvantages. For one thing, it generally costs more than dry food does. Moreover, because canned food contains quite a bit of water, it delivers less nutrition than the equivalent quantity of kibble does. Other disadvantages: It’s got more calories, and thus is more likely to pack pounds onto your pooch; it’s too soft to scrape tartar from your dog’s teeth; it’s much more perishable than dry food; and it results in bigger, moister, harder-to-clean-up poop compared to the poop a kibble-eating Beagle produces.

Tip

No one says that you have to choose between kibble and canned when it comes to feeding your Snoopy-dog. If you want to give your  Beagle the good nutrition that comes from dry food but also the great flavor of canned fare, give her both. For example, try giving her a meal that’s 90 percent dry food and 10 percent canned.

Deciphering dog food labels

You can be overwhelmed by the variety of dog foods at your local grocery or pet store. Some foods are vastly superior to others. But the uninformed consumer may struggle to distinguish between a truly good product and one that’s simply drowning in commercial hype. That’s where knowing how to read a dog food label comes in mighty handy.
Look at the list of ingredients. Are meats listed first? That means that the food contains more meat than anything else — and that’s a sign of good quality. Foods of lesser quality usually list grains first.
Check, too, to see what form the meat takes. If the label says “beef” or “chicken” or “aardvark” or some other meat, you’ve got a highquality food. If the label lists a meat byproduct without specifying what that byproduct is, you may be subjecting your Beagle to eating such unsavory products as chicken beaks — not exactly a great form of nutrition.
Look, too, for additives and preservatives, such as ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT. The short story here: The fewer the better.

Homemade and delicious

Are you a control freak? If so, instead of buying your Beagle’s food off the shelf, you may want to fix her food yourself. Being your dog’s personal chef gives you complete control over what goes into your dog’s tummy. Such control can go a long way toward helping you deal with any food allergies your Beagle may have or the rare problem of a Beagle who’s a picky eater. Even better, you could save yourself some money.
Still, the do-it-yourself option has a downside. For one thing, fixing your dog’s meals can be inconvenient and time-consuming. The inconvenience multiplies if you travel, whether your little hound accompanies you or stays in a kennel.
But the biggest disadvantage to DIY-feeding is that preparing a nutritionally balanced regimen for your dog is far from simple. To keep your Beagle at her very best, you need to make sure that her food contains the proper proportions of all the nutrients that she requires.

Tip

If you decide that the advantages of cooking your Beagle’s food outweigh the disadvantages, be sure to consult your veterinarian. He can help you devise a meal plan for your Beagle that keeps her not only healthy but happy. Consider, too, consulting a book such as Dog Health and Nutrition For Dummies, by M. Christine Zink (Wiley).

To BARF or not to BARF? Feeding a raw food diet

No, I’m not suggesting that you give your Beagle food that makes her hurl — or makes you hurl, for that matter. The acronym BARF refers to Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Theoretically, you can concoct such a diet yourself, but I don’t recommend doing so unless you enjoy spending way too much time involved in a way too messy (not to mention potentially unsanitary) enterprise. Instead, consider buying USDA-approved raw foods made specifically for pets. No matter how you go raw, however, this feeding method has advocates and detractors, and both are equally passionate.
Those who favor going raw contend that a doggy menu based entirely on uncooked meats, vegetables, and bones not only most closely approximates what wild animals eat, but also allows dogs to live longer, healthier lives. BARF proponents also believe that dogs that are fed raw food have

– Cleaner teeth

– Glossier coats

– An end to food allergies

– Infection-free ears (Full disclosure here: My own dog has enjoyed a near-total absence of ear infections since I put her on BARF two years ago.)

Many breeders, dog show enthusiasts, and owners of performance dogs wholeheartedly endorse the BARF diet, as do many veterinarians who practice alternative veterinary medicine.
However, more traditional vets, along with pet food manufacturers, beg to differ. Their concerns include:

– Raw bones can cause internal injuries or choking.

– Raw foods increase the odds of contracting salmonella or other bacterial poisoning — either by the dog or by the person handling the food.

– A diet of raw food causes some dogs to develop chronic diarrhea or vomiting.

One formerly formidable argument against the BARF diet — that it’s time-consuming and inconvenient to prepare — has pretty well evaporated. Several companies now prepare and sell raw food for dogs and cats. Some of their offerings include exotic items, such as quail, rabbit, and ostrich — which benefit dogs who suffer from allergies — to more conventional proteins, such as beef and chicken. Among these companies are Aunt Jeni’s Natural Pet Food (www.auntjeni.com), Bravo (www.bravorawdiet.com), and Oma’s Pride (www.omaspride.com). You won’t find their products in most stores, but by checking their Web sites you can find distributors near you from whom you can purchase the products. Failing that, you may be able to get the products you want shipped directly to your door.
If you choose to feed your dog a BARF diet, know that the costs can vary widely, depending on how much your Beagle eats, what you feed her, and which manufacturer you patronize.

Warning!

A raw diet isn’t for every dog or for every owner. If the idea of handling raw food makes your stomach queasy, then bag the idea of BARF-ing without feeling any guilt. If your dog has a compromised immune system or a lot of chronic illnesses, a BARF diet probably isn’t a good choice.

Tip

Before you decide to do the BARF diet with your Beagle, consult some expert sources. A great book to start with is The Holistic Dog Book: Canine Care for the 21st Century by Denise Flaim (Howell Book House).

But is your chow of choice good for her?

After you choose your Beagle’s chow, check to see whether your choice agrees with her tummy and the rest of her body. How can you tell whether her food is good for her? Here are some ideas:

How does her poop look? Food that’s good for your dog is easy for her to digest — and the clearest indication of digestibility is small, compact stools. If your Beagle’s poop is big, bulky, soft, and/or stinky, she may be having trouble digesting the food you’re giving her. Try switching to another brand — but do so gradually (see “Making the switch” later in this chapter).

Is she getting flaky? If your Beagle’s coat is littered with flakes, her food may be lacking vital fats. Consider switching to a food that has a higher fat content, or ask your veterinarian whether your Beagle needs a fatty acid supplement.

Do her toots clear the room? If your Beagle’s gaseous emissions are frequent and/or make you want to keel over, her daily fare may have too many carbohydrates. A higher protein/lower carb regimen may reduce the flatulence and restore a fresh smell to your home.

Is she porking out? A dog food that’s loaded with calories and fats will probably cause your little hound to lose her girlish figure. A switch to a low-calorie food — or smaller portions of what she’s currently eating — can help her regain her svelte shape.

A new take on table scraps

Almost every dog care book exhorts the reader to refrain from feeding table scraps to her dog. But anyone who’s been subjected to the guilt trip that a dog can inflict (courtesy of those big, soulful eyes) knows that such restraint is almost impossible to sustain. Consequently, I offer a new take on table scraps: an approach that bows to reality.
The short version of this approach is that it’s okay to feed your dog table scraps, within the bounds of good taste, your Beagle’s health, and simple common sense. The long version includes these tips for healthful, guilt-free sharing of your food with your Snoopy-dog:

Don’t be literal. Don’t dispense table scraps directly from the table unless you enjoy having your Beagle stare at you and your plate while you eat. (And even if you don’t mind, other members of your family — not to mention dinner guests — may take exception to the sight of Beagle begging.) Instead, wait until you and your family or friends have finished eating, and then place some carefully chosen leftovers into your dog’s dish.

Go bland. Limit those leftovers to foods that don’t contain a lot of spices or fats, both of which could cause your little hound to have a major digestive upset. Opt instead for veggies, fat-free meat, fish, or white-meat portions of chicken or turkey. And don’t feed cooked bones or gristle. Ingesting either can cause intestinal obstructions or pancreatitis, both of which can make your dog really sick.

Waste not, want not. Neither you nor your Beagle should consider the contents of the garbage can or any other waste receptacle a food source for her. Food from these locations quickly becomes laden with disease-causing germs and bacteria. In other words, after the scraps leave the literal table, they should be off the figurative table — permanently.

Making the switch

If you plan to switch your dog from one food to another, consider doing so gradually — especially if you know she’s got a sensitive stomach. Start by serving her three-quarters of her current food mixed with one-quarter of the new food for a couple of days. Assuming she tolerates the new food, move to a half-and-half mixture for another few days, then one-quarter old to three-quarters new. After that, she should be fine with the new chow.
On the other hand, many dogs do well having diets that rotate among two to four different types of food. If your dog is one, you don’t need to be gradual about the switches.

Getting the Skinny about Your Hound’s Pounds

No discussion of the art and science of Beagle feeding is complete without at least touching on how to help the Snoopy-dog who eats too much or too little food. Keeping your Beagle svelte but not skinny should be the balance you aim for in her feeding program.

Slimming the portly pooch

One of the many advantages to having a Beagle is that you can tell almost immediately whether she’s packing on too many pounds. Although other breeds such as Keeshonden or Collies can hide their jelly bellies under mounds of fur, the Beagle has no such cover. That means that just a quick glance or a touch can tell you what you need to know.
Start by looking at your Beagle from above. Can you see an indentation at her waistline? If so, she’s probably not overweight. If not, try running your hands along her sides. A dog who’s at the proper weight has ribs that you can feel easily. Too much fat, and you’ll need to exert a little pressure to find her ribs.
If you’ve concluded that your little hound is a little too heavy, here’s what to do:

Ask your vet for help. Your Beagle’s veterinarian can help you help your dog in two ways. First, he can see whether your Beagle’s extra inches result from a health problem such as those described in Chapter Dealing with Health Issues. Second, if he can rule out a health problem, he can help you develop a diet and exercise program that will help your dog slim down safely.

Reduce portions. It’s simple: Dogs who weigh too much need to eat less. Your vet can tell you how far to cut back your Beagle’s rations. Your goal here is to help her take off weight, but not to starve her!

Limit treats. Reducing your Beagle’s mealtime portions will be useless unless you also reduce the number of treats you give her. Don’t let your little hound have a snack attack!

Give more meals. Make those reduced rations go further by dividing them up into three or more meals. That way, you’ll help your dog’s tummy stay fuller for a longer period of time. And don’t think that free feeding, or leaving large amounts of food out for your dog to dine on as she feels like it, is an acceptable alternative to feeding your Beagle three times a day. See the “Free feeding forbidden” sidebar for drawbacks on this practice.

Add some fruits and veggies. A low-cal way to fill your dog’s tummy is to add some fruits and vegetables to her regular fare. Good stuff to try includes apples, carrots, frozen green beans, frozen Brussels sprouts, and frozen broccoli. Be careful not to feed too many of these items, though, or you’ll find that your dog will need to poop more often. Cut any fruits and vegetables into very small pieces or, better yet, run them through the blender so your Beagle can eat and digest them more easily.

Get her moving. Exercise is as important for your Beagle as it is for you. Your dog’s small size makes it easy for you to give her extra exercise opportunities without tiring her out or taking too much of your own time. A couple of extra walks or longer-distance strolls can burn up extra calories; so can swimming. More info on great exercises and activities for Beagles is in Chapter Getting Physical: Exercising Your Beagle.

Picky, picky, picky

Some dogs just aren’t that into food, or so it seems. These dogs may simply not like the atmosphere in which they’re eating; for these environmentally conscious individuals, the next section, “Attending to Ambiance,” can help. However, other apparently picky eaters may object not to how they’re eating but what they’re eating. To help your fussy Fidette learn to enjoy her food, try these suggestions:

Add something special. A diet that’s all kibble all the time may be nutritious, but for some dogs it’s also way too bland. Back in my less-enlightened dog-owning days, my dog went on a hunger strike after enduring an exclusively kibble diet for way too long. Adding canned dog food or nutritious table scraps — or even just pouring some warm water on the kibble to create a rich gravy — can lure your bored Beagle gourmand back to her dish.

Make a change. Another way to combat gastronomic boredom is to change the food your Beagle’s been eating. Look for something that’s a little more flavorful than what you’ve been giving her, and gradually switch her from one food to another over several days.

Add some variety. Some experts advise Beagle owners and other dog owners to refrain from varying their dogs’ menus. They contend that consistency keeps a dog healthy. However, consistency may also result in a dog who’s less than thrilled at mealtime. In my many years as an enthusiastic dog owner, and almost as many as a student of all things canine, I’ve concluded that many dogs enjoy variety in their meals, just like we do. Consequently, I rotate three or four different meats in my dog’s fare. You can do the same — and give your sweetie something to look forward to at mealtime.

Warning!

The suggestions here apply only to those Beagles whose pickiness is habitual and long-standing. If your usually ravenous Beagle suddenly loses interest in food for more than a meal or so, she could be seriously ill. Call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Attending to Ambience

Do you like to eat your dinner at the table with music playing in the background, or on a TV tray while you watch the evening news? Do you like to have quiet while you eat, or does music improve the atmosphere? Is Sunday not quite right unless you have breakfast in bed? The answers to these questions add up to your special dining preferences and underscore the fact that good eating isn’t just a matter of what you eat, but how you eat it.
The same principle holds true for your Beagle. Just like you, she may have definite dining preferences. If you make an effort to determine those preferences, your dog is likely to eat better, feel better, and behave better.

For example, some dogs prefer to eat alone, while others like to have the rest of their family around them. Some prefer to eat in one place, while others have such a strong need to be where the family is that you need to bring the dog’s dish to wherever the action is. In any case, catering to these preferences won’t spoil your Beagle. Instead, your thoughtfulness will help her eat more regularly (and thus, eliminate more regularly) and cut down on digestive troubles that unnecessary stress can trigger.

Free feeding forbidden

The idea of leaving food out for your Snoopy-dog 24/7 may seem like a great idea — or, at the very least, a practice that would be really convenient for you. And if your dog is like most Beagles, she’d probably like nothing better than to have food at the ready instead of having to wait for you to feed her. But this is one case where the convenience for you and desirability for your Beagle of leaving food out all the time — a practice that experts call free feeding — don’t offset the downsides of this practice. Here’s why:

Free feeding = housetraining hassles. As Chapter Housetraining Your Beagle explains, a basic principle of teaching your Beagle basic bathroom manners is understanding that what goes into your dog eventually comes out. If you know when your Beagle’s been scarfing down food at one end of her body, you have a better chance of forecasting when that food will reappear at the other end. Such predictability helps you anticipate when your housetrainee needs a bathroom break, and you can get her outside before she has an accident. By contrast, free feeding makes it impossible for you to figure out when and how much your dog has eaten, which makes forecasting her need for pit stops equally problematic.

Free feeding = weaker bond. If your Beagle sees food in her dish all the time, she’s likely to forget who’s providing that food: you. Banning free feeding and turning daily meals into a twice-daily ritual reminds your dog that you are the source of all good things in her life. That understanding makes her likely to want to please you, which will strengthen your relationship with her.

Free feeding = lost clue. Still not convinced? Here’s another, potentially serious downside to free feeding: the loss of a vital indicator of your dog’s health status. The symptoms of many canine illnesses — including serious ailments, such as cancer — include a lack of appetite. If you feed your Beagle twice a day, you’ll see any changes in food intake immediately, and get her the help she needs right away. By contrast, keeping your Beagle’s bowl filled all the time may mask this vital sign of health and wellness, unless you’re keeping track of how often you’re filling the dish.

But while every dog, Beagle or otherwise, is unique, certain eating principles apply to every member of the canine race. Those principles include

Letting her eat in peace: When your dog is scarfing down her rations, don’t interrupt her — and don’t let anyone else do so, either. That includes not only human family members, but also animal family members, such as cats and other dogs.

Forestalling food fights: If your Beagle is one of several animals in your family menagerie, feed each nonhuman member separately — either in different locations at the same time or at the same location but at different times. Such forethought will prevent the battles over food that almost always result when you attempt to feed all pets at the same time in the same place.

Not rushing her meal: Good food is an even bigger pleasure for dogs than it is for people — for dogs, breakfast and dinner are among the high points of their day. So don’t be in a rush to pick up her dish; give your Beagle sufficient time — at least 15 minutes — to savor her daily fare. By doing so, you’ll reduce her chances of getting an upset stomach.

Doing the dishes: Washing your dog’s dishes not only constitutes good hygiene, but also enhances your dog’s meal. In fact, many dogs refuse to eat food from a dirty dish. Can you blame them? Do for your Beagle what you would do for yourself: Give her clean dishes to dine from.

Treating Your Beagle Right

Should treats be part of your Beagle’s diet? Absolutely. As you see throughout Part IV, treats make a terrific tool for teaching your Beagle how to be a well-mannered Snoopy-dog. The prospect of scoring a tasty morsel can spur almost any dog — including the occasionally stubborn Beagle — into figuring out what you want her to do and then doing it.
But dispensing treats isn’t a risk-free proposition. Unless you’re careful, the treats that are great for your Beagle’s brain may end up being not-so-good for the rest of her body. In other words, too many treats can make for a Beagle with too many pounds. At the same time, though, a low-cal treat will get you and your Beagle nowhere if she decides she doesn’t like what you’re offering.

Selecting scrumptious snacks

A good treat is a goody that your Beagle absolutely adores — so much so that she will do anything, just anything, to earn one of those tasty (and often smelly) morsels. At the same time, though, the treat shouldn’t be so fattening that your Beagle will pork out. Here are some suggestions for treats that many dogs adore:

Fish-based treats, such as those available from high-end dog product Web sites, such as SitStay.com (www.sitstay.com).

Fruits and veggies, such as tiny pieces of carrot, apple, and frozen vegetables.

Meaty treats that you cook to reduce the fat content. Small hot dog pieces microwaved to a crisp smell like bacon — a heavenly smell to a Beagle. Those goodies will contain a lot less fat if you wrap them in a paper towel before you feed them to your dog. The paper towel will absorb much of the fat.

Semi-moist dog foods, such as those that come in a tube, can make wonderful treats. They smell delicious to your Beagle, and that great smell can be a wonderful incentive for her to learn what you’re trying to teach her. These foods are full of calories, though, so feed in moderation — and scale back your Beagle’s regular fare.

Commercial dog biscuits and treats are OK — if you feed them in moderation and if they don’t contain artificial colors or dyes. Those colors may catch your eye, but they do nothing good for your dog’s health and well-being.

Keeping calories under control

Treats can work wonders to boost your Beagle’s mental prowess — but all the calories in those little morsels also can cause her to pack on the pounds.
To make sure that your Beagle has the incentive to learn without losing her sleek physique, start by downsizing her mealtimes. If you’re feeding commercial treats, check the manufacturer’s label to see how many ounces a certain number of treats is equivalent to — and downsize your dog’s meals accordingly. For homemade treats, try cutting meals by 10 to 20 percent during the initial training phases, when you’re dispensing a lot of goodies to teach good behavior.

Tip

After your Beagle’s learned a new trick, command, or other maneuver, start cutting back on the number of treats you give her for obeying your command. Instead of rewarding her every time she complies, start rewarding her every other time, then every third time, and so on. Eventually, she should be satisfied with some lavish praise and petting as a reward for a job well done.

Avoiding Dangerous Dining

Warning!

Alas, your Beagle doesn’t necessarily have a clear sense of what’s good and what’s not so good for her to eat. She needs you, her knowledgeable human, to keep her away from those foods that could make her seriously ill, not to mention very uncomfortable. Here’s a sampling of food items that you need to keep your Beagle away from if you want to keep her healthy:

Cooked bones: The big rib from that roast may smell wonderful to your Beagle, but the effect on her digestive tract could be decidedly unwonderful. Cooked bones splinter easily, which could result in small pieces of bone getting stuck anywhere in the digestive tract.

Onions and garlic: We humans like these flavorful root veggies to flavor our foods, but they can be poisonous to our canine companions if used in raw form. Make sure that your Beagle doesn’t get any! Garlic powder is okay, though.

Grapes: Another food that your Beagle needs to avoid; too many grapes are toxic to all breeds of dogs.

Chocolate: I once lived with a dog who would have done anything to get a taste of mint chocolate liqueur, and most canines adore the scent of chocolate. But here, too, the siren smell of a food meant for humans is toxic to members of the canine race. Don’t let your Beagle anywhere near your Godivas — or any other brand.

Your Beagle’s Drinking Habits

Water is vital to all living things, including Beagles. And just like people, Snoopy-dogs need more water after they’ve been running around than after a nap, and more during the hot days (notice I didn’t say “dog days”) of summer than the frigid days of winter. Moreover, individual dogs’ cravings for water vary; for example, dogs who eat nothing but dry food will probably pay more visits to their water bowls than those who eat canned or other types of food.
Adult Beagles should have access to fresh water all day. Keep your little hound’s water dish full, but don’t just top it off when the water level gets low. Instead, empty the dish and give her some fresh water. Another time to change the water is when you see food residue or other stuff floating in it. And even if the dish contains nothing but water, you should wash the bowl every day.
Beagle puppies, as well as adults who haven’t quite mastered the art of proper potty deportment should get plenty of water, but they shouldn’t have unlimited access. Chapter Housetraining Your Beagle includes guidelines for giving water to the dog who’s still learning her basic bathroom manners.

And do make sure that your Beagle drinks only the water in her dish. Pond water, water in the toilet, and swimming pool water contain substances that could upset her tummy.

by Susan McCullough

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