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Monthly Archives: January 2016

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.


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


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.


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.