Have you been investigating the question, “How long do Beagles live?” After all, if floppy ears and interesting vocalizations are the things you look for in a dog then chances are you are at least interested in a Beagle. This popular species is known for its curious, lovable nature and a strong sense of smell.
There is a lot to consider in the question. For instance, is it a purebred Beagle or a crossbreed? What are the Beagle’s life and diet like? How about general health? All of these factors impact a Beagle lifespan.
On average, a healthy Beagle lives from 10 to 15 years. You could round that out to 13 years, although there are no guarantees. There are many wildcards to consider in the dog’s life that make a difference when asking, “How long do Beagles live?”
Life-Limiting Health Conditions
When considering a Beagle’s life expectancy, the first concern is health problems.
Life-threatening medical problems can be:
- Acute, something that just happens once like a car accident or an infection.
- Genetic, something the Beagle puppy inherits from one or both parents. Credible breeders will screen for known genetic problems as part of their normal routine.
- Chronic, a recurring medical problem such as diabetes.
There are conditions in each category that can potentially influence the lifespan of a Beagle.
Although many dogs live very happy lives with canine epilepsy, if left untreated it can be life-threatening. Serious or repetitive seizures can cause brain damage that may lead to death.
There are three types of canine epilepsy: reactive, secondary, and primary. All three require medical treatment.
Reactive canine epilepsy is usually a symptom of another serious problem like kidney failure or liver disease, both of which are enough to cause the death of a Beagle.
The same is true for secondary canine epilepsy, which is attributed to acute medical problems like a tumor or stroke.
A diagnosis of primary canine epilepsy means the vet doesn’t know what is causing the seizures, just that they need to be controlled.
Beagle Pain Syndrome
Nowadays, it is called Steroid Responsive Meningitis (SRM). At one time, though, vets referred to this condition as Beagle Pain Syndrome because it was first associated with this species in the 1980s.
It typically starts with puppies around the age of 4 to 10 months. The exact cause is unknown but there may be a genetic component that makes these dogs more susceptible to the disease.
SRM causes the immune system to attack the blood vessels that feed the lining around the brain, leading to swelling. As the name suggests, it is treatable with steroids if caught in time.
Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration
Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration (NCCD) is a condition that can affect Beagle puppies. For years, veterinarians had no idea what caused it but in 2012 they identified a gene mutation as the culprit.
The gene is recessive so both parents would have to be carriers for the puppy to develop the disease. NCCD is not treatable, so it is critical that breeders screen for it.
Obesity is a growing concern in all dogs but seems to haunt Beagles more than most. Why? In part, because they will eat just about anything. They also are always hungry and looking for tasty treats anywhere they can find them.
As a Beagle owner, it’s up to you to control the dog’s diet and that takes a little bit of ingenuity.
- Don’t leave food out. If you leave your burger unguarded on the counter while you go to the bathroom, expect it to be missing when you come back.
- Put the garbage somewhere where the dog can’t get to it. They really will eat anything.
- Give treats wisely. They love them a little too much.
- Don’t be fooled by that woeful face. You know the one. All Beagles have it and they know just when to put that sad, sorrowful look to use.
Obesity has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans. It increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, respiratory arrest and joint problems.
Vaccinations and Good Pet Care
Vaccinations are one of the most proactive things pet owners can get to protect their little fur buddies. Like all puppies, Beagles need vaccinations for deadly diseases early in life like distemper and Parvovirus.
You also want to protect your Beagle from daily threats such as heartworms, rabies, fleas and ticks. They rely on you to take them to the vet for a checkup each year and to get the booster shots they need to stay well.
All dog lovers hope their pup will live a long and happy life. The things you do as a pet owner is an important part of expanding Beagle life expectancy. It starts with asking the right questions so you know what to expect, like “How long can Beagles live?”
You also want to choose only credible breeders that do proper screenings for genetic diseases. Along with vaccinations, a healthy diet and regular exercise, you are giving your Beagle the best chance at life.
Beagle, the American Kennel Club.
The Beagle, the Happy Puppy Site. 2015
The Beagle Association
Jessica S. Anderson; The National Beagle Club of America, Inc.
Podell. M et al. Seizure classification in dogs from a nonreferral-based population. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association PMID:7782244. June 1995
National Beagle Club. Steroid Responsive Meningitis; Beagle Pain Syndrome. January 26, 2015
Annual Health Trust. Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration