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When trying to find the best food recipe for beagles, it is important to be cognizant of the health issues that beagles are prone to. Some of the health problems that your beagle may suffer from include patellar luxation, glaucoma, epilepsy, central progressive retinal atrophy (CPRA), hypothyroidism, distichiasis, chondrodysplasia, cherry eye, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS).  While not all these health issues may be caused by diet, it is important to find a food recipe that will help alleviate or prevent these problems.

What is a beagle dog breed?

The beagle dog breed is a small to medium-sized hound originally developed for hunting rabbits and hare. The beagle is the most popular rabbit-hunting dogs in the United States today. Beagles have also been used for tracking deer, elk, and bear. They are also used as detection dogs in airports to sniff out contraband such as drugs and explosives. The beagle is a member of the Hound group in the American Kennel Club.

Below is an image of a Beagle.

Image of a Beagle small-breed dog
Image of a Beagle small-breed dog

Beagles have been bred in the United Kingdom since the 1830s. They were brought to America in the 1840s and became popular as hunting dogs. Beagles are also popular pets; they ranked as the 7th most popular purebred dog in the United States in 2021, according to the American Kennel Club.

Beagles are small to medium-sized dogs with a short, hard coat and long, floppy ears. They come in a variety of colors including black, tan, white, red, blue, and tri-color (black, tan, and white). Beagles are active, playful dogs that make great companions for families with children. They do require daily exercise and need plenty of space to run and play. Beagles are intelligent dogs and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks.

What are the nutritional requirements of beagles?

To settle on the most appropriate diet to put your beagle, it is important to understand how the dog’s attributes contribute to their required energy requirements.

Active dogs:

As an active dog, Beagles burn more calories and therefore require more energy in their diet. When formulating a diet for an active beagle, the first step is to identify how many calories per day your dog needs. Fat-based diets yield more energy compared to other sources such as carbohydrates. Therefore, a higher fat diet is recommended for active dogs. The second step is to identify the optimal ratio of fat to other nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates.

A beagle’s ideal diet should consist of 22-32% protein and 14-22% fat.

Dogs with short coats:

Beagles have short coats and do not require as much fat in their diet as dogs with longer coats. The ideal ratio of fat to other nutrients for beagles is 14-22% fat.

Dogs that are prone to weight gain:

Beagles are prone to weight gain and therefore require a diet that is lower in calories. The ideal diet for a beagle prone to weight gain is 18-24% protein and 10-14% fat.

Dogs with medical conditions:

Some beagles may suffer from medical conditions that require a special diet. For example, dogs with pancreatitis require a diet that is low in fat. Dogs with kidney disease require a diet that is low in protein. Consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations for dogs with medical conditions.

Small and medium breeds:

Beagles are small to medium-sized dogs. According to the National Research Council (NRC), dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds need 30 to 40 calories per pound of body weight per day. Dogs that weigh more than 20 pounds need 20 to 30 calories per pound of body weight per day.

The NRC recommends that small and medium breeds be fed a diet that is 24% protein and 8-10% fat.


We have also written guides on the following Beagle mix breeds;

  1. Beagle and Pitbull Mix
  2. Beagle and Dachshund Mix
  3. Beagle and Bulldog mix

Nutrients to look for when picking the best diet for a beagle:

Chondroitin and glucosamine:

Beagles are susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia. Both of these conditions can lead to joint pain and arthritis. Adding chondroitin and glucosamine to your beagle’s diet can help to reduce the symptoms of these conditions. I have reviewed all the top dog food brands with glucosamine here.

Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. They can also help to improve the health of your beagle’s skin and coat.


Antioxidants can help to protect your beagle’s cells from damage. They can also help to improve the health of your beagle’s skin and coat.


Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that is important for the health of your beagle’s skin and coat.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help to protect your beagle’s cells from damage. It can also help to improve the health of your beagle’s skin and coat.

Folic acid:

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for the health of your beagle’s skin and coat.

Grain-free vs grain-inclusive for beagles:

There is much debate over whether grain-free or grain-inclusive diets are better for dogs. Grain-free diets are often more expensive than grain-inclusive diets but have been linked to DCM in some recent studies. However, some owners believe that grain-free diets are easier for dogs to digest and provide more nutrition. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

If your beagle is allergic to grains, a grain-free diet is necessary. If your beagle is not allergic to grains, either a grain-free or grain-inclusive diet is acceptable.

Can I feed small-breed dog food to my Beagle?

Yes, you can feed small-breed dog food to your beagle. Small-breed dog food is designed for dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds. Beagles typically weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. Therefore, small-breed dog food is an appropriate diet for beagles.

Are there recipes formulated specifically for beagles?

Yes, there are recipes formulated specifically for beagles. These recipes take into account the unique nutritional needs of beagles. For example, some recipes include ingredients that help to keep a beagle’s coat healthy and shiny. One of the few pet food companies that produce a range of meals specifically designed for Beagle breeds is Royal Canin.

How much to feed a beagle puppy and an adult?

Beagles, like most dogs, require a considerable amount of nutrition in order to develop. Puppies can consume up to 2 cups of food until they are about a year old, at which time they may start eating adult chow. Beagle puppies that are between two and five months old should have four regular meals each day, plus snacks during training. If your puppy is particularly active, then you might want to consider giving him five smaller meals at more regular intervals.

The video below is a complete Beagle feeding guide for puppies and adults.

Puppies have different energy requirements than adult dogs. Puppies need more calories per pound of body weight than adult dogs. Puppy food is formulated to meet the higher energy needs of puppies.

Adult beagles should eat around 1 cup of food each day, divided into two meals.

Calculating the caloric requirement of Beagles:

To calculate the amount of food your dog requires each day, use the calories required by a beagle. Beagles weigh between 25 and 30 pounds and require approximately 674 to 922 calories every day. The amount of daily calorie intake required depends on your Beagle’s activity level; dogs that are more active need greater amounts of daily calories.

  1. Low in calories but getting dense nutrition, including all the essential nutrients
  2. A variety of protein sources, including animal-based proteins
  3. A mix of fats, with an emphasis on healthy fats like Omega-3s
  4. Complex carbohydrates for sustained energy release
  5. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for overall health

In summary, we found the best dog food for beagles should be those brands that meet the following criteria:

-High in protein

-Moderate in fat

-Low in carbohydrates

-Contain no artificial ingredients

A few of the best dog food brands for beagles are:

  1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Beagle
  2. Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult
  3. American Journey Active Life Formula Small Breed Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe
  4. Zignature Zssential Multi-Protein Formula Small Bites
  5. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free
  6. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Oatmeal Recipe
  7. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult
  8. Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Beagle

  • Breed size: Small and medium
  • Top ingredients: Corn, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, wheat, and corn gluten meal
  • Calories: 283 kcal per cup
  • Price: $92.99 for 30-lb bag. Per pound, it is $3.1

On top of this list is the sole brand by Royal Canin specifically formulated to need all the nutritional requirements highlighted above. The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Beagle Adult Dry Dog Food is a complete food for adult dogs. It contains everything your dog needs to stay healthy and fit, including antioxidants that help fight off harmful free radicals. The kibble helps dogs chew slowly, which makes them feel full longer and may aid in weight management. This formula also features fibers that help support digestive health and manage stool quality.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Beagle is specially formulated with the right calorie content to help keep your pup trim. This kibble also provides bone support and promotes joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin, making it a great choice for athletic, sturdy builds.


  1. -Complete nutrition for adult dogs
  2. Aids in weight management
  3. Promotes digestive health
  4. Supports joint health


  1. More expensive than some other brands
  2. Uses corn as the #1 ingredient. Corn is considered a filler and may not have high nutritional value compared to recipes that use meat as the first ingredient
  3. It uses chicken by-products which may contain feet, beaks, and other parts of the chicken that are not typically consumed by people.

Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult

  • Top 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain barley, split peas, and brewers rice
  • Calories: 352 kcal per cup
  • Rating: 4.7/5 by 500+ customers on Chewy
  • Price: $31.98 for 13-lb bag. Per pound, it cost $2.46

The next best dog food for beagles on our list is Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food. If you’re looking to increase your Beagle’s protein intake, this diet by Nutro has among the highest proportions of protein at 24%. Worth noting that the protein source and quality are also very high.

This recipe is made with real chicken as the first ingredient, providing high-quality protein to support your pup’s lean muscle.

Unlike Royal Canin’s recipe above which doesn’t use real chicken or chicken meal, Nutro Natural’s chicken as a source of protein is known to have high digestibility levels and high levels of bioavailability. This means the nutrients, along with all amino acids are easily absorbed.

This dog food is designed for small breed dogs’ needs in mind, making it a great choice for small breeds like pugs, shih tzus, terriers and more. Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance, this recipe features non-GMO ingredients and is free of chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy.

Nutro’s Natural Choice Small Breed Adult formula contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep your pup moving comfortably. This kibble is specially designed for dogs ages 1 year and older, and is perfect for small breeds.


  • Made with real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joints and hip support
  • Significantly cheaper than our top choice by up to 1/3
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy


  1. Uses Brewers rice which is a lower-quality grain

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