If you are looking into breeding your dog, you may wonder what age is appropriate for that. The process and proper ages are different for each breed of dog, so what about beagles?
How long do beagles reproduce?
The prime age for a beagle to have puppies is between 2 and 7 years of age, although it is possible for this breed of dog to give birth as young as 8 months old and as late as 12 years old. The health of your beagle plays a major part to them giving birth at any of these ages.
You will want to provide your beagle with some time to recover between periods of pregnancy. Often, breeders will either breed their beagle every other heat cycle or they will breed two heat cycles in a row and then give the beagle the next as a period of rest.
Reproduction Cycle of Beagles
On average, female beagles begin their heat cycles at 6 months of age. However, they may start as early as 4 months old, and some will enter it even as late as at 15 months. This can seem too early in the eyes of beagle owners, but it can occur very early in dogs’ lives. You should prepare for your beagle to enter heat early in its life, just in case.
Entering heat is a sign that the beagle is entering puberty. It is during heat that the dog’s eggs drop and she is able to become pregnant. There are four stages to a beagle’s heat cycle. O
Most heat cycles will last anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks. Since beagles enter heat every 5 to 7 months, they will enter heat about twice a year. This lasts until a female is spayed.
There is no menopausal phase for female beagles, so it is suggested that they get spayed as soon as they are done being used for breeding. Otherwise, they will continue to enter their heat cycle for the rest of their life.
Every so often, your beagle may finish a season without showing any signs of entering heat. This is known as “silent heat”. This is actually different from skipping heat, where the cycle does not occur.
If you leave your female beagle unspayed, it is suggested that you do not leave it alone outside. It will possibly attract unneutered dogs to mate with it, which may cause health risks for your beagle.
How Long are Beagles Pregnant?
A beagle will be pregnant for an average of 63 days from the time it conceives. It is not unusual for this pregnancy to be as short as 60 days or as long as 65 days.
If your beagle has not given birth after 65 days, it is advisable to bring them to a veterinarian for a check-up.
Early signs of beagle pregnancy may include:
- Lethargic actions
- Enlarged nipples
- More thorough grooming
- Firm Stomach
- Withdrawing randomly
- Increased hunger (in later weeks)
This changes around week four of the pregnancy, where they will have an increase in hunger. They will likely eat 20-25% more than what they normally eat. In the overall process of being pregnant, your beagle will gain about 15-25% of what it weighed previously.
This weight varies depending on the size of the litter, though some of the weight is from excess water used to feed pups in the womb.
Before your dog gives birth, they will start to show increased nesting activity. The most sure-fire way of determining when your dog will give birth is by measuring its temperature.
Use the thermometer. Rectally insert it about half an inch into your dog’s mouth and leave it in for three minutes.
A normal temperature for a beagle is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will drop below 100 degrees about 24 hours before your beagle is ready to give birth.
If you have successfully measured this temperature, and she doesn’t give birth within 24 hours, bring her to a vet.
During the whelping process you may need:
- Clean towels or rags
- A thermometer
- Floss or thread
- A suction bulb
- A clean area for the birth
- Trash bags
- A helper
Whelping generally takes place in three stages.
Stage One is incredibly painful and will be uncomfortable for your dog. She will be restless and may fall into bouts of shivering, pacing, panting, and vomiting.
During this stage, you don’t want to feed her. This is to prevent any complications should an emergency c section need to be performed. This is the long stage of the labor often taking 4 to 20 hours.
To ease this process, keep the environment around the mother beagle calm and quiet.
In Stage Two, a white fluid may be released. If this happens, move the mother to a clean setting such as clean towels or sheets of some kind. From there, the pups will be released into the world.
Each will be covered in their own amniotic sac, and 50% are born feet first so there is no need to worry about how they come out. Only pull a puppy out if that puppy seems to be stuck. Otherwise, let the mother move at her own speed.
In this stage, the mother will also bite open the amniotic sacs, lick the puppies clean, and then bite off the umbilical cord. The mother beagle should be allowed to do this, as the rough licking of the mother stimulates the puppies to breathe and increases circulation in the puppies’ bodies.
It is perfectly normal for the mother to ingest the sacs, cord, and other tissues/fluids expelled.
Finally, in the third stage, the mother releases all of the remaining pieces of the placenta, blood, and fluid left in its body from the pregnancy. This is something that will need to be cleaned up.
This is also why it is best for the birthing to happen on something you can move away from the location (like a blanket, sheet, etc), so you can dispose of the third stage’s unappealing bits and pieces without having to move the newborn puppies or exhausted mother.
How Many Puppies Can a Beagle Have Per Litter?
Your beagle will birth an average of 6 pups in a litter, although this number can easily vary from 1 to 10 pups. It is pretty common that the size of a litter is consistent throughout a dog’s life.
If the litter is small initially, it will be small in the future breeding process. On the other hand, a large first litter will result in a large litter in further breeding.
By the sixth week of your beagle’s pregnancy, a vet will be able to take an X-ray or ultrasound so that you can prepare yourself and your home for a rough estimate of new pups.
When is the Best Time to Spay a Beagle?
You will want to spay your beagle before they enter their first heat cycle. Do this only if you don’t plan on breeding them, as it is an irreversible procedure. Spaying at this time also reduces the chances of your beagle getting ovulary cancer, and it prevents them from having to go through the pain associated with the heat cycle.
Additionally, this will prevent your female from attracting
If they have not been spayed, your beagle they will continue to enter heat. Spay them only when you know they are done with the breeding process.
What is the average lifespan of a beagle?
A beagle will live between 10 to 15 years on average, but they can live up to 20 years. This age can be increased by taking care of your dog and avoiding any stresses on health that may happen to your beagle. One way to avoid a health risk is by get
ting them spayed early-on.
How long do beagles remain in heat?
Beagles are in heat for 2 to 3 weeks. This process can be stressful for the dog. During this process, there is a 4 to 24 day period where they are receptive to male beagles and can become pregnant.