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The Pattern Design Process of Coastal Pet

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The work of the Product Development Team is demanding and requires constant innovation and lots of creativity. We design not only Coastal branded products, but custom designs for our key customers. It's the incredibly talented folks like Abbee Harrison, one of the Product Managers here at Coastal Pet, who make it possible. We sat down with Abbee and asked her to tell us more about her pattern design process. 

Tell us about yourself. 
I have been at Coastal for 9 years in May. I started in Manufacturing then I was a Line-leader for 3 years. Then I was in Customer service for 2 years and have been in PD for 3. Before Coastal I was a professional Face painter and worked with my Families business of building greenhouses and selling flowers. 

What inspires you, and why?
I am inspired by fashion and trends. I think fashion is a great way to express yourself and show off your individuality. I always love trying to guess what the next big thing is and love to see it when I am right!

Tell us about your creative process. What steps do you take when you’re working through a project? 
When we work on projects for one of our customers I try to find out what the customer is looking for or I go and research what they currently have. Then I balance that with I know works for other customers or what I believe is going to be a up and coming trend. After I have a direction I usually make multiple options for the customer to pick from. When I create patterns and collars for Coastal I really look to up and coming trends or what our portfolio might be missing.

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On average, how many patterns you have created in all your time in Coastal Pet? 
I think its around 2,500. It is hard to tell since I am always making more!

On Average, how many patterns do you design in a year?
At least 1000. Again it is hard to tell. For every 5 patterns I design only 1 might move forward.

What are the best-selling patterns? Most requested themes?
Right now are high contrast florals (flower patterns that have a darker background and bright flowers) are incredibly popular. The most requested theme changes all the time but I do get requests for food patterns a lot! 

What has been your favorite pattern, and why? 
My favorites are unicorns, rainbows and dinosaurs, just because I personally love those things!

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What has been your most challenging project? 
Actually I think that the patterns I do for Coastal (versus a customer) can be the most challenging. We don’t always know what we want. The possibilities are endless.

Tell us about a brand/person/company that you admire and how it influences your work?
I personally like brands that have a lot of fun patterns and unique designs, but I always try and make things that will appeal to the desired demographic. I like funky whimsical designs but a lot of traditional or simplistic patterns do really well.

What is your favorite thing about working at Coastal Pet? 
I really enjoy working with our team, but my favorite thing is seeing dogs wearing patterns I drew or seeing my designs out in the world! There was one on Saturday Night Live! a few weeks ago.

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Thank You for Being a Friend

As we kick off 2020, we want to take one more look back at what made 2019 so pawsome...Our Friends! 

Whether they made us laugh, smile, or step back in awe, the posts below helped make up 20 of our Top Favorite Tagged Photos of 2019!

In alphabetical order because it was already hard enough narrowing down the list to 20 of our favorites...

1. adventures_by_meeko

Adventures By Meeko 

 2. bear__thefrenchbulldog

Bear Thefrenchbulldog

3. bernesemountainpup

Bernesemountainpup

4. chickenandscout

Chickenandscout

5. frannitude

Frannitude

6. goldentrailz

Goldentrailz

7. howlingupnorth

Howlingupnorth

8. huskymax_pugmolly

Huskymax Pugmolly

 9. kazuki_the_bengal

Kazuki The Bengal

10. michipoodle

Michipoodle

11. mishabarkton

Mishabarkton

12. mydogstink

Mydogstink

13. nala__the__bengal

Nala The Bengal

14. paw_pals_adventures

Paw Pals Adventures

15. peachthebordeaux

Peachthebordeaux

16. tessa_the_irish_setter

Tessa The Irish Setter

17. thebullystella

Thebullystella

18. thegrumpycocker

Thegrumpycocker (1)

19.  thesunshinedogs

Thesunshinedogs

20. thewhitegoldenloki

Thewhitegoldenloki

Not sure if you're following us on Instagram yet? Take a look and see

Didn't get enough? How about a bonus wink for good measure?

21. barkingmomentsrd

Barkingmomentsrd

Holiday Safety with Coastal Pet

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Can My Dog Eat These?

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THE GOOD WORKS PROGRAM

A Coastal Pet strategy with a powerful purpose

The success of a company is not just about sales, employment growth, or technological advances. At Coastal Pet, we believe that what truly makes a company successful is its ability to support its community and the world around us. Having a positive impact on the people and the pets they love. 

That’s why we created our Good Works Program. It’s our way of showing our commitment to important causes in our locally community and beyond.   

This program is made up of partnerships with organizations that align with our core business values: Locally we work with Junior Achievement to help develop the next generation of thought leaders and business strategists in our surrounding communities. Each year we help them define marketing plans, tweak strategies and practice for the state and national competitions.

Nationally, we partner with organizations like Leader Dogs for the Blind and Morris Animal Foundation in an effort to support their respective missions. Being a pet products company, the easiest way for us to do that is through our products! We use our Styles line of sublimated collars and leashes as our base and design from there. We refer to the result as our “cause patterns”, because that’s what they are… patterns with an important cause!

RESOLVE: a pattern for Leader Dogs for the Blind:

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Our relationship with this wonderful organization started in 2008.

For people who are blind or visually impaired, the loss of sight is only the beginning of a life-changing reality. As the simplest to the most complex everyday tasks become daunting, these individuals often become depressed, anxious and isolated. From white cane training to matching people with a Leader Dog, they provide the tools and training to reintroduce people to a life of independence, confidence and companionship. It’s a way of living that leads to a new perspective on life. And moreover, they do it free of charge!

Our RESOLVE pattern appears on collars, leashes and key loops. Products are available in their website gift shop, at your local pet shop or online! Proceeds from the sale of this pattern go directly to supporting Leader Dog!

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OUTREACH: a pattern for Morris Animal Foundation: 

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Our relationship with Morris Animal Foundation started in 2010. They focus on research and studies aimed at improving and protecting the health of animals through scientific innovation, education and inspiration. They were founded in 1948, by an ambitious and passionate newly graduated veterinarian, Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr. Under his leadership Morris Animal Foundation became an organization responsible from the development of new veterinary diagnostic tools, vaccines, drugs and surgical techniques. 

Today the organization has studied more than 400 health issues across 300+ species. The most notable of their efforts has been the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. It is one of the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine heath studies in the United States, aiming to identify nutritional, environmental, genetic and other risk factors for canine cancer.

Our OUTREACH pattern appears on dog collars and leashes and will soon be introduced as a cat collar as well. The Proceeds of this pattern are directed to supporting the important research of Morris Animal Foundation. You can find our Outreach products at your local pet store or online.

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Join us in this effort 

It has been an enormous privilege to support our partners and we’ve learned so much as an organization through our work with each of these outstanding groups.

If you are looking for a new collar or leash in the future, please consider a pattern with a cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of people and the pets they love. 

Want to learn more?  Visit https://www.leaderdog.org & https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?

NIGHTTIME SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKING YOUR DOG.

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It’s been a long summer of lazy days, outdoor adventures and getting to stretch your legs far into the evening with plenty of light. Now the days are getting shorter and both you and your dog are feeling those late evening walks coming to an end. That doesn’t have to happen yet! Until the cold weather chases you indoors, walking after sundown can still be a great experience. You simply need to do it safely! We recommend you follow these tips:

1. Improve visibility with the Right Gear:

Our motto is “to be safe you have to be seen”. Make sure both you and your dog wear either reflective or lighted apparel to be sure you are seen by cars, motorists, cyclists and other pedestrians. Even if you live in a secluded area, you should take precautions. Wildlife, hikers or campers could startle or cause you to be startled by unintended encounters.  

  • Reflective collars and leashes make you easier to spot from a distance.
  • Light up blinkers can be fastened to collars, leashes or your clothing to let others see you coming.
  • Reflective vests for your dog add more coverage.
  • For humans, try a lightweight reflective vest or jacket.
  • A headlamp will help you navigate the night while your hands stay free for holding the leash.
  • Collar tags with a reflective coating are also an option.

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2. Use Caution:

Even though you’re doing your part to be seen, others may not be doing the same. Insulate yourself from dangers like other pedestrians or even distracted drivers by staying alert and exercising caution.

  • Leave your headphones at home, so you will be able to hear what's going on around you.
  • Preferably, walk against traffic so you can see cars approaching you.
  • If possible, stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, move to the shoulder of the road with your pet walking on the inside.
  • Avoid allowing your leashed pet to extend into the roadway where drivers can't see it.
  • Although you may have the right of way, let cars go first at intersections that are poorly lit or when there isn’t a walk/don’t walk light present.

3. Be on the Defense:

Even if you have reflective attachments or lights, pay close attention, and be smart about where you choose to explore.

  • Only walk or hike on established, well-lit paths or trails.
  • Avoid shortcuts through dark allies or abandoned neighborhood lots.
  • Don’t venture into remote areas with which you are unfamiliar. If an accident does happen, you want to be easily accessible to anyone coming to help.

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4. Carry Your Cell Phone.

That is not for texting or calling your friends. It will give you extra security if you need anything. Also, you can use the cellphone's flashlight when walking.

  • Make sure your battery is fully charged!
  • Know how to quickly use the emergency functions on your phone
  • Stay in areas where you know you have service

 

Once you've taken all the right precautions to keep you and your dog safe, you can go on enjoying those evening walks well into Autumn! Have fun!!

Training Essentials for Dogs

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Five Fun Dog Games to Keep Your Dog Active

A guest blog by John Woods of All Things Dogs

Unfortunately, as dog owners, we are becoming more and more aware of the injuries sustained by dogs from excessive ball throwing or flinging.

Not only is it the repetitive movement that strains their legs, necks and backs, but balls can also become lodged in their throats.  Then we have the added issue of sticks becoming lodged in chest cavities too.

So, how do we keep our dogs active outside without causing harm?

We’ve put together our top games you can play outdoors to keep you both active and having a great time together! 

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1. Flirt Pole

This is a firm favorite for competition or working dogs for maintaining condition.  For a pet pooch, this is great for sight hounds, retrievers or just those guys who are eager-to-please.  You can buy a flirt pole readymade or make your own. 

To make your own, find a length of PVC piping.  Thread some rope through the pipe and tie it at both ends to stop it coming out.  The rope should have excess on the one end.  At the end of the rope, tie a toy or stuffed animal. 

The purpose of the flirt pole is to encourage your pup to chase the toy/animal.  With it being attached to the pole, you still have control over it, and you can regulate how fast/far your pooch is traveling/chasing.  It’s best to keep calm and quiet whilst they are chasing and then praise when they catch it.

2. Treasure Hunt

A great game for all dogs, especially recovering, older or less mobile dogs.  If your dog is toy orientated you can hide toy, if he’s food orientated, then hide treats. 

To start off with, if you are using toys, it’s best to hide treats alongside the toy so they can find it easier.  Use high value, aromatic treats. 

Hide toys/treats around your yard and let your dog see where you hide them.  Let him retrieve them, you can label the behavior “hunt” when he finds them. 

Once he’s understood the concept, keep him somewhere he can’t see you when you hide them and ask him to “hunt” on command. 

3. Sandbox

This is a great game if your dog is a digger! 

Think terrier, husky, malamute and dachshund!  Find a kids sand tray and fill it with play sand or non-toxic sand. 

Bury toys in the sand encourage your pooch to dig them out. You can help him initially.  This is a great way to prevent unwanted digging in the rest of your garden.  Just remember to cover the sand up if the rain comes in. 

No-one wants wet sand paw prints across their kitchen floor. 

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4. Tunnel Master!

If you can find a kids or dog agility tunnel, set it up in your yard. 

Some dogs will confidently walk through it as soon as it’s up, others will need a little more encouragement.  If he’s wary, keep it tied together and encourage him to walk through the “hoop” that it appears. 

Once he’s mastered this, set the tunnel up and encourage him into the entrance by throwing treats around the entrance.  As he gains confidence, throw treats into the entrance and then further into the tunnel. 

The idea is that he just gets further into the tunnel each session. 

Once he’s confident, label the behavior “in” and he should happily run through!  Remember to practice entering from both ends of the tunnel!  You may even consider taking up agility!

5. Apple Bobbing!

If you have a water tray, fill it with water and throw some floatable toys or balls in it.  Encourage your pooch to retrieve the toys/balls.  Be mindful that he doesn’t swallow too much of the water though.  Some dogs choose to “bob” from the edges, some will jump into the pool!  It can be a brilliant game to help them cool down on a warm day!  Use fresh water every time you use the pool as algae can from which is toxic to Fido.

There are plenty of ways to keep your pooch active whilst outside.

Just consider the weather and don’t spend too much time outside with him in extreme temperatures.      

 

When to Replace Gear

When Should You Replace Your Dog’s Gear?

No matter what kind of dog you have, whether an agility-loving Border Collie or a purse-riding Yorkie, eventually that pup is going to get dirty. And that means their collar, harness, and other wearables are going to get messy too.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, but they do secrete oils and their adventures take them into dirty, often wet, places. So, chances are their collars are going to start to get as funky as they do. To prevent bacteria growth and odors, pet owners should keep an eye on their dog’s gear and wash and replace as needed.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you determine when it might be time to replace your dog’s collar or leash.

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Tips for Replacing Gear

1. Choose the right material

If your dog loves the water, consider a waterproof harness, leash, and collar, such as our Pro line. The waterproof coated webbing doesn’t absorb moisture and bacteria, doesn’t hold odors, and is easy to clean. 

2. Know how to care for your gear

Most leashes and collars are washable in some form, but cloth gear may have special care instructions, such as spot cleaning, to prevent fading or wear.

3. Don’t forget the leash

It’s easy to think about the grime on the collar, but your leash may be even worse—consider what it picks up being dragged through the dirt, getting urinated on unknowingly, and who knows what else.

4. Watch for dog-inflicted damage

If your dog is a chewer, store leashes and harnesses out of reach. If they do manage to chew through part of the material, replacement is the best way to ensure full functionality.

5. Check buckles and clips regularly

Coastal Pet’s collars are built for quality and each size is tested to 7 times the max weight of a dog. But if you have other products, be sure to check them often for wear and tear to ensure your dog can’t break free due to a failure.

6. Flaunt your fashion sense

Even if you don’t see any wear and tear on your collars, don’t be afraid to mix it up with something new. Just like a new outfit makes us feel good, a fresh look on your dog may add pep to both of your steps. If you love to show off your style, check out our Styles line of adjustable collars, which come in perky patterns and colors.

7. Watch the size

If your dog is gaining or losing weight, make sure their harness and collar keep up with the change. Check the fit often to ensure they can’t slip out or that a too-tight harness isn’t digging into their skin. When you reach the limits of adjustability, replace with a new size. 

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Grooming Tools

Along with collars and other wearables, the products you groom your pets with also may need occasional replacement. Coastal Pet’s Safari brand grooming products are made with quality top of mind, so with normal use, they should last you a long time. But if you’re using other brands or have had your Safari by Coastal tools for a number of years, here are a few things to look out for.

When to Replace Grooming Tools

1. Dull edges

In the kitchen, pro chefs know that sharp knives cut better and prevent accidents; similarly, your nail trimmers and scissors should be sharp. If they’ve gotten dull over the years, it’s time to replace. One sign? If trimming starts to splinter nails or scissors start to pull instead of cut, they should be replaced.

2. Corroding blades

Lower-quality trimmers, may get rusty or corroded. This is definitely a sign that it’s time for replacements.

3. Bent or missing bristles

Under normal use, Coastal Pet brushes should last a long time. But if bristles accidentally get bent or damaged, it’s time to replace. With lower-quality brushes, replace if bristles start to fall out to avoid your pet swallowing them.

When in doubt, check with your pet store or the manufacturer for advice. They can help you determine what has some life left and what is ready for something new. Find your closest retailer here.

Can Cats be Trained. No, really!

In 1981, when I first started training dogs professionally the only cats I was aware of that had any type of training were those trained for TV commercials. The idea that cat training would ever be offered to cat owners seemed ludicrous. Common sentiments then and now include; cats can’t be trained because they don’t care about pleasing you, they are too independent, etc.

Part of this perception is due to a natural and unfortunate comparison to dogs. It is easy to picture the noble Lassie rescuing Timmy or the bouncy Labrador Retriever working for a belly rub. Picturing this with kitty isn’t so easy. What’s more, when people think about “training”, they often visualize teaching obedience cues, something many cat owners don’t consider.

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The truth is dogs are motivated by many different rewards, some are food motivated, some work for toys, some for praise. Cats are much the same. In a nutshell, cats are highly trainable if you know how.

Here are a few reasons you should look into training for your cat:

  1. It can solve a lot of problems: A great deal of cat training is about problem solving. Cat owners are less concerned with teaching kitty to lie down then teaching her to eliminate consistently in the litter box, not scratch up furniture, spray all over the house, and to be more accepting of other cats, dogs and people. These are all behaviors that can be modified.
  2. It can prevent challenges: Prevention is always preferable to reacting to problems once they take place. Some preventative methods are surprisingly simple. For example; to reduce litter box problems, make sure the box is cleaned regularly, once you find a litter the cat likes stick with it and make sure you have multiple litter boxes if you have multiple cats. Training of behaviors like acceptance of dogs and people may take more work, but are important if you have a busy, pet friendly home.
  3. It can help with veterinary care: On average cat owners take their pets to the veterinarian less frequently than dog owners. One reason owners site is the difficulty in placing cats into a carrier. However, with training, a carrier is something cats can learn to tolerate and, in some cases, even like.
  4. It creates opportunities: Cats can and should learn to walk on a leash with a harness. It’s good exercise, allows owners to take them places without having to always place them in a carrier and believe it or not can be fun. Like most training, leash and harness training goes easiest when introduced early, so start them young.

For more information about cat training please visit Animal Behavior College's page on cat training.

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Steven Appelbaum has trained dogs professionally since 1981. He is the founder and President of Animal Behavior College a school for dog & cat trainers. Steve writes a column for Pet Age magazine, is the former editor of Off Lead Magazine, his book The ABCs of Practical Dog Training was published in 2004. His beloved Basset Hound Truffles (pictured) attempted to chase a cat in 2012. She was unsuccessful and so slow it is doubtful the cat even knew she was being pursued. Truffles prefers to sleep on the couch.





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