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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.

AmberAmber, Hero #2715

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.

ButtersButters, Hero #2592

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.

Audi Audi, Hero #489

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.

Pro Fit Disc

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.

Pro Fit _StickLarge Ring
Ballwith Rope _Pro FitPro Fit _Flying Jack

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.

8 Tips for Preventing and Treating Fleas and Ticks

The warmer temps of spring bring humans and pets alike out of their homes—and out of their shells—for playtime, longer walks, and lounging in the sun. Unfortunately, they also bring out the fleas and ticks.

The threat, and timing, of flea infestations and ticks varies around the country, but in general they thrive in warm, humid environments, says PetMD. Ask your veterinarian about the risks for your area and recommended prevention options. And be aware that trends are shifting.

“In recent years, ticks that were more commonly found in the Southern part of the country have started to expand their populations into northern areas,” the website cautions. “[Some types of ticks] are making their way to climates that were previously too cold for them. With warming temperatures, wildlife conservation programs, reforestation, and expansion of urban areas, tick migration is on the rise.”

Flea bites can be itchy and even painful for your pup or kitty, and if the infestation gets out of hand, the blood loss could lead to anemia. Even worse, if your dog ingests fleas while grooming, it could lead to parasitic tapeworms in their intestines. Ticks may carry life-threatening diseases for dogs and humans.

Dogs and Fleas — Prevention Is Key

  • The best way to avoid flea and tick issues is to keep pests off your dog altogether or ensure they’re killed soon after. The most common forms of preventative treatments are flea collars, topically applied treatments, sprays, and oral or injectable medications. Be sure to follow directions to ensure effectiveness of any treatment.
    If you go the flea collar route, check out Coastal Pet’s SecureAway collar too protect it and add some style.
  • Consult with your veterinarian before deciding on a treatment plan to ensure you’re using the best option for your particular dog’s needs.
  • Keep your property clear of grass clippings, leaves, straw, and other piles of organic matter. The warm, moist, shady environment they create is flea paradise. Try to keep your dog from rolling around in these areas, as well. also suggests keeping your grass trimmed short, since fleas can hide in tall grass.
  • Check your dog for ticks every day. If you find one, remove it with clean tweezers or a tick remover. Pull it straight out, ensuring the head or other part doesn’t get left behind. Clean the wound with disinfectant and treat with a triple antibiotic ointment.

Flea Treatment Tips for Pets

Once fleas take hold, pack your patience. Treatment may take some time—and a lot of repetition. Follow directions and be vigilant.

  • If your dog or cat gets fleas, flea shampoo and a flea comb can help capture adult fleas. (Be sure to consult with your vet first to make sure you’re choosing an approved shampoo and one that is suitable for your animal’s breed and fur type.) Because younger fleas and eggs may remain, you’ll need to repeat the process multiple times to ensure you are getting the fleas that are earlier in their life cycle when treatment starts and to keep eggs from hatching; a one-time bath is likely not going to be enough to eradicate the issue.
  • At the same time, treat your home. Vacuum high-traffic areas, including furniture and under furniture, every day and the whole house weekly; empty and discard vacuum bags after each use.
  • Wash your pets’ beds weekly until the problem is eliminated.
  • If the situation doesn’t improve, consider a whole-house treatment, such as a fogger, to kill adults as well as eggs and larvae. Make sure to follow all instructions and plan ahead for keeping your family and pets out of the home during treatment.

Protect Your Pet From Fleas In Style

Protect your flea collar while your flea collar protects your pet: Coastal Pet’s SecureAway collar slips over flea collars to protect them from damage and help keep them in place. Plus: with bright collars and fun patterns, SecureAway delivers a more stylish look. Design options include a simple solid black, solid red, blue with multi-colored bones, or pink with paw prints. Extra small, small, medium, and large sizes are available, up to 26 inches.

“Even if you live in an area of the U.S. that may not be known for having large numbers of fleas and ticks, your pet may still benefit from preventive medications,” says PetMD. “Your veterinarian can give you the best advice as to your pet's risk for flea infestation or tick-borne diseases. Prevention is always easier, safer, and less expensive than treating a disease once it's become established in your pet.”

5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Time at Global Pet Expo 2019

Sixteen football fields worth of pet products¹ is exciting — and overwhelming.

The best way to navigate the Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest trade show, is to go prepared, so you leave happy. Try these strategies for planning ahead:

5 Tips for Success at the Global Pet Expo
March 20-22, 2019 | Orlando, FL

  1. Know the vendors you need to see
    Review the 2019 Global Pet Expo exhibitor list to see who is attending, their booth number, and location on the expo floor. Use the interactive floor plan to map out your visit so you know exactly where you’re going.
  2. Know what products you’re looking for
    Whether you plan to purchase at the show or simply browse, make a shopping (or window-shopping) list. Start with product categories — toys, harnesses, etc. — and then identify your go-to vendors for those products.
  3. Ask if your sales reps will be attending
    Is there a manufacturer you want to speak with? Contact your sales rep to see if they will be attending and can facilitate that conversation. While other sales representatives will be on site, no one knows you like your rep.
  4. Bring business cards
    If you’re placing orders, expedite the process by bringing business cards with your mailing address. Not only will it save time, it will help guarantee delivery by confirming your shipping and account information.
  5. Know your budget
    Be sure to know your authorized spending limit, which can help prioritize which vendors you visit.

Discover the Latest Trends and Innovations in Pet Products

As you’re making your list, be sure to add Coastal Pet Products, booth #2601 so you can be one of the first to see and order our new products. At the booth, you can:

  • Get a sneak peek at the Inspire® line of collars, leashes, and harnesses — coming June 2019. Inspire products feature a black neoprene backing against bright nylon webbing, providing comfort, durability, and eye-catching style.
    Bonus: Visitors who purchase an Inspire Kit and additional products will receive co-branded Coastal Pet T-shirts for their store associates. Visit the booth for full details.
  • View the latest Bergan® travel products, perfect for everyday (and night) adventures.
  • Discover new looks for popular products, including our Styles collars and leashes, and Lil’ Pals® toys for cats and dogs.
  • Experience an area specifically for cats, featuring new bulk bin containers (some including catnip!).
  • Christmas comes early these days! In fact, you can pre-order the entire calendar of Coastal’s new Celebration collar patterns and embellishments at the show.
    Bonus: Commit to four or more 2020 holidays and the shipping is on us!
  • Meet Coastal Pet Products leadership, including President Kim Stout and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Brown.

Coastal Pet’s knowledgeable sales reps and product experts will be available at the booth throughout Global Pet Expo to answer your questions and discuss what products can help meet your customers’ needs.

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Grooming Tips and Tools for Small-Breed Dogs

From Yorkies to Chihuahuas, small-breed dogs delight us with their petite size, fun personalities, and, of course, adorable looks. But just like these compact canines need smaller harnesses, collars, and coats, it’s also crucial to use grooming tools sized just for them. Brushes and combs designed for larger breeds may scare a smaller dog and will be too cumbersome to maneuver around their little bodies, making the process more stressful for you and your dog.

Here are a few other tips to keep your small dog’s fur in top shape while making the process less stressful for you both.

Top 9 Tips to Keep Your Dog's Fur in Top Shape

  1. Because small dogs are energetic, Animal Planet recommends playing for 15 to 20 minutes before the grooming session to tire them out a bit; alternatively, conduct the grooming session after a day at doggy day care.
  2. If a puppy or small dog is new to grooming, introduce each tool with treats as a reward, recommends The Spruce Pets. Also, for puppies, keep grooming sessions short but frequent.
  3. Brush from the head, moving toward the tail and down the leg.
  4. Always brush in the direction of hair growth. Exception: When it’s time to fluff the fur, for those breeds that require it, comb in the opposite direction.
  5. To detangle, use a comb like the Li’l Pals® Double-Sided Comb. Start with the wider-spaced teeth until the comb runs through smoothly. Then comb small sections of the coat until the fur is tangle free. Finish with the other side of the comb, where teeth are spaced closer together.
  6. De-shedding can enhance your dog’s look and comfort as well as keep fur off your furniture. With the Li’l Pals Shedding Comb, comb starting at the head and working toward the tail. Then, comb behind the ears, at the base of the tail, under the legs, at the nape of the neck, and the abdomen. Repeat the process until all loose hair is removed.
  7. To remove mats, use a special brush like the Li’l Pals Slicker Brush With Coated Tips. Brush one section at a time in long, gentle strokes that continue beyond the ends of the hair. Pay attention to areas where matting typically occurs, such as behind the ears, on the loins, and under the legs.
  8. Keep their coat smooth by using a bristle brush. Begin brushing at the head, working toward the tail and down the legs. Use long, flowing strokes to distribute natural oils from the skin.
  9. When bathing your dog, brush them first, Animal Planet advises, otherwise the fur will tighten up and be hard to brush afterward.

Tools of the Trade

Grooming is an important step in properly caring for your pet, and many dogs enjoy the process. To make it easy on both of you, Coastal Pets’ Li’l Pals line includes brushes and combs designed specifically for smaller breeds. Each comes with an easy-grip handle.

To see these tools in action and see more tips for brushing your smaller dogs, check out our Petite Pet Grooming video series.

Trendy Fashions to Wow at the Dog Park

From New York to Milan, February means Fashion Week. And as supermodels strut the runway dressed in Givenchy and Prada, pups are flaunting their own flair with the latest colors and patterns in neckwear at dog parks across the country.

Whether your dogs fancy themselves fashionistas or just want to keep up with the bulldog down the block, Coastal Pet Products’ latest collars, leashes, and accessories boast trendy looks that can elevate the style cred for canine and human alike.

“For many pet owners, their dogs are a reflection of their own lifestyles, so we draw inspiration for our collars, harnesses, and leashes from the popular elements of everyday life, from interior design to men’s ties to, yes, the fashion catwalk,” says Cathy LeDonne, Product Development Product Manager for Coastal Pet.

Here’s a look at our newest offerings:

Collar Patterns That Spark a Smile

Kmephotomn 2@kmephotomn modeling Resolve

First, we’re giving some of our most popular Styles Adjustable Dog Collars an update. Plaid Bones retains its popular bright blue hue and always-fashionable dog bone pattern, but now boasts the plaid that’s back in style and lighting up Instagram. Our Resolve collar, featuring alternating diagonals of bones, arrows, pawprints, and hearts, has been upgraded with a teal colorway reflecting the latest home décor accents.

Resolve collars are as pleasing to the soul as they are to the eye, with proceeds from the sale of each going to Leader Dogs for the Blind. Coastal Pet has a similar commitment with our Outreach collar, whose proceeds are donated to the Morris Animal Foundation; the perky circles of blue and green in this pattern directly reflect design elements from the Foundation.

Styles collars are smooth and comfortable, with a pattern on both sides. Color-coordinated hardware includes a contoured snap-lock buckle that’s both sleek and easy to use. Ten additional patterns range from fun to flirty to match every dog’s personality.

Comfy, Color-Blocked Collars and Leashes

Inspire Coming Soon

Not into patterns but still want a bit of zip? Coastal Pet’s newest collection, Inspire™, combines comfort and functionality with just the right amount of style. We’re enhancing nylon webbing with a black neoprene backing. The effect of the black against the bright, solid-colored webbing (available in blue, red, pink, purple, teal, and goes-with-anything gray) elevates the look of the collars and leashes while preserving utility. What’s more, the puffy neoprene provides a soft cushion around the dog’s neck and around the user’s wrist and hand.

Inspire collars feature a moving D-ring that allows for freedom of attachment anywhere around the neck. A matching harness includes an additional handle on the back to provide increased control when necessary.

Collar Accessories

Don’t forget the embellishments! Just as a dramatic necklace or the perfect pair of cufflinks can make or break an outfit, accessories help your dog’s personality shine. Our new Accent® lineup starts with a soft-and-sumptuous microfiber collar that is comfortable yet durable. Then, dress it up with a dashing bowtie or sprightly flower in one of five bold colors. Choose from a Red collar with red plaid bowtie, Boho Blue with polka-dot bowtie, Mod Black with leopard-print bowtie, Vintage Yellow with yellow flower, or Posh Pink with pink flower.

Each embellishment has an elastic backing for easy adjustment and removal, so you have freedom to dress up or dress down for every occasion. Rose gold hardware adds an additional level of sophistication to these stylish collars.

Is your dog runway-ready? Browse all of our collar, leash, and accessory designs here.

Kmephotomn 9@kmephotomn modeling an Accent Microfiber Collar

Looking back and focusing on the future:

Kim Stout Kim Stout, President

At Coastal Pet, we believe one of the things that sets us apart after fifty years is that we are still a family owned, American manufacturer. The Stout family started and continues to run the company, so we took a moment to sit down with our President, Kim Stout, to find out what working in the family business is like and where she wants to see it go in the future.

What do you remember about the start of the company and the early years of Coastal Pet Products?

Kim: The company was started the year before I was born, so it was always part of our lives.  I remember playing in the warehouse with my sister and brother making cardboard wings to see who could go the furthest jumping off of boxes. 

 Our family had fun winter weekends with the Siberian Huskies, as we not only trained and raced sled dogs but also raised puppies.  I think my fondest memory was dad making a leather bag for me to hold all the arrow heads and Indian things we found playing in the fields around our home. 

I distinctly remember the way he designed the closure, using a T-shaped piece of leather, as it wouldn’t have been authentic to have a metal buckle.  I loved that bag and had many adventures with it.  Dad has always been very creative and good at making a whole host of things.

When and how did you get started within the company?

Kim: I worked in marketing for Coastal when I was in high school. Then I went off to college and taught public school outside of Washington DC, but I returned to Coastal in 2000, as a regional sales manager in the mid-Atlantic area. I’ve been working for Coastal ever since.

What are the advantages and challenges of being a family running a company together?

Kim: You truly have work life balance because it is all one!

What has been your favorite product or product line Coastal has worked on in the last 50 years?

Kim: It’s hard to pick a favorite product! Li’l Pals kitten is one of my favorites, as it gives cat lovers an innovative solution to get their kitten used to wearing a collar and especially designed for kittens’ small size. Having identification on cats is very important if they get out of the house.

The Circle-T rolled leather dog collars are another favorite. They are truly hand crafted with more than 16 steps in the process; from beveling and dressing the edges to rounding the collar to fit perfectly. But what is coming next is always the most exciting for me. I love to see new hardware designs and manufacturing processes applied to creating products that give dog and cat owners well designed and functional products they can trust.

What would your dream be for Coastal in the next 50 years?

Kim: To continue to grow as a brand dog and cat lovers value for quality, design and safety! By staying true to our midwestern values of working hard and having fun doing what we love, I’m very proud of our associates and their dedication to our customers and each other.


Why hire a professional dog trainer?

Steven Appelbaum, President of Animal Behavior College

As a professional dog trainer and President of Animal Behavior College, I have been asked literally thousands of times over the last three plus decades, why someone should invest in professional dog training.

There are a number of reasons hiring a professional dog trainer makes sense for pet owners.

  1. Communication: Dogs are intelligent social beings with complex communicative abilities but they don’t speak English! Hiring a dog trainer allows you to learn the best ways of communicating with your pet. This improved communication is at the heart of how a pet owner strengthens their bond with a loved dog
  2. Preventing challenges: Over 60% of people enrolling in dog obedience classes do so to address pesky behavior problems. However, many of these behaviors, chewing, jumping, housetraining, puppy nipping and general unruly conduct can be prevented or minimized when you work with a dog trainer early.
  3. Addressing issues: While not everyone works with a dog trainer early enough to prevent behavior issues, it’s not too late! Hiring a dog trainer to assist you in addressing behavioral challenges is the most effective way to solve them. Years of experience and time tested techniques used by trainers can save pet owners the headache of trying to course correct on their own.
  4. Safety: Having a dog that responds consistently to obedience cues with and without distractions is a critical safety component. Being able walk your dog on a leash without them pulling, for the dog to come when called, or stay when directed can be the difference in outcomes during potentially risky moments.
  5. Socialization: Finally, some pet owners feel comfortable preventing and/or address behavior problems on their own and successfully train their dogs without professional help. So why join a training group class? Friends! Working with a dog trainer in a group class setting allows the dog to learn important social skills with other dogs and to listen around distractions. It’s also a great place to meet other dedicated dog owners.

For more information about where to locate a dog trainer near you click on the link below.

Basset Hound

Steven Appelbaum has trained dogs professionally since 1981. He is the founder and President of Animal Behavior College a school for dog 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.

Brand Ambassador Spotlight: My Dog Stink

Have you seen the photos we’ve posted on social media or in the 2018 Fall Supplemental catalog of the little dog on the beach sporting the new Pro Waterproof Harness? If you haven’t, you need to; if you have, that’s Stink!

Posing _stink

Stink is a soon-to-be 9-year-old Jack Russell who lives on the beaches of Florida. 5 years ago, Stink’s dad was checking out the free section on Craigslist looking for air conditioning parts. Much to his surprise, there was a sweet, 4-year-old dog whose family no longer wanted him listed for free. Stink’s mom, Sara, said he was a wild child, which was toned down after being neutered within the first week of living with his new family.

If you’re like me, you’ve wondered to yourself, how do you come up with a name like Stink? As it turns out, years before Stink was in their lives, his mom and dad were thinking about funny things to name a dog. The two thought of Stink and it stuck! Stink’s personality just fit the name perfectly.

On his Instagram, @mydogstink, you will often see Stink with at least one of two things: crabs or his girlfriend, Hula. Stink is obsessed with crabs! He can frequently be seen digging them up and barking up a storm after. As it turns out, Stink traded one habit for another – he used to be obsessed with birds. He would constantly try to catch them on the shoreline, nearly pulling Sara’s arm off in the process. One day, she tossed a small shell down a crab hole and he never looked back. You can also see stink with his girlfriend, Hula. It was love at first sight three years ago when Hula was just a puppy. Hula was born in the woods, so she gained excellent survival skills. On the other hand, Stink doesn’t always know when to move out of the sun when he gets too hot. They do say opposites attract!

Hula _and _stink

In addition to crabs and Hula, stink loves digging in the sand and swimming in the ocean. If he’s not at the beach, he loves running next to bicycles and playing with squeaky toys. He also loves when his toys are hidden, and Sara asks, “where is it?” He does everything he can to find that toy! Stink is also a professional treat beggar, especially for cheese. How could you say no to that face?

Currently, Stink has over 26,000 followers on Instagram. It all began back in 2015 with a full iCloud account. Sara wanted a way to preserve pictures of him, so a friend guided her along the way and taught her about social media and Instagram. Little by little, her “original 7” followers grew with the use of hashtags and with winning a few Instagram contests.

With the fame of Instagram comes “stinking” cute merchandise. Stink’s photos have not only been used for pencil cases and notebooks, but he was also Mr. January in Pooping Pooches 2018 calendar! You guessed it, that’s a calendar dedicated to pictures of pooches going number 2. Good news though if you would love a calendar without any bodily functions, Sara just put together a Stink calendar for 2019. The link to the calendar can be found on his Instagram profile.

Stink _merch

When asked what they love most about being part of the Coastal family, Sara said Stink loves all of the amazing gear and toys he’s received. Stink and Hula can be seen on Instagram sporting the new Pro Waterproof line and playing with their Fetch toys. Sara hopes we come out with a soft bristle paw cleaner as well as cooling shirts or bug protection outfits.

If you need your day brightened in any way, Stink can help. Whether it be cute smiles in costumes, crab digging with his butt in the air, or just swimming in the ocean, photos from @mydogstink never disappoint.

Crabby _stink

Brand Ambassador Spotlight: the Sunshine Dogs

If you have seen the 2018 Coastal Pet catalog, you have seen our first brand ambassadors chosen to be in the spotlight! Charlie and Sprout, also known as the Sunshine Dogs, are the cover models! The boys live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn't too far from Alliance, Ohio where Coastal Pet is located. One day last year, they made the drive to Alliance's very own Silver Park for a photoshoot.

Charlie and Sprout

Charlie and Sprout can be seen going on fun adventures while sporting their Coastal gear on their Instagram page, @thesunshinedogs. Around a year and a half ago, Cassandra, the boys’ mom, decided that her friends might be tired of seeing photos of Charlie’s sweet face on her personal Instagram account, so she created an account just for him. Turns out, he was much more popular than she could have imagined – he soon had more followers than she did.

In August 2017, the fun doubled for Charlie the Sunshine Dog when Sprout joined the family. While Charlie was rescued from an unknown fate after being listed on Craigslist when he was just a puppy, Sprout came from a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Plum, Pennsylvania called Southwest PA Retriever Rescue Organization, or SPARRO. SPARRO prides themselves in being a safe place for wayward, abandoned, unwanted, or abused retrievers. They treat the dogs in their care as family and work with them to ensure they are trained with basic commands and how to walk on a leash.

Charlie and Sprout quickly became best brothers. Charlie loves the sunshine and would be pleased with just relaxing in the same spot all day. His mom compares him to Garfield! Sprout on the other hand, comparable to the Tasmanian Devil, is much more energetic. Give him time to burn off all of his puppy energy though and he will soon be following Charlie’s relaxation lead.


Both boys love going on adventures and having fun. Their favorite thing to do is ride the Side by Side at camp. Their mom and dad wanted the boys to be more comfortable, so they had a custom cover made for their Polaris General so the bed would have some shade. Recently, Charlie and Sprout enjoyed an 8-hour ride; the cover not only protected them from inclement weather, but it also kept them secure so there was no danger of falling off or jumping out from the back of the vehicle.

There’s only one thing Charlie and Sprout enjoy more than their fun adventures, and that’s their high-quality treats. They have two absolute favorites – Tiny Cause’s all natural, homemade peanut butter treats and homemade Apple of My Eye treats from All Bark Boutique.

If you follow the Sunshine Dogs on Instagram or Facebook, you will notice something in common with most of their pictures – Coastal! They are frequently sporting Coastal attire or giving us a shout-out. Charlie and Sprout have their own favorite product, the Li’l Pals Mesh Pig, but their mom and dad are huge fans of the front connect harnesses. Charlie wears the Walk Right, while Sprout wears the new Pro Mesh harness.


When asked what is enjoyed most about being part of the Coastal family, Cassandra said that from day one, they have all been treated like family. From being spoiled with great products to test and use, new toys to play with, to being treated like celebrities when they visited Coastal. They also love that we go above and beyond to spoil them – including custom holiday collars and custom pineapple pattern collars (which Cassandra mentioned in the interview she would love to see Coastal come out with).

We look forward to seeing our great relationship with the Sunshine Dogs grow. Be sure to check them out on Instagram or Facebook, you might just see something you recognize!