Can What You Feed Your Beagle Affect Shedding?
To put it bluntly, Beagles shed a lot and if you own one, you’re likely thinking about how you can help cut down the amount of hair in your home.
There are numerous factors that can affect your beagles shedding, but what about what you feed your beagle? How does that affect it? Well, the answer may surprise you! (the answer is, yes it does affect it)
The science behind shedding in Beagles
Shedding is a completely natural process that all beagles go through, it is important for current and potential beagle owners to understand the process and ultimately, how to manage it to ensure your home remains as free of beagle hair as possible.
The shedding process and other causes
Like all dogs, the shedding process in beagles is completely natural, it’s simply them replacing their old fur with new fur.
Beagles have a double coat, which consists of a topcoat and an undercoat. The topcoat is made up of longer, coarser hairs that protect them from the elements, while the undercoat is made up of softer, finer hairs that help keep them warm and comfortable in different temperatures.
The shedding can be affected by various factors, seasons, age, hormones and even food, as we’ll discuss in this article.
How diet affects shedding
Unbeknownst to many people, what you feed your beagle or any dog can have a profound impact on not only the amount they shed, but the overall quality of their coat. Let’s dig into the specific nutrients that will affect shedding the most
Foods & ingredients that can cause excessive shedding
Here’s a selection of the ingredients and nutrients that can cause excessive shedding in Beagles, keep an eye out for these if you want to reduce shedding:
- Foods that are high in fillers and by-products: On their own, these are relatively harmless, but in high quantities (found in poorer quality food), they can lead to a poor coat and skin health.
- Foods that are high in allergens: Beagles, like other dogs, can develop food allergies that can cause excessive shedding. Common allergens include wheat, soy, and corn, check with your vet if you think your dog is having a reaction to any of these.
- Foods that are low in essential fatty acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important for maintaining a healthy coat and skin, without these, you might notice an increase in shedding!
- Foods that are high in sugar: High levels of sugar in the diet can cause an imbalance of hormones and lead to shedding.
It should be noted that most commercially available, big brand pet foods will be marked as “nutritionally complete” which means that they are likely to contain all the nutrients your dog needs for a balanced diet.
What you should keep on top of is foods outside of their usual diet and treats, as these are far more likely to contain nutrients that are likely to upset their natural shedding process.
It’s important to note that every beagle is unique and may have different dietary needs. Whilst beagles do shed a lot, if you suspect that your beagle’s shedding is excessive or has increased drastically, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions, and to help find the best diet for your dog.
Tips for choosing the right diet for your Beagle
According to the PDSA in the UK (Vets Pet Charity), you should be looking for the following things when choosing dog food for a beagle:
- Nutritionally complete: Food should be labelled “complete” as this means that it features all the correct nutrients (and amount) that your beagle needs.
- For either Puppy, Adult or Senior: Yes, this does matter, check the label.
- Ingredients: You may not understand the list, but all commercially available dog food has to pass a legal vet inspection, so you can be rest assured it’s all ok!
- If you want to be extra sure, you can look for brands that are part of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) as these brands have met extra quality standards over the legal minimum.
- Be wary of potential food allergies: There are a number of common food allergens in dog food, such as wheat, soy, and corn. If you suspect that your beagle has a food allergy, work with your vet to create an elimination diet to identify the specific allergy.
- Avoid foods that are high in sugar: High levels of sugar in the diet can cause an imbalance of hormones and lead to shedding.
Remember that it’s always best to consult with your vet to ensure that your beagle is receiving the proper nutrition.
What food to feed your beagle to prevent excess shedding
Finding the right food for your beagle can seem like a challenge, there are lots of possible options out there, all claiming lots of different things. Well, not to worry, we’ve created a list of different wet & dry foods that are sure to not only please your pup but also to help keep their coat shiny and reduce shedding.
Speaking from experience, we noticed a reduction in shedding from our beagle, Bella, when we started feeding her both wet and dry food, when compared to just feeding her dry kibble.
I suggest checking out that list for the full details, however, here’s my top 3 picks for food to help reduce shedding:
Best Vet Recommended Wet Food Overall: Lily’s Kitchen Wet Food
Pros of Lily’s Kitchen Wet Food
- All-natural, nutritionally complete, wet dog food.
- Made with freshly prepared meat, vegetables, fruits and herbs
- Made with proper meat – no meat meal, no bone meal, no rendered meat
- No derivatives, preservatives or fillers – natural and healthy dog food
- Super tasty – your Beagle will love it.
- Also available in puppy form
2. Encore 100% Natural Wet Dog Food
Pros of Encore Natural Wet Dog Food
- 100% Natural ingredients that your pet will love
- Up to 75% Meat – More real meat and no unnecessary cereals, fillers or preservatives
- High protein – Promotes lean muscle tissue
- Complementary pet food – Serve on its own or with any dry complete food
3. Harringtons Wet Dog Food
Pros of Harringtons Wet Food
- Harringtons wet dog food is, naturally complete grain-free dog food providing balanced nutrition for all dogs age 8 weeks and above.
- The Mixed 16x400g wet dog food multi-pack contains 4 tasty flavours for your dog to enjoy – 4x Turkey, 4x Salmon, 4x Chicken & 4x Duck.
- The meat’s so good, it’s graded for humans. It’s freshly prepared, cooked gently to lock in nutrition and flavour, then vitamins and minerals are added
- Harringtons dog food is proudly made in the UK and has been family run since 1923.
Nutrients that promote healthy shedding
We’ve heard about the nutrients that can cause excess shedding, but what about those that promote healthy shedding? Well, some essential nutrients for beagles include:
- Protein: Beagles need a diet high in protein to support muscle and tissue growth and repair.
- Fatty Acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help maintain a healthy coat and skin.
- Vitamins: Vitamin E and vitamin A can help with maintaining healthy skin and coat.
- Minerals: Zinc is a mineral that plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and coat.
As previously stated, this list is not exhaustive, but a healthy mix of all these should help promote healthy shedding and keep your pups coat shiny and soft.
Grooming techniques to reduce shedding
As mentioned in our comprehensive guide to grooming a beagle, you should be looking to groom your beagle often to help reduce shedding.
I’ll avoid going into too much detail here, as we’ve written about it previously, but getting a good brush and brushing your beagle 1-2 times a week at minimum will help keep shedding to a minimum.
Overall, the food you feed your beagle will have an impact on the amount it sheds, but it’s not the only factor. Various factors can affect shedding in Beagles, such as seasons, age, hormones, and, yes, food.
Foods high in fillers, allergens, low in essential fatty acids, and high in sugar can cause excessive shedding, so it’s important that when you are choosing dog food for a beagle, look for nutritionally complete, labelled for either puppy, adult, or senior, ingredients, and brands that are part of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), it’s hard to go wrong with these.
And as always, get in contact with your vet if you think there is something wrong with the amount your beagle is shedding or if you make any drastic changes to their diet.