“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” ~ Unknown
Beagle Rescue League, Inc. firmly believes that being an advocate for your dogs health is extremely important. Many of the Beagles we have rescued came from unfortunate situations, and we do our best to make up for that with the care we provide them while in our foster program. Holistic foods and treats are our diets of choice and as pet owners ourselves, we know that the most important thing you can do for your beagle is provide them with the best dog food possible for your money.
The next best thing you can do for your pet is to have a veterinarian that you trust. One that really listens to your concerns, speaks to you in terms you can understand and treats your dog with calm and gentle professionalism.
With proper and consistent care, your best friend has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years – but that time can be extended if they are well cared for. Here, then is a short list of some of the most common ailments that could effect your beagle.
Diet and Obesity
It is estimated that 24-44% of all pet dogs in the United States are overweight or even obese. Even worse, as many of 50% of dogs between 5-10 years of age are overweight. Complicating these figures is the fact that only approximately 30% of the people caring for overweight pets answered that their pets were overweight when surveyed. That means that only one out of three owners of overweight pets realize that their dog or cat has a weight problem! (Source: Laflamme DP. Obesity in dogs and cats. Univeristy of California, Davis. 2001).
Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat sufficient to result in impairment of health or body function. Dogs and cats which are 10-20% over their ideal body weight are considered overweight and pets which are more than 20% above their ideal weight are obese.
Beagles are known as much for their insatiable appetite as they are for their sense of smell. Obesity in beagles can cause a myriad of health ailments so you want to always avoid feeding any type of table scraps to your dog. Providing your dog with the highest quality food will go a long way toward maintaining optimal health. We do not tell people what brand to choose for their pets food. We do however, believe that foods that contain Ethyoxyguin should not be given to companion animals. With the recent outbreak of dog food recalls, please use caution when deciding what to give your dogs. A superb resource which contains nutritional guidelines of the most popular diets available on the market is the Whole Dog Journal which can be found at www.wholedogjournal.com
One final word – since many of us don’t really know how to tell if obesity is an issue for our pets we found a super site to help you make that determination. Please visit: www.pet-health-care-gazette.com/2010/05/16/pet-obesity-overweight-dogs-and-cats/
As you can see by viewing the adorable photo on the right, one of the most endearing features a beagle has is their ears. Wide, Long, and often floppy, their ears make the perfect breeding ground for infection.
Causes of Dog Ear Infection
Several factors can be responsible for causing canine ear infections. Excessive bacteria or fungus in the ear, food allergies, fleas and simple build up of ear wax can all be underlying causes of ear infections in dogs. Sometimes, just getting water into a dogs ear while swimming can start a nasty infection. If you’ve ever had swimmers ear, you know how painful it can be. The over abundance of water in an ear canal creates a moist environment inside your dogs ear that can result in a breeding ground for bacterial growth.
Symptoms of an infection:
Discolored (black) wax, dirt, a foul odor and/or canal discharge are all signs that an ear infection is brewing. If you find your beagle shaking or tilting their head, whining or scratching excessively please pay attention to these symptoms as an ear infection can quickly spread and become a serious issue for your dog. Additionally, redness, swelling and inflammation or tenderness can accompany an already established ear infection.
Note: If you see tiny black specks on the inside of your dog’s ears which resembles dirt, this could be dried blood caused by ear mites. Mites are highly contagious from one dog to another through contact and the mites live in your dog’s ear canal and can make him feel very uncomfortable if left untreated. Your veterinarian can verify the presence of mites and prescribe medication if mites are the culprit
Treatment of dog ear infection usually depends on the underlying cause. If your dog has a fungal infection, a fungicide will need to be dispensed by your veterinarian. Likewise a prescriptive antibacterial will be just the thing your doctor orders for a bacterial disorder.
However, preventing ear infections can be a simple matter.
Keep your dog’s ear clean with proper use of a disinfectant or something as simple as apple cider vinegar.
Trim back the excess ear hair your dog may have which allows debris to cling to it.
Caution!! If your dog is showing problems with their balance, it usually means the infection has spread to the middle (internal) ear and this should NEVER be treated by anyone other than a licensed veterinarian.