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Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy in Chilly Weather

March 7, 2019

Photo courtesy of Tori Mistick of Wear Wag Repeat.

Winter is still with us, which means we’re in for some colder than normal temperatures, as well as seasonal rain or snow.  March is indeed coming “In like a Lion”, and that means extra care should be taken for both humans and their beloved canine companions.

IF YOU’RE COLD, SO ARE THEY

While most dogs have a nice layer of fur to keep them warm and toasty, think of it like your favorite Marmot or North Face parka, even extreme temperatures can permeate down to the skin.  Luckily, our four-legged friends have lots of options available to supplement their coats and still allow them to get out for some fresh air – everything from sweaters to puffers and fleece coats - depending on their specific breed.  Be sure to look for appropriately sized clothing, key features such as pockets and harness patches, as well as other thoughtful details including reversible, water repellent, and machine washable fabrics.

Another thing to consider is paw-wear.  Frostbite happens most often on a dog’s ears, tail, and toes, especially if they get wet.  Footwear to protect their paws is a must-have for several reasons.  First, their feet come in close contact with water, snow, and ice.  A dangerous combination that forces their body to constrict blood vessels to keep the blood pumping to essential organs.  Second, during the winter months their pads are often exposed to damaging salts used in the melting process.  Frostbite is often a precursor to hypothermia, so the bottom line here is to keep your pet warm, dry, and protected.  Basically, be sure to keep your love bug snug.

Photo courtesy of @brandyandmoose.

CABIN FEVER

Dogs love the outdoors and running around.  Being stuck inside during the winter months can lead to boredom, bad behavior, lethargy, and weight gain – sounds like humans have these problems too!  Be sure to keep your pet indoors during prolonged periods of extreme cold, otherwise, get out there and have fun!  If your pet is used to playing fetch, look for bright-colored, waterproof toys you can throw, yet can still be seen in the snow.  Since dogs have what’s similar to red-green colorblindness in humans, choose toys that are primarily yellow and blue.  Nerf Dog has some fun choices; we especially like this cool Shark Football.  Also, let them get some indoor exercise with a game of tug of war or some all-natural bones for chewing (instead of your shoe).  Our dogs love Earth Animal No Hide Chews for a tasty treat that is easily digestible.

Lastly, if you do take your pet for a walk, don’t forget their coat, paw-wear, and a reliable collar, harness, and lead.  This time of year, the roads can get tight when sidewalks and road edges fill up with ice and snow.  Your best bet is to take your dog to a park, but if that option isn’t available, ensure your pet’s safety by using a secure harness and lead.  Our collars, harnesses, and leads are made of high-tensile strength nylon webbing and our buckles are Coast Guard approved for high weight hold.  Make sure everything is fitted properly as well so that your pet can’t breakaway at the first sign of a squirrel.

Keeping your dog active during the cold weather is a win-win for you and your pet.  With some common sense, proper gear, and lots of TLC, your furry friend can enjoy the cold just as much as a day at the beach.    


Understanding Your Pet’s Affection

February 12, 2019

February brings Valentine’s Day and its many forms of love – including puppy love! Picture this…you leave home for a quick ride to the store. When you get home, your dog greets you with unbridled enthusiasm that makes you wonder if you were away for a month. And you’re like, “Whoa, buddy, it’s nice to see you too, but I was only gone for fifteen minutes.” Why? Because they love you! While dogs have a circadian rhythm and a sense of time, just like humans, you’re pretty much the center of their doggone universe. A wonderful quote we read recently sums it up like this, “Be kind to your dog because while he’s just a short part of your life, you’re all of his.” So, let’s talk about love…

TAIL WAGGING

One of the surefire ways to know that your dog is happy is to check out their derrière, er, tail. But the height and briskness of the “wave” does matter. A tail that is wagging horizontally and quickly means that your pup is a happy little camper. A slow wag means he’s assessing the situation and is hopeful. A tail held high, vertically in the air might mean he’s showing dominance and things might get “ruff.” A low hanging tail is more likely to be a sign of submissiveness. Much like a human smile - from a wide grin to a scowl – a lot can be said without barking a word.

KISSES

To a dog, kiss, kiss, kiss really means lick, lick, lick. Take it as a compliment, and if you own a doormat that reads, “Dog can’t hold his licker,” then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Besides affection, licking signals a few other things. First, it shows that they view you as having a higher social status. Second, it feels good for them as licking releases endorphins. Third, it might just be because you ate a batch of his favorite chicken wings. Never fear this Valentine’s Day though if your dog isn’t a big kisser because some breeds lick more than others, like Golden Retrievers. We know, big shocker there.

LEAN ON ME

Surprisingly, a dog that leans on you, puts her paw on you, or willingly snuggles up with you during TV time, is showing you that you’re her main squeeze. But don’t get her a box of chocolates (it contains caffeine and theobromine, which can be toxic to your bro dog), rub her belly instead as she’d much prefer that anyway. Speaking of bellies, if a dog rolls over on his back that’s another sign of the trust they’ve placed in you to protect and provide for them. So, go ahead, lean on them, when you're not strong, and he’ll be your friend and help you carry on…wait, where have we heard that before?

Dogs can be loyal and extremely affectionate; understanding their cues can foster an even closer bond. It should be a reciprocal relationship as well. Kind and loving things you can do for your dog include: a fabulous doggie massage, getting on their level and spending time with them, lots of praise when they’re modeling correct behavior, and most importantly, having patience with them as they find their way to becoming your best friend.

P.S. Since we’ve already established that you can’t buy your dog chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and you’re certainly not going to “put a ring on it,” check out our selection of heart collars to show how much you care.


Chalet Has the Best of Everything for Home, Garden and Pet.

January 10, 2019

The cutest four-legged Chalet fan!

Located in Wilmette, Illinois, Chalet is a lifestyle brand offering customers everything from award-winning landscape services, indoor and outdoor plants and garden essentials, home décor, outdoor living furniture to pet accessories. Since the company’s inception in 1917, they’ve expanded their Landscape Division and added Chalet Farms where they grow their own plants for the landscape services and at retail, as well as a newly-revamped pet living collection and floor space. The sizeable retail location is indeed a one-stop shop serving customers of the North Shore.

A news team covers an event at Chalet.

The pet living area came to light in the 1950s when the second generation owner, Diane Stanton had the bright idea to offer goods for our beloved furry friends. Today you’ll find high-quality food, plush beds, USA made collars, unique clothing, and specialty dishes, for both cats and dogs at the Chalet. The store even carries a handful of items for parrots, as the nursery is home to a talkative psittacine. Amongst the numerous amazing pet products the Chalet has in store, Up Country is one of the longest standing accessories, carried for over 30 years. It doesn’t stop at collars and leashes, the Chalet carries decorative pillows, futons, treat jars, as well as sweaters, and during the holiday season, Santa hats. Their most popular Up Country designs? Hearts and Flowers, North Star, and the Up Country Plaid, to name a few.

“We also incorporate pet events in store, specifically adoption events for our local rescue organizations,” says store manager Gabbie Roderer. Once a month on a Saturday or Sunday a different rescue comes in with adoptable dogs and cats, for a better chance of getting their animals adopted in our area.” We also have Santa come in for the pet photos around the holidays, and we do a massive Halloween parade where at least 100 dogs and their families show up.” Chalet Nursery is continuously thinking of ways to serve and provide fun events for the whole family.

Everyone is invited to shop at Chalet!

“Chalet is dog-friendly, cat-friendly, potbelly pig-friendly, and beyond. Everyone is welcome here, and we enjoy developing long term relationships with our customers as well as their beloved animals. Working here is more of passion than a job,” says Gabbie.

If you are around the North Shore of Chicago, stop by Chalet and bring your furry friend(s)! #UpCountryRetailer


Miles Guarantees Smiles!

December 19, 2018

Miles models his spring Up Country attire.

Meet Miles! This three-year-old German Short-Haired Pointer is recognized for his ridiculously good looks and his play hard, snuggle harder attitude, which is all displayed on his popular Instagram @MilesOberlin.

Miles came into his family’s life when they were searching for an excellent running companion and a dog that would be sweet around future little ones. “We were deciding between a GSP, Weimaraner, and a Vizsla, but those spots were just too cute to pass up,” said Mile’s owner, Sydney. Today Miles has lived up to his breed’s expectations and has become an excellent running partner and the sweetest pup to his 5-month-old baby sister.

A couch and a toy, who could ask for more?

Miles’ popular Instagram came about when Sydney came across her coworker's dog’s Instagram @smuckersthedoodle. “I had a camera that I was determined to learn how to use. Making Miles' Instagram made me learn more about my camera and now I really enjoy taking photos of Miles, our family, and family/friend events.” In addition to Miles’ model status photos, Sydney also documents his love for tennis balls, running, tennis balls, bacon, eggs, more tennis balls, and of course his stylish accessories.

Beautiful and playful shots like this one, guarantee a smile every day!

If you’re following this handsome boy you’ll know that he loves to sport a variety Up Country designs. He can be spotted in our First Mate, Hydrangea, and Pupsicle designs. “Just like Up Country, Miles is stylish, lovable and fun!”

If you haven't already, head over to @MilesOberlin for an instant smile! #UpCountryDog


The Best of Everything Can be Found at Treats Unleashed

November 8, 2018

The yummiest treats can be found at Treats Unleashed!

What started as a batch of homemade dog treats in 2002 at a mall kiosk by Ian and his wife Teresa Miller, has since turned into 12 dog boutique locations over the past 16 years. The first Treats Unleashed store opened in Chesterfield, MO focusing on high-quality treats and locally made products. After the first store was born, Treats Unleashed has expanded to 10 shops in St. Louis, as well as a location in Columbia, Missouri and Leawood, Kansas.

Teresa snuggles with a very cute customer.

Today Treats Unleashed offers something for both the cat and dog lovers and owners. Each store adapts to its community and serves the right products according to demand and over the years, observations on customers needs. When you stop at Treats Unleashed you will find an abundance of high-quality dog and cat food, Treats Unleashed specialty treats, U.S. made toys and beds, grooming and self-service dog washes, as well as Up Country inc. accessories. “We’ve been carrying Up Country Inc. for the past ten years,” says Communication Coordinator, Tom Bazzle. We rotate five to six collar patterns through the stores at one time and have quite a few that are extremely popular amongst our customers. We also have Up Country’s Cat and Dog Treat Boxes in stores, that our customers enjoy.”

Plenty of Up Country to choose from!

To top it all off, Treats Unleashed locations host many popular events that the communities adore. The most important and wildly popular, adoption meet and greets in partnership with local rescues, happen almost every weekend and it’s a way to get more rescue dogs and cats seen. The stores also host holiday events like Easter egg hunts in the spring, Apple pie eating contests for 4th of July, and more.

We asked Tom what his favorite part of the pet industry is, his reply; “I’ve been working at Treats Unleashed for five years, and the best part of the business is the constant interaction with pets and those who love them. It’s great to be working with a small company, and the amazing customers who create the community in our stores.”

So if you are in or around St. Louis, or Leawood, Kansas stop by Treats Unleashed for a true one-stop-shop experience! #UpCountryRetailer


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