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What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Beagle?

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Beagle?

Do you have a Beagle and want to know how long they live? Maybe your Beagle is starting to age and you want to know if there’s anything else you can do to help them? Here’s everything you need to know about Beagles and life expectancy.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Beagle? On average, the life expectancy of a Beagle is around 12-15 years, but they can live longer than this. The oldest Beagle ever recorded was called Butch and he lived for 27 years! This is much higher than the average dog breed!

Read on to find out what the most common causes of death I beagles are, whether male or females live longer, and how you may improve your Beagle’s lifespan.

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Death In Beagles?

Cancer, old age, heart problems, strokes and neurological conditions are the most common causes of death in Beagles. Almost a third of all Beagle deaths are caused by cancer, which is higher than many other dog breeds.

However, this percentage may be raised because Beagles tend to live longer, which can make them more prone to developing cancer when they’re elderly.  

In 2004, the UK Kennel Club, The Animal Health Trust and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) worked together to produce the ‘Purebred Dog Health Survey.’ 

As part of this survey, they looked at the most common causes of death for purebred dogs in the UK. 

The top five causes of death in Beagles are:

  1. Cancer (Most commonly liver or mammary cancers) 32.8%
  2. Old Age 15.8%
  3. Cardiac (Including heart failure, heart attacks and heart defects) 12.4%
  4. Cerebral Vascular (Including strokes or injury to the blood vessels in the brain) 5.8%
  5. Neurological (Including seizures) 5.8%

The average age of death for Beagles in this study, was 12 years 8 months. This is higher than the average across all breeds which was 11 years 3 months.

This confirms Beagles have a longer life expectancy compared to other dog breeds. 

Do Male Or Female Beagles Live Longer?

Research across all dog breeds as a whole, shows that females tend to live up to 6 months longer than males. However, there hasn’t been any specific research into whether this is true for Beagles, so it’s not clear whether male or female Beagles live longer.

Generally, spayed females of any breed live the longest, but this could be because they’re no longer at risk of getting Pyometra.

Pyometra is a serious womb infection that’s potentially fatal for any dog if it’s not caught and treated quickly enough. 

For males, it seems that the opposite is true. Entire males seem to live longer than those who’ve been castrated, but there’s currently no solid evidence as to why this might be. 

Life expectancy very much depends on the individual dog, their lifestyle and their overall health, instead of it being decided by their gender alone.

Senior Beagle sat on a cyan blue background with a speech bubble that says 'I'm a Senior Beagle'
Senior Beagle Sitting Down

How Can I Improve My Beagle’s Life Span?

This is how you may be able to improve your Beagle’s lifespan:

Choose A Reputable Breeder 

Reputable breeders should health check any dogs they’re breeding from to give their puppies the best chance of being healthy.

The UK Kennel Club recommends that every Beagle has the following examinations done before being bred from:

Lafora’s DNA Test:

Lafora is a type of epilepsy that’s inherited from a Beagle’s parents. It’s usually seen in dogs over 5 years of age and tends to get progressively worse as they age.

Although it’s not often fatal, it can cause severe deterioration as it progresses, eventually leading to blindness and dementia.

This test will determine if a particular dog carries the genes that produce Lafora. 


Musladin-Leuke Syndrome (MLS) is a genetic condition that’s only found in Beagles.

It affects the development of connective tissues across multiple organs. This can cause serious life-long issues with the bones, skin, muscles and heart.

The DNA test will show if a particular Beagle is a carrier of the genes that cause MLS. 

Feed High Quality Food

Feeding your Beagle high quality dog food can help to lessen the risks of them developing serious health conditions. Just like humans, what you eat has a direct link to your health.

If you eat a take-away every day, you’re unlikely to be as healthy as if you eat a balanced diet. This is the same for your Beagle, so it’s best to feed them the highest quality food you can. 

Avoid any foods containing artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Ideally, your dog food choice should be made from fresh, natural ingredients and whole meats instead of meat meal. This goes for your Beagle’s treats too! 

You can take a look at your chosen food’s nutritional rating on allaboutdogfood to find out which one’s the best option for your Beagle.

Close up on the face of Senior Beagle with a speech bubble that says 'I'm a Senior Beagle'
Senior Beagle

Exercise Your Beagle Daily

Making sure your Beagle gets enough daily exercise can help to improve their life expectancy.

This helps them to maintain a healthy weight and keeps their joints and muscles strong.

Adult Beagles need at last 1 hour of exercise each day, plus playtime and training.

However, puppies should stick to the 5 minutes per month of age, up to twice a day rule. This should stay in place until your Beagle is fully grown and matured at around 18 months of age.

If they’re over-exercised as a puppy, this can leave them vulnerable to developing long term joint conditions.

Sticking to this rule, could help your Beagle stay healthier going into adulthood. 

Keep Your Beagle’s Brain Busy 

Alongside physical exercise, mental stimulation and enrichment is really important for your Beagle.

Giving them something to do which occupies their mind can help to keep their brain sharp.

This can also help to slow down the rate of cognitive decline. The saying ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’ applies here! 

Activities such as puzzle games, snuffle mats, sniffaris, lickmats and hide and seeking for treats are all great ways to keep your Beagle’s brain busy! 

Senior Beagle sat the grass outside with a speech bubble that says 'I'm a Senior Beagle'
Senior Beagle Sat On The Grass

Visit The Vet Regularly

Visiting your vet regularly can help with diagnosing any health issues earlier. They can then be managed and treated more effectively.

The sooner any potential health concerns are dealt with, the less negative impact they might have on your Beagle’s wellbeing.

This can definitely help to improve their life span as well as giving them a better quality of life too. 

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Beagles are greedy and prone to obesity. They’ll gain weight really quickly if they’re fed too much and not given enough exercise.

If your Beagle is overweight, this can increase the risk of them getting serious health problems. This can sadly limit their life expectancy. 

Carrying extra weight puts more pressure on your Beagle’s joints which can contribute to them developing conditions like Arthritis earlier. It can also cause any existing joint conditions to deteriorate quicker too.

This can make it harder for them to get around and exercise, which they need to do regularly to help them stay healthy. 

Keep On Top Of Dental Hygiene

Keeping on top of your Beagle’s dental hygiene can help to extend their life expectancy.

Without regular brushing, plaque can quickly build on their teeth. This hardens to become tartar, which can then lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Left untreated, the high levels of bacteria in your Beagle’s mouth, can travel into their bloodstream and potentially cause them serious health issues.

So regularly check your Beagle’s teeth and gums and take them to the Vet if you have any concerns.

So, there you have it! On average, Beagles live for around 12-15 years. Their genetics, weight, diet, exercise amounts and health conditions are all contributing factors to how long they’ll live. Making sure your Beagle is as happy and healthy as possible will go some way to them living a longer life.

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