Beagles are the fifth most popular breed among dog owners, and it is easy to see why: They’re absolutely adorable, sugary-sweet companions who love to tag along with their owner and seek out puppy-sized adventures.
But to ensure your beagle stays healthy and happy for years to come, you’ll need to feed your beagle a nutritious food. Fortunately, beagles don’t have many specific food requirements that you’ll need to consider – they just need a high-quality dog food.
Best Dog Food For Beagles: Quick Picks
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie [Best Overall] This grain-free recipe features buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal at the top of the ingredient list for a hefty protein count. Made with no grain, corn, wheat, fillers, plus no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight [Best For Overweight Beagles] This weight-loss recipe for pups who could lose some pounds. Deboned chicken and chicken meal are first ingredients, along with healthy grains like brown rice and oatmeal.
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain [Best Grain-Free Option] A solid small breed grain-free recipe with deboned beef and chicken meal as first two ingredients. Includes no poultry by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Orijen Regional Red [Best Ingredients] First 16 ingredients are meat for an unheard-of protein-packed composition. Dog food doesn’t get any higher quality than this!
Traits of A Great Dog Food For Beagles
At the outset, it is important to recognize the traits that separate the really good dog foods from the so-so choices.
In fact, you should always look for dog foods that exhibit these traits, whether you are trying to feed a beagle, a bulldog, or a bloodhound.
Some of the best dog foods exhibit the following traits:
Whole Protein as the First Ingredient
Dogs are carnivores who have evolved to eat meat, so it is important to feed them foods based on things like deboned chicken, lamb or beef.
Lower quality foods generally feature things like corn, wheat or chicken meal as the first ingredient.
Really good foods often include several different whole proteins at the top of the ingredient list.
Made Without Artificial Colors, Flavors or Additives
High-quality dog foods taste great to dogs because they are formulated with nutritious, delicious ingredients; low-quality dog foods don’t feature these kinds of ingredients, so they have to make up for these deficiencies by using artificial flavor enhancers.
Additionally, your dog doesn’t care what color her food is, and artificial colors may trigger food allergies, so these are best avoided too.
Contain No Unidentified Meat Meals of Byproducts
A lot of owners find meat meals and byproducts to be objectionable, but these ingredients can be beneficial components of good foods and there is nothing “wrong” with them.
However, it is imperative that such items are properly labelled, so that you can be sure your dog is not consuming animals from unsavory sources. For example, “chicken meal” or “beef byproducts” are perfectly acceptable, while “meat meal” or “poultry byproducts” are not.
Fortified with Probiotics and Other Beneficial Ingredients
To help avoid nutritional deficiencies, most good dog foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals. However, many premium products also feature a number of other important supplements, such as probiotics, prebiotics, chondroitin and glucosamine.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help regulate the operation of your dog’s digestive system, while prebiotics serve as a food source for these bacteria. Chondroitin and glucosamine can help protect your dog’s joints from damage and keep your little beagle running and jumping for years.
Manufactured in a Handful of Countries
Some countries have higher food-quality and food-safety regulations in place than others do, and it makes sense to choose foods produced in just these countries. While it does not guarantee that a food won’t wind up on a recall list, it does reduce the odds of such things happening.
In general, this means selecting dog foods that are made in either the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Western Europe.
Beagle Health Concerns to Watch Out For
Beagles are generally pretty healthy dogs, but some suffer from congenital diseases and disorders.
For example, beagles may suffer from glaucoma and cherry eye (in which the gland under the third eyelid protrudes slightly), but these are not affected by your food choices. Similarly, some beagles suffer from epilepsy, which may be treatable, but not by altering your pup’s diet.
However, beagles do suffer from a few joint and bone diseases that may be affected by their diet – particularly as it relates to their body weight. Hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease (a condition in which part of the discs between the vertebrae press against the spinal column) and patellar luxation (the improper alignment of the leg joint).
Beagles who are overweight are probably more likely to suffer from these conditions, as well as arthritis and other joint problems. Accordingly, it is very important to avoid over-feeding your beagle to ensure she stays fit and trim. If you do have a hound on the hefty side, consider switching to a dog food designed for weight loss.
What to Consider When Selecting a Top Beagle Dog Food
Because most health issues that afflict beagles are hereditary and unrelated to their diet, beagles do not have many specific dietary requirements. In most cases, you simply need to select a healthy food that your beagle finds palatable and you find affordable.
Be sure that you don’t over-feed your beagle, no matter which food you choose. Most dogs require about 30 Calories per pound of body weight, per day to maintain their weight, although small dogs (who radiate heat much more quickly than large dogs do), may need closer to 40 Calories per pound. Accordingly, a 20-pound beagle would need about 600 to 800 Calories per day.
This calorie range will typically keep most beagles svelte, but be sure to adjust the figure to accommodate your pup’s activity level and status (altered dogs have slightly lower caloric needs than unaltered pets do). However, it may be wise to select a weight-control formula if your beagle is already bulging a bit too much.
6 Best Dog Foods for Beagles
The following six dog foods should suit your beagle well. The first three options are standard recipes, while the final three are weight-control formulas, which may be good options for owners of beagles with weight issues.
Be sure to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs with your vet before switching foods or selecting a weight-loss formula.
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie
Buffalo-based dog food that’s grain-free
Features buffalo, lamb, and chicken protein as the first three ingredients, with no soy or grains. Also includes three probiotic strains for better digestion.
About: Taste of the Wild High Prairie is designed to mimic the diet of your beagle’s wolf ancestors.
Because it is made with real roasted meats, it provides the kind of nutrition you want for your pup, along with a taste he’ll adore.
- Buffalo is the first listed ingredient, followed by lamb meal, and chicken meal for tons of protein!
- 100% grain-free recipe relies on sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas for its carbohydrate content
- Taste of the Wild is made in one of three facilities, all of which are located in the USA
Taste of the wild is full of great ingredients, including several different whole proteins, several different fruits and vegetables and three probiotic strains. Most owners report that their dog simply loves the meaty taste as well.
Very few owners have reported problems with Taste of the Wild, and most of these problems that have been reported relate to problems with the packaging or shipping, rather than the actual food.
Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas...,
potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
2. Orijen Regional Red for Dogs
Fresh regional ingredients with preservative-free formula
Loaded with 16 animal-based ingredients and a variety of nutritious fruits and veggies, this recipe packs serious protein while offering a savory, delicious flavor.
About: Orijen makes a number of very nutritious, biologically appropriate recipes based on regionally sourced ingredients. Regional Red is one of the best rated, and it is easy to see why once you start perusing the ingredient list.
Orijen’s first ingredients are deboned beef, deboned wild boar, deboned goat, deboned, lamb, and so on. The first non-meat ingredient is 17 ingredients down the list! This is virtually unheard of for most dog foods.
- Two-thirds of the meat products in Regional Red are fresh or raw
- 38% of the calories in Regional Red come from protein sources, while only 20% come from carbohydrates
- Made with a variety of anatomical components, including muscle meat, cartilage and organ meats
No other widely available food has as many different proteins at the top of the ingredient list — the first 16 items are animal-based ingredients. But it also includes a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables, as well as three different probiotic strains.
Regional Red is a great food that most dogs and owners love, but it is very pricey. Nevertheless, if you’ve got the room in your budget, it is a tough food to beat.
Deboned beef, deboned wild boar, deboned goat, deboned lamb, llamb liver...,
beef liver, beef tripe, wild boar liver, deboned mutton, beef heart, whole Atlantic mackerel, deboned pork, goat meal, wild boar meal, lamb meal, mackerel meal, whole green peas, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, beef kidney, pork liver, herring meal, whole chickpeas, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, beef meal, whole yellow peas, lentil ﬁber, natural pork ﬂavor, pork kidney, beef fat, herring oil, mutton meal, lamb tripe, wild boar heart, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, dried kelp, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried beef tripe, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried lamb tripe, pumpkin seeds, sunﬂower seeds, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Biﬁdobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product.
3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
Grain-free, small-sized kibble
Formulated for small breed dogs, this recipe features smaller-sized kibble with beef & beef meal as first ingredients.
About: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is available in a small breed formulation, which will suit your little beagle very well. One of the best brands around, Blue Buffalo makes high-quality foods with plenty of nutrition packed into each bite.
- Deboned beef – a great protein source — is the first listed ingredient
- 100% grain-free, high-protein recipe provides the type of nutrition your dog needs
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness is made in the USA
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is packed with very high-quality ingredients. It features all of the things you’d want and expect from a premium food, including several whole proteins, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and five different probiotic strains.
There aren’t many problems with Blue Buffalo, as it is a nutritious food that most dogs love. However, premium products usually come at premium prices, and some owners may consider this food a bit on the expensive side.
Deboned Beef, Beef Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Fish Meal...,
Dried Egg Product, Canola Oil (Source Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Potatoes, Dl-Methionine, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Deboned Venison, Deboned Lamb, Salt, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil Of Rosemary.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight
Healthy option for beagle weight-loss
Features lean chicken, along with healthy grains and a plethora of fruits and vegetables to help your beagle slim down.
About: Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight is a good option for owners of overweight beagles. Like all other Blue Buffalo products, their Healthy Weight recipe is designed to provide your dog with a nutritious food that tastes great.
- Deboned chicken is the first listed ingredient; it’s also one that many dogs love
- Whole grains are used to provide the complex carbohydrates your energetic beagle needs
- Made with glucosamine and chondroitin to protect your dog’s joints
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection is made in the USA
Like most other Blue Buffalo products, Life Protection Healthy Weight features a great ingredient list. Most of the protein in the food comes from deboned chicken, and a plethora of fruits and vegetables are included to provide a balanced diet. It is also supplemented with ingredients that supply omega fatty acids and three different probiotics.
A very small number of owners reported that their dog did not like the taste of this food, but most owners reported that their dog loved the taste, and they loved the way it helped their dog shed a few pounds.
Deboned Chicken, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal...,
Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Rye, Rice Bran, Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Garlic, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Yucca schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Turmeric, Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Dried Chicory Root, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
5. Solid Gold Holistic Dry Dog Food
Low-fat and low-calorie recipe
This uniquely-crafted diet recipe is made with 20 different “superfoods”, healthy grains, and fresh pollock as the #1 ingredient to provide nutrition while keeping calories low.
About: Solid Gold Holistic is a great option for those who prefer a food made from a company that embraces a holistic approach to your dog’s nutrition. Solid Gold has been doing exactly that for the past 40 years – longer than any other American manufacturer!
- Pollock – a nutritious fish hailing from Alaskan waters – is the first listed ingredient
- Solid Gold Holistic is made with 20 different “superfoods” including blueberries, spinach, almonds and more
- All Solid Gold foods are made in the USA
Solid Gold is a really good option for beagles (and most other breeds), and it boasts a very impressive ingredient list. Fresh-caught pollock is used as the primary protein to help lower the calories in the food, while still providing your dog with the protein and omega fatty acids he needs. In addition to the nutrient- and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in the recipe, it features three different probiotics.
While most dogs found the recipe quite palatable, a few owners reported that their dogs did not like the taste of Solid Gold Holistic. Beagles are rarely picky, so this is probably shouldn’t be a big concern.
Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice...,
Peas, Oatmeal, Ocean Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Eggs, Carrots, Salt, Pumpkin, Ground Flaxseed, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Blueberries, Cranberries, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.
6. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight
Non-GMO with lean lamb
A low-calorie formula with a mix of meat protein and fiber to support healthy weight loss.
About: Nutro Lite and Weight Management is a low-calorie formula designed to help portly dogs shed a few extra pounds. Like most other Nutro products, it is packed with nutritious ingredients and most dogs love the taste.
- Deboned lamb is the first listed ingredient and primary protein source
- Made without any artificial colors, artificial flavors or genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Nutro products are made in the USA
Nutro is made with most of the things you’d want for your dog, and very few of the things you wouldn’t. Deboned lamb is a great protein source and whole brown rice and whole grain oatmeal are easily digested sources of carbohydrates. The increased fiber content of the food can also help promote weight loss in overweight pups.
A very small number of owners reported that Nutro’s Lite and Weight Management recipe caused their dog to have minor intestinal upset, which is probably due to the increased fiber content of the food. Unfortunately, there aren’t any probiotics included in the recipe.
Deboned Lamb, Whole Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Lamb Meal, Split Peas...,
Powdered Cellulose, Chickpeas, Pea Protein, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Soybean Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin E Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
In most cases, you won’t really have to over-think your beagle’s food choices. Although some beagles struggle with weight gain, and may therefore be best served by one of the weight-control recipes detailed above, most simply need a high-quality dog food. Just compare the potential options and try to make the best decision for your little pup.
Have you found a great food that your beagle simply loves? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!