You should count yourself lucky if you have a Beagle! These small but mighty hound dogs are wonderful companions with happy and loving dispositions, and they seem to be low-maintenance dogs at first glance. But just because a dog has a short coat, you shouldn’t assume that they are hypoallergenic or low shedding. So, do Beagles shed frequently and/or excessively?
The answer depends on the time of year. For most of the year, Beagles shed a moderate amount of hair. But during the shedding seasons of spring and fall, Beagles tend to shed quite a bit more.
Read on where we explore everything about Beagle coats to determine how much they shed and how you can best keep up with all that hair.
A Little Bit About the Beagle Coat
Beagles are hound dogs with double coats, which may or not surprise you. Hound dogs in general have a good reason for this. Beagles were bred for hunting, and the extra layer acts as a water repellent. But double coats also keep dogs cooler in the summer and warm in the winter. Even those dogs with immensely thick coats, like Alaskan Malamutes, need those coats to cool them off in the summer.
The Beagle’s coat is smooth and shorthaired. They have two layers of hair: the undercoat, which is dense and thick, and the outer coat, which is coarse and water repellent.
Their double coat also protects the Beagle from such things as thorns and brush, and as already mentioned, it’s weather and water resistant.
What’s Up With the Shedding?
It can be a bit of a surprise when your shorthaired pet starts shedding excessively. There will always be moderate shedding throughout the year, but when the seasons change, so do the coats.
Even if you live in a location that doesn’t have a distinct four seasons and it’s warm all year long, your dog will still shed. The shedding is triggered by the hours of daylight and not the temperatures, just like the leaves changing color in the fall.
In the spring, the Beagle loses the extra thick winter coat in favor of a lighter summer coat. Then in the fall, the lighter summer undercoat is shed to prepare for the dense winter coat again.
Beagles don’t shed nearly as much as other breeds, but you can expect frequent shedding if you own a dog with a double coat.
How Can You Keep on Top of the Shedding?
Grooming, vacuuming, more grooming, and more vacuuming! Shedding is perfectly normal, and living with a Beagle means living with hair on all your belongings. But there are a few steps that you can take that can help.
You need to start by investing in the right kind of brushes. You can use a rubber grooming mitt, a hound glove, a medium-bristle brush, or all of the above.
These tools will help remove the excess hair, and this additionally promotes new hair growth. It also helps distribute the natural oils through the coat and the skin.
You’ll want to brush your Beagle about once a week, but during the shedding seasons, you might want to brush a minimum of three times a week or even every day, if it gets bad enough. If the weather allows for it, be sure to brush your dog outside. This can keep the hair flurries out of your home.
Since a Beagle’s coat is dense, it can trap dirt and debris. Even when their coat doesn’t look dirty, it likely is. The natural oils and the excess fur, along with any dirt, all become trapped in the coat and will eventually start to emit that famous hound dog smell.
You should only give your Beagle a bath every 3 weeks or so, being sure to use dog shampoo. Human shampoo or any other cleansing agent not meant for dogs can damage the pH levels of their skin.
If you bathe your Beagle more frequently, it will strip the all-important natural oils from their coat. Of course, you can break the 3-week rule if your dog rolls in something smelly or sticky.
If you decide to use a deshedder, you need to be careful. Deshedders can be used during the shedding seasons and are quite effective at removing excess fur. But if used too often or not used correctly, they can damage or irritate the skin.
During shedding seasons, you might want to use it about three times a week but only once a week in the other seasons.
If you spray your Beagle with a leave-in conditioner, not only will it make your dog smell nice and leave them with a healthy and soft coat, but it can also decrease shedding. The leave-in conditioner will help protect the skin against things like the dry winter air, sunlight, or any other skin irritant.
This is more of an after-the-fact solution, but just regularly going around the house with a vacuum will reduce the hair. There are great handheld vacuums that are designed specifically to pick up pet hair from curtains, stairs, and furniture.
How Much Shedding Is Too Much?
There will usually be other symptoms along with the excess hair loss, which should merit a visit to the vet. While excess shedding doesn’t sound like much of an emergency, you know your dog best, so don’t hesitate to speak to your veterinarian. Sometimes, hair loss can be a sign of a more serious problem.
Yes, Beagles shed, and you’ll need to do your share of brushing, bathing, and vacuuming. Giving your Beagle a high-quality diet and ensuring that they have enough omega-3 and -6 fatty acids in their food or via a supplement can help with excessive shedding.
We hope that following these tips will help you with your hair-covered home. Also, consider investing in lint rollers, particularly for your clothing. But spending quality time brushing your sweet Beagle sounds like an excellent time for bonding, and aren’t they worth it?