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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It looks like this weekend Summer is going to be heating up…which is a good time to remind pet-parents about the dangers of Heat Stroke in our four-legged friends. Could you imagine wearing a winter coat when it is 90° outside? That is what it is like for them during the summer.

What is Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is a term used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature. If your pet’s body temperature is at 103°F or above, that is considered abnormal or hyperthermic. 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 Stroke?

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 an 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 limit large fluctuations in temperature, you will help avoid the dangers of heat stroke this (and every) summer.

 

 

Open Farm is one of our newest and fastest growing brands! Over the past year they have went from having dog and cat kibble, to having treats, then Freeze-Dried food and now they have Rustic Stews and a recycling program!

Open Farm Rustic Stews is a wet dog & cat food made with 100% human grade ingredients with humanely raised meat, sustainably sourced fish, nutritious veggies and superfoods like coconut oil, pumpkin and turmeric. The best part about this wet food, compared to others is that it comes in a BPA Free, re-sealable tetra pak that are easy to serve and store!

Adding Open Farm Rustic Stew is a great way to increase the moisture content of any kibble, which is important for the overall health of any dog or cat.

Come in between June 1 – 30, 2018 and purchase Open Farm dog or cat kibble and receive a rustic stew tetra pak for free!

Open Farm just keeps everyone on their paws with their new products and new programs. They just released the first nationwide bag recycling program! As part of their environmental program, Open Farm has partnered with TerraCycle, a leader in the recycling industry, to launch the first North American pet food bag recycling program. Finding that 95% of pet food bags were not recyclable, Open Farm set out to find a solution for their packaging. They now provide customers with a free and easy way to recycle their Open Farm bags, converting them into brand new product instead of sending them into the landfill.

Bring in your Open Farm kibble or freeze-dried bags to recycle during the month of June and get a $5 coupon for Open Farm (expires 8/31/18).

Stop into any Two Bostons and we can show you all of the Open Farm line of pet food and treats!

 

At Two Bostons this weekend (5/17 – 5/20) we are having our Annual Toy Buy Back.  For each gently-used toy you bring in you can get up to $5.00 credit to purchase a new toy that day. (click here to see all of the details)  Here are a few toys to consider for Summer Fun!

Orbee GuRu by Planet Dog ~ This new interactive, super durable toy is perfect for the dog that needs a new challenge. Fill each of the 5 openings with something different like kibble, bully sticks, carrots, apples, Planet Dog Treats (like the Turkey Gobbler or Barkin’ Blueberry), peanut butter or a your dog’s favorite treat. The GuRu is designed for your dog to get the treats when enough pressure is applied for them to pop out. It scores a 5 out of 5 on the Durability Scale!

American Classic Plush Toys by P.L.A.Y. ~ Let your dog indulge with an amazing plush burger, drumstick, hot dog and fries this summer! And don’t forget the milkshake for them to wash it down…They are all have crinkly paper inside and most have detachable parts to keep your dog entertained for hours!

 

Tether Tug ~ Check out Beamer trying out the Tether Tug!  This is the perfect outdoor toy to keep your dog busy and active!

 

Breath Right Fetch Ball by Chuckit! ~ The Breath Right Fetch Ball is designed to allow your dog to run farther and fetch longer during playtime. The hollow, mesh-like design allows breathing and airflow while running and fetching. It is great for the pool or lake, because it floats! It is compatible with all Chuckit! Launchers and is available in two sizes.

Ultra Ball Launcher by Chuckit! ~ With this ball launcher you won’t have to worry about arm fatigue, because it will allow you to throw up to 140 feet with the flick of the wrist! Plus, no more getting your hands all slobbery, you can pickup the ball without touching it!

There are several other toys that are sure to keep your dog entertained this Summer, indoors and outdoors!  Check out our full selection online or at any of our stores!

 

 

Does your dog frequent dog parks?

Do you use an over-the-counter flea and tick preventative or on a medication that might cause liver damage?

Does your dog have digestive issues?

If you said YES to any of these, you might want to give Milk Thistle a try!

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean and has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy. In the first century it was documented to be used as a remedy for poisonous snake bites. Now, it is commonly used as an ailment for liver, kidney and gallbladder problems. The seeds in milk thistle contain a flavonoid called silymarin, which protects the liver from toxins. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help the liver repair itself and block the entry of toxins resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

Here are some ways that milk thistle works:

  • Reduces fibriotic activity
  • Strengthens the membranes of liver cells to prevent damage from toxins
  • reduces the action of liver enzymes responsible for causing inflammation of the liver
  • Enhances protein synthesis by increasing RNA activity, and stops absorption of toxins in the liver

Here are some circumstances that Milk Thistle would be beneficial:

  1. Digestive benefits – It prepares the digestive tract to start producing a hormone called gastrin. Gastrin starts the production of gastric acids and bile, which help in digestion and the breaking down of fats in the small intestine. Milk thistle has a mild laxative quality to it that helps to lubricate the stools and prevent both constipation and diarrhea.
  2. Dogs that take Phenobarbital or another medicine to help control seizures caused by canine epilepsy – One side effect of Phenobarbital is possible liver damage. Drugs such as Phenobarbital, when processed through the liver, can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue.
  3. Dogs that frequent dog parks – For dogs that spend time at the parks you are probably using something more than just a topical flea and tick medication. Over-the-counter flea and tick treatments, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix are pesticides and for it to kill and prevent fleas and ticks, the chemicals must enter the blood stream through the liver. Permethrin that is used; for example, can slow down the nervous system. Milk Thistle will help flush the chemicals from the liver and rebuilds those cells that may have been damaged by the pesticide.

We carry Milk Thistle by Herbsmith at all stores. It comes in a 75-gram powder form bottle, and we can order larger bottles upon request. Come in and talk to us anytime if you want to learn more or have other questions!

 

Over the past several weeks we have been talking about getting your dog ready for Spring and Summer, showing you must have products for walks, and outdoor adventures. You might have noticed that we have not mentioned and don’t carry retractable leashes.  Here is why…

Injuries – Retractable leashes can cause injuries to humans and dogs.

Human Injuries: If Fido suddenly jets past you to get that squirrel, the thin-string on retractable leashes can zip across your exposed skin (or your child’s) in less than a second. If the dog’s collar were to suddenly break and come off, the leash cord would retract with such rapid force that it could strike you (or someone else) in the face, teeth, or eyes.

Dog Injuries: When your dog bolts on a retractable leash and they hit the end of it, their back and neck can be seriously injured from being suddenly jerked.

Injuries to Both: The retractable string can get twisted around your hands, another person’s ankle, your dog’s neck and legs, a tail or even a pet’s neck. If your dog senses he’s hog-tied and thrashes around, it can cause the cord to pull tighter. This could lead to a life-threatening situation in a matter of seconds.

Cord Breakage – Many retractable leashes are not strong enough to handle the dog that is attached to them. If a dog bolts or takes off running they can often snap the then line or tape before you even realize what happened. And even worse, the plastic hand-held retractor may come out of your hand and go banging down the pavement after your dog, causing him to panic and rush into traffic or a busy bike path.

Boundaries – Retractable leashes encourage dogs to pull. If we as pet-parents don’t provide consistent boundaries, how is Fido supposed to knowwhat is acceptable? Sometimes with retractable leashes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder they might be given 10 feet. Then, when you only give them a few feet they begin to pull (because normally this results in getting a few more inches or feet, right?) and they are instead “corrected” because you are in a busy area and not behaving well. What?? How confusing for Fido!

Uninvited Meetings – Retractable leashes allow your dog to approach other dogs for an unwanted meet-and greet. This might just lead to an irritated owner, but it could cause the spread of disease, disruption of a healing injury, or even a sudden and aggressive dog fight.

Instead of worrying about injuries, and hoping for good behavior, you can provide guidelines and boundaries that your dog needs and desires to have a great walk with a standard (non-retractable) leash. Ask any of our Team members to show you some dependable, sturdy standard-leash options!

 

 

When the seasons change, it seems that we always want to do some cleaning…we have some awesome products to make sure that your dog and your house get clean this Spring!

Reduce the stress of bath time with this new Aquapaw™ Bathing Tool. It is the first wearable combination sprayer-scrubber giving you total control during bath time.

  • You can ‘Click’ ON and ‘Click’ OFF the water flow with one hand by just making a fist and pressing the button, allowing you to have one hand on your pet at all times
  • One-size-fits-all straps that can quickly and easily be adjusted and worn on either hand
  • Comes with an adapter for either the shower or the garden hose
  • Includes an 8 foot hose

If your house has hard-wood floors and you are constantly looking to see what you can and can’t put on them…we got it!  Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner Dual Action Stain and Odor Remover is specially formulated to safely remove stains and odors from hard surfaces. It has a finish-protect technology that cleans deeply while protecting natural floor coatings on sealed wood, ceramic tiles, vinyl, linoleum, brick, and grout. It will quickly remove stains and the odor-locking technology seeks out, traps and works to destroy the stain and odor.

Don’t let your dog track mud into the house, the Mudbuster™ by Dexas provides you with a quick easy way to get their paws clean. The silicone bristles will remove the dirt and mud from paws, keeping the mess in the MudBuster and not on your floors. It is easy to use:

  • Just add water
  • Insert the muddy paw
  • Do a little twist
  • Dab dry
  • Repeat 3 more paws

The Dirty Dog Doormat is great for this unpredictable Chicago weather.  It will let you welcome your pets inside, while leaving the mess at the door. The mat’s made of super-absorbent microfibers that dry FIVE times faster than most ordinary door mats and it can hold up to 7 times its own weight in water and mud! All the dirt, moisture that is tracked-in will soak themselves in the fibers, then stay locked inside the mat so floors stay clean and dry. You can toss the mat right into the washing machine when it becomes too soiled. The Dirty Dog Doormat is also great insides a dog’s crate, underneath food and water bowls or in the car.

Stop into any Two Bostons store and ask our team member to show you these products and others to keep your pet and your house clean!

 

Is it ever going to feel like Spring outside?!? I am sure our pups are feeling the same way! When it finally warms up and we can enjoy the outdoors, we want to make sure that you and your pups are ready!  Here are a few pointers to make to get your pup out of the house and enjoy a relaxing walk.

1. Collars, Leashes and Harnesses: You want to find a collar that is an appropriate width for the size of your dog. You will also want a leash that is easy to hold and handle. Using a harness to walk your dog is safer and healthier for all dogs, but especially short-faced breeds like Boston Terriers, Pugs, Boxers or Bulldogs. These breeds tend to have necks that are more susceptible to damage when they pull on their collars. Putting a well-fitted harness will be much better for them and will give you more control.

If you have a dog that REALLY pulls (or maybe you want a well-mannered walker) we suggest trying the Freedom No-Pull Harness by 2 Hounds. On the back of the harness there is a control loop, it gently tightens around the chest to discourage your dog from pulling. The harness has four adjustment points and stainless-steel hardware, making it strong enough to hold any dog from 14 to 250+ pounds. They are made in the USA and come in several colors and sizes.

For those of you that like to be hands free while walking, hiking, running or pushing a stroller, we have the perfect leash for you!  Ruff Wear has two leashes: Flat Out and Roamer Leashes.  They can both be converted from a hand-held leash to a waist worn leash with a quick adjustment. They also have a traffic handle positioned close to the E-Z snap hook that lets you take control and rein in your pup.

2. Poop Bags: Let’s face it, they do it! So be prepared…we have several different poop bags and poop bag holders to choose from. There is the regular plastic bag cylinder shaped bag holder, or the more fashionable poop bag carriers. Both kinds will attach to the top of the leash, so they are out of the way but there when you need them!

3. Hydration: If you are just going out for a quick walk around the block you probably don’t need to worry about taking water with you, but if you are on a longer walk or it is a really hot summer day, you will want to make sure you keep your pup hydrated! We have a few different options for you to choose from.

The Gourd Water Bottle & Bowl is perfect for on-the-go people that like to take their dogs along! You can take one water bottle for you and the dog! You drink from the top and just detach the bowl at the bottom and pour water in for your pup. It holds 24 ounces of liquid and the detachable bowl hold 8 ounces. It is also Dishwasher Safe.

4. Pet Corrector: Does your dog act like he hasn’t been out of the house for a year when you start your walks. This can help turn your hyperactive, loud and possibly aggressive dog into a well-behaved pup. The Pet Corrector is a hiss of compressed gas, that is completely safe for animals. Using the spray interrupts your dog’s unwanted behavior and grabs his attention. You control the blast of air, so you can respond to the bad behavior immediately.

Have a fun Spring and Summer enjoying the outdoors with your favorite pup!  If you need help with any supplies or have questions about any of the products mentioned, stop in or call any time!

With the snow almost gone (hopefully) and the grass getting green, you might be noticing some burnt spots on the grass. We have just the thing to prevent your dog from making those spots all over your lawn.

Well first, do you know what causes these patches? Dog urine contains a variety of nitrogen compounds and too much nitrogen will burn the grass and thus create those yellow patches in your year.  And guess what? One of the main ingredients in lawn fertilizer is nitrogen.  So, when your dog relieves himself in the same spot over and over again – it’s like putting a handful of fertilizer on that spot over and over.

So how can you fix the problem, you ask?  We have two ways to help you with this…1. Make sure your dog is on a high-quality food so that they are processing their nutrients correctly.  2. Dog Rocks® – yes…it’s real, Dog Rocks®!

Dog Rocks® are a 100% Natural Australian product that will save your lawn from those nasty burn patches.  They work by binding the excess nitrogen in the drinking water your dog a better quality of water.  (that will help your lawn ~ remember the main ingredient in fertilizer?) The rocks contain zeolite traces which are often used in aquariums to filter water safely and naturally.

All you do is put them in your dog’s water…yes it really is that simple! Just open the bag, rinse the rocks off, place in your dog’s water dish and top off the water to refill rather than start fresh every time.

And if you have a dog that loves to take them out and play with them…no worries!  Just fill a pitcher with water and put the rocks in there.  That way you can use the water from the pitcher every time you fill the bowl and you will still be able to reap the benefits of the rocks.

They work rather quickly…usually within the first 24 hours you will notice your pet will stop leaving new lawn burns.  (Your current brown patches will not go away overnight…you will still need to nurse those back to health, but at least you won’t have any NEW ones!)

Dog Rocks® are safe for any pet sharing your dog’s water bowl (such as cats, rabbits, etc.).  And again, they are all natural…no yeast like in other lawn burn prevention products.  Landscapers have been known to endorse Dog Rocks®, because the appropriate level of nitrogen in your dog’s urine can help your lawn!

We carry Dog Rocks® two package sizes.  The small package is a 2-month supply and the large package is a 6-month supply.  You should use the rocks year-round too, since your dog will continue to burn your lawn in every season…you just don’t always see your lawn!

You can also visit the Dog Rocks website for more information and some great tips!

 

The Easter Bunny will be hopping in to leave a basket full of goodies in a couple weeks…do you have everything you need to fill your favorite furry-friends basket? Here are our favorite items to fill your pups Easter Basket with this year!

Petlou Easter Toys – These plush toys are perfect for your pup to cuddle, toss, or just carry around! They are made from extra soft plush materials and will crinkle, and squeak.

Bows – Dress her up in bows! They are the perfect accessory for Easter or any special day!

Long & Lovely Spring Toys – The Rooster, Duck and Bunny are sure to give your pup hours of fun with 5 squeakers! They are super durable with no external seams and machine washable.

Easter Bunny Bakery Treat – Every pup has to have their own over-sized Easter Bunny Treat to munch on for a few days!

Hide-An-Egg Burrow – Dogs will love burrowing into the Hide-An-Egg to retrieve colorful little squeaky eggs.

Ruff-Tex – If you have a chewer at home, this is the toy for them! Flexible, stretch-able, bounce-able and durable for hours of fun.

Bakery Treats – These Easter themed bakery treats will add a fun to any Easter Basket, and your dogs will be thanking you for the sweet treats!

Hatchables – This toy is about to hatch! This is two toys in one…your pup can play catch with the egg or work the animal out of its fuzzy shell. You can also keep this egg-cellent toy in full form and use it as a treat dispenser.

Long & Lanky Spring Toys – These animals are ready for Spring! The Long & Lanky Duck, Bunny and Rooster are full of squeakers. Constructed with a 3 layer design and double reinforced seams. Designed perfectly for tug time.

Egg-Noggins – This colorful squeaky plush egg toy comes in six fun designs!

 

All of these fun Easter and Spring products can be found on our website by clicking here!

 

According to a study by AAA and Best Western International, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their cats and dogs with them when they travel. Are you taking your pet with you on a road-trip for Spring Break or Summer Vacation? Before you go, here are 10 tips while planning your trip!

  1. Try it out. Before taking a long road trip, make sure you know how your pet responds to car rides. Does she get car sick? Anxious?
  2. Buckle up. Make sure that your trip is safe by restraining your furry-friend with a pet seat belt, car seat or travel crate. Each year about 30,000 accidents are caused by a unrestrained dog in the front seat, according to the AAA. Pets wondering the vehicle are a distraction to the driver and can be injured in the even of an accident.
  3. Keep heads inside. Your dog (like most) may love to stick his head out the window, but according to the ASPCA, riding this way could cause ear damage or expose your dog to lung infections.
  4. Pit Stops. Your pets should get out every 2-3 hours and go to the bathroom and get a little exercise.  Make sure to look at your route for pet-friendly stops along the way.
  5. Hydrate. Our pets need to stay hydrated while traveling, have a gallon of water along with a travel bowl on hand at all times.
  6. Don’t leave them alone. On a day that is just 70-degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in 10 minutes, which can be deadly.
  7. Prepare. Take your pet’s medical records along in case of an emergency. And make sure that you pet has an ID tag on their collar at all times with your cell phone number.
  8. Thundershirt. If your pet gets nervous when traveling, consider getting a Thundershirt. These snug-fitting shirts target pressure points to help calm them. You can also get Happy Travelers for a safe drug-free option for pet that suffer from anxiety.
  9. Comfort. Bring a familiar blanket/bed and toy along to help your pet feel more at home during the trip.
  10. Hotels. Book pet-friendly hotels, and make sure your destination allows your four-legged friend. GoPetFriendly.com can help you plan your road trip!

Two Bostons has several pet-travel products to make your trip fun and safe.  Check out all of the products on our Travel Gear page, you can also come in and we can help get you everything you will need!