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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

If you look at a wild canine’s teeth, you’ll see clean, white shiny teeth.

Why? They are eating what nature intended, raw meat, bones, and organs of their prey.

If you look at a domestic canine’s teeth, many times you will find tartar buildup, yellow or brown discoloration, inflamed gums, and maybe even some loose teeth.

Why? They are eating food that has no dental benefits. It is a myth that kibble can help control your dog’s tartar. In reality, it will control tartar just as well as trying to clean your own teeth with granola. Many kibbles also contain ingredients such as sugars, carbohydrates, and starches that cause the kibble to stick to a dog’s teeth. These ingredients are also a food source for opportunistic oral bacteria, which will actually cause further tartar to form. Since these foods do not contain live nutrients and many times contain things like preservatives and dyes, they will disrupt normal flora in the body and can lead to tartar that way as well.

Many people view dental disease as a normal process when there is nothing normal or natural about it. The reason this unnatural process is happening is because dogs are eating food that they are not designed to eat. 

Raw food is the natural diet of your dog and it has a variety of benefits, with the focus of this article being to improve or maintain good dental hygiene.

Raw meaty bones are the best option to control tartar as they provide an abrasive, cleaning action on your dog’s teeth. It’s important to emphasize four areas when providing raw meaty bones to your dog.

  1. The bones must be raw. Cooked bones splinter and can cause harm to your pet.
  2. It is important to always supervise, know your dog and choose a size appropriate raw meaty bone for them. If they tent to gulp, the bone needs to be larger than their mouth or head so that they can gnaw rather than gulp.
  3. If your dog is an intense chomper, it is important to not give them a bone that is very dense as this can cause a tooth fracture. Dense bones are those which are weight-bearing bones of adult cattle, such as a marrow bone.
  4. Remember to handle raw meaty bones the same as you handle your own raw meat. Have your dog work on them in an area that you can sanitize such as a create or outside. Do not allow them to run around your house with a raw bone. Refrigerate or freeze the bone if they have more to work on later.

Raw meat contains live enzymes and probiotics. The enzymes help to keep teeth clean by breaking down bacteria on your dog’s teeth. The probiotics found in a raw diet also maintain normal balance and populations of bacterial flora in the mouth. Both also help to retain pH balance, making it less likely that any harmful bacteria can thrive in your dog’s mouth. Furthermore, it does not stick to a dog’s teeth like a dry food.

Healthy teeth & gums of my raw fed German shepherd

In terms of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, nothing compares to a raw diet. A raw diet is a species appropriate diet for our dogs, meaning it is the easiest diet for them to digest and assimilate nutrients from, as it is in the natural state that a dog’s body recognizes and utilizes. Prevention of dental disease is not feeding a kibble diet and doing regular dental cleanings. Rather, prevention is honoring the natural design of our dogs and feeding and caring for them accordingly. Their body will be better able to maintain health the way it was meant to in the first place.

Pictured are my raw feed dogs: Lolo (border collie), Bella (Italian greyhound), and Onyx (German shepherd)

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.

 

Vital Essentials freeze-dried duck heads are a vitamin packed snack for dogs. The beak contains glucosamine and condroitent. The bones are a great source of calcium and phosphorus.

Looking to add vitamins a, b, and taurine to your dogs diet? Look no further than the duck brain…you can pick up one of these awesome snacks for your furry-friend at any Two Bostons location for only $2.99!

Learn more from the video below and see how much Rocket is loving them!!

 

At Two Bostons during the month of January get Weruva Classic Cat Cans for 20% off!!  Spoil your kitty this month and stock up.  This cat food is one of our favorites and can very easily become your cats too!

First, we love their story…named after their three rescued cats, Webster, Rudi and Vanessa the Forman’s were on the search for “The Best Cat Food Under the Sun” and didn’t seem to find what they wanted, so they got the best ingredients from around the world and created WeRuVa! After adopting their dog Baron they started to expand into dog food.

Second, the food is produced in a human food facility…using most of the ingredients and processes that are used in food we consume. Weruva’s base proteins of chicken, beef and fish include only top-quality muscle meat, such as white breast chicken, whole tuna loins and select cuts of beef. Fresh vegetables and other unique items like Grilled skipjack, tilapia, red bigeye tuna and more are added.

Third, when you open a can of Weruva…you will notice that the ingredients maintain a natural look and recognizable texture, so you can see and understand the ingredients!  They start by flaking the fleshy, meaty cuts off the bone and hand place them into the cans. You see what you get!!

Fourth, Grain Free Greatness…All recipes are grain, GMO, MSG and Carrageenan FREE. Because Weluvya Cat Cans is the original in their brand, featuring boneless, skinless white breast meat chicken and fish loins. Chicken formulas are free of fish, and fish formulas are free of chicken.  All are protein focused and low in fat. You can also get a variety of different recipes to keep your kitty loving every meal time!

We hope that you will love Weruva as much as we do.  If you have more questions, feel free to ask any of our educated team members.

 

 

Every year we make a new years resolution and most of the time it has something to do with getting in shape, or making healthier choices. What about doing the same for your pets? Here are 6 simple ways to improve your pets health and wellness this year!

1. Feed a Healthy Diet ~ Wanting our dogs to live a long healthy life is an obvious thing, but in order to do that they need to have the healthiest and most nutritious diet…this means a diet that closely resembles what a dog would eat in the wild. If you ask any of our Team Members we would say that the BEST is a raw diet, but for most this is not doable.  The most important thing to remember when choosing a diet for your dog is that it is GRAIN FREE.

2. Regular Wellness Checks ~ Your dog or cat cannot tell you if something is hurting or if they feel sick. You can do at-home checks on your pets between taking them to the veterinarian.  Most times pet’s are not taken to a veterinarian until an illness has already progressed past the point of stopping or reversing it, so by checking your pets at home you will be able to notice changes that may need to be treated or checked out.  Having a wellness check with a veterinarian twice a year is ideal for healthy pets.

3. Healthy Weight ~ 45% off all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, while 55% of all cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese…this is crazy to me! This usually starts with feeding too much or not the right food. To also maintain a healthy weight see #4! An unhealthy weight can lead to many health issues.

4. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! ~ We need to do it, so why wouldn’t our pets need to, too? Exercise to our pets means taking regular walks, running, chasing, and anything that gets their heart pumping!

5. Be Social ~ I know you don’t sit in your house all day, every day, never going out, talking to people and being social. Again, your pets don’t want to do that either. Let your dogs get out, make friends and be social. Check out some dog parks or bring them to the Breed Socials at Two Bostons!

6. Play, Play, Play ~ Is your dog bored with his toys and getting into more trouble or chewing on things he shouldn’t? Go through your dog’s toys and weed through the ones that are worn, broken, or simply are not played with. Get a new puzzle toy to stimulate your dog’s brain. Or maybe one that you can play together. We have several different toys to choose from, we will help you find the right size and durability for your pup!

We hope that these 6 tips will help you and your pets be even happy and healthier in 2018! Stop in anytime and we can help get you on the right track with food, treats, toys, supplements, leashes, and more!

 

Before the holidays and everything gets to chaotic in the house, take a quick look over these 10 common holiday items that are poisonous to our pets and make sure you don’t have any of them laying around.

  1. Christmas Trees and Wreaths – Christmas trees can cause nausea and vomiting, but are only mildly toxic, but if the large amounts of needles are consumed, this can lead to possible blockage or a GI tract getting punctured. The water from the tree could also contain toxic fertilizers too.
  2. Lilies – These beautiful flowers are extremely poisonous to cats. Just a small leaf or flower petal can cause sudden kidney failure. Daffodils are also poisonous to both cats and dogs.
  3. Grapes, Raisins and Currants – All of these can cause kidney failure in dogs, so don’t leave the fruitcake out for the dogs!
  4. Poinsettias – Most of us have heard that poinsettias are extremely poisonous to our pets, well, this is actually a hoax…you don’t want your pets to eat them, but it is only mildly toxic and will just cause nausea and vomiting.
  5. Chocolate and Cocoa – The chemicals in chocolate and cocoa can be highly toxic to dogs and cats. Small amounts will cause usually lead to vomiting and diarrhea, but a large amount can lead to seizures.
  6. Alcohol – Don’t leave your drinks around for the pups to lick out of…alcohol can be extremely toxic to pets. Their blood sugar and blood pressure can drop severely, cause respiratory issues and all can lead to death.
  7. Xylitol – This is a sugar substitute found in sugarless gum and candy. Cats can usually tolerate Xylitol, it is very toxic to dogs and can lead to low blood sugar and liver failure and then to death.
  8. Holly and Mistletoe –  Holly and mistletoe can vary on how toxic it is, but most are mild, again causing nausea and vomiting and some may cause heart issues.
  9. Fatty Foods – Your dogs and cats may have a taste of chicken or turkey from time to time, but don’t over do it with the fatty foods.  Eating too much can lead to pancreas and liver problems in cats and dogs.
  10. Liquid Potpourri and Snow Globes – We all love our homes smelling amazing and it always gets us in the holiday spirit, but if your pets take a drink of it it can lead to chemical burns and trouble breathing. Snow Globes can contain harmful chemicals, like antifreeze, that is very very poisonous and often leads to death in even small amounts.

Other items to look out for: 

  • Candles can make your pets curious, you don’t want them to get knocked over or get burned.
  • Wires, batteries, plastic and glass can all be deadly if ingested.
  • Tinsel can make cats very curious, but if ingested can lead to blockages and ruptures and expensive surgery.

If you think that your pet may have been poisoned, take them to the veterinarian immediately or call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. By calling you will be billed a consultation fee.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!!

 

 

Before the crowds, dropped food crumbs, and Holiday dinners and parties..stop and pick up some pumpkin for your pup! Why pumpkin you may ask, well pumpkin has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving and only 49 calories. It is loaded with antioxidant-rich Vitamin A and beta carotene, energizing potassium and iron, plus Vitamin C!

And while it is amazing for us, it is also amazing for our pets, I don’t mean the actual raw pumpkin that you dig out on Halloween, but the canned, natural unsweetened pumpkin; pumpkin seeds; and cooked fresh pumpkin have numerous benefits for our furry friends. The same goes for plain, pureed sweet potato. These powerhouse foods can help “squash” a variety of pet-related issues and ailments and support the following areas:

Digestive Health: Thanks to the fiber content, pureed pumpkin and sweet potato (again, not pie filling, but plain with no added sugar or spice, like the can from Fruitables) can help dogs and cats with bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two to their regular meal (in proportion of your pet’s size) has been proven to help keep them regular. Both is also very effective with it comes to calming upset stomachs in puppies and kitties.

Skin, Coat, and Urinary Health: Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, so they help support overall healthy skin and fur. According to several vets that we have talked with, the oils in pumpkin and its seeds can help support urinary tract health over time as well.

Weight Management: If your dog has put on an extra unwanted pound or two, just simply reduce a portion of her breakfast and add in some plain canned pumpkin or sweet potato (such as Fruitables Sweet Potato SuperBlend). They will love the flavor and it will keep them full, all while helping she a couple of extra pounds (I wish it was this easy for us!!).

If you would like to learn more about the pet-related benefits of pumpkin or sweet potato, ask any of our team members and they can give you insights and suggestions specific to your dog and cat. We also have a range of treats, snacks and supplements that feature pumpkin and sweet potato.

 

 

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.