Best Puppy Food for Beagles: 7 Top Picks (5 dry & 2 wet)
If you're the proud new owner of a Beagle puppy, you have years of goofy fun ahead. Beagles are some of the most playful and fun-loving dog breeds around. Originally bred for hunting, modern Beagles still have a lot of the same instincts as their ancestors. They have a strong sense of smell and love to explore.
Beagle pups are also full of life and can spend hours running around if given the chance. In the same token, they'll do just fine cuddled up next to their family and relaxing, too.
No matter how your pup chooses to pass the time, it's important to provide them with a healthy diet.
Beagles are prone to several health issues. Obesity is very common among the Beagle community. Along with excessive weight, these pups can develop a slew of joint and bone problems. Poor development during the puppy years will only exacerbate those conditions.
Setting your pup up with a high-quality diet from day one is key to keeping them healthy. The best puppy food ensures that they have all the nutrients they need to thrive.
To help you sift through the hundreds of dog food products out there, we've rounded up a collection of some of the best foods that meet the needs of Beagle puppies.
7 of the Best Dog Foods for Beagle Puppies
1. Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
The Purina One SmartBlend puppy formula is an excellent option for Beagles. It's a nutrient-rich kibble that doesn't contain any unnecessary fillers.
The most prevalent ingredient is chicken. It contributes to the recipe's 28 percent protein content. To complement that protein, Purina has added a ton of great extras. There's fish oil, which acts as a fat source. The fish oil is rich in omega fatty acids and has DHA for brain and eye development.
There's also a healthy ratio of calcium and phosphorus for the bones. To help with the joints, you'll find glucosamine and chondroitin.
2. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe
From Wellness is this small breed puppy food. It uses a few different ingredients to make up its 28 percent protein analysis. These include deboned chicken, chicken meal, and salmon meal.
The salmon works alongside the added salmon oil for plenty of omega fatty acids. Another great thing about this kibble is the plant-based ingredients. You'll find carrots, spinach, sweet potato, and more. There are also apples and blueberries, which provide a healthy dose of antioxidants to support your pup's growth.
There are no unnecessary fillers, so you can rest easy knowing that your precious pooch is getting everything they need.
3. Blue Buffalo BLUE Life Protection Formula Dry Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo is a leading dog food brand that's known for creating nutrient-rich foods inspired by ancestral canine diets. The Life Protection puppy formula continues with that tradition.
It has 26 percent protein. Most of that comes from deboned chicken, chicken meal, and fish meal. The thing that sets this recipe apart from others is the LifeSource bits.
These tiny morsels are mixed in with the standard kibble. The bits are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog's entire body.
4. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula
Another great option for Beagle Puppies is the Taste of the Wild puppy food.
This recipe is made to imitate the natural diet of wild canines. Thus, it's filled to the brim with wholesome ingredients that will keep your dog healthy.
Salmon and ocean fish make up the 27 percent protein. The food is completely grain-free to reduce the chances of stomach upsets. Instead, there's a strain of beneficial probiotics to support your pup's digestive health.
Other goodies include omega fatty acids, powerful antioxidants, and more.
5. American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
This grain-free puppy formula from American Journey has an impressive protein content of 30 percent. Most of that comes from deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal.
Instead of simple carbohydrate fillers, American Journey has opted for nutrient-rich alternatives like peas, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes. To support your pup's growing bones, calcium and phosphorus are added into the mix.
They work alongside plant-based ingredients like blueberries, carrots, and kelp. Plus, the added salmon oil will keep your dog's coat looking nice and shiny as they grow older.
Best Wet Canned Food for Beagle Puppies
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Puppy Canned Dog Food
Whether you're looking to supplement or dog's kibble or need to provide a softer alternative to hard food, this Blue Buffalo canned food is great for Beagles.
It contains turkey, chicken, and chicken liver. The liver is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals. Those meat ingredients are swimming in a flavorful broth to get your pup salivating.
Like Blue Buffalo's dry food, the canned formula is filled with omega fatty acids and DHA. They can support brain development while also keeping your pup's skin in good shape.
7. Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Ground Healthy Puppy
The canned food from Purina One perfectly complements the brand's dry puppy kibble. It uses real lamb and chicken as the protein source.
Other proteins, such as liver, pork lungs, and sardines ensure that your dog is getting a complex array of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. As if that wasn't enough, Purina One fortifies the recipe with additional nutrients, all derived from natural sources.
There are no by-products or unnecessary fillers. The food contains only the essentials to ensure that your pup stays healthy.
What Makes Puppy Food So Special?
So, you may be wondering if you need puppy-specific food at all. In short, it's an absolute necessity. One of the biggest mistakes that new puppy owners make is starting their young canine companion off with a formula that's made for adults.
You wouldn't feed a human baby adult food, so why do the same with your fur baby?
Truth is, Beagles go through significant body changes during their first few months. When you first bring them home, they may only weigh a couple of pounds. However, within 12 to 18 months, they'll be upwards of 35 pounds. That's a significant growth spurt!
All you'll see is your young pup growing into a rambunctious adult. Inside, your dog is experiencing a major transformation. The bones are lengthening, the organs are adjusting, and the muscles are growing.
Your pup's development cycle is like a finely tuned symphony. Everything needs to go off without a hitch to be successful. Otherwise, your dog is at risk for some serious medical issues. As with any living creature, what your pup consumes plays an important role in how they grow up.
Puppy food is specifically formulated to the needs of young canines. Generally, it's denser than adult food. All of the major nutrients are found in higher concentrations. Plus, there are some crucial minerals that puppies can't be without. These include calcium and phosphorus.
The two minerals are responsible for healthy bone development. While you may find these ingredients in some adult foods, they're added in very specific ratios in puppy food.
Without the proper amount of calcium and phosphorous, your dog could develop serious bone and joint issues. When you pair musculoskeletal issues with rapid weight gain, it's a recipe for disaster.
How Much Food Do Beagle Puppies Need?
Figuring out how much food to feed your puppy can be tricky. As we mentioned earlier, your dog is going to start packing on the pounds once you bring them home. As a result, you're going to need to make constant adjustments to ensure that you're giving your pup just the right amount of food.
Over-feeding is a huge problem with Beagles. These dogs have voracious appetites. It's important that you avoid free-feeding at all costs. Too much food can result in excessive weight gain, which puts unwanted stress on the organs, bones, and joints.
Your dog's daily calorie requirements should be separated into multiple meals. During the first few months, you can start off with four meals a day. By the six-month mark, wane your dog down to two meals.
When it comes to the amount of food your dog will need, things get a bit hazier. During the planning phase, you need to calculate the food based on calories instead of volume. Not all dog foods have the same calorie count per piece.
So, the volume of food your dog will need is going to depend entirely on the product you're feeding them. Luckily, this information is often printed on the dog food label for easy reference.
Typically, puppies will need between 40 and 50 calories of food per pound of body weight. This is considerably more than the 30 calories recommended for adult Beagles. It's a good idea to consult with your vet to hone in on the right amount.
The pup's activity level is a big factor. Pups who spend their days exercising and playing will need more calories than those who lounge around. When your dog is a puppy, it's a good idea to weigh them regularly. That way, you can adjust the calorie count with each pound of weight they gain.
The Characteristics of a Good Beagle Puppy Food
The dog food market is quite vast. You'll find options that vary dramatically in quality and price. To ensure that you're giving your Beagle pup the very best, consider the following qualities when you shop.
Plenty of Protein
Regardless of your dog's age, protein is the single most important nutrient that your dog needs. Dogs need the amino acids in protein to build and maintain their muscles.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AFFCO, have determined that puppies need a food that's at least 22 percent protein. For comparison, adult dogs only need at least 18 percent.
The 22 percent should be regarded as a minimum. There's no harm in surpassing that figure. In fact, dogs thrive on diets that contain closer to 30 percent protein.
When you're browsing the ingredient's list, look out for healthy protein sources. These include identifiable whole meats. Things like chicken, turkey, beef, and fish are all great examples. If you can find a dog food that uses multiple proteins, that's even better.
More than one animal meat ensures that your dog is getting a complex array of amino acids. The protein should be listed as the first ingredient. This indicates that it is the most prevalent in the recipe. Also, you can check with the crude analysis on the label.
You must avoid low-quality protein sources like byproducts and mystery meats. Cheaper foods tend to have questionable protein sources that may or may not be harmful. If you can't identify what animal a protein source came from, it's best to avoid it completely.
A Good Amount of Healthy Fat
Fats are another thing to keep an eye out for. While humans tend to avoid fat at all costs, it's actually beneficial for canines. It's a good source of energy that your dog can use to stay active. Of course, heathy sources are a must!
Animal fat straight from the protein source is a good start. Some substandard dog foods contain added animal fats. These should be avoided, as they tend to be low-quality fats that will go straight to your pup's gut.
Another option is to get food with salmon or flaxseed oil. Salmon and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega fatty acids can do wonders for your dog's health. In addition to providing them with a good source of energy, they'll support your pup's heart and aid with brain development. Plus, the omega fatty acids can keep your dog's skin nice and supple. This results in smooth and shiny fur. Considering that Beagles are prone to suffering from skin allergies, omega fatty acids are great to have.
Your puppy is bound to experience some stomach upsets at some point. This is especially true when your furry friend is just starting to wean off their mother's milk. The digestive system hasn't had time to develop healthy bacteria yet.
While stomach issues are to be expected, you can minimize those issues by getting foods that are fortified with probiotics.
Probiotics are great for introducing healthy gut flora into your dog's system. Healthy bacteria work to break down food and prevent nutritional deficiencies. With a healthy gastrointestinal tract, your dog is able to take advantage of all the good stuff that the dog food has to offer.
You can also look out for foods that are high in fiber. Fibrous ingredients, such as sweet potato, pumpkin, and leafy greens, can keep your pup regular.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements
Vitamins are essential for young puppies. Different vitamins work to support different areas of the body. For example, Vitamin C prevents inflammation,
Vitamin D regulates the bone development cycle, Vitamin E prevents oxidative damage to the cells, and Vitamin K keeps the blood in good condition.
Trace minerals, such as iron, selenium, manganese, and more, are also important to the overall growth cycle.
There are plenty of ways that you can introduce vitamins and minerals to your pup's diet. The best way is through some healthy fruits and vegetables. Many puppy foods contain a unique blend of plant-based ingredients to ensure that your dog is getting everything he or she needs.
Like we mentioned earlier, calcium and phosphorus are essential for puppies. Generally, a ratio of 1:1.2 is preferred. Slight variations of this ratio are used among dog food manufacturers. If you're unsure if your dog is getting enough, consult with your vet for guidance.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Another good thing to consider is supplements. Some foods contain beneficial supplements that are designed to support your dog's health from within. The most common are glucosamine and chondroitin.
Typically, these supplements are reserved for older dogs that are suffering from joint issues. However, they're very common in puppy and adult foods as well. The supplements support the cartilage in the joints. Introducing it early on may help to avoid joint pain in the future.
No Artificial Ingredients
Artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors should be avoided in puppy food. Your pup's immune system and organs are very delicate in this early stage of life. Throwing unnecessary additives into the mix will only do more harm than good.
There are natural alternatives to everything, so there's no reason to get food that has chemical ingredients in it.
When to Switch to Adult Food
It's important to stick with a puppy formula for at least a year. Depending on your dog's development, you may need to keep them on a puppy formula for up to 18 months. Switching to an adult formula too soon is worse than staying on it for too long. So, it's best to err on the side of caution.
- Consult with your vet to get a better idea of when to make the switch. You need to make sure that your dog has reached full adulthood, as adult formulas don't contain all the essentials that young pups need to grow.
As a puppy owner, it's your responsibility to provide your canine companion with the very best food available. What you do now during their puppy years can make all the difference in their health as an adult.
High-quality puppy food will set them up for a life of good health while giving them all the nutrients they need to enjoy puppyhood.