10 Best Dog Food For Beagles: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

If you’re the proud parent of a beagle, you’ll know that they’re happy-go-lucky little guys who are curious, energetic, and love to play!

Dogs who are lively need a high-quality diet that can keep them in prime condition for all the frolicking and human-loving they’re going to be doing.

The food you choose to feed your beagle can make a huge difference towards raising a happy, healthy, playful pup.

The best dog food for beagles can make for a cheery, bouncy pup while a low-quality food can make your pooch miserable and unhealthy. 

Product Name
Best Low Protein Food
Best High-Fat Recipe
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Premium Dry Dog Food, Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe, 28 Pounds
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe Dog Food (2.2lb), ZCDB1000PUC
Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein 20Lb
Rating
Our Rating 87 / 100
Our Rating 87 / 100
Our Rating 86 / 100
Pro 1
Lower protein count for dogs who need less protein
Great fat content for active dogs
Nice Omega fatty acid numbers
Pro 2
Retains a good fat level for a low-protein food
Low calorie despite the higher protein and fat
Easily digestible
Best Low Protein Food
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Premium Dry Dog Food, Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe, 28 Pounds
Rating
Our Rating 87 / 100
Pro 1
Lower protein count for dogs who need less protein
Pro 2
Retains a good fat level for a low-protein food
Best High-Fat Recipe
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe Dog Food (2.2lb), ZCDB1000PUC
Rating
Our Rating 87 / 100
Pro 1
Great fat content for active dogs
Pro 2
Low calorie despite the higher protein and fat
Most affordable
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein 20Lb
Rating
Our Rating 86 / 100
Pro 1
Nice Omega fatty acid numbers
Pro 2
Easily digestible
Sources researched
27
Sources researched
Customer reviews
23,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
31
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Beagles

Rachel Ray Nutrish Just 6 Dog Food

Best Low Protein Food: Lower protein but sufficient fat count

Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality85%
Protein Quality85%
Digestability90%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Lower protein count for dogs who need less protein
  • Retains a good fat level for a low-protein food
  • Contains joint supplements
  • Limited ingredient to reduce the chances of allergies

CONS

  • No real meat
  • No veggies or fruits as carbs

It can be difficult to find dog foods that are lower in protein but still have a decent fat count, as many low-protein foods are geared towards healthy weight management.

The best dog food for beagles is slightly higher in fat, as it is metabolized to be used as energy. As low-protein dog foods go. this one hits the mark with both the protein and the fat content (13%), and also uses good quality, easily digestible ingredients (and good grains like brown rice).

It would be one of the best dog foods for beagles whose vets have recommended a low protein diet.

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

Best High-Fat Recipe: Great for active dogs

Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein Quality90%
Digestability90%
Calorie Count87%
Affordability75%

PROS

  • Great fat content for active dogs
  • Low calorie despite the higher protein and fat
  • Air-drying preserves nutrients in the food
  • Contains dried kelp

CONS

  • Biggest bag available is only 2.2lb
  • No carb sources included

Ziwi Peak is a brand that many people may not know about, but this food is a great quality option for beagles who can handle the elevated protein count.

The fat count may surprise some dog owners, but don’t be alarmed – if your beagle is young and active they will thrive on this dog food. The best dog foods for beagles who are very active need a good fat count to provide easy-to-access energy.

The calorie count is superb, too, at 312 per cup. The all-natural ingredients, natural preservation, higher than usual protein and fat counts, the inclusion of kelp, and low calories make this ideal for beagles. 

Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food

Most affordable: Good quality, great price

Overall Rating86%
Ingredient Quality85%
Protein Quality80%
Digestability90%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Nice Omega fatty acid numbers
  • Very affordable
  • Easily digestible
  • Added “K9 Strain” probiotics (and kelp)

CONS

  • “Real meat” in the title is deceiving!
  • Protein and fat counts are slightly low but not bad
  • May not be suitable for pups who are sensitive to grains

This is our pick for the best dog food for beagles of all activity levels, as it contains 332 calories per cup, which is on the lower side.

Active and inactive beagles would benefit from the low calorie count, although if you’re feeding this to a very active pet, make sure to give them a couple of treats in between meals to make sure they’re getting enough calories in.

The ingredient quality is great for its price, it contains all the nutrients a beagle needs, and includes kelp to help counter hypothyroidism, which is one of the disorders a beagle can suffer from.

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More For Less 

This is one of the best dog foods for beagles whose owners are looking for high-quality but a decent price.

While it uses lamb meal as its protein source instead of real meat, this is a good, protein-rich ingredient and is highly digestible too.

The vegetables and fruits are great, wholesome ingredients, and the Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids are right up there with other foods.

This is definitely recommended for beagle owners who are looking for something easy on the pocket and still nutritious and healthy. 

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best High Protein Recipe: Gives beagles sustained energy

Overall Rating86%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein Quality90%
Digestability85%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Grain free and easily digestible
  • Great levels of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Contains joint-strengthening supplements
  • Great vitamins and minerals

CONS

  • Slightly high calorie
  • Not suitable for inactive dogs

We love the ingredient quality in Merrick’s food.

They’re all easily digestible, natural, non-allergenic ingredients, packed with great, healthy protein, and their main carbohydrate choices (potatoes and sweet potatoes) will give your beagle sustained energy for a day full of playfulness.

Your beagle will also benefit from the glucosamine levels, which will help make sure there’s as little chance as possible of them suffering joint problems.

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High in Protein For Young, Active Pups 

This is one of the higher protein dog foods we’ve reviewed, with a whopping 38%.

The main source is high-quality deboned beef, with the protein count being increased by the addition of lamb meal and deboned salmon. This is great for building and maintaining strong and healthy muscle, so we recommend this one for young, active, growing beagles who get plenty of run-around time. If your furry friend is older and less active, we’d suggest choosing a different food. 

Leading Omega-3 and -6 Fatty Acids Levels 

The Omega-3 and -6 fatty acid levels are some of the highest we’ve seen in dog foods.

This is thanks to ingredients like pork fat, salmon, salmon oil, and flaxseed oil. This is also great for younger, playful pups as it helps keep their joints supple, their skin moisturized, and their fur soft and sleek.

Don’t confuse this with the crude fat count, which is the digestible fat (at 15% in this food). It’s quite average here, considering the high level of protein, which isn’t a problem if your pet is young and bouncy.

Nutro Max Natural Adult Senior Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best For Seniors: Easily digestible

Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality80%
Protein Quality90%
Digestability80%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Quite affordable
  • Easily digestible which is great for seniors
  • Contains joint supplements
  • No corn, wheat, soy or allergy-inducing ingredients

CONS

  • Slightly high calorie if seniors are less active
  • May not be suitable if dogs are sensitive to grains

This is our choice for the best dog food for beagle seniors who are quite active.

It’s all-natural, making it easy to digest so if your pooch has developed a sensitive stomach with age, it shouldn’t be a problem. The calorie count is slightly on the higher side, so we recommend it for seniors who are still active.

If your older pup is a little less active, you might want to consider a daily walk if they’re eating this food. The joint supplements it includes are great for beagles (as hip and elbow dysplasia can occur in the breed) and especially so for senior beagles. 

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Easily Digestible 

The main ingredient in this one is chicken meal, which is great for seniors as it’s a perfectly healthy and high-quality protein source and is easy to digest.

Real chicken does make an appearance, so between that and the chicken meal, the protein content is quite decent. Grains are the main sources of carbohydrates, but they’re the healthy, gluten-free grains (brown rice, oatmeal, sorghum) that should go easy on your older guy or girl’s stomach. Fish oil and chicken fat adds a dose of fatty acids and helps a little with digestion as well. 

Glucosamine & Chondroitin 

As beagles can be prone to hip and knee troubles, glucosamine and chondroitin are a really great addition to a food for seniors, especially if they’re still quite active.

These two help strengthen joints so your pup will be less susceptible to having these issues. It’s also great if your dog may be carrying a little extra weight, as it supports their joints to carry the weight as easily as possible. 

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best For Active Beagles: High-quality protein sources

Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein Quality90%
Digestability85%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability75%

PROS

  • Wholesome vegetables and fruits as carb sources
  • Contains supplements for strong joints
  • Good levels of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • High in protein and fat, which is great for active beagles

CONS

  • High calorie – make sure your dog is active when they eat this!
  • Quite pricey

Wellness Core foods are made with premium quality ingredients, real meat, and vegetables and have plenty of added vitamins and minerals to keep your energetic beagle as healthy and strong as possible.

A healthy beagle should thrive on the higher protein and fat counts, as their body will use it up as they do their active beagle thing. We recommend that you do not feed this to your pup if they do not get frequent exercise – they need to be able to burn off the calories to avoid packing on weight (which beagles can be prone to!)

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High in Protein and Fat 

With 34% protein, 16% fat, and 421 calories per cup, this food is definitely more suited to active, energetic beagles.

The protein comes from great animal sources and will keep their muscles strong and supple. The fat is also high-quality and will help your pup’s metabolism to move along smoothly. Chicken fat and salmon oil make for super Omegas!

You’ll need to make sure your active dog can handle two meals a day at this calorie count, and be sparing with treats in between! 

If your pup is sensitive to chicken, be careful. Although deboned turkey is the first ingredient, it contains chicken meal down the list. Chicken fat is not a problem as it doesn’t contain the allergy-inducing component.

Merrick Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

Best For Beagle Puppies: Grain-free for easier digestion

Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein Quality90%
Digestability85%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability75%

PROS

  • Grain free for easier digestion
  • Contains supplements for joints
  • Contains DHA (great for development and growth)
  • Healthy fruits and vegetables as carbs

CONS

  • One of the more expensive foods

Beagles are naturally energetic dogs, and puppies are usually even more so. The ingredients in this food make it the best dog food for beagles who are still growing.

Merrick has crafted this food specifically for puppies, and your little beagle will definitely benefit from eating this as their daily meal. The ingredients are superb quality, with deboned chicken and chicken meal making up the protein, and potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries contributing to the carbs and antioxidant properties.

Although this mentions that it’s for small breeds, the numbers make it more than suitable for beagle puppies too. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which will help your little guy’s joints stay strong from the start.

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Higher Calorie  

Puppies tend to burn more energy than older dogs do simply because they have plenty of energy and are still growing and learning.

This food has 397 calories in each cup, which is great for developing pups, and those calories in this food are packed to the brim with healthy nutrients. The deboned chicken provides a great protein count, at 28%, to build healthy, strong muscles. Glucosamine is great for puppies too, as are the added vitamins and minerals in this food. 

DHA For Puppies  

DHA is short for docosahexaenoic acid, which is a particular type of Omega-3 fatty acid.

It isn’t naturally produced in a dog’s body, but it’s found in eggs, fish, and some kinds of organ meat. It’s an important nutrient for puppies particularly, as it contributes towards the healthy development of the brain, central nervous system, and eyes.

Fatty acids also go a long way towards keeping your puppy’s coat and skin healthy and nourished. 

Orijen Original Dog Food

Best Biologically Appropriate: For dogs of all ages and life stages

Overall Rating84%
Ingredient Quality90%
Protein Quality90%
Digestability85%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability70%

PROS

  • Nutrient-dense
  • Rich in meat (fresh and raw)
  • Suitable for dogs of all ages and life stages
  • Naturally preserved

CONS

  • Quite pricey
  • Fairly high calorie, so less suitable for inactive dogs

Some dogs thrive on a raw or fresh meat diet, and that’s what Orijen is.

It may look like normal kibble, but your beagle will be getting 85% meat (that may come from muscle meat, organs, cartilage, or bone). Deboned chicken and turkey come first, but organ meat follows.

Beagles were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they are naturally active and energetic, meaning the meaty, protein-rich diet they’ll get from eating this food would suit them as long as they keep up that activity level.

The glucosamine, DHA, and EPA are also great additions for active, young pups, and kelp helps avoid the possibility of hypothyroidism from a young age.

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Benefits of Raw Dieting 

The logic behind eating raw, or “biologically appropriate” dog foods, is that before dogs were domesticated, they used to hunt and eat almost all parts of their prey. While they did chew on veggies and plants occasionally, their main meal was meat, and plenty of it.

This food certainly mirrors that, with 38% protein and a good fat count of 18%. This will give your little guy or girl enough amino acids to build muscle, and enough fat to metabolize for energy, as long as they use it all up during their day! It’s definitely best for more active pets. 

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Best Without Real Meat: Good protein count and fat content

Overall Rating83%
Ingredient Quality85%
Protein Quality85%
Digestability75%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Good protein and fat content
  • Contains joint-strengthening additions
  • Nice vitamin and mineral content
  • Formulated for dogs of all ages and breeds

CONS

  • High calorie
  • May not be suitable for pups who are sensitive to grains

Canidae’s food is “ideal for multi-dog families”, as it’s formulated to be suitable for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.

The use of meat meal instead of real meat makes it suitable to feed pups no matter their disposition – whether they have sensitive tummies or are strong and healthy, this food will supply the nutrients they need.

This food is good enough quality to be beneficial to a beagle of any age, as well as containing glucosamine which gives a little boost to their joints. 

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For Dogs Of All Ages 

This is the best dog food for a beagle if he or she has brothers and sisters who need to eat too!

If you have more than one dog, this is the best dog food for your family because you can feed it to all your dogs regardless of whether they’re young or older, big or smaller, sensitive or strong. The nutrients are great for any dogs, and it’s simply up to you to make sure each pup gets the right amount. 

High Calorie  

It’s best to feed this to dogs who are quite active as the calorie count is a little on the high side at 468 per cup.

Luckily, dogs who have siblings or companions tend to be a little more active as they have someone to play with during the day! If your pets are a little on the inactive side, it would be beneficial to start introducing a daily walk. 

Instinct Original Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best High-Calorie Recipe: Great fat count for young beagles

Overall Rating81%
Ingredient Quality85%
Protein Quality85%
Digestability75%
Calorie Count85%
Affordability70%

PROS

  • Great to transition to a raw diet
  • Great fat count for young beagles
  • Contains prebiotics & antioxidants
  • Nice levels of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids

CONS

  • Quite pricey
  • High-calorie (and two different calorie counts are shown on the website)

The fat count is one of the most noticeable things on this food, standing at 20%.

Active beagles should metabolize that really nicely, and generally do well on a higher fat diet. There’s not a lot of fiber in this food, though, so although the Omega fatty acid count is pretty high, if your dog has digestive issues this may not be the food for them.

It’s raw-coated kibble, so if you’re thinking of transitioning your beagle over to a raw diet, this would be a great in-between food for them. Keep them well-exercised, though, as this one has a high calorie count.

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Raw-Coated, But Not Raw 

This kibble is made with a combination of raw and fresh ingredients, so the quality is undeniable.

They are coated in raw nutrition, so it’s enough to give your pooch that raw taste and get them used to it, but it’s not a totally raw diet. Beagles are rough, tough, and hardy little guys with very little known digestive issues, so a raw diet could be worth a try if you feel your pup isn’t getting the nutrients they need from a commercial dog food. This food is the perfect one to give them a taste and make sure they respond well before moving over entirely. 

High Fat Count 

This is one of the dog foods with the highest fat counts we’ve reviewed, and as long as your beagle is active during his day, this should be easily metabolized for energy.

If your beagle loves a good game of fetch or a long run, they’ll benefit from the 20% fat in this food. 


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Ingredient Quality

The quality of what goes into your pet’s food can never be understated. Beagles can be prone to weight gain if they don’t get enough exercise, so low-quality filler ingredients are bad news. 

Some specifics we’ve looked at in the best dog food for beagles are the presence of real meat (preferably the first ingredient), high-quality, natural carbohydrate sources, the addition of ingredients that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Additions such as glucosamine are helpful as beagles can suffer from hip dysplasia and intervertebral disk disease

The ingredients in your beagle’s food can make or break their health and wellbeing, so this is at the top of the list of criteria. You can’t go wrong with dog foods made from healthy, natural, whole foods, and that are minimally processed.

Criteria 2 – Protein Quality

Beagles are lively little fellows, so they need a good amount of protein to keep those muscles strong. What matters most about protein, though, is the source. Plant proteins work well, but they lack some nutrients that animal proteins do and are a little less digestible. 

What we’re looking for here is a high-quality animal protein source, preferably as the first ingredient on the list. We want specifics here, so beef, lamb, salmon, or anything along those lines is great. The best dog foods avoid general ingredients like “animal meat” or “animal fat”, and any meat “by-products”. 

Be aware that meat “meal” is a good quality protein source as long as it’s specified what meat it comes from. Beef meal, lamb meal, and chicken meal are very high in protein, and are easily digestible sources. Although real meat is always number one, meat meal is an acceptable high-quality protein source. 

Criteria 3 – Protein & Fat Counts

Because of their active nature, the best dog food for beagles has a moderate to high protein count and a higher than usual fat count. Protein in a dog food contributes towards strengthening muscles and bones, and fat is metabolized to be used as energy. 

We’ve reviewed dog foods with a protein count of 24% and above (with the exception of specified low-protein options), and a fat count of 15% or higher. Real meat or meat meals (chicken meal, fish meal, pork meal, or lamb meal) are both acceptable sources.

As hypothyroidism is something beagles can suffer from, we’ve also had a look at whether or not the dog food contains kelp, which is a useful ingredient to help stimulate thyroid hormones and keep your pup at a healthy weight.

Criteria 4 – Calorie Count

Beagles like to eat, and if they end up getting less exercise than they should be, the pounds can rack up. If a pup is getting enough exercise, they can eat a slightly higher calorie dog food with no worries, as they will burn it off bouncing around during playtime. 

We’ve aimed for dog foods with moderate to slightly high calorie counts to help these little guys keep up with their generally energetic dispositions. The rest is up to you and your beagle, when it comes to deciding which one would keep them at a healthy weight.

Beagles typically need between 650 and 900 calories a day, so the best dog foods for beagles will contain enough calories to feed them at least twice or three times a day and hit that goal.

Criteria 5 – Affordability

This one is always important, and is more human-oriented than pup. As our pets can’t exactly walk into the store and buy food themselves, the affordability factor is something that pet owners need to consider from their own point of view. 

It might seem like you have to shell out a fortune to make sure your pet is getting the best dog foods for beagles, but that’s not necessarily true. Of course, there will always be some foods that are more expensive than others, and if you have the means to buy them, then there’s nothing at all wrong with that. If, however, you would prefer something a little easier on the pocket while still being easy on your pup’s tummy, you can definitely find those too. 


Questions & Answers

What should I consider before buying a dog food for beagles?

When it comes to choosing the best dog foods for beagles, the biggest thing to consider is YOUR beagle. Does he have a sensitive stomach? Is he prone to food allergies? Is she active or more sedentary? 

These sorts of questions will make all the difference when it comes to choosing the right dog food for your pooch. Every dog is different, so you will need to consider yours as an individual. Things like calorie countingredients to avoid, and protein and fat levels will all depend on the answers to the above questions.

Pups who are quite active, young, and strong, will be able to handle a higher calorie and protein count, while those who are older or less active will need fewer calories. Always consider the important factors in relation to your dog and his or her particularities. 

Although beagles are considered medium breeds, it’s totally okay to feed them a small breed food if the nutrients are on-point.

What should I NOT feed my beagle?

Beagles tend to scavenge, so they will end up eating a whole lot of stuff they probably shouldn’t. This makes it imperative that you feed them healthy stuff, whether it’s their daily food, treats, or even scraps off your own plate. 

Foods to avoid include hot or spicy foods, chocolate, raisins and grapes, and anything containing caffeine. Avocado is also a no-no. It’s also best to avoid feeding your pup cat food, as the nutrient content is somewhat different and catered specifically to cats. Here is a more comprehensive list of foods that can be poisonous to your dog. 

As for ingredients, corn, wheat, and soy should be avoided.

How many calories does my beagle need?

Beagles typically weigh between 25 and 30 pounds (11-14 kilograms) and the appropriate calorie range for this weight is 650 – 900 per day. Of course, this depends largely on your pup – his health, energy levels, and amount of daily exercise will all affect how many calories he should be taking in. 

A typical small breed or medium breed dog food has between 300 and 400 calories in a cup of food, so with 2 meals a day and the occasional treat in between, your pup should be hitting these counts quite nicely. If you feel he might be eating a little too much and getting heavy, either adjust the amount of food down or the amount of exercise up to maintain a healthy weight.

What are the traits of the best dog food for beagles?

The best dog foods for beagles should be all-natural, containing an identifiable animal protein as the main ingredient, high-quality natural carbohydrate sources, and healthy sources of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. 

Dog foods for beagles should range from 300 to 400 calories per cup. The protein count should be between 24 and 30% for active pets, with a fat content of 15% or upwards. These features make a great dog food for beagles, although you can adjust them up or down depending on the energy and activity level of your beagle.

How often should I feed my beagle puppy?

Beagle puppies can be fed kibble from about 8 weeks old. 3 meals per day is recommended, and you should also stick to a strict schedule as this is where training begins. It’s advisable to moisten the kibble with water for their little teeth to dig in more easily. Keep this up until your little guy or girl is 6 months old. 

At this point, you want to start working your way down to 2 meals a day. You can slowly start lessening the food in the middle meal and increasing the amount in the first and last meals of the day. By one year old, your beagle should be quite used to eating 2 meals a day. 

Can my beagle have a treat off my dinner plate?

Treats need to be kept in moderation, especially if you have a less active beagle. As most of the dog foods for beagles we’ve mentioned above are made with real, natural food ingredients, there is nothing wrong with sharing a little bit of the same from your dinner plate with your pup. 

Of course, some human foods are not good for pups, and you can you can check out a fairly comprehensive list here. Also, if you’re feeding your pups tidbits off your plate, be sure they’re not coated in salt, spices, or dressing. The more natural, the better! Also, be cautious with bones – any bone that is cooked can splinter and cause damage, while raw bones are generally safer.

Are there any health issues that could arise from feeding my beagle the foods reviewed?

Beagles are pretty hardy little dogs and don’t tend to suffer from many health issues (especially food-related). Of course, health is also a very individual thing so your beagle may be more prone to certain things than others are. Food allergies can arise, so if your pup reacts badly to a particular food, it may be time to change their diet or see a vet. 

There have been concerns about the effects grain-free dog food has on pets, but the FDA has stated that there is no proof of this, so you should rest assured that your dog won’t be likely to have any health concerns in that regard. As long as the grains are good ones like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley, your beagle will be happy.

Apart from that, the food mentioned above is healthy, hearty, and high-quality, so there should be no issues. Most of it is suitable for a small breed or medium breed.