Feeding the Beagle
These nutrition tips cover all canine needs, as well as the Beagle's unparalleled love of food.
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Another way fats can be beneficial to your Beagle is in controlling inflammation. Dr. Carey says the fatty acids known as Omega 6 and Omega 3 can help control inflammation in the skin when Beagles head off into the brambles. Not only do they have to expend fewer nutrients on repairing the skin, but if the level of these fatty acids is between 5-to-1 and 3-to-1, it can be a benefit for older dogs with arthritis, he says.
Fats in commercial dog diets are primarily derived from chicken fat, tallow, lard, corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, fish oils and full-fat flax or flax oil, Dr. Reinhart adds. In general, the fats derived from animal sources are used to provide energy, and the fats derived from plant sources are used to keep skin and fur healthy.
If you really need to count calories for your Beagle to get the weight off, rather than cutting fat, consider serving the same amount spread over more meals during the day. When you go to multiple meals beyond two a day, its usually because you're trying to help the dog lose weight. Every time you feed the dog, the mechanisms for digesting food have to kick in and that uses energy, Dr. Carey says. Because of this action in the body, Dr. Carey says if you feed the same amount of food over four meals versus two meals your dog will actually receive fewer calories from it because of the energy used to begin the digestion process.
The Facts on Fiber
Fiber can also play a role in your Beagles nutritional health. Recent findings suggest that all fiber isn't equal. While some fibers pass through the body, doing nothing more than adding roughage to the diet, other fibers are fermentable and can be broken down and used by the body, Dr. Carey maintains. One of the biggest problems for show dogs and field animals, depending on how hard they're working, is getting what handlers call stress diarrhea. Not only can it be a problem during competition, but it can become a medical concern as well. You can build a diet to minimize this. By putting a fiber in the diet, such as beet pulp, we have been able to promote a healthy intestinal tract, he says.
The Complexities of Carbohydrates
Don't forget the third major building blockcarbohydrates. While dogs don't need the high levels of carbohydrates that humans do, carbohydrates can provide sporting dogs with another source of energy. What isn't used by the body is stored as body fat.
Ingredients in dog food that provide complex carbohydrates include various forms of corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, barley, potato and oats. These are cooked, not raw, grains, Dr. Reinhart stresses. Feeding uncooked grains can result in loose stools and flatulence.
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