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Monthly Archives: August 2017


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.


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?


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.


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:

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.


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.


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!

106 Leaderdogads


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. 

Elwoodandozzy 12


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.