Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Beagle and the dog's place in biblical history

The Easter Beagle is here!

"There's a treat in that egg, otherwise this ain't happenin'!"
Doesn't she look thrilled?

First, a word of warning -- Easter can be a dangerous holiday for dogs. Keep your chocolate and other candies up high, watch Easter basket grass and Easter lilies can also be toxic.

I wrote a post on these issues last year, and you can check that out (it includes a recipe for pet-friendly Easter goodies).

But did you know -- dogs play a role in biblical history?

This came from Evanger's Pet Foods, which makes, believe it or not, Kosher pet food:
Did you know that dogs actually play a significant role in the Jewish faith? It is said that during the exodus of Jews from Egypt, not a single dog barked. So, it is tradition to reward dogs with leftover meat during the celebration of Passover.
 So I looked it up, and here's the story according to Exodus.

In the 10th Plague, the Angel of Death comes and slaughters the first born. Israelis paint their doors with lamb's blood so that the angel knows to pass over their house (hence the name). Well, it is said that if the Angel of Death was in the area, dogs would bark. However:
 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 
 So the dog plays an important part in the Exodus, and as a result they get leftovers during Passover.

And Passover, of course, is important in the story of Easter.

So it's something to think about as you enjoy your Easter eggs and jelly beans! Happy Easter (or, if your celebrating, Happy Passover!).

Happy Easter! Eh.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lulu's favorite things GIVEAWAY: Jones Natural Chews *SPONSORED*

Jones Natural Chews is one of the sponsors of the Lulu's Favorite Things Campaign, which raises money for Harbor House of Central Florida's Paws for Peace Walk. Please consider donating to our campaign here. 

The Paws for Peace Walk is Saturday, April 26  at 9 a.m. at Blue Jacket Park. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Please join Team Beagle!

 ___________________________________

You know the old saying "give a dog a bone?"

The time-honored tradition of the dog chewing on a bone at his master's feet hasn't gone away, though it's more of a treat than the main meal. Stripping a bone is actually good for a dog's teeth, and it's a great way to keep a dog busy.

But rawhide is not the best thing for many dogs, and ESPECIALLY beagles. You have to worry about what kind of bone you give as well.



That's why I like Jones Natural Chews, and they are up first in our Lulu's Favorite things campaign.

It's not just Flea, JNC's quirky blogger that makes Jones great. Or her penchant for bringing chicks to conferences.

These products are great, and Lulu loves them.



Jones got its start as a family of butchers in the 1850s. But once Jones started offering to butcher and smoke the best cuts of meats for local farms in the 1970s, Jones also became a place to get great dog chews. After all, there's lots of bones and animal parts that would be thrown away otherwise.

In 1988, some of the Jones kids got together and started expanding on those dog chews. Today, Jones chews are USDA inspected, made in America and still family owned.

So what kind of animal parts are we talking about?

Here's some of our favorites:

Lulu absolutely loves pig ears. I like the pig ear snacks because I can give her a piece of pig ear and as a high-value snack. She doesn't get all the calories, and but gets a bit of something to chew (because pig ears are pretty high calorie).

Did you know? Many companies coat pig ears with a preservative. Sometimes it's glycerin. But that preservative can be a problem for beagles. I've even had some beagle people tell me it can cause seizures.

So when Lulu had what I assumed was a seizure last year, I looked into this. Jones uses no preservatives. They coat the ears with fat when they bake them. That's it. Lulu's been eating them for months, and no problems!

We also like these rib bones! But my favorites come with a special treat -- a piece of pig skin wrapped around. It's called a rib roller. Lulu has a stash of the bones under the recliner (kid you not). Every once in a while I hear her digging -- she's pulling a bone out to chew. She'll take a while to actually strip it and chew it, but she loves it when she does.

Then there are the TaffySnapz! It's like candy for dogs. It comes in all kinds of flavors. These sausage sticks are beef, rye flour and salt. That's it!


 They've got other great treats too -- filled bones, lamb lungs, windees -- trachea, which Mom's dog Cappy loves.

How do you get Jones Natural Chews?

They are available in pet stores, on Amazon and on Jones' -affiliated treat shop website.

There's a store locator on their website.

BUT -- you can win some Jones Natural Chews right now!


We are giving away a 20-piece Variety pack:
  • Beef Hooves
  • Beef Rib Bone pieces
  • Pork Skin Roll pieces
  • Pig Ear slices
  • Beef Bully Stick pieces
  • Steer Stick pieces
Here's an in-depth look from Jones Natural chews, with great info on each treat.  

To enter the giveaway, just fill out the Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends May 1, so hurry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fine print:
This post is sponsored by Jones Natural Chews. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Jones Natural Chews, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. JNC is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lulu's Favorite Things: Helping domestic abuse victims and their pets

 
As you know, we are raising money for Harbor House of Central Florida and its pet kennel for domestic violence victims.

The Paws for Peace Walk is April 26 at 8 a.m. at Blue Jacket Park in Orlando.
This year, I have formed a team! If you go to the secure Paws for Peace website, you can join my team and walk with me. It's a short walk, not even a 5K. And your dog can come too! And there will be a raffle, vendors and other activities too for afterwards! 

So if you are in Central Florida, please consider joining my team! Or if you can't make it, please consider donating to me. I have a low fundraising goal. 

Just head to my personal page -- Team Beagle! The site takes you to Harbor House's page. It's powered by Kintera and is a secure server.

As part of our fundraising efforts, we've launched Lulu's Favorite Things!

Each week, we'll profile a company that has helped us and  produces products we love. These are sponsored campaigns, and half the proceeds from these sponsorships goes to Harbor House.

Here are three great companies who are taking part in the campaign, with more to come!
http://www.critterzoneusa.com/https://www.zukes.com/     http://www.jonesnaturalchews.com/ 

AND -- We have giveaways too!

April 11-May 1: Jones Natural Chews GIVEAWAY

And don't forget! If you can't donate or join our team, you can still Help Team Beagle! Harbor House is hosting a Paws Photo Contest! Lulu is entered in the contest. If you are on Facebook, please head to this link and vote for her daily!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Go Orange for animals! Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Lulu is going orange!

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month, sponsored by ASPCA.

Here at Life With Beagle, we are committed to making the quality of life better for people and for pets. In a moment we'll tell you how you can help us with this endeavour this month.

Do you know how to prevent animal abuse?

ASPCA points out these 10 ways to prevent animal abuse where you live:
  1. Know who to call to report animal cruelty. Every state and every town are different. In some areas, you may have to rely on the police department to investigate animal cruelty; in others, you may have to contact local animal control or another municipal agency. If you aren't sure where to report cruelty, please visit our Report Animal Cruelty section.
     
  2. Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By being aware, you're more likely to notice, for example, that the dog next door who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly—a possible indicator of abuse.
     
  3. Make the call. Without phone calls from concerned citizens who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, we wouldn't know about most instances of animal abuse. It all comes from the public, it all starts with YOU—that's why it's so important to keep your eyes and ears open.
     
  4. Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.
     
  5. Contact your local law enforcement department and let them know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority. Animal cruelty is a CRIME—and the police MUST investigate these crimes.
     
  6. Fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws on federal, state and local levels by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade. With stronger laws come tougher penalties. As an ASPCA Advocacy Brigade member, you'll receive emails asking you to write letters encouraging your legislators to pass these laws—and you can send them directly from our website.
     
  7. Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. But it's more than just food, water, and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring him to the veterinarian. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. And give your pets lots of hugs!
     
  8. Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. We regularly see children in homes where animal abuse has been reported. If a parent isn't treating the family's pets right, we tell the kids that their dog or cat would really appreciate fresh water every day or some daily playtime. If the animal has been left outside without shelter, we'll say, 'You have a nice house, and if you get cold, you can put a coat on. But your dog can't do that.' Children understand that animals are living creatures who have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness.
     
  9. Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization. It's a great way to make a difference. Some of our ASPCA volunteers foster animals who have been abused in their former homes, giving these dogs and cats the chance they deserve to have a good life. You can find a list of shelters and rescue groups in your area in our National Shelter Directory.
     
  10. Start a Neighborhood Watch Program. Get to know the animals in your neighborhood and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Together you can keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviors—abuse and neglect of companion animals, the mistreatment of local wildlife, dogs left in hot cars and other signs of abuse.

In our continuing commitment to supporting the human-animal bond, we are once again raising money for the Paws for Peace Walk.

Harbor House of Central Florida has a state of the art, on-property kennel for the pets of domestic violence victims, all paid for with private donations.

Up to 48 percent of domestic violence victims delay leaving a dangerous situation because they don't want to leave their pets.

 The Paws for Peace Walk is April 26 at 8 a.m. at Blue Jacket Park in Orlando.

This year, I have formed a team! If you go to the secure Paws for Peace website, you can join my team and walk with me. It's a short walk, not even a 5K. And your dog can come too! And there will be a raffle, vendors and other activities too for afterwards!

So if you are in Central Florida, please consider joining my team! Or if you can't make it, please consider donating to me. I have a low fundraising goal. 

Just head to my personal page -- Team Beagle! The site takes you to Harbor House's page. It's powered by Kintera and is a secure server.


Meanwhile -- if you can't donate or join our team, you can still Help Team Beagle! Harbor House is hosting a Paws Photo Contest! Lulu is entered in the contest. If you are on Facebook, please head to this link and vote for her daily!
Up to 85 percent of domestic abuse victims say their partner threatened, hurt or killed a pet. - See more at: http://www.lifewithbeagle.com/2013/12/harbor-house-paws-for-peace-kennel-1.html#sthash.zBv4VzVO.dpuf
Up to 85 percent of domestic abuse victims say their partner threatened, hurt or killed a pet. - See more at: http://www.lifewithbeagle.com/2013/12/harbor-house-paws-for-peace-kennel-1.html#sthash.zBv4VzVO.dpu

Monday, March 31, 2014

Get involved: Beagle Freedom Bill helps dogs and cats in labs

The beagles on the left are testing cigarettes. It know it's a tough image to see I know, but it needs to be seen.

Every day researchers use thousands of beagles to test cigarettes, household cleaners, chemicals,  pharmaceuticals and sometimes cosmetics. Beagles are the number one breed used in labs. They're sweet and trusting dogs, as we all know. But that sweetness is a curse.

What's worse is what happens after. After years of experimentation, years in a cage without a kind word or touch, without love or affection, without decent food or a bed, these animals are killed.

That's it. They are bred, live and die for research.

Beagle Freedom Project is trying to change that.


 The Beagle Freedom Bill is currently working its away through the California and Minnesota legislatures. What it does is compel publicly-funded facilities to release dogs and cats used in testing into the care of rescue groups. 

Beagle Freedom Project is the group behind the bill. They've rescued 150 beagles since 2010. They've also saved other dogs used in research, as well as cats, rabbits, pigs and ponies.

The problem is, many facilities are unwilling to release the animals. They are afraid they will be publicly criticized for using animals.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? 

Right now the bill is in the California and Minnesota legislatures. Beagle Freedom Project has an action page where you can contact legislators, sign petitions and download materials to help spread awareness.

The  bill is also expected to be introduced in the New York legislature this session.

What about your state?
 
"While we are busy supporting campaigns in all these places for the bill’s passage we are also looking towards the future and investigating other opportunities to introduce," said Kevin Chase, director of operations with the Beagle Freedom Project. 

"That being said, we are a small organization with a limited staff and budget, and from that budget we can only spend 15 percent on political activities. With the three states we are in at present we are pretty much at our capacity for this session."

But next year, if you are interested in getting the bill passed in your state, BFP might be willing to work with you to make that happen.

You'll need to have sponsors in the legislature -- that means talking to your local lawmakers. 

If you're interested, contact BFP at: info@beaglefreedomproject.org.


Bogart and Indie, rescued beagles.
HUMANE COSMETICS ACT



In the U.S. House, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Virginia) is trying to end cosmetics testing in America -- H.R. 4148.

The bill would end testing on animals and also phase out the sale of cosmetics that are tested on animals in foreign countries.

Moran points to LUSH cosmetics as an example of a successful company that markets beauty products that are not tested on animals.

The bill has 22 co-sponsors but it's only been referred to one committee. 

A bill like this will require more bipartisan support. It also needs a companion bill in the U.S. Senate. 

How can you help? Find your representative on the U.S. House site and tell them that you want the bill to move forward.


The only reason that these laboratories exist is because they are successful at keeping it their dirty little secret. - See more at: http://www.lifewithbeagle.com/2013/02/beagle-freedom-project-shannon-keith-on.html#sthash.XJn0VIjf.dpuf
The only reason that these laboratories exist is because they are successful at keeping it their dirty little secret. - See more at: http://www.lifewithbeagle.com/2013/02/beagle-freedom-project-shannon-keith-on.html#sthash.XJn0VIjf.dpuf
The only reason that these laboratories exist is because they are successful at keeping it their dirty little secret. - See more at: http://www.lifewithbeagle.com/2013/02/beagle-freedom-project-shannon-keith-on.html#sthash.XJn0VIjf.dpuf

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Home sweet dog house: Making your place a pets' home

What do you look for when you buy a home?

Right number of bedrooms? Open kitchen? Nice appliances? Good neighborhood?

Here's what I look for:

Good place to put a litter box? Fenced-in backyard? Flooring vs. carpets? Good place to put in a dog wash?

Yes, I'm buying a house. That's why I've been relatively quiet here the last month or so. 

It's my first house, so I'm kind of excited. I'm using Pinterest to find all kinds of great house decorating ideas. (By the way, are you following me on Pinterest? Check out my boards!)

Like this pet storage closet from Better Homes and Gardens:

Or this cat room. One house I looked at had custom shelves up high in the living room. Wouldn't they be perfect for something like this?

How about some great dog bed ideas? Like this Murphy Bed:

Though who am I kidding? Lulu will just sleep on the bed as always.


Here are a few more great ideas from Better Homes and Gardens. They include what type of paint to use, easy pet food storage and how to secure windows.

Meanwhile, check out this list of important things to consider when buying a house from Realtor.com.

Got any favorite pet-decor ideas for your home? Share them below!


Have you entered our Hill's Science Diet Metabolic Starter Kit? We are giving away 10 kits for cats or dogs, with your veterinarian's approval, to help your pet lose weight. Get all the details in my #HillsPet post here!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Beagle pudgy? A Diet for Dogs -- #HillsPet Metabolic Giveaway


Lulu and I get a lot of comments about her figure. It's something I'm pretty proud of. I constantly worry about her weight.

A beagle in good shape should have a bit of a slope from the chest up to her tail area. You should be able to JUST make out the ribs when you pet her. You should also have a decent body line when they lay down -- the body should not be so noticeably thicker than the head.

Photo courtesy of Dale via Flickr Creative Commons.
Beagles, however, have a tendency to get heavy. They don't really have a mechanism that tells them they are no longer hungry. Left to their own devices, a beagle will eat until they burst. Couple that with a craftiness and big begging eyes that melt the heart of most humans, and beagles and food can be a dangerous combination.

With Lulu, I monitor her food, limit treats (or replace them with fruits or veggies when possible), keep her away from scraps (no easy task), and make sure she get exercise. (Best viewed on a computer)

 
Looking for help in slimming your beagle down? Keep reading for a chance to win a Hill's Pet Weight Loss and Management Starter Pack.

Weight issues are a big problem for both dogs and cats in the United States. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2012 53 percent of dogs and 55 percent of cats could be classified as overweight at the very least.

Plus... your pet may be fat and you don't even realize it! About 22 percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners think their pet is fine, when they aren't.

Check out this video. Does your pet look like this? (Best viewed on a computer)

 

So do you have an overweight dog? What about an overweight cat?

Hill's pet food has come out with a new line -- Hill's Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution.

This is a special veterinarian-prescribed food to promote weight loss for cats or dogs.

Hill's Metabolic is a complete product line, with dry and canned food plus treats.

The food is designed to turn up the metabolism and help give cats and dogs more energy. The pets are supposed to feel full and satisfied, but still lose weight.

In a study of 314 pet parents who fed their cats and dogs the food at home, 88 percent lost weight in two months. That's not bad.

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Food, but Life With Beagle only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

So if you are looking for a good diet for dogs, here's your chance to try Hill's Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution for free!



Hill's is letting us give away 10 Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution trial kits for dogs or cats.
 
First and foremost -- we must make this clear -- you must, must, MUST get your veterinarian's approval to get this kit. You will have to prove you have their approval. This is a $70 value!

The dog kit includes:
  • Canine Metabolic Starter Kit
  • 1 Weight Loss Success Tote Bag
  • 1 Weight Loss Success Guide
  • 1 6lb bag of Metabolic dry dog food
  • 2 (13oz) Metabolic cans
  • 1 (16oz) Metabolic treats
  • (2) $25 coupons
 Dog food product details can be found here

 The cat kit includes:
  • Feline Metabolic Starter Kit
  • 1 Weight Loss Success Tote Bag
  • 1 Weight Loss Success Guide
  • 1 4lb bag of Metabolic dry cat food
  • 2 (5.5oz) Metabolic cans
  • 1 (2.5oz) Metabolic treats
  • (2) $25 coupons
 Cat food product details can be found here.

 So to enter, comment below with the following:
  •  Your pet's name -- a dog or a cat?
  • Your pet's age
  • Your pet's current weight
  • You name
  • Your email address 
 We'll be using a randomizer this time, instead of Rafflecopter, so you MUST include all the information in order to be included.
You have until April 5 to enter.

The fine print from Hill's:
Before starting a weight loss program a doctor should be consulted. Your veterinarian’s authorization is required before starting Hill's® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution food.
This giveaway is limited to one winner per household and is for U.S. residents only. Be sure to use a valid email when leaving your comment so we can contact if you are chosen as a winner.