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How Long Do Beagles Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

beagle dog inside crate

How Long Do Beagles Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The Beagle is a renowned hunting dog but has also become a loving and loyal family companion that is equally at home with a family as it is in the field. It is a lively, energetic, and playful dog that does enjoy time outdoors but requires a comfortable and safe indoor living space. As with a lot of purebred dogs, the question of how long a Beagle will live comes down to factors including genetics and whether or not it suffers from any hereditary diseases. In general, you can expect your Beagle to live for 12-15 years. Good nutrition also plays a part, and so too does the level of healthcare your pup receives.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Beagle?

It is considered a small breed, and small breeds generally live longer than large and giant breeds. As such, the average life expectancy of a Beagle is between 12–15 years, with many living well into their teens. The oldest recorded Beagle lived to be 27 years, showing that, with good care, healthcare, and a little genetic luck, your Beagle could live well beyond its expectancy.

Why Do Some Beagles Live Longer Than Others?

Beagles, like any other breed, have a broad life expectancy. There is a big difference between 12 and 15 years, and an even bigger difference between 12 and 27 years. So, what factors can contribute to your Beagle’s potential longevity?

1. Nutrition

Good nutrition is key to all animal health and longevity, including the Beagle. Beagles are active dogs, which means that they tend to have a hearty appetite. They benefit from high-quality proteins in their diet but also from incorporating some fruit and vegetables. Your Beagle needs adequate protein to ensure good muscle development and maintenance. Dietary fiber ensures a healthy digestive system, and it is important that you choose or formulate a diet that meets all of your dog’s daily dietary requirements to ensure as long and healthy a life as possible.

beagle puppy near food bowl
Image by: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Environmental Conditions

Dogs that live indoors, especially at night, live longer than dogs exposed to the cold, heat, and other extreme conditions outdoors. However, indoor living does not guarantee longevity, and factors such as exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins should also be considered.

3. Sex

Generally speaking, male and female Beagles have roughly the same life expectancy, although males are more prone to conditions like testicular cancer. Having your dog spayed or neutered will increase their life expectancy because it eliminates the risk of testicular and ovarian cancer, as well as other conditions.

beagle training outdoor
Image By: Madeeva_11, Shutterstock

4. Genes

Genetics is one of the most important factors when it comes to life expectancy. Beagles, like all purebred dog breeds, are prone to some genetic illnesses that are effectively passed down from one or both parents. Such conditions include Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration, which can lead to an affected dog being euthanized because of quality of life issues and degenerative myelopathy, which leads to affected Beagles often being unable to walk at around ten years of age. Genetic testing can determine a Beagle puppy’s likelihood of developing these conditions later in life.

5. Breeding History

There are no studies to suggest that breeding can reduce the life expectancy of male or female dogs, but pregnancy and giving birth do increase the likelihood of bitches developing certain conditions. Preventing a female Beagle from giving birth eliminates these possibilities. Overbreeding may also place undue pressure on the dog, which can also reduce their life expectancy and certainly their quality of life.

beagle dog sleeping on pillow
Image by: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

6. Healthcare

Good healthcare is critical to your pup’s general health and can prolong their life expectancy. Regular vet visits and check-ups mean that any potential problems are spotted sooner, and with many serious conditions, early identification and treatment greatly increase the chance of recovery. Your vet will be able to advise on factors like weight, diet, and other general well-being, too, which are all linked to a long life.

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The 5 Life Stages of a Beagle

Beagles go through the same life stages as most dogs, although their relatively long life expectancy and small size mean that they can take longer to reach adulthood and will remain an adults for longer than bigger breeds. Every dog is different, but the following five stages are generally accepted with the Beagle breed:

  • Newborn – A newborn Beagle is born with its eyes closed and no smell or teeth. It is completely dependent on mum for the first couple of weeks, getting warmth from her body heat and food from her milk.
  • Puppy – At about 3–4 weeks of age, the puppy’s eyes should start to open and, after about a week, the pup will start to vocalize and will be exploring the world, or at least a small portion of the world. Weaning will start gradually at about four weeks and by 6 weeks, the young puppy will want to explore more of the house. Weaning is generally finished by about 8 weeks, although some pups may continue drinking mom’s milk for a little longer. Between 8–12 weeks, most puppies will join their new families. The puppy should have undergone several rounds of deworming by the time it reaches this age, with the fifth scheduled deworming occurring at around 4 months.
  • Adolescent – At 6 months, it is generally recommended that a young Beagle be moved from puppy food to adult food, but it does depend on the individual dog. By 12 months, your Beagle will have almost reached its full adult size. Some additional weight gain is normal, but this should be much slower than during the puppy stage.
  • Adult – Adulthood is considered to start, in earnest, at around 18 months. The dog is fully grown, and their weight should remain constant. The dog needs to exercise twice a day and should be well socialized by this stage.
  • Senior – There is no specific point that a Beagle passes from adulthood to senior dog, but you and your vet should be able to recognize the signs. In most cases, this will occur between 7–10 years of age. Your Beagle will slow down, and show less interest in exercise and play, so you should consider giving a diet to reflect these changes.
beagle puppy chewing bully stick
Image by: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock

How to Tell Your Beagle’s Age

The most reliable way to tell a dog’s age is by checking their teeth, specifically looking at the level of wear and coloring. Puppies with no teeth are 4 weeks or under, while the existence of sharp, thin teeth suggests the dog is between 4–8 weeks. Permanent teeth erupt between 3 and 6 months of age and remain bright white until about 1 year of age. Signs of yellowing can begin soon after, and without adequate brushing or only eating wet food, dogs can develop tartar and gingivitis even around a year of age. Progression of this can lead to loose or missing teeth and dental infections.

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In Conclusion

Beagles are a small breed of hunting dog that make excellent family pets while still retaining their hunting prowess and use. They have a life expectancy between 12–15 years, although this depends on the dog’s activity levels, genetics, living conditions, and healthcare routine. The oldest recorded Beagle lived to 27 years, and in a lot of cases, the breed can live to their late teens so you can expect a life full of energetic love and loyalty.

Featured Image Credit: Jagodka, Shutterstock

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