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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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 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!!

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

The statistics are staggering: Between 25%-35% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. And this epidemic is more than just a cosmetic issue. Cats are more likely to suffer from arthritis, respiratory disease, and diabetes, among the conditions. These ailments lead to a worsening quality of life, shorter life span, and more expensive medical bills. As the adage goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pond of cure’, so is true in providing the proper nutrition to your cat. But, with so many options available, choosing the right food for weight management or loss can be daunting enough.

This article, however, will not focus on what is the best food to feed. Creating an ideal feeding plan might be more important than the food choice itself. Consider some of these ‘cat-raptions’:

 

  • A measuring cup can be the simplest tool available to help guide your cat on the pathway to weight loss and takes the ‘guesstimate’ work out on how much to feed. Filling the bowl to the brim and approximating with a ‘handful’ are not acceptable options!  You may be surprised by how much you are really overfeeding your cat. 
  • An automatic feeder can be your best friend, especially if you are not home for hours at a time, or if your cat is an early-riser who pesters you for breakfast. Instead of filling the bowl with a copious supply of kibble, precise amounts of food can be released at various intervals making sure your can does not go hungry. Placing the feeder in an empty bedroom or extra bathroom will make you feel less guilty as your cat ‘pesters’ the automatic feeder rather than you for food.
  • A variety of commercial ‘food puzzles’ (even homemade ones) may be used to not only provide your cat with physical stimulation during feeding, but also contribute to their emotional well being. These puzzles are essentially an object that releases small amounts of food when your cat interacts with them. Cats are natural predators in the wild and will eat multiple small meals per day. Allowing your cat to express their natural instincts at the same time they are ‘foraging’ for food might be as beneficial to their welfare as it is for weight loss.
  • Having multiple cats should not be a roadblock to weight loss! Consider these options: meal feeding, feeding in separate rooms or at different heights, or using a NekoFeeder. This neat device provides ideal weight cats consistent access to their food while keeping those ‘dieting’ cats away. Only cats that wear an electronic key collar are allowed access to the feeder. For more information visit www.nekofeeder.com.

Finally, don’t forget to ask your cat’s veterinarian for advice, an often underutilized resource in feline dietary management! Your veterinarian is also a trusted source to determine the best diet as he/she has received formal training in nutrition as part of their medical education.

Wheatland Animal Hospital is located at 24041 W. 103rd St., Naperville, IL 60564. They can be reached at (630) 904-2020 or visit their website at www.wheatlandanimalhospital.com.

 

 

 

It’s pretty amazing how often we at Two Bostons hear about dogs with digestive issues. From pickiness and anal gland problems to vomiting and diarrhea, almost every dog is bothered by at least one of these problems at some stage of their lives.

If your dog has digestive issues, or if you are looking to be proactive in preventing them, a quality diet is a great place to start. Talk to any Team Member at Two Bostons and find out why the foods we carry, from kibble to dehydrated and raw, are some of the best available. Plus, our Free Food Faster™ program can save you money on pet food!

In addition to feeding your dog a high-quality diet, consider adding a new supplement with some pretty astonishing digestive benefits. Introducing Flora4 100% Raw Organic Sprouted Seeds! Sounds like crunchy granola, right? But just wait till you hear about what this stuff can do!

  • First, Flora4 contains NO synthetic enzymes or probiotics. All enzymes and probiotic strains are food-based and occur naturally. So, you’ll see a very short and pronounceable ingredient list on the bag, which we always like!
  • If you serve your dog plain raw meat or meat you’ve cooked yourself, adding Flora4 will complete the vitamin and mineral profile dogs require.
  • It can help with scooting, constipation and diarrhea, because of its combination of soluble fiber and intense levels of LIVE probiotics.
  • Flora4 can help with skin and coat conditions due to therapeutic levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • If your dog has recently had surgery or has gone off solid food, Flora4 can be added to goat’s milk or bone broth to help restore balance of good gut bacteria. It’s also very effective in re-establishing healthy gut bacteria levels after an antibiotic treatment.
  • If your dog is diabetic or has yeast issues, Flora4 is a great alternative to pumpkin for a digestive aid, since it’s a low glycemic and low sugar product.
  • Flora4 can also help reduce hairballs in cats with its enzymes and fiber.

This product is suitable for grain-free diets, and you can try it out in a 1.5 oz packet or an 18 oz bag. The small packets are great for travel, and Flora4 itself is a ground, powder-like product that’s easy to sprinkle onto pet’s food. Come try it soon and see what it can do to keep your pet’s digestive system running smoothly! It’s Maple-approved, too!

Forget about Christmas, this is the actual best time of the year. The smell of fresh cut grass, the beautiful colors in our gardens, the warm weather, the list goes on and on for us.

For our pets, mainly dogs, this time of the year is great too! Longer walks, more time at the dog park, all the squirrels running around and OH WAIT, WHAT WAS THAT? FIREWORKS?!?!?! To us loud unexpected noises are little more than a nuisance, but to our furry family members they can be extremely scary. Many try to run and hide in a dark corner of the house, jump on their owners lap for protection or even scarier – run out of their own yard because they are so disoriented.

My Moe, at the first sign of a thunderstorm or fireworks, will get up from wherever he is and hide under the desk in our spare room if I forget to give him Happy Traveler beforehand. I give it to him about an hour before the storm hits or before I know fireworks will be starting. Since it helps keep him calm for 4-6 hours, I usually only have to give him one dose. If there is a storm all day I give him a dose every 5 hours. Happy Traveler calms my guy down without making him groggy or out-of-it. L-Tryptophan, Valerian root, chamomile and St. John’s Wort are the natural calming ingredients that are safe for cats and dogs 12 weeks and older. On stormy days Happy Traveler naturally helps my Moe stay calm and confident.

For stronger storms I give him a little extra Happy Traveler to keep him calm and make sure his favorite penguin toy is nearby for added comfort. That’s what is so awesome about his product! Since it’s all natural you can adjust the dose as needed after an hour if the recommended dose isn’t quite enough for your pet.

Happy Traveler is such a versatile product because it can help in situations that you might not have thought of. I give my Daphne Happy Traveler before nail trims to keep her calm. Nail trims still aren’t her favorite, but the process is quicker because she isn’t as scared of the situation. If you avoid car rides with your pet because they get sick, Happy Traveler can help with their motion sickness. Your pet’s anxiety of being left alone while you’re at work can also be relieved by Happy Traveler. That means your pet could be a good boy or girl and not chew on your furniture while you’re gone because they don’t know how to relieve their anxiety any other way.

If you’ve noticed situational anxiety in your pet, Happy Traveler is a great product to try out. Many team members here at Two Bostons use it for our own pets and we would be happy to share our experiences with you! We hope you and your pets have a great anxiety-free summer!

 

 

 

Wow it has been HOT, especially for the beginning of Summer…and I am sure that it will continue to be hot throughout the summer. I thought that this would be a great time to remind you about the very real dangers of Heat Stroke to our four-legged friends. Could you imagine wearing your winter coat right now? That is what it is like for them during the summer.

 

What is Heat Stroke? 

Heat stroke is a term used for hypothermia or elevated body temperature. If your pet’s body temperature is at 103°F or above that is considered abnormal or hypothermic. When the body temperature reaches 106­°F without previous signs of illness and is most commonly associated with exposure to excessive heat that is often referred to as heat stroke.

What Causes Heat Stoke? 

Many people believe that heat stroke is limited to when a dog is confined in a small or enclosed place during high temperatures, such as a car. Yes, this can be the most common cause but there are also many others. Your dog can be affected by moving from cool places (like the A/C in the house or car) to outside. Extreme exercise and outdoor play can induce heat stroke as well.

What are the Symptoms of Heat Stroke?

  • Unexplained Restlessness
  • Excessive Panting
  • Fluctuating Panting
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Foaming at the Mouth
  • Dry or Tacky Gums
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Agitation, Whining, Anxiety

If you notice any of the signs listed above, work quickly to cool your dog and get in touch with your Vet as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke?

The number one way to prevent heat stroke is PLENTY of WATER! Shade is also a must if you are outside in the heat for extended periods of time. It is also important to limit your walks and play outside to the early morning and late evening hours. Having a Gulpy Water Dispenser by Kyjen is a easy way to keep your pup hydrated while out on hot days!

Remember dogs don’t release heat from their bodies as well as humans do. Heat stroke is a very real (and sometimes fatal) risk this time of year. By keeping your furry friend cool, giving access to plenty of water, and taking care to limit large fluctuations in temperature, you will help avoid the dangers of heat stroke this (and every) summer.