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 Tiffany Jeng

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, the shedding can be a real concern for families dealing with dog allergies.

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

Fortunately, Beagles aren’t as heavy shedders as other dogs. 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.

RECOMMENDED: 30 Most Bizarre Beagle Mixes

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.

However, Beagles are not hypoallergenic like the Maltese. In fact, they’re a moderate to heavy shedding breed. So why do Beagles shed more than other dog breeds? Here’s why.

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. With 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 wilderness 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.

In addition, the Beagle’s coat is also waterproof and weatherproof, which is only possible with these types of double coats.

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 and many owners will agree.

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.

As a hunting dog that spends most of its time (several hours a day) in the wilderness, the Beagle needed a coat that kept it 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. Still, Beagle Paws Rescue suggests that the dog’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.

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.

With two layers of fur, as opposed to one layer, your dog certainly has more opportunity to shed. 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!

Seasonal Shedding in Beagles

Aside from the hairless and hypoallergenic dogs, every other dog breed will experience seasonal shedding to a certain degree. Some more than others. Beagles, unfortunately, fall into the “more” category.

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

I have a 6 year old beagle and it has always driven me nuts how much he sheds during the spring/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, the Beagle will start shedding its thick and heavy winter coat in preparation for summer. During this period, they’re growing out their lighter summer coats.

Likewise, once fall/autumn rolls around, Beagles will need to shed the summer coat in order to regrow the thicker winter coat. This is the shedding cycle of a Beagle.

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

This period can be a bit alarming for new and unprepared owners, but it’s normal. Instead of individual single strands of hair, you can expect clumps of fur to come right off.

Bad Dog Shampoo & Products

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

Two mistake that novice owners make are: 1) using human shampoo on dogs and 2) buying very cheap dog shampoo.

Firstly, using human shampoo on your Beagle is almost always going to cause problems, whether excessive shedding or skin irritation.

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

Megan Mouser (Global Education Manager @ Andis)

According to the AKC, 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 can 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.

Using cheap dog shampoo can potentially do the same. Always pick a product from a reputable brand (we have some suggestions later in the article).

Malnutrition & Shedding

Dogs, like humans, can experience health problems due to malnutrition. With dogs, the problems can come in the form of diseases, lethargy, weight loss and even excessive shedding.

According to Roy Cruzen DVM, the number one reason for excessive shedding in dogs is due to poor diet. 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. Even though the food meets the minimum quality requirements, it may not have enough protein or nutrients for your pet.

– Roy Cruzen DVM

Cruzen says you don’t have to buy the most expensive food. Generally, decent quality dog food should cost around $4 per pound (estimation).

Aside from the quality of food, owners that give their dogs a gluten-free diet can also cause excessive shedding, according to Pete Lands DVM. He added, “there are few [dog] breeds that are gluten intolerant.”

So when it comes to your Beagle, make sure you’re feeding him or her quality food. If they’re still experiencing excessive shedding, it’s time to consult with your local vet.

Does Your Beagle Shed?

According to Dog Time, the amount of shedding can vary greatly with a Beagle. It really depends on the individual dog and genetics.

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

Real Owner Answers

1. Slowart says: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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! There are many ways you can help minimize Beagle shedding.

Most of these methods involve grooming. So, if you don’t have the time or money to spend grooming these dogs, you may want to look elsewhere.

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 2 to 3 times a week instead. It really depends on your individual dog.

As for the brush, there are many great 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.

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

If you plan to get a Furminator for your Beagle, make sure to get a size medium for short hair. 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.

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 gloss and shine.

We briefly talked about the harms of using cheap dog shampoo or even worse, human shampoo. Make sure you’re using actual dog shampoo, preferably with high quality all-natural ingredients.

Best Dog Shampoos for Beagles

For our dogs, we use all natural oatmeal-based dog shampoo. They’re some of the more popular types of natural 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. Seriously, Rover calls them one of the 10 stinkiest dog breeds.

So if you plan to give them frequent baths, it’s extra important to pick a dog shampoo that’s gentle on the skin and coat.

Shaving Your Beagle?

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

First of all, this 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 Magazine, the double coat may grow back, but it doesn’t grow back the same. The texture of the coat won’t feel the same as it once was.

Eventually the double coat will 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.

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

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, 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 for you.

But if you can deal with the shedding, especially during shedding seasons, then Beagles are amazing companions and pets. They’re friendly and always cheerful. There are few dog breeds as balanced 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

Tiffany Jeng

Tiffany is a licensed vet tech and a product of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (class of 2022). Combined 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! Read More.

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