Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tips to keep your dog safe this Easter

It's the Easter Beagle!

Lulu loves sweet things. Believe me, getting her to sit like that and not touch them was hard.

But here's the bottom line -- Easter candy, much of it, is no good for dogs.

Here's some reasons why:
1) Chocolate -- the biggest thing you'll find in abundance is the worst for dogs... but it all depends. Milk chocolate is not as bad as dark chocolate or baking chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more it has of a certain chemical that is toxic.

I had a dog when I was a kid who broke into two Easter baskets and lived to tell the tale. Doesn't mean it's ok, of course. Always keep chocolate from dogs.
2) Xylitol -- This sweetener is used in sugar-free and no-sugar added treats. It's also used in chewing gum. All bad for dogs! They can't digest it.
3) Easter grass -- Not a candy, but used in the Easter baskets. Can be a big problem! Dogs, and cats, can't digest the grass. It can mess up their system the way ribbon and mylar can.
4) Raisins -- What are the chances you'll put raisins in an Easter basket? Maybe not. But grapes are bad for dogs. So raisins are also not good.

 Now, there are treats you can make, even buy, to help your dog enjoy Easter with your family, like hard-boiled eggs (just make sure they are properly refrigerated). Eggs are good for your dog's coat.

Dogs love peanut butter. Lulu sniffed it right through the paper. And peanut butter is ok for dogs. So here is an idea.

Three Dog Blog makes peanut butter cups for dogs. Instead of chocolate, they use carob chips. Carob is a chocolate substitute that you will find in dog treats from time to time.

Peanut Butter Cups (from Three Dog Blog)
  • 1/2 cup carob chips, unsweetened
  • 6 teaspoons peanut butter
  • 12 confection candy cups or cup cake cups
Place cups on tray that will fit in your refrigerator. In a small pan, on medium heat, melt carob chips. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of melted carob into each cup. Chill 10 minutes. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter on top of chilled carob. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of melted carob on top of peanut butter. Chill 10 minutes. Peel and treat!

Now, instead of using a cake cups, you could use a silicone pan. Get one with bunny or egg molds and voila! Easter treats for you dog!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MEMES: I want Lulu to star in one!

I love memes. I've pinned lots of them on Pinterest.

What is a meme? It's basically s cultural concept (often funny) that goes viral. Here's one of the most famous:

Here's another one:

These show up on Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook.

I want Lulu to be in one. I want her to be a star in one of these. I think she has the starpower.

I tried to make two:

Both got some movement, but never went very far. They have to go viral to become a star!

Hoping you guys can help me with that.

I'm gonna give you a picture, and you guys caption it! I'll then add them to Pinterest! Lets see how far we get!

BTW, this is more of a forced meme. But I'll take it.
Give me a caption for this!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

5 reasons to get Cherry Eye checked for your pet

Did you know dogs have three eyelids? I knew they had at least two. For some dogs, including beagles, that third eyelid can develop a problem commonly known as cherry eye.

A beagle with cherry eye. Photo courtesy of Snobbig2010 via Flickr.
The third eyelid gives the dog's eyes protection from dust and other debris, and also provides some of the moisture to that eye.

But sometimes the tear gland in that eyelid pops out, leaving what looks like a bubble at the eye. That's cherry eye.

"It is thought to be hereditary, but the exact cause is unknown," said Dr. Angela Chesanek, a veterinarian at SPCA of Central Florida. "Most common in certain breeds (English Bulldog, American cocker spaniel, sharpei, Newfoundland, beagle, and a few others) but any dog can get it." 

Even cats can get it.

Is it a problem? Veterinarians say it can be.

A Tonkinese kitten with cherry eye. Photo courtesy of CarlosTheDwarf via Wikimedia Commons.
So why get it looked at, even fixed? Here are 5 reasons:

1) It means there's an issue with the third eyelid. It is not a cosmetic issue.
2) If cherry eye happens in one eye, it could happen in the other.
3) The gland (now prolapsed) can get dry and irritated. The pet may paw at it.
4) Blood flow to the area is affected.
5) "If the gland ulcerates and becomes infected, replacement may be necessary for tear production -- and to prevent painful dry eye," Dr. Chesanek said.

What is Dry Eye? A form of conjunctivitis. And it requires medication for the rest of your pet's life. The eye will find a way to keep moist any way it can. It could start using mucus. The eye will get gooey, and that could affect the cornea, and eventually vision.  

There are a lot of ways to fix cherry eye for doctors. I found a video on Youtube of a vet literally pushing the gland back in an English bulldog with a Q-tip. It's kind of gross, I won't post it here. Just search cherry eye.

Some cases involve surgery. Dr. Chesanek suggests taking the dog to a vet ophthalmologist, but a vet can perform the surgery too.

"Surgery with a specialist is typically more -- can be up to $1000 for one eye," Dr. Chesanek said. "With a non-specialist veterinarian it typically ranges from $300-$500 -- for one eye.  This charge covers bloodworm, anesthesia, etc.  Charges vary greatly depending on the city.

As long as you take care of it, you shouldn't have to worry about removing the whole gland.

Of course, there is always a chance that this cherry eye may reappear. Which means you may need surgery again.

Good luck! 
Information from and also contributed to this report. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

FURminator deshedding tool -- REVIEW, plus Amazon sale

Believe it or not, Lulu sheds.

We are not talking Chow shedding, or even Labrador Retriever shedding, but she does shed and it gets everywhere. Little white and black hairs (I've yet to find brown hairs).

My trainer says FURminator makes the best grooming products on the market. So we put it to the test.

 This is the FURminator short hair shedding tool for a medium sized dog. How you can tell -- the orange represents the size, the blue, the short hair.

The comb part is stainless steel, made up of dozens of tiny, close-set teeth. The blue part helps you get the hair off the brush. It connects to the blue button on the back, which pushes the blue piece, and the hair off.

 A downward stroke gets the fur off the dog. You aren't going to brush like you would with a regular slicker though. You should use this like you would a rake. You should be picking up hair that is going to be shedded, especially that undercoat.

When you are ready, push the blue button. The fur comes off in easy to clean-up clumps (this looks like a caterpillar, huh?).

This part I particularly like. I remember brushing my brother's chow, and the fur would come off and fly everywhere. This is much better.

  • Solid tool, well-built. I've been kicking it around in the house the last couple of weeks and it's very sturdy.
  • Easy clean-up. I love this part. The fur makes such neat clumps, so easy to pick up and throw away.
  • Makes Lulu's fur shinier and softer. It is definitely worth keeping her groomed.
  • More important: Lulu likes it! She loves it when I pull the brush out, she loves the feel of the brush, it doesn't seem to bother her at all.
  • The price. This particular tool retails for about $55. Ouch. Very expensive.
  • Made in China. If that's important to you, you should know that. 
This week, Amazon and their sellers are selling FURminators for much, much cheaper. For instance, this tool for medium, short-haired dogs is only $21. Find the whole search list on AMAZON here.

DISCLAIMER: I received a deshedding tool from FURminator to review.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fun with Vine: New video app fun for humans and dogs alike

There's a new video app that allows you to create fun little videos. And it's free.

It's called Vine.

The app taps into your phone and lets you make little seven second videos. How creative can you get in seven seconds? You would be surprised.

Check out this video I made, called:

"Just Experimenting" (click that link to play the video)


What do you think? Kind of fun!

Here's how it works:

This is what your record page looks like. The green bar up top represents the length of the video. To record, just hold your finger down on the image. You can hold it down up to the end of the video.

What makes it so much fun though is that you can take your finger off the image whenever you want, as often as you want. So if you look at the "Just Experimenting" video, I stopped and started the same clip five times. And it created that cool stop motion effect.

You then have the option to share it on Vine, which has its own social networking setup (even already has a Pets category!), and share on Twitter and Facebook. In order to get a link to share on your blog, you need to share it on Twitter or Facebook right now.

Also right now it seems to only be available on iPhone, but if it takes off, you can be sure there will be Droid capability soon. 

What else could you do with this video? Think about it and give it a shot if you have an iPhone!

I leave you with one more video, (again, click the link):

Lulu vs. the Peanut Butter   

4SXQMVTAY5YC -- Technorati claim token, don't mind it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: Peggy the Pit Bull needs a forever home

I went to the Baldwin Park Doggy Derby this weekend to shoot pictures. I was at the finish line snapping pictures when the crowd started cheering for the third place finisher.

And then I realized why.

Meet Peggy. She has only three legs.

Lauren, her foster mom, works at a vets office. One day a family brought in Peggy. She had mange, and her leg was practically rotting. The family had putting socks on her paws, and kept them on tight with rubber bands.

There was no choice but to amputate the leg.

Lauren says she begged the vet to let her foster Peggy instead of euthanizing her. She's been with Lauren ever since.

Peggy still needs a forever home. She is not hindered much by her predicament. Lauren says Peggy  runs faster than the other pets, which is why she entered her in the Doggy Derby.

Do you think you could give Peggy a home? You can contact Lauren at . You can also see more pictures of Peggy on Lauren's Facebook page.

By the way, Lauren runs Sit N Stay Pet Cafe, one of only five pet treat trucks in the country. You should check out her website some time.

Meanwhile -- have you checked out our 1-year anniversary giveaway? We have all kinds of prizes to celebrate the big milestone. Check it out!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Find out the winners in our 1-year Anniversary Sweepstakes

 UPDATE: The contest is over! Check below for the list of winners.

One year ago I sat at this computer and wrote the following words:
"Barking Mad"
 It was the title of our very first post on Life With Beagle. I wrote all about my apartment being broken into and about Lulu, and how I don't really like taking care of dogs.

And then I asked people to follow me on a journey to see if I could be a good beagle parent, and if I could help Lulu become a much better beagle.

A year has passed, and we are still here, and we are still beagle and beagle parent!

And Life With Beagle is alive and kicking and growing all the time. It's been a heck of a year. Lulu graduated from her first training class. We went to Atlanta and to the Global Pet Expo here at home. We helped raise money and pet supplies for pets staying at the Harbor House, and we've met lots and lots of amazing friends along the way, all over the world.

There's still so much more we want to do!

Thanks to everyone who has come to read about my adventures with Lulu, and who has been so supportive. We love you all!

And now... presents!

OUR Givaway is now over! Here are the list of winners!

Prizes 1 through 3: Three (3) Petco Gift Cards worth $15 each! One for each winner.
Amy Orvin
Sarah Stover
Carma Poodale

Prize 4: A grab bag of Natural Balance goodies, including treats, a toy, and a voucher for free dog or cat food!
Stephanie Hastie

Prize 5: A CritterZone USA air purifier plug-in wall unit.
Kelly Ann T

NEW! Prizes 6 and 7: Two (2) sets of two (2) toys from Quaker Pet Group! Each set includes a Hear Doggy toy (with a squeaker only dogs can hear!) and a Go Dog toy, which is super durable!
Big Toys: Ann Staub
Small Toys: Heather Hayes Panjon

Congrats to the winners! And keep checking back for more great things to win in the coming months.

Disclaimer: I bought some of the gifts, some are from previous giveaways, and some are product samples from companies.

Another disclaimer: I will ship prizes all over the world, however if you live outside the US, depending where you live I may ask you to pay shipping.

Thanks again!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 7, 2013

PRODUCT REVIEW: CritterZone Air Purifier, PLUS a Coupon!

You know, it's not easy to keep a clean smell in a house when you have pets.

I've tried those pet carpet odor neutralizers, the fabric sprays, the scented plugins, candles... everything short of exorcism.

That's a joke.

Not to say my apartment smells like a poorly kept kennel. But there's often a weak smell of dog.

So I was intrigued by this device at Global Pet Expo. It's called the CritterZone Air Purifier.

It's a small, filterless unit that is designed to purify the air of odor, allergens and more.

It's very similar to those $300 units you find on The Sharper Image website, only these are smaller and much cheaper.

The device I got comes with a detachable power cord, or you can get a plug-in wall unit. I like the power cord unit because my electrical sockets can be inconveniently placed.

How can I show you how well this product works? They haven't invented a smell-o-vision gadget for Blogger yet!

At first, the smell the CritterZone emits is strange, like something I've smelled before but I can't pinpoint. But before long you don't notice the smell, and in fact you don't notice any unpleasant odors either.

Without being too gross. Lets just say that while trying to shoot pics, I discovered a spot on the carpet I never knew existed, because I didn't smell it!

CritterZone says its device emits a charged air flow constantly. That purifies the air of bacteria, allergens, odors and even dust. I've noticed my place is less dusty as well.

The other thing I like is that it doesn't send out any fragrances like those scented plugins. I love the smell, but they can be problems for my mother, who is allergic to fragrances.

The only thing I'm not entirely sure about is the claim about how far it cleans the air. It says it handles smells up to 800 square feet. I have a 740 square foot apartment. My unit is in the back of the living room, and though it takes care of smells in the living room, dining room and kitchen, it doesn't necessarily take care of smells in my bathroom and bedroom. I don't know if walls get in the way of that airflow.

Still, I think it's an amazing product!


  • Cleans the air, as promised, with no chemicals or fragrances that can make my mom sick.
  • Small and portable. I can take it to hotels, or even get a car charger for it and use it in the car.
  • Doesn't make lots of noise. Barely noticeable.
  • Less than $100, much cheaper than other filterless units.
  • No filters to replace.
  • The smell it emits initially might seem unpleasant to you, but before long you won't notice it, or even remember the box is there.
  • Not entirely sure it's reach is as far as it says. And if you have a bigger house you would definitely need more than one unit.
NOW: a coupon code!

CritterZone has created a $10 code for their website so you can buy one!

Just go to

Choose your device and put it in your shopping cart. And when you go to check out, add the following code: LIFEWITHBEAGLE  into  the box  labeled “Apply Promo Code.”

Now you have $10 off the CritterZone unit, which is normally $89.95 on the website.

Or you can wait until Sunday! March 10 is Life With Beagle's 1 year anniversary, and we are celebrating with a big giveaway of great products!

Sign up to get updates by email using the tool on the right side to be notified when that giveaway starts!

Full Disclaimer: I received my unit free to review. And for every unit bought using the coupon code I mentioned above, I receive $15. That money will be used to help Orlando-area animal charities.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PHOTOS: Checking out Yappi Hour in New Port Richey

Over the weekend Lulu and I visited a small monthly rescue event in New Port Richey, FL. My mom, who runs the blog Furbabies and Grandbabies, has been attending this event for the last few months, and made many friends.

Yappi Hour takes place at Mezza Luna Pizzeria on Main Street on the first Sunday of each month. Take a look at these pictures.

Like I said, it's a small event, but the people are dedicated. In center: My Dad with Buster and my niece with Jasmine.
Pit Bull Happenings has a table of items for sale. I bought some party collars to help support them. They constantly in need in of foster families. There are so many pit bulls in the area.
Florida Doggie Paws Rescue holds raffles to raise money for their pets.
R.O.A.R. helps pets that are abused, neglected or abandoned. This poor baby is deaf.
This hound was very friendly. Not available though.
This sweet dachshund has not been adopted yet because she needs a home without cats. Can you help? Email
Homemade healthy treats! Dog Gone Healthy is a shop in Spring Hill. Check them out online at
At least two dogs were adopted, not bad considering how cold it was.

If you're in the Tampa Bay area, please check out the rescue groups, and consider coming to New Port Richey next month to check out Yappi Hour.