Dog Breeds Dog Health

Do Beagles Shed? – The Owner’s Guide to Beagle Shedding

Beagles do shed a lot, but with some grooming, can be maintained.
Written by Tracey

There are few dog breeds as balanced as the Beagle. They’re not too timid nor aggressive, not too big nor small. Beagles are the “goldilocks of dogs.” But before you bring one home, their shedding may be a concern for those dealing with dog allergies.

So, do Beagles shed? Beagles are prolific shedders, largely thanks to their double coats. But because they’re relatively small dogs, it’s not as noticeable. However, once winter rolls around, they grow out their thick, dense coats and shedding becomes excessive. Still, with grooming and nutrition, Beagle shedding can be minimized.

Fortunately, Beagles aren’t as heavy shedders as other dog breeds. Although they still require moderate grooming and cleaning, they’re fairly easy to keep. Let’s explore why Beagles shed and how to keep the shedding to a minimal.

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Reasons Why Beagles Shed

Training a beagle to play nice with kids is easy but requires a lot of socialization early on.

Nearly all dogs, including the Beagle, will shed to a certain extent. There’s not much you can do about it, unless you want to go with a hairless dog breed. Even so, not all “hairless” dogs will be completely hairless.

Beagles are not hypoallergenic like the Maltese. In fact, they’re far from it. Beagles are known to be a moderate to heavy shedding breed. But why do Beagles shed more than other dog breeds? Read on to learn 6 reasons why they’ll shed.

Beagles’ dense coat for hunting

Did you know Beagles were actually bred to hunt? Specifically, they would track down game for their humans with their incredible noses. Given their 220 million scent receptors, they have some of the most gifted noses, ever.

But because Beagles were once popular hunting companions, they needed to be out in the wild where shrubs, bushes, twigs and other rough terrain elements lie. As a result, these dogs were bred to have a coarse and thick coat.

This type of coat protects the Beagle from such environmental elements. In fact, these dense coats are pretty much a requirement for hunting hounds. Not only are double coats seen in all hunting dogs, but also general outdoor working breeds.

In addition, the Beagle’s coat is also waterproof and weatherproof, which is only possible with these types of double coats. It didn’t matter whether rain or shine, these dogs had to be ready to go out and track their prey.

And while double coats are useful for hunting, it means they have more fur to shed. Don’t be fooled. Just because Beagles have short coats doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of fur and hair to shed. Trust me, there’s plenty of fur to go around.

A coat made for cold climate

Beagles originated from England. And if you’ve ever been to Great Britain, it’s far from a tropical paradise. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, where temperatures reach a staggering zero degree celsius during the harshness of the winter season.

As a hunting dog that spends most of its time (several hours a day) in the wilderness, Beagles will need a coat that kept warm.

Thick coats with more hair act as a great insulator for dogs. A Beagle’s coat may be short, but the dense fur does a superb job keeping the dog’s body heat trapped, thus providing warmth during the coldest months.

Again, a thick and dense coat translates to more hair on the dog, which potentially means more opportunity for shedding. However, Beagle Paws Rescue suggests that the Beagle’s coat isn’t made to protect them from super harsh cold conditions.

Beagles that are left outside in extreme cold climate without proper shelter can potentially suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other fatal situations. So if you live in below-freezing climate, make sure to keep them indoors!

The Beagle’s double coat

Most dog breeds have a single coat, whereas Beagles have a double coat. So what’s a double coat and what does it have to do with shedding? A double coat is exactly what it sounds like – a dog coat that consists of two layers of fur.

Each layer serves a purpose in protecting your Beagle from the environment. The undercoat is the bottom layer of fur that feels a little bit like wool. In fact, it serves the same role as wool too, that is, to insulate and keep the Beagle warm.

The second layer of fur is the top coat, which acts as an external layer of protection from hazardous elements, such as rocks, twigs, dirt and other debris. This coat is also what makes the Beagle’s coat waterproof!

The thing about double coats is that they’re associated with more shedding. Nearly every double coated dog breed is considered a moderate or heavy shedder. Unfortunately, Beagles are not the exception.

In addition, double coated dogs are known to be excessive shedders when the right season comes around. Their coats are always adjusting to the season, which means…you guessed it, more shedding (and grooming for you)!

Seasonal shedding in Beagles

Aside from the hairless and hypoallergenic dog breeds, every other dog breed will experience seasonal shedding to a certain degree. Some more than others. Beagles, though, fall into the “more” category because of their thick coats.

Although seasonal shedding is a common phenomenon among most dogs, it’s more noticeable with double coated dogs, such as Beagles. However, why is this the case?

It has always driven me nuts how much he sheds during the spring or summer. Every time this dude comes in, he leaves a carpet of fur wherever he lays or rests. 

– Deltasnow (Reddit User)

When it’s time for the spring season, your Beagle will start shedding its thick and heavy winter coat in preparation for summer. It’s much warmer then, so this makes sense to keep the dog cool. During this period, they grow out a lighter summer coat.

Similarly, once fall or autumn rolls around, Beagles will need to shed the summer coat in order to regrow the thicker winter coat. This period is associated with colder temperatures, so a thick coat is needed. This is the shedding cycle of a Beagle.

In the dog community, we call this process a “coat blow” or “blowing their coats.” And during this period, it’s not uncommon for your Beagle to experience excessive shedding.

This shedding period can be a bit alarming for new and unprepared owners, but relax – it’s normal. Instead of individual single strands of hair coming off your Beagle, you can expect clumps of fur to come right off. And that’s okay!

Bad dog shampoo & grooming products

When it comes to grooming, you want to go with high quality products. The last time we took our Corgi to a new dog groomers, she came back with patches of fur falling out (and it was not shedding season yet!).

Two mistake that many novice owners make are: 1) using human shampoo on dogs and 2) buying very cheap dog shampoo. Both of which, can be detrimental to the health of the dog’s coat and skin.

Firstly, using human shampoo on your Beagle is almost always going to lead to certain health problems. In fact, this can lead to excessive shedding, skin irritation or both.

I cringe when people tell me they use their own shampoo on animals. It’s too harsh on their skin and coats.

Megan Mouser (Andis)

According to the American Kennel Club, human skin has a pH balance of around 5.5. On the contrary, dog skin is around 6.2 – 7.4, meaning it’s more neutral. So by using human shampoo, it messes up the acid mantle of the dog.

This may lead to dry and flaky skin, scratching and patches of fur falling off your dog. It can also make your dog vulnerable to all kinds of viruses and bacteria. And while some claim that baby shampoo is okay, why risk it?

Using cheap dog shampoo can potentially have the same effect on your Beagle. Always pick a product from a reputable brand (we have some suggestions later in the article). And if you can, we suggest going with “all-natural” shampoos.

Malnutrition leads to shedding

Dogs, like humans, can experience health problems due to a lack of proper nutrition. With dogs, the problems can come in the form of medical diseases, lethargy, weight loss and yes, even excessive shedding.

According to Roy Cruzen DVM, the number one reason for excessive shedding in dogs is due to poor diet. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean they’re not getting enough food. More likely, it’s because they’re not getting enough nutrients.

People go to discount stores, by a 40-pound bag of cheap food, and then see their pets’ shedding increase.

– Roy Cruzen DVM

Cruzen says “even though the food meets the minimum quality requirements, it may not have enough protein or nutrients for your pet.” You don’t have to buy the most expensive food, but don’t skimp on quality either.

He estimates that good quality dog food should cost around $4 per pound. But aside from the quality of food, owners that give their dogs a gluten-free diet can also cause major shedding, according to Pete Lands DVM.

He added, “there are few [dog] breeds that are gluten intolerant.” So when it comes to your dog, make sure you’re feeding him or her high quality food. But if they’re still experiencing excessive shedding, it’s time to consult with your vet.

How Much Do Beagles Shed?

According to Dog Time, the amount of shedding can vary greatly with a Beagle. Not only does it depend on the breed itself, but also the individual dog and genetics. Not all Beagles will be heavy shedding dogs.

So, to really gauge just how much these dogs can shed, we decided to survey real owners from the Beagle Subreddit (and other dog forums). Here’s what these Beagle owners had to say to this question:

Real Owner Answers

1. Slowart says Moderate: “To be honest I’m pretty surprised by some responses. The shedding of my Beagle is not that much of an issue. I found that weekly baths will help a lot.”

2. Im_ash_man says Moderate: “Beagles do shed, but it’s not really excessive. I’d say in the spectrum of shedding they are a moderate level. So you really should get a beagle or two.”

3. Simsityartist says Moderate: “The only time that shedding actually gets bad is during spring and early summer. Otherwise, beagles shed like any other dog year round.”

4. Cupateatoo says Heavy: “We love our beagle to bits but he sheds more than any other dog I’ve owned. I’m frustrated that even with vacuuming at least once a day, there’s a lot of hair in the house. The kids hug the dog before school and get covered in hair.”

5. Deliveryboy887 says Heavy: “I mean, if you’re serious about owning a Beagle, you need to keep up with the grooming. Shedding can get bad if you’re neglectful.”

6. Beaviszla says Heavy: “Beagles are a double coated breed and shed heavily if not regularly groomed. If you don’t want obscene amounts of hair, you need to brush them at least twice weekly, and give them baths at least once monthly.”

7. Vixenvypen says Heavy: “Someone once told me that beagles don’t really shed. When I look back at that moment I can’t help but laugh. They are little shedding machines!”

8. Successinprogress says Heavy: “There is absolutely NO WAY this is a normal amount of shedding. Maybe I got a dud, but my lad sheds like he’s trying to create a new beagle mini-me every single day.”

9. Scriptedreality says Moderate: “I think Beagle shedding isn’t as bad as many other dogs. I’ve owned a Pom, Chow Chow and Golden Retriever. Both shed way way way more fur than my beagle.”

10. Discepezoic says Heavy: “You just have to learn to live with the shedding. I constantly have strands of my beagle’s hair on me, but it’s completely normal to me now.”

Dealing with Beagle Shedding

Yes, Beagles can potentially shed a lot. But it doesn’t have to be a furry nightmare for you! With a little patience and time, there are many ways you can help minimize Beagle shedding.

Most of these methods involve grooming. The key here is consistency. So, if you don’t have the time or money to spend on grooming these dogs, you may want to look elsewhere. Perhaps a hypoallergenic breed would be better suited.

Brushing the Beagle

One of the simplest and easiest ways to keep their shedding in check is with a coat brushing routine. It doesn’t take that much time to do, but can save you time in cleaning up shed fur from around the house.

You’ll want to brush your Beagle at least once a week. And during shedding season, you may want to consider brushing them at least 2 to 3 times a week instead. It’s difficult to have a hard rule because it really depends on your individual dog.

As for the brush, there are several excellent options on the market. However, plenty of Beagle owners rave over the Furminator De-shedding Tool.

These brushes are great for Beagles because it gets the undercoat. In fact, it was practically made for double coated dog breeds. So, I wouldn’t recommend this for single coats, as it may be a little harsh on the skin of the dog.

On Reddit, there are plenty of Beagle owners suggesting this brush, saying:

And if you plan to get a Furminator for your Beagle, make sure to get a size medium for short hair. It’s definitely the best brush we’ve found for our double-coated dogs. I highly recommend you head to Amazon and check it out here.

Bathing a Beagle

Frequent baths for your Beagle is essential. However, you don’t want to bathe them too often. According to Pet Care RX, you’ll want to bathe them every two to six months depending on how often they play outside and how dirty they get.

Giving your dog too many baths can strip away all the natural oils of the coat that help protect the dog’s skin. Plus, it can lead to the coat losing its healthy gloss and shine.

We talked about the harms of using cheap dog shampoo or even worse, human shampoo. So, make sure you’re using actual dog shampoo, preferably with high quality all-natural ingredients that’s easy on their skin.

Best Dog Shampoos for Beagles

For both our dogs, we use all natural oatmeal-based dog shampoo. They’re some of the most popular types of natural dog shampoos and we highly recommend it.

Here are some of the best dog shampoos you can use for your Beagle:

  1. Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo – Recommended by vets, this is our go-to choice. It’s made with high quality oatmeal, manufactured in the USA. It always leaves our dogs smelling great with a nice, healthy shine.
  2. Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – Another all-natural dog shampoo, the Earthbath is a great brand that’s been on the market for a long time. It’s time-tested and similar to Pro Pet Works, but with different interesting scents.
  3. Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – We’re going to try this soon, but we haven’t yet. However, it’s been recommended to us many times and we often see it in forums. Browsing their product page, they seem like a great company too!

Beagles are prone to getting smelly, and more frequent bathing may be necessary to keep them smelling fresh and odor-free. Seriously, Rover calls them one of the 10 stinkiest breeds and without baths, they’ll stink up a room.

Shaving Your Beagle?

Shaving your Beagle is not something I would recommend as a method of dealing with all the shedding. Plenty of owners do it, but it can potentially hurt your Beagle’s coat in the future.

Shaving is a temporary solution. After shaving your Beagle, you’ll notice that new hair starts to grow almost immediately. However, the top coat grows much more slowly and you’ll soon see guard hairs mixed in with the fluff of the undercoat.

According to Dogs Naturally, the double coat may grow back, but there’s a good chance it does not grow back the same. In fact, the texture of the coat won’t feel the same as it once was no matter what you do.

If shaved, the Beagle’s double coat may eventually grow out to be a more velcro-like, sticky coat. So anytime your Beagle plays in the backyard, the dog may come back with twigs and debris stuck on the fur, which means more brushing.

For this reason, it’s simply not worth shaving your Beagle to “save some time” and hassle. In the long run, your dog will be stuck with a coat that’s not as effective in protecting them from all the elements that nature intended it to.

Is a Beagle For Me?

If you’re having second thoughts about bringing home a Beagle because of the shedding, you shouldn’t worry too much. They aren’t the worst shedders, at least compared to Huskies, Corgis or even Pomeranians.

However, they do require some effort in grooming and proper nutrition in order to maintain a healthy coat. If you don’t even have 15 minutes a day to brush your Beagle, then they may not be suited for you or your family.

But if you can deal with the shedding, especially during shedding seasons, then Beagles can be amazing companions and pets. They’re friendly, cheerful and play well with kids. There are few dog breeds as even-tempered as the Beagle.

If you decide to bring one home, you won’t regret it. There’s a reason why so many millions of happy Beagle owners love their dogs.

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About the author

Tracey

Tracey J is a licensed vet tech. With over 5 years of veterinary technician experience, she's dedicated her life and career to dogs. When she's not studying or working, she's taking care of her Mini Australian Shepherd - Olympus!

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