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National Heart Month for Dogs

Heartblog

February is National Heart Month, and we know your dog’s heart health is just as important as any other member of the family. Here are some tips on how to help your dog have a healthy ticker.

Educate yourself on your breed of dog and if he is more susceptible to heart conditions. If he is at a higher risk, be sure to know the warning signs of heart disease. Some of the warning signs include coughing, difficulty breathing, weakness, weight loss or gain and a swollen abdomen.

A dog’s diet can play a huge role in maintaining heart health. A dog should always have a well-balanced diet of high quality ingredients and high quality treats should be given in moderation. Reading the labels on food and treats will help ensure that you know what is in your dog’s food, the nutritional benefits of the ingredients and provide feeding guidelines. An overweight dog’s heart has to work harder than the heart of a dog that is at an ideal weight for his breed.  

It’s a proven fact that exercise can decrease the risk of disease in humans and your dog is no different. Keeping a regular exercise plan for your dog will help to keep both of you active and healthy.

Regular veterinary checkups are crucial to ensure that your dog is healthy and has no signs of heart disease. A vet will be able to listen to his heart, perform any additional tests he may need and diagnose if something is wrong. A vet can also help you select the proper food and diet for him, as well as recommend an exercise plan.

What It Takes To Be A Responsible Pet Owner

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February is National Responsible Pet Ownership month.  Being a pet owner has many different meanings to everyone so how do you know if you’re responsible? We have created a list for you.

  • Before buying or adopting a pet, do your research. Animals have different personalities just as humans do. Some animals require more grooming than others. This takes time and patience. So make sure you find an animal that is the right fit for your family’s lifestyle before you make a commitment.
  • Chew-proof your home. Puppies and kittens are very curious and will get in to places that may surprise you. Household cleaners should be stored and electrical cords secured out of the way of sharp teeth and paws. Move breakable items out of reach.
  • Spay and neuter your pets. Studies show that spayed and neutered pets live longer, healthier lives. Regular yearly visits to the vet are important, too. Rabies, distemper, feline leukemia and parvovirus vaccinations are just a few that require yearly booster shots.  
  • Use a pet ID tag. We try our best to keep our pets from getting loose but when it happens help ensure they get home safe and sound by using reflective waterproof ID tags or pet microchips. Contact your veterinarian for more information. 
  • Feed them right and give them plenty of exercise.  Overfeeding and inactivity leads to obesity and can cause health issues such as diabetes and early arthritis. Stick to a healthy feeding schedule, give your pets plenty of fresh water and make sure to get them moving!
  • Teach them to sit and stay. We realize that you may have trouble teaching your favorite feline to do this but we definitely recommend teaching Fido! This will make socializing with other animals and people easier and more enjoyable.

Just remember to give your pets lots of love, companionship and make a commitment of love for their lifetime.

 

 

Tips for Bringing Home and Training a New Kitten

Americans own more than 75 million cats, which means 3Kittenblog0 – 37% of US households have at least one cat as a pet (2015 – 2016 APPA National Pet Owner Survey). Making a kitten a member of the family can be a breeze with a few helpful tips.

Kitten Proof Your Home

A kitten is curious and may get into things he isn’t supposed to be in. Make sure small items he can chew and risk choking on are picked up off the floor and put in a proper place out of reach. Keep all cabinets securely closed and check the home for house plants that could be dangerous to a cat. Loose cords should be tied back so he doesn’t trip over or chew them. Create a safe, quiet room where he can be put when unsupervised in the house or go when he feels overwhelmed.

Use a Cat Carrier

When adopting a kitten make sure to bring a cat carrier along. A cat carrier provides a safe place for him during the adoption transition and introduces him to a carrier at a young age. Make the carrier a part of his safe place by leaving the carrier in the safe room as a place to sleep and hide. As he is introduced to new rooms in the home take the carrier as a safe hiding place if something in the room spooks him. Taking him on frequent car rides in a Bergan® Comfort Carrier™, which can be secured in the vehicle with the Seat-Belt Loop™ for safety, can help make future travel and vet visits easier on him.

Litterbox Training

Cats have a natural instinct to bury their waste and should start to use the litterbox on their own. Keep the litterbox in the corner of his safe room so he always knows where to find it. Encourage him to use the litterbox by placing him in the box after meals and using his paw to dig in the litter.

Play

Playtime helps exercise a kitten’s body and mind, and will help to make him part of the family. When at home engage him in play by using a laser light or a toy securely attached to a plastic pole. When no one is home to play with him make sure he has toys he can bat around and interact with on his own. A Turbo Scratcher® allows him to spin the ball and doubles as a scratch pad.

Check out Coastal Pet’s offering of Soft-sided Carriers and cat toys.

Tips for Bringing Home and Training a New Puppy

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In a nation where more than 45 million households own dogs as pets, raising a puppy has become an integral part of American life. Pets now outnumber American children by more than four to one and are considered more of a family member (2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owner Survey). Following these few tips will help break a new puppy in to become a new family member

The first few days and weeks of a puppy’s life at home are vital.  You want to make sure they get trained to keep them safe in the house and outside.

First Day

When a new puppy is brought in the house for the first time, show him around. Don’t let him wander alone because he isn’t familiar with the environment and may get scared or overwhelmed. Explore one room at a time starting with where his food and water are located. This can provide a sense of calm.

 If you already have a dog at home, make sure both dogs are leashed. Don’t be concerned if they don’t get along at first. The original dog may feel insecure, so reassure him with a little more attention. Try not to spoil either dog too much or create habits you will have to break later. The more you socialize both dogs, the less time it will take them to become friendly.

 Training

A puppy is often unsure of collars, leashes and harnesses. It usually takes a few hours for a puppy to adjust to a collar.  Choose a collar that fits comfortably, but securely.  Be sure to check the collar weekly and increase size with growth.  Buckled collars may be best to use as they’re quick and easy.

 Once the puppy accepts the collar, put the leash on for a short time. Let the puppy safely drag it behind him to see what it is. After the puppy seems comfortable with the leash, pick up the handle and just hold it.  Try walking the puppy naturally as soon as they seem ready. Shorter, 4’ leashes work well on growing dogs so you have more control.

 When the puppy is comfortable walking with a leash, a harness is another great option. A “Figure-8” style harness helps prevent puppies and dogs from backing out of their harnesses.

 Enjoy walking a puppy with the dual-connection Walk Right!® Front-Connect Padded Harness. This harness is designed to stop pulling while walking. The front connection guides the puppy by the chest strap and naturally redirects its attention without causing neck strain. Once the puppy is walking right, the optional back connection of the harness can be used.

 Coastal’s Li’l Pals® collection is designed with comfort and style in mind specifically for those precious little puppies or petite dogs. Smaller sizes and extra narrow widths provide just the right fit for petite pals.

 

Winter Bonding Activities for Pets

Winter Bonding Activities for You and Your PupWinteractivities

There’s no denying that it can be “ruff” finding activities to keep your pup active during the winter months.  Despite the cold, wintry weather, it is important that your dog still receives his or her necessary exercise. On days where taking a walk or playing outside is too unbearable, try these indoor bonding activities to keep your dog’s mind and body active.

Hide and Seek

If your dog has a strong nose, this game is the one for you. Hide your dog’s favorite toy or treat somewhere in the house and tell him to “find it.” This is a prime time to teach your pup the “go find” command.

Brain Games

Collect three empty containers in the house (these can be plastic bowls or even coffee canisters) and place your pup’s favorite treat underneath one of the containers. Tell your dog to “go get it” and wait until he finds his treat under the right canister. This is a great way to test your pup’s sniffer and to stimulate his mind.

Tug and Fetch

The traditional tug of war and fetch don’t require too much moving room – and are great ways to keep your dog’s frame strong during the winter months. Just be sure to take down any breakable items that may get in the way during play time.

Clean Up

Channel your dog’s energy with the “clean-up” command. First, place all of your dog’s toys on the ground. Then have your dog pick up a toy and bring it back to your toy bin. Reward your pup with treats at this time and continue until each toy is picked up.

Bubble Chase

It’s true – dogs really do love bubbles! Find animal-friendly bubbles at the store and let ‘em blow once you get to the house. If anything will get a dog to prance around, it’ll be this when he gets the chance to chase and pop them.

Stair Dash 

Throw one of your pup’s ball toys down the stairs and wait for him to bring the toy back up the stairs to you. This is a great way for him to burn calories and stay strong while stuck inside. Get some exercise yourself by running up and down the stairs with your pup.

 

 

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

The holiday season brings decorations, celebrations and travel. There are, however, things to keep in mind to make the holidays a happy and safe time for your pets, too.  With a Holidaysafetyfew holiday pet safety tips, your pets are sure to enjoy the holidays.

The Christmas Tree

Pets, especially cats will eat tinsel, which blocks the digestive system. Skipping the tinsel may be smart while having pets in the house.

If you have a live tree, make sure your pets don’t drink the water. This water can be a source of toxic fertilizer.

One of the most dangerous parts of the Christmas tree is the lights.  They are attractive to pets, and if they chew on them they can get burned, shocked or even start a fire. Make sure to unplug light strands when you are not around to supervise.

Poisonous Plants

Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and lilies can make pets very ill.  Poinsettias are only mildly poisonous and may cause an upset stomach or rash. Holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea and mistletoe can cause an upset stomach or even seizures.  Lilies are one of the most toxic plants, especially to cats. Just one or two bites can cause kidney failure. Keep these plants out of reach or consider using imitations.

Holiday Treats

Turkey, gravy, dressing and pumpkin pie are delicious, but these fatty, rich foods pose serious health risks to your pet. Too much can lead to pancreatitis. Be sure to tell your guests not to feed your pets.

A good deal of holiday candies and cookies contain chocolate. Some varieties of baking chocolate can be fatal to dogs while others can make them very ill. Cats become very sick after eating chocolate, too.

Make sure garbage cans are out of reach.  Bones and fatty leftovers are tempting to pets and can be a choking hazard.

Traveling with Pets

The season comes with a lot of traveling to see family and friends. If your pet is traveling with you, it’s important to keep them comfortable and safe.

Using pet carriers, safety auto harnesses or boosters are great ways to protect your pets while traveling.

Check out how Coastal’s travel line helps reduce distractions while driving and keeps your pets comfortable while traveling.

 We all want the holidays to be the most wonderful time of the year. Taking the time to follow these holiday pet safety tips will ensure you and your pets have a wonderful holiday season.

Keeping Your Cat Active Mentally and Physically

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Kittens and cats are curious by nature. Finding activities to keep them mental and physically is a challenge, but essential to the health and wellbeing of your favorite feline friends.

Feeding

Those “don’t play with your food” rules don’t apply to cats. Puzzle feeders and find-a-treat games are perfect for getting your cats to use their natural hunting instincts. Hiding small treats, small mice or ball toys around the home gives them a surprise treat throughout the day and keeps them active by searching for more.

Playtime

Interactive playtime twice a day also helps with that hunting instinct and provides exercise too. Use a wand that has a string with feathers, ribbons or a mouse on the end to entice kitties to follow you through the house. Be sure to let them “catch the prize” so they stay interested. Change out the toys periodically to keep boredom at bay.

Socialization

Cats are social creatures so having another cat in the home provides companionship when you’re not at home. It’s also a good idea to begin socializing kittens to guests at a young age. Take the time to introduce your new kittens to visitors so they won’t become stressed and try to hide.

Grooming

Besides reducing shedding, grooming also strengthens the human/animal bond and socializes you cat. Grooming should be done at least weekly for a healthy coat and cleaner home.

Climbing

Kitty condos and window perches are perfect for cats that love to climb and view the world from above. Be sure to use a condo with plenty of perches. Give them a change of view by moving the perch to different windows.

Hide and Seek

“If I fits, I sits” is a true statement for all felines. Empty boxes and paper bags provide hiding places for your cat to make sneak attacks on anyone brave enough to approach.  

Check out Coastal Pet’s offering of toys that are sure to keep your cats entertained for hours and grooming tools that will reinforce your bond with your favorite felines.

 

History of Morris Animal Foundation

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It was the late 1930s when Dr. Mark Morris Sr., veterinarian and small animal practitioner, realized he had a problem. He was diagnosing kidney disease with alarming frequency in his veterinary practice, more than he had seen in the past. He began carefully looking at each dog’s environment and came up with a startling conclusion; dogs were eating large amounts of poor quality protein, which was producing too much waste for their kidneys to process. The end result was kidney failure.

Dr. Morris’s solution was to formulate his own diet, which he and his wife Louise made in their kitchen. The diet grew in popularity and eventually Dr. Morris partnered with Burton Hill and Hill Packing Company of Topeka, Kansas, to help produce the diet on a larger scale. Not long after, Prescription diet k/d was born.

Dr. Morris’s own experience told him that there was a need for scientific inquiry into diseases affecting pet animals. He envisioned an organization that would fund health research for animals, so he worked out an agreement with Hill that the royalties of one half-cent of each can would go into a special fund. In 1948, the Buddy Foundation was established, renamed Morris Animal Foundation in 1962.

Since 2010, Coastal Pet has supported Morris Animal Foundation and increased donations starting in 2013 through sale of its Pet Attire Styles Orange Brown Tan pattern collar, harness and leash. Donations from Coastal Pet help to support research programs at the foundation.

To date, Morris Animal Foundation has invested more than $100 million toward 2,400 studies that have improved the health and quality of life for dogs, cats, horses and wildlife worldwide. These studies have led to better preventions, diagnostic tools, treatment protocols, and even cures to benefit animals worldwide. Some of these breakthroughs have become industry gold standards and are used in every veterinary practice in the country.

 

New Coastal Pet Website Features Education Center

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Knowledge is the key to a healthy pet and a happy pet owner. At Coastal Pet, we are committed to providing high-quality, lifestyle products that support the care and safety of dogs and cats. Our newly-launched website features an Education Center filled with Tips and Advice, Videos and Newsletters, along with this new blog. Our blog will feature pet care, health and safety tips to make life with your pet an even better one. Check back often for the latest trends, products and ideas to keep your pet safe and happy, including the expert advice of guest pet bloggers from around the world.

Helpful Tips and Advice includes:

The Grooming and Sizing Guide lists the best grooming choices for your pet and guides you step-by-step on how to fit a collar or harness. Breed-specific pages offer custom nail and pet hair solutions and size ranges to take the guess work out of choosing the right product. Do you buckle up your pup? From state regulations on pet travel to pet-related accident data, our Car Safety page shows why we are committed to car safety and have been conducting independent safety crash-testing for years. Remove the mystery from chain and nylon training collars and accessories with our Proper Use of Training Collars pages. We explain the “why” behind each item so you can make an informed choice. Check out the Cat Safety Solutions page to see all of the ways we help your kitty stay safe, indoors or out.

Coastal offers quick and easy demonstration videos on grooming, training and specialty items to show you hands-on proper use to optimize your results. QR codes on our packaging link directly to each of these videos to help you choose the perfect product for your needs.

Be sure to sign up for our educational newsletter to stay updated on what’s new for you and your pet. From health and travel tips to helpful solution for all of your pet needs, we are committed to sharing our expertise to make your life easier and your pet’s life better. 

Walking a Dog at Night

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It’s that time of year again.  The sun is rising later in the morning and setting earlier at night. With 70% of dogs being walked at dusk or dawn, safety becomes a concern. There are several precautions you can take to keep safe while walking a dog at night.

Know Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings will provide safety and a sense of calm. Stick to paths with which you are familiar.  Keep track of how far you’ve walked to know how long it will take you to get back home as nighttime falls. If you’re listening to music, keep it low so you can also hear what’s happening around you.

Walk Against Traffic
As the law states, walk against traffic.  This will also help you see what’s coming toward you so you can get your dog out of the way if necessary. Always walk on sidewalks when possible to avoid traffic.

Make Yourself Visible
Visibility is the biggest concern while walking a dog at night. Carrying a flashlight makes seeing your surroundings easier.  The flashlight should be bright enough to allow you to see where you’re stepping and what’s around you. Wearing bright, light colors make you more visible to oncoming motorists.

Make Your Dog Visible
Reflective collars, leashes and harnesses provide more visibility when walking a dog at night. Coastal Pet offers a variety of reflective dog collars, leashes and harnesses. Our reflective collars are adjustable and available in different sizes and patterns.

Reflective dog collars, leashes and harnesses include:

K9 Explorer® Reflective Dog Collar, Leashes and Harness

  • Feature reflective stitching woven into luxury nylon
  • Reflective nylon and rope leashes are strong, durable and comfortable
  • Reflective harnesses feature a comfortable neoprene chest pad 

Lazer Brite® Reflective Dog Collar and Leash

  • Same reflective material used by safety professionals
  • Visible up to 600 feet away
  • To be safe, you must be seen

Pet Attire® Pro Reflective Adjustable Dog Collar and Leash

  • Sporty colors include stitching that reflects oncoming light
  • Trending colors to keep dogs fashionable
  • Comfortable, padded, edged webbing

It’s important that your dog gets daily exercise. Don’t let the time change affect your routine. Stay safe while walking a dog at night with these tips.