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This sturdy hunting breed is one of the most popular breeds in the United States, partly because of its happy personality. The beagle was one of the small hounds kept by English gentlemen in the 1500s, when packs of these dogs were used to hunt rabbits. Today their keen sense of smell has them employed as detection dogs by the USDA. Known as the Beagle Brigade, they are used to detect illegal agricultural products carried in luggage into the United States.
Because beagles lived in packs for hundreds of years, they are naturally comfortable in the company of people and other dogs. They are patient and gentle with children and make wonderful family pets. They are easily trained, but may choose to ignore all training once they have picked up a scent. Beagles are prone to obesity as adults, and therefore daily exercise is recommended. Their short hair coat needs little grooming.
Despite their amazing sense of smell, Beagles are still at risk for hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Beagles can develop include heart problems such as pulmonic stenosis; eye conditions such as cataracts and corneal dystrophy; skeletal issues such as cervical vertebral instability; skin problems such as demodicosis; and hearing problems such as deafness.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Beagle inherits more than just a keen ability to pick up a scent, you’re covered.