Are Beagles good pets for seniors? These short, lovable dogs are often recommended for seniors because they aren’t too much fuss to groom and always crave human company. However, not all seniors will be able to meet a Beagle’s energy and training requirements.
In general, Beagles are best for seniors who:
- Can commit to at least a 20-minute walk per day and one weekly session of fetch
- Are retired and will be home most of the day
- Have had a dog before and can train a dog without overly relying on treats
- Can accept a Beagle’s frequent vocalizations
We’ll explain more about what it takes to care for a Beagle and how one might fit in with a senior’s lifestyle below.
Beagle Activity Levels
The main downside of a Beagle as a pet for seniors is its high activity level. The American Kennel Club ranks Beagles as “energetic,” which is quite high on the activity scale, but not as high as most working dogs, such as Border Collies and German Shepherds.
According to Beagle Pro, the bare minimum exercise a Beagle needs is a daily 20-minute walk, and one session of high-intensity exercise, such as fetch, per week. A Beagle puppy may grow up to need 40-minute walks and two sessions of fetch. However, if you rescue an adult Beagle, you can be sure of its energy needs.
Further, like most small dogs, Beagles live a long time. A Beagle may live to be 15 years old. Seniors who take on a Beagle puppy should anticipate meeting the dog’s energy needs for at least a decade before the dog slows down in his or her old age.
The good news is that Beagles are a joy to exercise. As small dogs, they are easy to handle on a leash. They’re highly intelligent and easy catch onto fetch, sniffing out toys, and other hunting dog activities.
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Beagle Barking and Howling
Beagles are one of the most vocal dogs. They bark and make two other distinct noises: bays and howls. These long, deep sounds may bother you. Although, seniors who have hearing problems might not mind it so much! While you can minimize Beagle vocalizations with training, you should not expect them to be quiet dogs.
Though Beagles make a lot of noise, they otherwise have a very low-maintenance nature. Unlike watchdog breeds, they should not bark at strangers or greet a human with anything but positivity. Unlike breeds with curly hair, Beagles do not need trimmed or washed with special shampoos. All they need is gentle weekly brushing.
Beagle Training and Companionship
Beagles are agreeable and enjoy human company, but they are also a bit stubborn. They can be tough for first-time dog owners to train without relying on treats. The AKC warns that Beagles tend to have a problem with obesity and owners will need to balance treats with exercise.
Overall, a Beagle is a near-perfect companion for seniors, providing constant, happy companionship as long as his or her energy needs are met.