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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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8 Tips for Running With Your Dog

One of the perks of owning a dog is having a live-in fitness motivator—they get us off the couch and moving (whether we like it or not), for walks around the neighborhood, short hikes, or games of fetch. For many pet owners, their dog is also their jogging partner, a steady companion as the miles tick by. Jogging can be a great way to use up your dog’s energy and improve their behavior.

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If you’re considering starting to run with your dog, consider these tips and strategies:

      • Check your dog’s health: Just like people are advised to consult with their doctor before beginning an exercise program, the same goes for your dog. Check with your vet to make sure your dog can handle the extra stress on joints, heart, and more, and that their age isn’t a prohibiting factor. The vet also can advise on the appropriate distance for your dog.
      • Consider your dog’s breed: Though every dog is different, some breeds are better built for running. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the breeds that make the best running partners include Weimaraners, Dalmatians, Vizslas, German shorthaired pointers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, English Springer Spaniels, Dobermans, American Foxhounds, Salukis, Belgian and Malinois. Labs, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, and many others are often well-suited, as well, so check with your vet.
        “Even within breeds, every dog has his own personality, and some will take to running more than others,” says AKC. “Consider your dog’s temperament, research its breed, and take your dog to the veterinarian for a physical checkup to ensure that this is a safe activity.”
        Dogs with breathing issues, such as bulldogs and pugs, typically should not go on runs, nor should puppies or seniors.
      • Run safely: “Just like people, dogs need to build up distance and speed gradually,” advises Vetstreet. “Start by alternating walking with short intervals of running. As your dog gets more comfortable running, his distance and speed can be increased over time.”
        And just like with people, it’s important to have a warm-up and cool-down period, says Heidi Beck, a volunteer with the Seattle Animal Shelter’s Get With Fido adoptable-dog running program.
      • Potty first: Barkpost recommends taking your dog for a short walk so they can take care of business right away, rather than in the middle of your run.
      • Monitor your dog: Watch your dog carefully for signs of fatigue or injury. “We observe the dog closely as we run, to see if it’s happy and having fun,” says Beck. “We monitor the dog during the run—if it starts limping or dragging, we stop or slow down.”
        “If your dog is panting excessively, having difficulty breathing, or his normally pink tongue has taken on a blue tint, he has overdone it and needs to stop,” Vetstreet adds. “If stopping for a few minutes doesn't do the trick, call your vet.”
        Regardless of signs, give your dog regular breaks, AKC advises.
      • Be prepared to stop: If you want an uninterrupted run, go alone. Even dogs that love to run may still be tempted to stop and sniff, mark their territory, etc. “Let the dog set the pace,” advises Beck. “If they enjoy stopping to sniff or are just slow pokes, we respect that.”
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      • Watch the weather: Dogs don’t sweat to cool down, so don’t take them running when it’s too hot out. Also be conscious of the pavement—touch it with the back of your hand to make sure it’s not going to be too hot for your dog’s paws.
      • Choose the right leash for you: Most leashes will work for running, provided you can maintain control. Avoid flexi-leashes, which don’t offer the necessary control. “The dog should be under control at all times because you never know what you’ll run into,” Beck says. “It should be on leash and kept away from people, bikes, strollers it might jump up on, etc.
        Coastal Pet’s Loop 2® Double Handle Leash can be used as a standard walking leash or a short handle traffic leash, perfect for high-traffic urban running where you might need to get a close grip quickly.
        Another option is Coastal Pet’s Multi-Function Nylon Dog Leash, which can be used as a 3-foot, 4-foot, or 6-foot leash, a shoulder leash, or double leash for walking two dogs.
        For runs outside in crowded areas, a Bungee Leash can provide for gentler stops.

With a few precautions and mindfulness, running with your dog can be a fun and functional experience for both of you. Happy trails!

Coastal Pet Authorized Dealers Reap Exclusive Rewards

Coastal Pet Products is proud to offer an exclusive package of benefits under its newly relaunched Authorized Dealer program. The platform not only rewards our top specialty retailers for their commitment, but further supports those sellers’ crucial role in connecting pet owners to the quality Coastal Pet products that make the lives—and the lives of their pets—better.

Retailers are eligible for the Authorized Dealer designation if they have a brick-and-mortar, dog and cat specialty store that stocks Coastal Pet as their primary brand of solid nylon. They also must carry at least five of eight strategic product lines, such as Circle T® leather products, Titan® cable tie-outs, Bergan® travel products, Rascals® dog toys, and Turbo® cat toys.

Pet Retailer Perks

In support of these product categories, and in recognition of the retailer’s loyalty, Coastal offers a host of marketing and training options to help Authorized Dealers drive traffic and sales. Coastal Pet Authorized Dealers reap numerous advantages and rewards, with a recently expanded list of perks.

Exclusive Benefits:

  • Product designs shoppers can’t get anywhere else, including on ecommerce sites.
  • Promotions and specials throughout the year.
  • Portal on CoastalPet.com with value-added content sellers can use to market their business in person and online, including:
    • videos
    • social media posts
    • high-resolution images
    • POP displays
    • direct-mail postcards customized with their store logo
  • Lower drop-ship minimums ($150) to qualify for pre-paid freight.
  • Business development funds for events, promos, and advertising to support converting the store and customers to new Coastal Pet lines.
  • Quarterly visits from manufacturer’s reps to further retailer knowledge of industry trends and product offerings.
  • Special recognition on Coastal’s “Where to Buy” online directory, searchable by location.

In addition, Authorized Dealers can take advantage of Coastal Pet’s selling specialist program, an in-store training unit designed to get employees engaged in the selling process. Participants learn about the products and how to assist customers in finding the right options for their pets’ specific needs, ideal for new or existing employee training. Coastal’s selling specialist program also helps staff members build confidence in and passion for their work, which can help boost both the retailer and the Coastal Pet brand.

“The Authorized Dealer program is perfectly in step with Coastal Pet Products’ reputation for quality,” says Eric Humbert, Director of Sales. “Authorized Dealers are leaders in the industry, creating true shopping experiences for customers and taking tremendous pride in their shops and offerings. They love serving the pet owner community, and we love supporting them. We truly value the opportunity to recognize and bolster their efforts.”

Retailers interested in becoming an Authorized Dealer should inquire with their manufacturer’s rep or their Coastal Pet regional sales manager. Don’t know your rep? Contact customer service at 800.321.0248 to get connected.

Seven Years of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Carter Carter, Hero #2005

When Morris Animal Foundation launched its Golden Retriever Lifetime Study in 2012, the organization was taking a bold step into uncharted territory. Using the groundbreaking Framingham human heart study as a model, the Foundation design a similar study focused on canine cancer. Seven years later, the study is going strong and researchers are looking forward to the first published papers coming out later this year looking at early health outcomes.

The idea for the study was the result of a fortuitous conversation in 2008 between three key individuals: Bette Morris, long-time Foundation trustee and respected scientist; Dr. Rod Page, Professor and Director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University; and Dr. Patty Olson, CEO and President of Morris Animal Foundation at the time.

Cancer was the topic of conversation. It remains the major cause of death in older dogs and, although great strides have been made in treating cancer, the conversation turned to identifying risk factors for the disease. If we could understand what leads to a higher risk for cancer, steps could be taken to remove these risks, ultimately preventing cancer from developing.

But how to do this? The best way to identify risk factors would be to follow a group of dogs prone to cancer throughout their entire lives, documenting everything: their diet, their environment and their activity. It also would mean that biologic samples – urine, blood, hair, nails and feces – would need to be routinely collected and stored.

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The underlying genetic background of the study group would have to be well-documented. Finally, enough dogs and dedicated owners would need to be recruited and retained for more than a decade. It would be a massive undertaking – no one in veterinary medicine had ever attempted this type of study before! The Foundation accepted the challenge and moved forward with planning and fundraising. The golden retriever was selected for the study because of its high incidence of cancer, and because the popularity of the breed meant there would be lots of dogs that would qualify to participate. The first dogs were enrolled in June 2012.

Although daunting at first, the study has been a tremendous success. We enrolled our 3000th dog in March of 2015. Seven years in, we have a staggering 85% compliance rate among our study participants with almost 97% of dogs still enrolled, statistics rivaling the best seen in human medicine. Almost half a million biologic specimens have been collected and banked. We have thousands of questionnaires filled out carefully by owners and veterinarians documenting everything from diet to environment.

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Once the study was underway, we turned to the next challenge – using our samples and data to help researchers answer important questions about canine cancer and other health issues. We have several studies in progress. Current studies include a look at the gut bacteria differences between lean and obese dogs, another is looking at the effects of inbreeding on litter size and adult stature and yet another is looking at bloodwork changes over time.  These studies are just winding up and we’re excited to see what our researchers find!

Closer to home, our staff epidemiologist, Dr. Missy Simpson, has been starting to crunch the data and looking first at the effect of early spay/neuter on health outcomes. Her particular area of interest is the interaction of timing of spay/neuter and the development of obesity. Dr. Simpson’s current project is looking at timing of spay/neuter and non-traumatic orthopedic injury.

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Unfortunately, as our cohort ages we’re seeing more cancer development. We’ve lost 60 dogs to cancer out of 131 total deaths – that’s 45% of our total losses. Lymphoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in our cohort, followed by hemangiosarcoma, which accounts for 10% of our deaths. We need at least 500 cancer diagnoses for us to make valid associations between an environmental risk factor and cancer, and we anticipate that it will take approximately 5 more years to reach this goal. It’s a long time to wait but the information we’ll get from watching this large group of dogs through their lifetime will provide invaluable information that will be used to improve the lives of dogs everywhere.

We couldn’t do this work without the veterinarians, owners and dogs enrolled in the study, and without the support of individual donors and companies like Coastal Pet Products. Thanks to all who are making the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study a going success.

UpDog and Coastal Pet Pro™Fit Products Make Staying Active Fun

One of the many joys of owning a dog is that they offer a way to stay active. Whether twice-daily walks, jogging, backyard fetch, or agility classes, exercise is a crucial part of keeping canines of nearly any breed healthy.

“Dogs and humans are better when they’re active,” says Jason Rigler, a co-founder of UpDog Challenge, a disc and dog sport organization. “Being sedentary has as much of an impact on mental health as physical.”

UpDog offers dog owners of all kinds an opportunity to stay active while nurturing their competitive side. After growing concerned about hyper-competitive dog contests that were often intimidating to novices, UpDog founders developed a slate of new games that range in skill level and whose difficulty can grow alongside skills. For example, 4WayPlay involves earning points for throwing/catching in four score zones on the field, Frizgility combines agility obstacles with frisbee catches, and TimeWarp challenges teams to complete three catches and race back in the shortest amount of time.

The other component that sets UpDog apart is its scoring and tracking system. In addition to just first, second, and third place in competitions, UpDog tracks all results and accomplishments, allowing teams to view lifetime stats online, accumulate points, measure progress, and unlock achievements. “For the teams that may not make the podium, they can play for something else,” Rigler says.

UpDog hosts events all over the country and around the world, culminating in the International Finals, which were held earlier this month, April 4-7.

Toys for Active Dogs—and UpDog Challengers

Competitors at this year’s UpDog International Finals were some of the first to try Coastal Pet’s brand new Pro™Fit flying disc, part of a lineup of toys designed to be engaging and durable for active dogs.

The ProFit disc, which was included in Player’s Pack swag bags as part of Coastal Pet’s sponsorship of the event, looks like a traditional frisbee but has four raised areas that make it easier for dogs to pick up off of the ground. Rigler got a chance to try out the new frisbee and was impressed by the toy’s foam material, noting that it merges the durability and fly capabilities of a hard-surface frisbee with a softer give that is gentler on the dog’s mouth. The toy floats well too, Rigler says, rising to the surface quickly so the dog has to spend less time looking for it underwater.

The ProFit toy line also includes a Stick, a Mini Ring and a Mega Ring, a Rope Ball, and the “Flying Jack,” a frisbee-like flyer featuring four balls around the edges and a hollow point in the center; the toy tosses like a frisbee but bounces around when it hits the ground for an extra-fun challenge.

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All of the toys in the ProFit line were designed for ultimate durability, made with a self-healing, waterproof foam that survived even the harshest of factory pull tests.

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Collars and Leashes for Active Dogs

ProFit toys come in easy-to-see bright blue and yellow, matching or complementing Coastal’s Pro collars and leashes. Also designed with active dogs in mind, Pro includes a reflective leash and collar, featuring sporty contrasting colors:

  • aqua + neon yellow
  • fuchsia + teal
  • lime + orange
  • bright blue + gray
  • bright green + gray
  • bight orange + gray
  • bright pink + gray
  • purple + yellow

The line’s waterproof harnesses, leashes, and collars are ideal for dogs that love to get wet; they are designed for easy cleaning and durability and come in four bright colors:

  • aqua
  • fuchsia
  • lime
  • purple

Getting active with your dog is as simple as taking regular strolls around the block, as easy as a game of toss in the backyard, or as engaging as a competition like those from UpDog. Coastal Pet’s toys and gear can help you get there.