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1-2-3 Stress-Free Holiday Tips

1-2-3 Stress-Free Holiday Tips

The upcoming holidays can be a stressful time, both for you and your pet. Here are some simple tips to reduce frustrations so you can both enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season.

Trimming the Tree

  1. Skip the tinsel. Pets, especially cats, will eat tinsel that can block the digestive system.
  2. Unplug the lights when not at home. Pets can get burned, shocked or even start a fire by chewing on them.
  3. Don’t drink the water. The water for a live tree can be a source of toxic fertilizer.Img 0842

Decking the Halls

  1. Poinsettias are mildly poisonous and may cause an upset stomach or rash.
  2. Holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  3. Mistletoe can cause an upset stomach or even seizures.

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Pet-Friendly Treats

  1. Keep pet-friendly treats on hand. Fatty, rich foods can lead to pancreatitis.
  2. Many holiday candies and cookies contain chocolate that can make pets very sick.
  3. Make sure garbage cans are out of reach. Bones from your feasts can be a choking hazard.

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Holiday Visitors

  1. Fido, meet Aunt Fran. Plan ahead how you will introduce family and friends to your pets.
  2. Stranger danger! Each ring of the doorbell can seem like a home invasion for your pets.
  3. Making room for company. Moving furniture, pet beds and toys can be very unsettling.

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Traveling with Pets

  1. If your pet is traveling with you, it’s important to keep them comfortable and safe.
  2. Pet carriers, safety auto harnesses and boosters are great ways to protect pets.
  3. Coastal’s Bergan® travel solutions reduce distractions and keep pets comfortable.88200 Tabsml 1

Pets as Gifts - Why It's Best to Wait

  1. The hectic holidays may be too much for a puppy or kitten and may even have a lifelong effect on them.
  2. Avoid the "new toy" syndrome that a pet is to be played with and then ignored when the excitement is over.
  3. Successful housetraining needs a regular schedule, and most of us cannot provide this needed routine during the busy holidays. Dsc0117

Paw It Forward

#pawitforwardwithcoastal

My nightly routine tends to consist of scrolling through Facebook for about an hour looking at cute animal pictures. You know, the ones where the cows are sitting in a field like dogs, the cats are snuggling up to their family and the dogs are usually doing something funny that makes me laugh. I was partaking in my usual nightly activity when I stumbled across a good friend’s adorable picture of her kissing a dog that wasn’t hers. So, I paused in my cute animal pursuit and decided to read her caption. This is what it said:

Initial Post

Her post got me thinking, what if we did something similar as a Coastal family? Our gears started turning and we came up with the Paw It Forward initiative. Seemed fitting to participate during the month of November since it’s Animal Shelter Appreciation month!

As our paw it forward initiative we decided to go to our local humane society and give new collars and toys to the dogs that have been at the shelter for an extended period. We thought we would make the dogs’ day with a new toy and hopefully get them noticed by prospective adopters with their new fun collars. 

First up is Luke. Luke is a purebred sweet potato. He just wanted to get pets and scratches. He was super laid back and just wanted to be snuggled. We gave him a brightly colored collar and a new toy, but he preferred to snuggle, and people watch. He walked perfectly on a leash and would make a great companion.

Luke

Next up is Tank. He was hilarious! He didn’t show well in his cage, but as soon as the door was open he was a completely different dog. He was sweet, loveable and ready to play. He LOVED his new toy so much that he laid on the floor and rolled around with it. Later, we saw a volunteer going on a run with him and were told that he is a great running companion too!

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Our last stop for the night was with Katie. She is a perfect mix of sweet, lovable and playful. She received a new flowery teal collar that really popped on her coat. She also got a new toy that she proceeded to prance around with. She has the cutest run, resembling a cross between a baby deer and a dog that is hard not to fall in love with.

Katie

Now, we challenge you to Paw It Forward. Get creative with it! You could donate lightly used toys, take nice photos of the animals to help get them adopted or just spend some time making their day. It’s up to you, but we encourage you to share your photos with us using the hashtag #pawitforwardwithcoastal.

If you think any of the above-mentioned dogs are your perfect match, you can check them out here:

Luke: http://petango.com/A…/Dog-Terrier-American-Pit-Bull-36428957

Tank: http://petango.com/A…/Dog-Terrier-American-Pit-Bull-34949836

Katie: http://petango.com/Adopt/Dog-Terrier-Pit-Bull-36400181

Let’s get them adopted!

The Evolution of Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friend

From Wolves to Pugs and Great Danes – The Evolution of Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friend

Spend a day watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and it’s hard to believe that a shih tzu shares a common ancestor with an Irish wolfhound. With over 400 recognized dog breeds, the variety is mind boggling. But genetic studies tell us that our canine friends are indeed related, and all dogs trace back to a common ancestor – the gray wolf, Canis lupus.

Enter in thousands of years of human interaction and intervention, and the result is the wide variety of dog breeds proudly strutting across our television screen. The story of how dogs have evolved from wolf to Chihuahua is a fascinating tale that starts with our respective ancestors’ first interactions.

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Dogs and humans – an ancient partnership

Most researchers who study canine genetics agree that dogs are really domesticated wolves – their scientific name is Canis lupus familiaris - but the exact time that the relationship between wolves and humans turned from distrust and fear to a mutually beneficial partnership is disputed. A large body of research suggests that dogs were domesticated between 12,500 and 15,000 years ago, but more recent studies establish domestication as early as 130,000 years ago, long before our human ancestors settled into agricultural communities.

Another long-standing controversy surrounds the origins of these earliest domesticated dogs. Evidence pointed to both Asia and Europe as the site of initial domestication, resulting in an unusual scientific tug of war. A 2016 study suggested that dogs were actually domesticated twice –in both Europe and Asia.

A separate study looked at the genetics of more than 150 different dog breeds and unearthed evidence of a “New World Dog” that migrated with humans across the Bering Strait. Archaeological evidence exists of this ancient dog, but the study was the first to show “living evidence of these dogs in modern breeds,” including the Peruvian hairless Dog and the Xoloitzcuintle. Most other dogs in North America are of European descent, brought over by waves of soldiers and settlers.

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Beginnings of selective breeding

The same study also revealed other unexpected results. When closely comparing genetics of traditionally herding dog breeds, researchers found one group of dogs seemed to arise from the United Kingdom, another from Northern Europe, and yet another group from Southern Europe. When researchers looked more closely at the different groups, they realized each group used a different strategy to herd their flocks, a pattern borne out in genetic data. This supports the growing theory that multiple human populations started purposeful breeding of dogs independent of one another.

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The “Victorian Explosion”

Most dog breeds we recognize today were developed in the last 150 years, spurred by what has become known as the “Victorian Explosion.” During this time in Great Britain, dog breeding intensified and expanded, resulting in many of our most recognizable breeds of dogs.

Breeding for conformational traits continued through the 20th century. The result is the 400+ types of dogs recognized as distinct breeds.

Scroll through pictures of dog breeds from 100 years ago, compared to their current kin, and you can see dramatic changes as dog fanciers selectively bred for traits such as shorter legs (dachshunds were taller back then), and stockier build (German shepherd dogs were lankier at the turn of the last century). The downside of this extensive breeding is loss of genetic diversity and conformation changes with detrimental, breed-specific health consequences.

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Enter the 21st Century

As we approach the third decade of the 21st century, technological advances have given scientists a new perspective on our canine companions, including the health risks they share with humans.

Because dogs spontaneously develop some of the same diseases that plague humans, such as cancer, heart disease and obesity, researchers hope that dogs might shed light on how these conditions develop, ultimately leading to treatments that could help both species. One such study is Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study that is gathering lifestyle and genetic information on more than 3,000 golden retrievers. This groundbreaking project will provide a wealth of new information that will help identify risk factors for canine diseases, including many cancers. This study also has many translational components that may inform human health risk factors.

To learn more about this study and the Foundation behind the research, visit Morris Animal Foundation and see how they are helping solve health challenges for all breeds.

Blaze And Reese Durango

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

It’s that time of year where we break out the hoodies, sweaters and scarves and start enjoying s’mores, hot chocolate and bonfires. This might be one of our favorite seasons but I’m pretty sure it’s one of our dog’s favorite seasons as well. With fall comes cooler temperatures which means more outdoor walks, more marshmallows falling off the counter and ultimately more adventures for them – sounds like a slice of dog heaven. Here are a few things you can do this fall to ensure it’s your pup’s favorite time of the year.

Pick of the Patch

Fall is often signaled by the appearance of pumpkins and one of the best fall adventures is searching for your own pumpkin. Why not find a local pumpkin patch that allows dogs on the premises? This way you and your pup can pick your favorite pumpkins together. Plus, the pictures of your pup enjoying the fields are bound to be adorable. Don’t forget to keep your pup on a leash during this outdoor activity, you never know what farm animals will pique your dog’s curiosity.

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Hay Rides

Your family and friends can all enjoy a scenic or spooky ride behind a tractor. Your dog would love to ride shotgun on this adventure. They are sure to enjoy all the new sights and smells.

88 Kobalt Haystack And The Pumpkin Patch

Crunchy Leaves

Fall is full of mostly great activities but those of you who are home owners understand the struggle that comes with falling leaves. Raking can be a dreaded task but with a dog around it can be fun. Rake all the leaves together and put a small amount into that summer kiddy pool that is laying around. All you have to do is hide some toys in the leaves for your pup to find. Make sure you remove all the sticks so there are no unexpected surprises during your dog’s leaf adventures. Take pictures as they discover the joys of crunchy leaves!

Fall Ribbon Houndstooth

Play Dress Up

Howl-oween is coming quick so it’s time to find the perfect costume for you and your furry friend!

Beth Kreiner Halloween

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

While your baking pumpkin pies and drinking pumpkin spice lattes don’t forget about a major part of your family – the dog. We know those begging puppy eyes can be so hard to say no to, so why not make them their own special fall treat? Look at these no-bake pumpkin treats your dog is sure to love. 

Over the Mountain and Through the Woods

To the campsite we go! The cool weather is perfect for hiking and camping. A lot of campsites are now dog friendly so your k9 explorer doesn’t have to miss out on the adventures. They can fish, hike and even swim with you without getting overheated.

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Have some great fall adventures planned for you and your pup? Share them with us on Instagram, @coastalpetproducts, or Facebook, @coastalpetproducts. We want to see what adventures you came up with this season.

Responsible Dog Ownership Month

September is the AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Month. This is a time set aside to focus on what it really means to be a responsible dog owner.

Am I ready to commit?

Thinking about getting a puppy? Asking yourself some simple questions prior to choosing a dog can set you and your furry friend up for a happy, healthy relationship. The first one should be, “Am I ready to commit to the responsibility of owning a dog for his or her entire lifetime?”

Owning a dog is a significant commitment – not only of your time, but also money. This includes everything from daily exercise and mental stimulation to proper nutrition and healthcare.

Avoid impulsive decisions. Do your homework by researching different breed characteristics or consider adopting a puppy or dog from a shelter. Talk to other dog owners about the pros and cons of their dogs. Most people will be more than happy to share their experiences to help you make an informed decision.

Sprout

How do I choose the right dog?

Identify the type of dog that matches your lifestyle and works with your living space. Size, exercise requirements, grooming needs, temperament and compatibility with children and adults should all figure into your decision. The most common reason dogs are surrendered to shelters is due to a mismatch between the owner’s lifestyle and the dog’s needs.

Do you want a purebred dog or a mixed breed dog? The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds are all members of the same breed and share common traits called the “breed standard”.

A good breeder will allow you to see where the puppies are raised, meet the dam and the sire and interact with the puppies. They will also be willing to take the puppy back for any reason whatsoever and should specify this in the contract.

Mixed breeds offer several advantages over purebreds. You benefit from the combined traits of two or more breeds. You also get a dog likely to have fewer genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. Mixed breeds, in fact, are often considered the more “natural” dog.

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Benefits of a Rescued Dog

Consider adopting a dog or puppy from a rescue group. Reputable organizations carefully evaluate dogs to ensure they are placed in appropriate homes. Consider the following benefits associated with adopting:

  • All dogs deserve a second chance.
  • An adoption counselor can help you select a dog that will match your lifestyle.
  • If you lack the time or patience to housetrain a puppy or correct problems like chewing and jumping, an adult dog may be a better choice.
  • Although an active, bouncy dog might catch your eye, a more quiet or reserved dog could be a better match for your lifestyle.
  • Shy dogs can be very sensitive and require gentle handling. Are you able to provide that kind of care?

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What are the needs of each life stage?

  • Don’t skimp on food quality. Proper nutrition is vital to a long and active life.
  • You must be able to afford preventative healthcare, including vaccinations and parasite control as well as medical expenses due to illnesses or injuries.
  • Responsible dog owners limit reproduction through spay/neuter, containment or managed breeding.
  • Be prepared to make quality of life decisions in consultation with your veterinarian as your dog ages.
  • Make prior arrangements for your dog’s care in the event you can no longer care for them.

Always be Prepared

  • Clean up after your dog when walking, hiking or hanging out in public. This is not only respectful to others, it helps maintain a healthy environment.
  • Do your homework. Obey all local ordinances, including leash requirements and noise control.
  • Be sure to provide a secure area for exercise. Don’t allow your dog to stray, and make sure they are properly identified in the event they do become lost (i.e. ID tags, microchips, personalized collars).
  • Incorporate your dog into your family emergency plans in the event of a fire or other disaster.

Being a responsible dog owner will ensure the best possible experience for both you and your dog. Enjoy!

Testimonial

My name is Justin Lepley. I had the privilege of working at Coastal Pet Products for the greater part of 2017, as an intern in the marketing office. Before starting my internship, I had previously worked at a local, independently-owned, pet shop for about ten years. In the pet industry, it is hard not to have heard of Coastal as they have been a staple of the industry for nearly 50 years. Growing up in Alliance, Ohio however, it is nearly impossible not to be familiar, as Coastal is one of the largest employers in our area.

Justin Lepley

In my years working at the pet shop, I had become very familiar with the products, and without direct comparison, it was easy to take for granted the superior quality of the things Coastal produces. It wasn't until after I began looking closer into other brands that I fully came to appreciate all that Coastal stands for and their "Quality Guarantee" that is the foundation of everything that they put out into the market.

Today pets are seen to be as much a part of the family as children, so building a relationship of trust with the customer is paramount for any pet retailer. As an independent pet shop, this relationship was the center of our business model. We built our customer base one person at a time. For this reason, I was always proud to sell Coastal Products because I knew that I was offering my customers the best product available, and if for any reason they weren't fully satisfied I could make it right with them right then and there.

I started at Coastal with this unique experience from the front lines of the industry, but without a full understanding of everything that it takes to get the final product to the shelves. It was truly incredible to witness an idea take off on its journey to becoming a final, sellable product. Ideas do not necessarily just start from scratch; often they evolve from current or past products that Coastal has brought to the market and seeks to improve upon them. As the ideas move their way through the company, they not only touch many different departments but much more importantly they touch many different people who each help to improve on the idea as they work toward making the product a reality.

This is this reason that Coastal Pet has been able to maintain its family and community roots for almost half a century as it continues to reinvent itself layer by layer. It is the people that make Coastal Pet such a special place. Many have been with the company for decades and help preserve the history of the company as it continues to move into the future. Those who are new to Coastal are quickly made to feel at home and an important part of the team, as was my experience.

Carnation Parade

One of my favorite parts of working within the marketing department was that I not only got to know so many great people within the company, but I also had an eye on those that Coastal impacts externally. From what I saw, I do not stand alone in my high view of Coastal Pet. So many within the pet industry know and trust in the quality that comes with the Coastal name. Moving forward, I can see Coastal Pet Products being a household name on which pet owners rely. Again, I am so thankful for the kindness shown to me and being made to feel part of the team from day one. I cannot wait to see the great things that Coastal Pet Products continues to bring to pet lovers in the future.

Justin Lepley, Marketing Intern

National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

Did you know August 22nd is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day? If you’re like me, then you had no idea there was a whole day dedicated to taking your cat to the vet. At this point, your vet is probably pretty booked up for the day and your day’s plans probably didn’t include rushing your cat to the vet just so you could say you participated in the day. So, let’s pretend that this ‘day’ is an all month-long event. Now you have the rest of the month to participate! You’re welcome.

National Take Your Cat to the Vet ‘Month’ was created to build awareness among cat owners for the need of regular veterinary care. My cats tend to be hide and seek masters and this makes it easy for them to hide their illnesses. This is why it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian – preventative veterinary care is always better than reactive veterinary care. It is important for cats at every stage in life to have a regular vet check-up and here is why:

Kittens First Vet Visit – Grab the Tissue Box

This first vet visit is crucial. During this visit, you will want to ask your veterinarian about specific kitten care issues. This includes what food to feed your kitten, how much to feed it and how often to feed. You can also ask about how to control parasites, when to schedule your next appointment for vaccinations and what time is appropriate for your cat to be spayed, neutered or declawed.

Besides being a great time for you to ask some questions this is also your kitten’s first physical. The veterinarian will do some routine checks to make sure your precious baby is as healthy as possible and give you advice on how to keep your kitten happy and healthy. The veterinarian will more than likely take your kitten’s temperature, listen to the heart, palpate the organs, test muscles and joints for mobility, check the coat for fleas, check ears for infections or mites and check the eyes.

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Veterinary Checks for the Adult Cat – Where did the time go!?

Your cat’s an adult but that doesn’t mean they don’t need you. They still live in your house, eat your food and demand your attention – sounds a lot like some college students, right? The point is, your cat may be an adult but that doesn’t mean they are fully independent. Sure, they groom themselves, regulate their own food, and don’t require you to show them the door to use the bathroom but this doesn’t mean that they will tell you when they aren’t feeling well. This is why regular vet visits are important.

Just like people, cats need routine check-ups to ensure they are happy and healthy. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to schedule your cat’s appointment at the same time you schedule yours. This way it is at the forefront of your mind.

According to Royal Canin, this is what you can expect at your cat’s adult veterinary visit:

  • Some poking and prodding. Your veterinarian will feel your cat’s body from nose to tail, noting any bumps or lumps, feeling its muscles and inspecting its coat. She’ll check inside its ears, looking for signs of infection or external parasites such as fleas, ticks, ear mites or ringworm. The examination will also help the veterinarian note whether your cat is overweight or obese.
  • A closer inspection on the front end. Your veterinarian will inspect the inside of your cat’s mouth. Dental problems can portend broader health issues such as infections or eating disorders. At look at your cat’s oral health can reveal tumors, loose teeth, or infected gums.
  • A closer inspection on the back end. Yes, expect your vet to take your cat’s temperature, rectally. This simple act can immediately alert to a potential underlying health issues that might otherwise be masked. In some cases, your veterinarian may want to do a urine test as well, which can reveal problems with kidney performance and bladder health. Finally, she might also want a stool sample in order to check for internal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms or microbes such as Giardia or Coccidia.
  • A good listening to. Expect your veterinarian to pull out the stethoscope and listen to your cat’s heart and lungs, an exam that can reveal problems with your cat’s heartbeat or respiratory issues. Your vet will want to listen to you, too: What questions do you have? Have you observed any new behaviors in your cat that have puzzled you? Has her diet or eating habits changed? What kind of exercise does she get?

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Senior Check-Up – Not old, just vintage

You are your cat’s health advocate - talk about a lot of responsibility! It is your job to watch for warning signs of illness as well as any changes in behavior as your cat ages. Some of these changes may be changes that come naturally with age but it is always important to check with a veterinarian first.

This vet check will consist of the standard ‘physical’ and will also include a more thorough check of mobility changes and dental changes. According to Royal Canin, “Older cats tend to experience more dental disorders, which can impair their eating and cause significant pain.” During this visit your vet may recommend diet changes to keep your cat at a healthy weight.

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Still skeptical about taking your cat for routine vet checks? Check out the articles and infographics below for more information on the importance of routine visits:

https://www.catvets.com/Cat2VetDay

https://www.royalcanin.com/events/takeyourcattothevet

National Dog Day

While every day seems to revolve around my pooch getting all the attention she wants, there is a specific day for us to honor our furry best friends—National Dog Day on August 26th! This day is to encourage dog owners to appreciate and share the love that our dogs bring to our lives. It is also to draw our attention to the dogs who are still in need of finding a good home.

Dogs are not only there to listen to all of our daily problems, but also serve as therapy dogs, emergency services dogs, or part of K9 units. They play many roles in our lives, so this day is dedicated to recognizing everything they do for us and recognizing what we could do for other dogs who may not live in ideal situations.

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This day might mean you recognize your pet by giving them an extra treat and a longer belly rub, but there are other things you can do. You can get a shirt with your dog’s face on it, so everyone can see that you have the best dog. You could have a professional photoshoot with your pup or even consider getting a tattoo for a permanent reminder of your love for your dog. If you wanted to go more in the traditional direction of spoiling your dog, you could give them a massage, long belly rub, or a luxurious bath. If you’re going for more physical items, what better way to show them they’re the best then by giving them a new and flashy collar and leash set so all the dogs on the block are jealous? Throw a bunch of toys their way, and the happier they’ll be.

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Sadly, not all dogs have the opportunity to enjoy this kind of treatment, so the smallest thing could be the biggest gesture. Donating old pillows and blankets to your local dog shelters might not seem that exciting, but that means more bedding for the dogs waiting for their forever family. You could also volunteer at the shelter to help these waiting pups get some exercise and work on their interaction with people and other dogs so they’re prepared when they’re selected.

While your pet should always know how much you value them in your life, National Dog Day is a good time to make an extra effort in expressing your love for them. This showcase of love could show others how important they are and lead them to see the importance of a relationship between dog and owner. These ideas might not seem like a lot to you (some maybe a tad extreme) but your dog will love the special attention and extra cuddles forever.

Work Like a Dog

I don’t know about you, but working like a dog sounds like a fun day if you ask me. My dog’s week consists of car rides to doggy daycare, getting belly rubs every free moment, chasing rabbits around the yard and sneaking food when mom isn’t looking. Sounds like a pampered paradise, right? Unlike my dog, there are hundreds of dogs whose jobs extend past just being man’s best friend. Take a look at some of the jobs dogs do on a regular basis and the training they go through to get there.

Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader Dogs in training spend an average of four to six months on the Leader Dogs for the Blind campus in Rochester Hills, Michigan preparing for their work as guide dogs. The dogs progress through phases of training. They are introduced to the harness they will wear during guide work and begin to build on the basic obedience skills they learned as puppies by incorporating skills that are specific to being a Leader Dog, such as targeting a chair or a door. The dog’s instructor compiles information about the dog during training, such as the dog’s pace, pull, temperament, and areas where the dog excels or may need additional training. This information will help the instructors make decisions about which dog should be paired with which client to ensure a successful partnership.

Training sessions are balanced with relaxation and recreation; the dogs have multiple times every day that are designated for play with other dogs and with humans (on-campus volunteers and the dogs’ instructors). The dogs will also have formal evaluations and vet checks during the training period with action plans to ensure every dog is meeting the standards needed to become a Leader Dog. If everything goes well, when the next class of clients arrives at Leader Dog’s campus, the dogs who have completed training will soon be going home with their new partner and best friend!

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Models

Social media is a one-stop shop for fashion ideas, catching up with friends and of course, cute dogs. Some dog accounts are owners sharing their pet, while others are from the perspective of the pet. Coastal Pet reaches out to some of these accounts to help spread awareness of new products and to build relationships with real life users of the product to gain feedback. Accounts such as elwoodandandozzy_bulldogs on Instagram are just one of Coastal’s many social media models. Outside of being cute, taking long naps and watching the Chicago Cubs play these dogs are considered dog models. Their job is to have fun, be spunky and allow their parents to document a day in the life of these bulldog brothers. Although this may seem glamorous, these dogs can attest to the fact that missing naps can result in some serious grumpiness. 

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Other Work

Police dogs, hunting dogs and herding dogs all do jobs outside of being the playful companion we all know and love. These dogs go through extensive training and find their jobs to be exciting and rewarding. Every dog needs a job, whether that is carrying a backpack home from the school bus or fetching a ball. According to Cesar Millan giving your dog a job helps “boost their self-esteem to feel like they’re contributing to their pack”.  So maybe in the end all dogs have a job. Some are guard dogs or service dogs while others are models and the active companions we need to keep our health on track.

 

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National Lost Pet Prevention Month

Lost Pet Prevention

Warmer weather means more adventures outside and who wouldn’t want their furry companion to take the trip with them? The drawback to letting your pet tag along is the potential of your pet running away or getting loose. Traveling and spending more time outside exposes your pet to new environments with new noises and smells that could peak their curiosity and cause them to wander away. The new noises, such as the fireworks you enjoyed during the 4th of July, could scare your pet into finding a new hiding spot. This is why PetHub declared the month of July National Lost Pet Prevention Month. They understand the importance of informing owners of the steps they can take to keep their pet from running away and resources that are available in the event that it does occur. So, we gathered some tips for you to keep in mind during your summer fun.

Pet Identification

Your pet should have an identification tag attached to their collar with contact information, such as the owner’s phone number, and/or proof of vaccinations. This will make it easier for the owner to be contacted and anyone who would find your pet would know it is safe to interact with the dog. Another technique is by creating a personalized collar, where contact information can be placed directly onto the collar, through options like embroidery or laser engraving. Personalized collars add an extra level of security because an ID tag can easily fall off the collar. There is also the option to get your dog microchipped. This method implants a microchip under your dog’s skin with a unique number which is then assigned to your dog. This chip can be scanned by veterinarians to identify the dog and provide the owner’s contact information. This method is beneficial if your dog were to slip their collar or not have an ID tag. However, it is suggested that even if you microchip your pet you should also include an ID tag on their collar.

Correctly Sized Collars and Leashes

Everyone wants their pets to have the cutest collars and harnesses but proper sizing is the most important. If you pet’s collar is too loose, they could slip the collar in one tug in the opposite direction; your pet’s collar should be tight enough that you can fit two fingers between the dog’s neck and the collar. You should also make sure the width of the collar is appropriate for your pet. If you have a large dog or strong dog, the collar should be made for large dogs and made of thicker material to ensure they cannot break the collar and escape.

Proper Training

While in cases of fright, many pets won’t think beyond getting away from what they fear but having properly trained your pet that this bad behavior is unacceptable could stop your pet from trying to get away if an opportunity would arise. 

Be Prepared

Thinking about your beloved pet running away and/or being lost is painful enough, so the best thing to do is create a plan for what you should do if it would occur. If the unthinkable does happen, you need to act quickly. You should have your pet’s records and proof of ownership readily available, as well as a current picture of your pet. This way people will know exactly what your pet looks like and will have knowledge of your pet if they were to find it. Spreading the word to more people means there are more eyes searching for your pet which enhances your chance of finding your four-legged family member.

For more information check out https://www.pethub.com/LostPetPrevention.