Posted: Jun 26 2012
PupLife Dog Blog » Products
Pet Flys Dog Carriers have been the dog carrier of choice for the smart small dog owner on the go since 2003. Commpany founder Tammy Ann Arnett has navigated the rocky waters of starting a successful company and achieving growth in a competitive dog supply industry through a recession. We've always been huge fans of Pet Flys airline approved carriers and soft dog blankets, as they effortlessly combine style and comfort. We recently had an online chat with Tammy, to get her perspective on dog carriers, the small dog supplies business and what lies ahead for Pet Flys Dog Carriers.
Q: Thanks for visiting with us Tammy.
Thank you for inviting me.
Q: Have you always been a small dog fan?
No…not at all, in fact I always had larger dogs such as German Shepherds, Dalmatians or Mutts (and they were always BIG mutts =). Then in 2002 I rescued a little Min Pin and named him Monkey Boy. After that the love was on for small dogs as well.
Q: What were you doing before you started Pet Flys.
Most of my career was spent in the Los Angeles Garment District. I started in the ‘80s selling shoulder pads during an era where absolutely EVERYTHING had shoulder pads… think of those classic TV shows like Dallas and Dynasty. So shoulder pads were very good to me! Then I progressed from selling trim items to selling services such as silk-screening, embroidery, high frequency transfers and piece goods (fabric). During this time I also designed and developed a product line that included woman’s clothing and household pillows. And when time allowed, I managed to fit in some freelance designing.
Q: What inspired you to create Pet Flys?
I needed a travel carrier for little Monkey Boy and what was available in pet stores was either super expensive or lacked any imagination. I thought to myself that I should make some really “cool” carriers for in cabin airline travel that were stylish yet still affordable.…and I did just that. I was fortunate to have amazing contacts within the garment business and with my knowledge of product development it was not difficult to combine those two ingredients to develop the first Pet Flys carriers.
Naturally, Monkey Boy became my muse and spokes-dog.
Q: Your designs are always one step ahead of the others when it comes to style, and yet they are not "too out there", ensuring that they are always good sellers. How do you balance your design considerations with the needs of the market?
Now that is funny because there are people who think some of our designs are way out there! One of our first Pet Flys carriers was the “Happy Skull” (since retired) and there was resistance in some of our more conservative States. In fact, they wanted to order the carrier without the skull design. But that was before skulls became more widely acceptable. We even have an “American Werewolf” carrier now…no, not for your pet werewolf…but inspired by the current vampire/werewolf craze. But, I don’t design for someone who is content to follow the herd. I design for someone who wants to be different and express their love for their pet in a fun, funky and functional way.
Q: How has the dog carrier business changed over the years?
Obviously the economy has changed over the last ten years since I began Pet Flys. A lot of people had to redesign their budgets and the pet category on that list took a hit. Styles, colors, and designs will always change but now people also look for products that are “Made in America” and “green” so buyers are slowing becoming more and more socially conscious. That said, some of our hard-sided carriers are too intricate for cost effective manufacturing in the USA. Yet we always try to have our products finished here or add some accessory like a blanket or pillow made locally.
Q: What is your advice to folks when they are shopping for a dog carrier? What should they consider before placing an order?
It really depends on if you will be using your pet carrier only for flying or if you also want your carrier to double as an around town tote. Multifunctional carriers are the key; our “Snuggle Bug” can be used as a car seat, comfy tote or a bed at home. I think most people are looking for a carrier that CAN be used for flying but is also discrete enough to carry Fido into a store or restaurant and remain incognito while looking hip and fashionable. There are so many options. However, when considering a carrier just put yourself in your dog’s paws; is the carrier comfortable, is there enough ventilation, is it roomy enough, are you able to remain upright while being toted around…and most importantly…will you look really cool in it and get all the ohhs and ahhs you deserve.
Q: We know that you are very active with dog charities and causes.
Our “Perfect World Pet” toys help to support the efforts of Pets of the Homeless.A portion of the profits of each sale of the toy goes to providing food, shelter, and veterinary care for these animals. Also, we have our popular “Bow Wow Bindi” rhinestone decorations that help support “Last Chance for Animals” and can safely be worn by all animal and humans alike. For more information on either of these charities please visit their websites;
Q: Are there any interesting new trends emerging when it comes to dog carriers?
Since so many people love taking their dogs wherever they go, it becomes more important to develop lighter weight carriers and totes with plenty of room for a water bottle and cell phone. You just never know when your petite star will get a call from their agent.
Q: Thanks again, Tammy.Thank you!
Posted: Jun 06 2012
With the 4th of July quickly approaching many dog lovers are dreading what should be a wonderful family holiday. It's not uncommon for dogs to exhibit fear of the sudden loud noises that come with fireworks and 4th July festivities. Unfortunately, many animal shelters all over the country see a significant increase in their lost dog populations, as these dogs try to flee the loud noises they encounter over the holiday weekend.
Plan for a safe holiday by ensuring that your pets are safe and secure in your home while fireworks activity is happening. And, consider providing additional comfort for your dog with Canine Calm. This all natural remedy mist is formulated with natural ingredients, including pure essential oils lavender, tangerine and geranium. These natural botanicals have been traditionally used in remedies for relaxation. Canine Calm has been recommended by dog lovers and professionals to relieve whimpering, cowering, trembling, panting, pacing, drooling, barking, shaking, vomiting and other signs of upset during non-routine or unsettling times in over 90% of dogs.
Posted: Apr 21 2012
When we started PupLife.com almost ten years ago, one of the first products that we added to the site was Lupine Collars. The reason? We were already big fans of their collars, leashes and harnesses. We had adopted a dog (Daisy, the inspiration for PupLife) from a rescue group and were searching for the best products for her. At a positive reinforcement dog training session with Daisy, we noticed that almost half of the dog's in the class were wearing Lupine Collars. Asking around the group, we quickly found out why.
1) Lupine Collars Are GorgeousLet's face it, the number one priority when choosing any dog collar is to find a style that suits your pet's personality and look. You want your pet to look their best. Lupine collars come in a wide variety of styles and patterns. At PupLife we are lucky enough to stock many retired Lupine collar patterns and out of stock styles. What Lupine collar pattern is your favorite? Let us know.
2) Lupine Collars Are DurableDurability is a big concern for all dog owners choosing a collar for their pet. That's why Lupine collars are legendary in the marketplace. In fact, all Lupine collars are guaranteed - even if chewed. Now that's a guarantee with teeth.
3) You Can Trust Lupine CollarsThis is important. Today, consumers have an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to collars. There are so many new brands and companies popping up every day. And so many closing their doors soon after. If your collar is destroyed, your chances of having these business address your problem is slim. PupLife has been selling Lupine Collars for almost ten years, and Lupine has been an outstanding brand for us from day one. You can trust PupLife and Lupine to be there for you, and your dog for years to come.
We love Lupine Collars, the company and their products. We are confident that if you give them (and us) a try, you and your four legged friend will feel the same way.
Posted: Mar 28 2012
Everybody needs a comfy place to sleep. And, since most dogs and cats sleep 10-16 hours a day or more, it's important to choose the right bed for your precious pet.
Today, dog and cat beds are fashionable as well as functional, so it's easy to mistakenly buy the dog bed that looks best to you or will coordinate with your couch. Before making your purchase consider the following: Size, Shape and Texture.
Mistake #1: Choosing The Wrong Size Dog BedThe biggest mistake people make when purchasing a bed for their dog or cat is guessing on size. First and foremost, measure your pet's length. This will give you a general idea about the dimensions your pet needs. There's nothing worse than a bed that's too small. Can you imagine trying to sleep with your feet hanging off the bed? Of course not!
Mistake #2: Choosing The Wrong Shape Dog BedTake a day or two to analyze how your pet sleeps. Does she curl up in a ball or does she like to stretch out? Most pets will sleep in a variety of different positions but if you spend some time watching your pet's behavior you can get a good idea which type of bed he or she will most enjoy. Beds are available in round, rectangular and square shapes. Additionally, beds come in a variety of styles, like traditional stuffed style, bumper style or flat mat style. If your dog is older or has joint or muscle pain, consider opting for an orthopedic dog bed for extra support and comfort.
Mistake #3: Choosing The Wrong TextureJust like people, pets have their own unique preferences. Some dogs and cats prefer nappy textures, while others like smooth fabrics. Take a look at the spots your dog likes to flop and this will help you determine the best kind of fabric for your pet's bed.
Additionally, consider the climate in which you live. If you're in a colder area, think about getting a heavier fabric like a berber or fleecy fabric. In warmer climates, a sleek, cool faux suede dog bed might be more appropriate.
Keep in mind, it can take some time for your dog or cat to warm up to a new bed. Just like new sheets, new dog beds require a breaking-in period. Think about washing the outer cover to soften it. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to smell and may prefer the scent of their old blanket or bed to the new one so give you pet time to adjust. You can also make the bed smell more like you (which your pet also likes) by putting your old t-shirt on the bed for a few days. Making the bed smell familiar to your pet is key.
Dogs are social creatures and they want to spend time with you. It's a good idea to put your dog's new bed in the room where you are. Don't be afraid to move it around from room to room. Where ever you happen to be hanging out is where your pooch wants to be!
Finally, you can create a reward system when your pet uses his new bed. Take a few minutes each day and train your dog to sit on his bed. Using positive reinforcement, it's easy to teach your dog a basic sit/stay right on the bed. Reward your dog with a dog treat each time. Soon enough, your dog will associate his new bed with really good things.
Posted: Mar 15 2012
Spring is in the air, and with the excitement of warmer weather, longer daylight hours, birdsong, and new green sprouts, we know it also means thunderstorms. If your dog suffers from thunderstorm anxiety now is the time to prepare in order to help your dog cope this common behavioral issue.
Many dogs suffer from thunderstorm anxiety and can exhibit behaviors including excessive shaking, digging, panting and whining during storms. In addition to providing a safe, indoor space for your pet during storms there are several natural, holistic products available that utilize your dog's sense of smell and touch to help them stay calm.
Canine Calm offers soothing aromatherapy with essential oils including bergamot, lavender and geranium. This soothing mist can be lightly sprayed behind your dog's ears or in her crate or bed for a gentle, effective way to calm jittery nerves.
Sleepy Time Tonic is an herbal elixir made with all-natural valerian root and Bach flower remedies. Custom formulated by leading herbalist, Robert McDowell, Sleepy Time Tonic works to balance the metabolic system and the nervous system providing relief for overstimulated dogs.
The Anxiety Wrap has been providing gentle, effective relief from thunderstorm fears for over a decade. Based on the Tellington Touch method of Maintained Pressure, the Anxiety Wrap affects your dog's sensory receptors that communicate with the brain and the central nervous system. Our blog post on how the Anxiety Wrap Helps Dogs That Are Afraid Of Thunderstorms is a great primer. Wearing the Anxiety Wrap, your dog receives positive input that is even, rhythmic, and repetitive, producing a calming of the mind and body even during the worst storms.