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Beagle - breed information and advice

The Beagle makes a loving family companion and is always keen to be part of the action. It is a brave, athletic dog that needs a strong hand in its early training. It loves to follow a scent and can jump walls and dig under fences in pursuit of its quarry – and can be very vocal when doing so!

Breed information


Size: Small to medium

Coat: Beagles will follow scents through dirt and mud, but their short, glossy coat means that they are easily wiped clean afterwards. Beagles need grooming about once a week.

Exercise: 2+ hours a day for adult dogs

Life span: 10-15 years

Breed group: Hounds fall into two key categories: those that hunt by scent and those that hunt by sight. The former tend to be more outgoing, while the latter are longer-legged and more agile.


Like all dogs, Beagles are susceptible to various forms of skin problems, often involving the skin within the ear. The ear canal can become irritated by objects such as grass seeds, or by parasites, allergies or infections. This can lead to a condition called otitis, which simply means ‘inflammation of the ear canal’. It causes an intense itch, leading the dog to shake its head, flap its ears and scratch them using its back paws. If the otitis is due to an allergy, treatment is required for the lifetime of the dog.


Otitis is the third most common illness we see in Beagles

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Beagles can suffer from conditions that affect the brain, spine and some nerves. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that results in seizures or fitting, which may begin in dogs as young as six months old. Epileptic seizures look painful, but generally aren’t. However, depending on the severity, they may need to be controlled with medication for the dog’s entire life to ensure a happy, normal existence.


We paid £1,739 to treat Bella the Beagle for epilepsy in 2016

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Thyroid disease

The thyroid glands, which secrete thyroid hormone, are located in a dog’s neck. Hypothyroidism is the name of the condition that occurs when the thyroid glands fail to secrete enough thyroid hormone. This leads to a slow metabolic rate resulting in weight gain, a slow heart rate and an intolerance of the cold. It can be managed effectively with thyroid hormone replacement tablets, which are required for the rest of the dog’s life.


Thyroid disease is the most common hormone problem we see in Beagles

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Mast cell tumours

Beagles are prone to a variety of tumours, cysts and growths, including mast cell tumours. Mast cells are normal skin cells that help dogs respond to trauma and damage by releasing histamine. However, these cells can sometimes replicate into a serious type of tumour called a mast cell tumour. They vary widely in size and shape, but most take the form of a solitary lump within the skin. Treatment depends on the size and location of the tumour but almost always involves surgical removal.


We paid £2,548 to treat Sunny the dog for tumours in 2016

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Gastrointestinal disorders

The Beagle, like all dogs, can suffer from problems affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a long, winding tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, with various twists and turns along the way. Conditions such as gastroenteritis or an obstruction within the bowel (due to the dog to eating stones, cloth or string, for example) commonly cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Treatment depends on the exact cause, but prompt intervention usually results in a full recovery.


In our experience, Beagles are most likely to need treatment for gastrointestinal

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