Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Beagle puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Beagles, the best dog food diet for feeding Beagle puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Beagle dog breed

Beagle Health Problems and Raising a Beagle Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Beagles:

Ears and skin are notoriously problematic in Beagles.

  • The folded-over ears with their narrow ear canals are extremely prone to chronic ear infections and hematoma.
  • Beagles are prone to allergies that lead to itchy skin and bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).
  • The skin disease seborrhea is common.
  • Skin growths are common – non-tumorous growths (cysts, lipomas) and tumors (sebaceous tumors, mast cell tumors, perianal gland adenoma).
  • Demodectic mange occurs in Beagles, especially Beagle puppies.

Beagles are susceptible to just about every eye disease there is. Glaucoma and cherry eye are especially common. Also retinal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, cataracts, dry eye, eyelash abnormalities, eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), lens luxation, and persistent pupillary membranes.

Intervertebral disk disease is very common in Beagles, especially in individuals with a deformed chondrodysplastic build (shortish legs, longish back). Intervertebral disk disease can be confused with two other diseases that can occur in Beagles: Wobbler's syndrome and an inflammatory brain disease called aseptic meningitis/vasculitis.

For such a small dog, the hip dysplasia rate is extremely high. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 550 Beagles and found 17% dysplastic. And the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Similar-sized dogs have much lower rates – for comparison, Shelties are at 5% and Cockers at 6%.

Yet another orthopedic health problem in Beagles is luxating patella (loose knees).

Seizures in Beagles (epilepsy) are a serious concern in the breed.

Heart disease is increasing, especially pulmonic stenosis and occasionally cardiomyopathy, septal defect, mitral valve disease, and other heart defects.

The urinary system is another target for health problems in Beagles, including kidney disease, urinary stones, and cancer of the bladder (transitional cell carcinoma).

According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, Beagles have the 10th highest rate of hypothyroidism of 140 breeds (up to 22% affected).

Blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's disease, hemophilia A, and Factor VII deficiency) are found with some regularity.

A Beagle puppy with a lot of white on his head may suffer from inherited deafness.

Other health issues occasionally reported in Beagles include immunoglobulin deficiencies, megaesophagus, lupus, pemphigus, liver shunt, lysosomal storage disease, white shaker dog syndrome, narcolepsy, hernias, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and pyruvate kinase deficiency.

To end this depressing list of Beagle health problems on a more cheerful note, Beagles are prone to reverse sneezing – which is harmless.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Beagle?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Beagles today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Beagle puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Beagle puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Beagle puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Beagle lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Beagle
The best diet for feeding your Beagle is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Beagle. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Beagle
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Beagle. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Beagle puppy really need? Does your adult Beagle need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Beagle. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Beagle. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Beagle.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.