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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

If you have thought about adding a new furry-friend to the family, you might think that getting a puppy is the only way to go. Puppies are so adorable and fun, but you can go to a local shelter and look at adopting a senior (usually 6 or 7 years old) dog.

Here are 10 benefits of adopting and adding a senior pet to your family during Adopt a Senior Pet Month this November.

  1. What you see is what you get: Older dogs are an open book – you know what their full-grown size is, what their eating and grooming requirements are, and they will have established their temperament and personality. This will help ensure that this is the right dog for you and your family!
  2. They have MANNERS: Most senior pets are already house trained; unlike a puppy; and are familiar with the basic commands (come. sit. stay.) that will make your life easier, especially if your house has young kids! Older dogs are eager to please and enjoy the mental stimulation, they also have experience in reading humans which will help them quickly figure out how to do what you are asking.
  3. An older dog is past the chewing phase: Anyone who has had a puppy that chewed furniture, shoes, rugs, and anything and everything they can get to…you can now relax, you won’t have that phase when adopting a senior dog.
  4. A senior dog requires less exercise: You might be experiencing this already…as we age, we all slow down a bit. Same goes for a dog, they will be less frisky and rambunctious than a puppy, so the requirement for exercise will be far less.  (They still enjoy walks and exercise, just not as often!!)
  5. They are not a 24-7 Job: Dogs in their older years will not require the constant monitoring like puppies do. You will have more freedom to do your own thing.
  6. Just Add LOVE: An older animal will adapt to a new family given love and time. You might not be this dog’s first family (or even second or third), but once you adopt and shower him with love, you will be his only family!
  7. Great for all ages: Senior pets have a more relaxed temperament which makes them excellent companions for the young and elderly. More mature people benefit with an older dog companion that is aligned with their energy level and lifestyle, and children can benefit from an animal who is more tolerant and may already be well socialized with them.
  8. They know they have been given a second chance: Talk to anyone who has adopted a mature dog and they will tell you that they are convinced their pet knows they have been saved. Just one look in their eyes and you can see that they are saying, “Thank you for saving my life.”
  9. Be a HERO: At shelters and rescues, older dogs are more than always the last to be adopted. Taking one home will give you an emotional return on your investment, and you will feel the rewards every day you spend together!
  10. They are Cute…do you need any more than that?!?!

If you are interested in visiting our local shelters to meet some adoptable senior pets here are some of the local shelters that we would recommend visiting first.  A.D.O.P.T. Pet ShelterHinsdale Humane SocietyNaperville Area Humane Society and West Suburban Humane Society.

 

 

Open Farm is one of the newest brands we started carrying at Two Bostons!  They offer your cats and dogs with the highest quality kibble along with dog treats and they just introduced their Freeze-Dried Dog Food.  We wanted them in our stores, not only because your pets will love their product but also because of their very high standards. Here is why you should give them a try today! (Added bonus: All products are 20% off until 11/22/17)

  • Nutrition ~ Premium nutrition, delivered naturally. Open Farm is a family-run business, so they choose farmers that share the same exceptional quality.  The grain-free recipes focus on a limited set of premium proteins, fruits and veggies that are raised naturally, responsibly and humanely.They stay away from unhealthy fillers:
      • All Open Farm recipes are 100% grain-free
      • They never use any corn, wheat, soy or rice
      • Absolutely NO animal byproducts
      • Free from meat meals – using only ocean-caught fish
    • Nutritious ingredients in every recipe:
      • Non-GMO fruits and veggies
      • Include generous portions of nutritious coconut and fish oils
      • Use prebiotic fibers in every batch to support healthy digestion
      • Their recipes are designed for rotation
      • Options that are 100% poultry free and potato free
  • Animal Welfare ~ Raising the bar for farm animal welfare. They source all of their meat from animals that are raised with kindness and respect. Not only does this result in happier and healthier farm animals, it leads to a higher quality of meat for our pets!
  • Sustainability ~ Better food from a sustainable source. Sustainable Fishing, Farming and Packaging!
  • Partners ~ Partnerships that make a difference. Open Farm partners with third party organizations that are leaders in humane and sustainable sourcing practices, so you can trust that your pet’s food is coming from a good place.
  • Transparency ~ Pet food you can trust. Where your pet’s food comes from shouldn’t be a mystery. That is why they provide detailed information on every ingredient used in the recipes. 

Open Farm freeze-dried dog food is an upgrade to their already amazing kibble. The freeze-dried raw recipes are made with humanely raised meats, organic fruits and veggies, topped with superfoods like organic coconut oil and tumeric. You can use their freeze-dried raw food as a meal, or a mixer to kibble.  Just scoop add water and serve! You can get a bag of Open Farm freeze-dried in a variety of recipes: Grass-Fed Beef, Homestead Turkey, Surf & Turf and Harvest Chicken.

Try Open Farm today and receive 20% off until 11/22/17!

Halloween can be a really stressful time for many dogs. They’ve already had to learn to maneuver an environment dominated by humans and then we have these random days throughout our lives where we do really weird stuff! From loud booms on July 4th to totally creepy creatures during October 31st, our dogs endure a lot of potential stress. A ton of dogs will be dressed up for Halloween as they march in pet parades and accompany their humans door-to-door.  There are good, better, and best ways to dress your dog and there are a few things we just shouldn’t do at all.

I would like to add in a really important one I intended to mention but did forget (you’ll see why in the video!). Please do not ever ride your dog. No matter how large the dog, no matter how small the child. This will set the dog up for a lot of potential mental stress and future health issues.

Happy Halloween!!

 

Amber Walker, KPA CTP, Owner & Trainer, Animal Intuitions, LLC. You can contact Amber at 630-53-PUPPY (630-537-8779),  Amber@aitrainers.com or www.aitrainers.com

 

 

Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially if you have little human-kids…carving pumpkins, making costumes, buying candy and seeing all of the other costumes. Kids get so excited to see how much candy they can collect and then the sorting of it and trading with friends or siblings (this was the best part)! Our fur-kids, on the other hand, might not like any of this. Below are safety tips to make sure that your pet has a fun Halloween too.

The Candy Bowl ~ The candy bowl is for little human goblins, not our four-legged goblins. Several of those treats that are handed out are toxic to our pets. ALL Chocolate – especially dark and baking chocolate – can be dangerous, even lethal.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased hearth rate, and seizures. Sugar free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar, causing loss of coordination and seizures.  The number for the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: 888-426-4435 (the hotline charges a fee of $65 per case).

Be Careful with Costumes ~ For some pets, putting them in a costume will cause undue stress. If your pet loves being in a costume, make sure it does not limit their movement, ability to breathe, bark or meow. Make sure to check for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Make sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big day, to make sure they enjoy it and for them to get used to it.

Protecting Your Pets ~ Having a doorbell constantly ringing and too many strangers can be scary and stressful for our pets. Keep them in a separate room away from the front door during trick-or-treating hours. If you would like something to help your dog calm down during this stressful time, stop in and ask a team member about Happy Traveler (this is an amazing product that will help in all kinds of situations that brings on anxiety for our pets). If your dog is social and doesn’t get stressed with visitors, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t run outside. And always have the proper identification – just in case they do escape – a collar with ID tags and/or microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Decorations ~ Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire and a curious kitten are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Keep glow sticks away from your pets, the liquid in the sticks are thankfully not toxic but it tastes awful if you pet does chew on one. This can cause them to paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. If you think that your pet did chew on a glow stick offer some water or treat to help clear the liquid out of their mouth.

We hope that you and your families have a fun and safe Halloween and if your pet does like to be dressed up, stop in so they can trick-or-treat too!!

 

Every morning around 6am my dog, Polly wants to eat and every morning at 6am I am officially woken up by her bowl scraping against the tile as she pushes it around while she eats. Can anyone relate? The sound is unbearable; especially at six in the morning! There simply must be a better way!!

Thankfully, at Two Bostons we carry Ono’s Good Bowl. The base of these bowls are a mat that suction to the surface making it near impossible for any dog to push the bowl or tip the bowl. The silicone base does not harbor bacteria and has a small lip that makes it challenging for paws (or tiny hands) to move. The mat provides easy clean-up for dogs that are messy drinkers or eaters as well. The bowl itself is a stainless steel, doesn’t wear, and is removable from the mat. The mat is 100% silicone, BPA/BPS/PVS/phthalate free, and is dishwasher safe. It even comes in multiple colors and sizes! The three sizes available are, single small (10 x 10 x 1.6), single medium (11.5 x 11.5 x 1.9), and double small (18 x 10 x 1.6). The small bowl holds 16 ounces, while the medium bowl holds 32 ounces. This bowl is great for cats and for dogs! While the mat is dishwasher safe, the company recommends hand washing the bowl.

I have a small single bowl for Polly and at first she was confused that she didn’t need to push the bowl around. But, after a couple of meal times she embraced this bowl and we have never gone back since! The bowls look really modern, making it a great purchase for people who want their pet’s items to blend into the home’s decor. I am certainly considering purchasing a second one of these for the communal water bowl just because of how sleek they look! I certainly recommend this product to anyone who needs a new bowl or just wants a better looking bowl.

Lastly, the company stands behind their bowls, they are made to endure the lifetime of the pet. If there is any concern or issues with the product, Ono encourages the consumer to contact them to fix the problem. What a fantastic company! I certainly will be coming back for more bowls.

 

Do you find yourself getting tired of drinking plain water? I know I do! I can often be found with a cup of tea or coffee in hand. I want to stay hydrated, but also want some flavor. I think our furry companions feel the same way. Served plain or as a meal topped, bone broth is an excellent way to boost dog and cat hydration.

Many cats and dogs are dehydrated when fed a kibble based diet due to the low moisture content of kibble. An easy and nutritious way to increase the palatability of food. Not interested in offering bone broth at meal times? No worries, it can be given as a treat! At only 9 calories per quarter cup, pet parents can feel great about giving this low calorie yet nutrient dense treat to dogs of all sizes. You can even freeze it to make a low calorie and fun summer time treat! 

There are quite a few health benefits your dog receives when they drink the bone broth; similar to the health benefits offered to us when we drink tea. Bone broth is a natural supplement to aid in joint health. The broth contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. Even more importantly, these health benefiting properties are not digested, but rather absorbed through the pet’s body. Bone broth also aids in liver detoxification. Glycine is a naturally occurring chemical that aids in liver detox. Chances are your pet has been exposed to some things that have taken a toll on their liver (think flea and tick preventatives, home cleaning supplies, lying on fertilized grass, etc.). Thankfully, bone broth contains lots of glycine which naturally cleanses the liver. The health benefits associated with bone broth are endless!

A favorite bone broth at Two Bostons is Caru’s grass-fed beef bone broth. Costing only $12.99, this product is made in the USA with 100% human grade ingredients. This broth is free of grain, gluten and genetically modified ingredients! Containing only 9, very readable ingredients, this is a product that you can feel good about giving to your pet!

I tried bone broth warmed as well as frozen with my pups. My dogs joyously yet anxiously wagged their tails waiting for the bowls to come out of the microwave. When I put the bowls down they licked the bowls dry! Since it has been warm in the Chicagoland area, I thought it would be fun to try the product frozen as well. It was a huge hit with my dogs. Maybe now they will not stare at me when I eat a frozen treat because they will have their own to enjoy!

Stop into any Two Bostons and ask a team member to point out this amazing product!

 

Many people think that animal chiropractic is best suited for older dogs. While senior dogs can receive great benefits, in areas such as increasing their mobility and decreasing pain, the very best time to start care is in the developmental stages…puppyhood!

Animal chiropractic can help give puppies the best start towards great health. Think about it. If you’ve had a puppy, they are energetic, clumsy, zooming around, play rowdy, have inevitable slips and falls, are developing coordination and learning body awareness. This is also when they are quickly growing.

Animal chiropractic during this stage in their lives can be beneficial to achieve proper bone and joint development and movement, as well as reaching optimal health early on in life, which can help set the stage for the health they experience throughout their lifetime.

For example, it can lessen the likelihood that a puppy slip or fall will lead to flexibility or mobility issues later in life. In addition, anecdotal evidence has found that puppies who receive chiropractic care are less likely to be diagnosed with dysplasia when compared to litter mates who received no adjustments.

Animal chiropractic for puppies is very gentle and effective to be sure that all of their joints are achieving proper motion as well as position. Most puppies quickly figure out that their animal chiropractic visit is something positive. It makes their body feel good!

A little care goes a long way. Most healthy, normal puppies can achieve great benefit from only 2-3 adjustments before they mature. It is then a good idea to continue chiropractic check-ups every few months to help maintain wellness. Extra active dogs, giant sized breeds, dogs in activities that place extra stress on their joints may need a little more care. If any problems or symptoms arise, frequency of care can be modified accordingly.

When it comes to health, it is best to start making good choices to support the body early. It is also much easier to be proactive in health to prevent problems from happening in the first place.

So, the next time you think, “my dog is young,” and “they don’t have any problems yet,” just remember that all dogs, regardless of their age, can benefit from periodic animal chiropractic check-ups. This is especially true of breeds that are known for certain health issues of the spine and other joints such as dachshunds, shih tzus, Labrador retrievers, and German shepherds, as well as fast growing breeds such as Great Danes and Saint Bernards.

Consider animal chiropractic as a complement to your puppy’s regular veterinary care to achieve a higher level of health.

Dr. Erin O’Connor is an AVCA Animal Chiropractor and ACAN Naturopathic Carnivore Nutrition Consultant. She sees patients out of her clinic, Vitality Chiropractic Center in Aurora, as well as Autumn Green Animal Hospital in Geneva. For further information, visit myvitalitychiropractic.com or email Dr. O’Connor at drerinoconnor@myvitalitychiropractic.com.

 

This Saturday (9/30/17) is our 8th Annual Adopt-A-Rama and we are so excited to see adoptable pets find new homes! This event has grown so much over the years and we now have over 20 shelters and rescue that will be attending to educate you on adoption and meet their dogs and cats.

If you already have a pet at home and you want to another, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to go about picking out and introducing a new pet into your home.  Here is a quick checklist of things to look for:

  • Consider the personalities of your existing pet(s), look for a new addition with specific traits. Adopting an older pet has a big advantage – most older pets have already been exposed to other species in their past, which can really streamline the socialization process.
  • If your dog tends to aggressively chase, pin, or otherwise “manhandle” cats, it’s probably best to consider getting another dog instead. And, a cat who constantly growls and bats, or hides from dogs would probably prefer the company of another cat.
  • If you have a pup who loves chasing things, consider avoiding a fearful or shy new addition. This can sometimes trigger a dog to chase.
  • Ignore the old wives’ tail – Bringing a highly energetic, rough-playing pet home could bring “new life” to your existing elderly pet companion. This pairing could actually terrorize or even hurt your older furry friend. Look for an upbeat, but calmer new addition. The extra company can still do wonders for an older animal.
  • Pick a neutral location to introduce your existing pet and the prospective new pet. Pick a somewhat airy, open area that neither pet considers “home turf.”
  • After bringing you new furry friend home, periodically rotate which pet has freedom to roam and which one is more confined for the first few days. This allows each animal plenty of space to investigate the other one’s scent.
  • Never leave two newly-acquainted pets alone together and unsupervised. This should be managed very gradually over about 3-6 weeks.
  • In the case of dogs and cats, the cat will often “claim” higher territory and let the dog “have” the floor spaces. Try adding a few high up perching features (shelves or pieces of furniture) to your living area to help both animals feel comfortable.
  • Don’t hesitate to work with a qualified animal behaviorist who can often suggest very specific and effective strategies for helping new furry family members get comfortable with each other.

If you have other questions about introducing or training a new pet, Allie Bender, owner of Pet Harmony will be on hand at Adopt-A-Rama this weekend to talk to you and answer your questions! We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at Two Bostons, Springbrook from Noon-3:00 pm.

 

Is your dog always scratching or licking a specific spot on his body? Have you gotten x-rays, ruled out allergies, and even tried meds for relief with minimal results? If your dog is paying attention to a particular area of the body, i.e. licking the elbow or wrist, this could be a location of discomfort due to tight muscles. Why? Un-stretched, overused, and taut muscles put stress on the joints all over the body. When joints are stressed, they become painful and eventually damaged.

Dogs have a very unique way of trying to heal sore areas of concern on their own. They will frequently lick or even scratch their sore spots repeatedly. The idea is when they do this to an aching site, it will increase circulation allowing for freshly oxygenated blood flow to repair the area. If they have a tight upper back muscle after say, playing too hard, you may notice them rubbing their back on the floor, or they might use their rear leg to scratch at it. They instinctively know how to self treat, but human hands can do it much better!

If dogs have uncomfortable joints, gentle nibbling and licking stimulates blood flow and warmth, therefore providing temporary comfort. Having a massage therapist check for muscle tightness or imbalances can help alleviate the constant need for them to try to help themselves. Stretching can also help with tight muscles they cannot stretch on their own.

Passive range of motion occurs during massage. When your dog receives massage, the therapist will typically take your dog’s limbs through a comfortable range of motion. When this happens, synovial fluid lubricates the joints making movement there more flexible and less painful.

 

If you feel your dog is otherwise healthy, ruling out flea infestation and skin allergies, here are some common things to look for on your dog if you’re wondering if he might need some soft tissue work:

  • Reddish-brown stains over wrists, ankles, or other joints
  • Frequent nibbling over a specific muscle or joint
  • Scratching a difficult-to-reach area

Keep in mind, if your dog has allergies and is always scratching at an itch, this can generate muscular imbalances. Additionally, if you have a puppy, he is growing at a rapid rate. This makes him feel itchy allover his body! Massage is great for alleviating growing pains and keeps skin and fascia supple and ready for another growth spurt. Remember, massage allows us to focus on whole body health and well-being. It should be utilized as one of your tools in the toolbox to always facilitate healing.

Always be sure to look for a Nationally Certified Canine Massage Therapist to work on your dog. Check out nbcaam.org for a list of practitioners near you or head over to myvitalitychiropractic.com to schedule an appointment with Kristina!

 

We have two NEW products at Two Bostons that I am very excited about, raw turkey necks and chicken backs from Primal!

Raw meaty bones are a natural toothbrush for dogs and cats; when they tear, crunch and rip the meat off of bones it cleans their teeth and massages their gums. The chewing and tearing action also provides mental stimulation, jaw exercise and increased muscle tone. The connective tissue in raw meaty bones promotes joint health.  Which is why my four Bernese Mountain Dogs enjoy raw meaty bones throughout the week.

Turkey necks are thick, bendable and crunchy, they are the perfect size for a medium to large dog. Primal’s turkey necks are raised in the United States without antibiotics or added hormones. They are a great natural source of selenium and zinc. Selenium improves joint health, boosts the immune system and keeps the skin and coat healthy. Zinc is essential for skin and coat health.

Chicken backs are small with soft small bones, they are a great size for small to medium dogs and cats. I give these to my large dogs, but I am fortunate not to have any gulpers. They are not recommended for a dog that would be likely to swallow it whole. Primal’s chicken backs are raised in the United States without antibiotics or added hormones. They are a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin making them great for joint health.

Primal’s raw meaty bones are of benefit to dogs and cats no matter what diet you are currently feeding. They provide teeth cleaning benefits when they eat raw or freeze dried patties or nuggets. When added to a kibble or canned diet, important naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids are provided.

As with any chew, always supervise your pet while they are chewing!

Stop into any Two Bostons store and one of our Team Members can help you pick out the perfect raw bone for your dog to try today. Purchase Primal between 9/17 – 9/23/17 and receive an extra 50 entries into the drawing for the Shopping Spree! For more information about the Shopping Spree visit twobostons.com/spree.