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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

If you read our last blog, you’ll already know the basics about what to expect when you’re trying to get your pets through TSA security and on the plane. If you missed it, you can check it out here (x).

Keep in mind, knowing what’s expected of your pets by airports and airlines is only half the battle. Yes, you need your pets to be in carriers, but what type of carriers? What about leashes? Harnesses? I.D. Tags? It all seems overwhelming, especially since you don’t want to bring “the wrong thing” and get denied entry. Here’s the good news: it’s not as hard as you think.

The Right Leash

Remember that no matter what size your pet is, at some point they’ll need to be on a leash to make it through security; even if they’re in a carrier. With all the extra stimuli airports have, you need to be especially cautious about things that could spook your pet–the last thing you want is your furry friend running wild through an airport! The key is having something reliable and short so you have firm control at all times. Do not use a retractable leash. You can check out our blog about why we never recommend them, but the shorthand is this: they’re at a higher risk of breaking, and also there is no reason to allow your pet to have “extra space to roam” when keeping them close to you needs to be a top priority.

That might sound a bit harsh, but we cannot stress enough that this is way different from a walk in the park. As we said before, your pet could bolt, but also keep in mind that despite your dog being friendly and harmless, there could be people who are afraid of them or simply don’t know how to properly greet a dog. Not only are leashes a matter of safety, but common courtesy, as well.

We’re proud to say that all of the leashes we carry are safe and dependable. For this specific situation, we love the “Flat Out Leash” by Ruffwear because it’s strong, durable, and the perfect length for keeping tight control over your dog. It can be held like a regular leash or buckled around your waist for hands-free control. This option also has a short traffic handle that can be used when you need to keep your pet extra close. We also have a great selection of leads by Up Country and The Worthy Dog with fun patterns and matching collars to travel in style! Which brings us to our next point…

Harnesses and Collars

A harness, in general, is great for taking your dog out. Since it wraps around the chest and torso, it relieves pressure on the neck vs. using a collar and leash alone. In short: you have more control and your dog feels comfy, it’s a win-win for both of you!

Remember that just because your dog is in a harness doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a collar as well. It’s crucial for all pets to have a collar since that’s what’ll hold the I.D. tag, which should have your pet’s name, address, and best phone number to reach their “pawrents”.

Don’t let the name fool you–Worthy Dog also makes cat collars!

Carriers

When finding the right carrier, always make sure it’s “TSA Approved”. Typically, this is going to be a collapsible carrier that gives your pet enough room to stand up, lay down, and turn around. This allows for easier storage on the plane under the seat–plus, it can be a little more comfy for your furry friend! When in doubt, look for the “TSA APPROVED” seal of approval when you’re out shopping and always check the guidelines of your specific airline.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever traveled with your pet and how it went! And be sure to check back next Wednesday for our final installment of Surviving Airports With Pets!

Whether you’re a newcomer or have been with us for years, you’ve probably caught on that we’re pretty picky about what we sell at Two Bostons. If you ask any of our Team Members what we look for in a product, you’ll always get the same answer: we don’t sell anything we wouldn’t feel 100% comfortable giving our own pets. But that’s just the shorthand answer. We love brands that are more than just brands. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that just about everyone we work with shares our same core values of improving the lives of pets and their people, and Green Juju Kitchen is certainly no exception.

So what is Green Juju? Well, aside from being fun to say, it’s sort of like a health smoothie for dogs that’s great for their immune systems, joint health, coat, and overall bodily health. Simply take a spoonful and mix it with their usual meal (it’s a topper, not a replacement for what they usually eat!). There are two different blends to choose from:

The “Just Greens Blend“, which contains 100% organic celery, zucchini, kale, dandelion greens, parsley, bison bone broth, coconut oil, lemon, turmeric, and ginger.

The “Baily Blend“, which contains 100% organic cucumber, green cabbage, broccoli, turkey bone broth, cilantro, chard, coconut oil, blueberries, turmeric, and lemon. 

Everything is sourced from local farmers, and every cup is prepared by hand for a little touch of love and care. When you open it up, you’ll even see that you recognize pretty much everything in there, so it won’t feel like you’re giving your dog some sort of mystery mush.

The next question is: will dogs really eat this stuff? Yes! We definitely understand why you might feel skeptical, and the truth is, even we were a little at first, too. After all, when you think dogs you think steak, not organic cucumbers, broccoli, and green cabbage. At the same time, you don’t exactly think kids + broccoli, cucumbers, and green cabbage, either, but we still manage to get them to eat it! All jokes aside, a lot of our Two Bostons regulars have come in and told us what their dogs thought, and the majority were pleasantly surprised. 

Green Juju is so successful because it wasn’t developed by humans who one day decided to give their dogs some veggies and see what happened. It was developed by pet parents with extensive professional experience in canine nutrition for owner Kelley Marian’s dog Bailey, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Since Bailey was already weakened from her illness, Marian knew she most likely wouldn’t survive the surgeries and treatments needed to get healthy, so she decided to take a holistic approach instead. The fruits and vegetables provided the extra vitamins she needed that couldn’t be obtained from meat alone, and soon, Bailey’s immune system was strong enough so she could get the surgery to be cancer-free. After having such great success with her own dog, Marian knew she couldn’t keep it to herself, and thus Green Juju was born.

That’s what puts the “Juju” in Green Juju. Its a product and brand whose roots go deeper than soil–it sprouted from love and has been made with heart ever since.

Image courtesy of greenjujukitchen.com

 

It’s no secret that flying is way faster than driving. But if you want to travel with your pet, does that mean you’re doomed to keep your feet–or tires–on the ground forever? Definitely not. Flying with pets is very, very possible. The real question is: do we recommend it? Yes and no. No matter what, traveling with animals can be tricky. Airports can definitely be tougher for pets than cars because there’s so much extra stimulus and unfamiliarity.

That being said, for all of you who have your eyes to the skies, we’ve got everything you need to know to help make pet travel as painless as possible with our brand new traveling tips series! But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the most important part of airport traveling:

Following TSA & Airline Guidelines

The number one rule of traveling with your pets is to never assume you know everything. For those of you who have traveled before, you know that airports are constantly changing procedures and rules. Yes, the changes might be small (seriously, do you want us to put our backpacks in bins or not???) but that small change can be the difference between whether or not you’ll get on your flight. That’s why you should always check to make sure you’re up to date on all rules and regulations. We’ll provide links to the official TSA sites, but here’s the gist (as of 3/22/2019):

Getting Screened

  • Smaller pets must be in hand held carriers at all times except for the x-ray tunnel where you must remove your pet from the carrier and carry them through the human checkpoint.
    • TIP: Have a leash ready to put on your pet as soon as they are out of the carrier–yes, even for cats. Even though you’ll be carrying your pet, it’s a good safety measure in case they get spooked. TSA officials will not make you remove anything that helps control/identify an animal.
  • Larger dogs may walk with you, as long as they are on a leash at all times.
  • You may be subject to extra screening such as a hand swab to make sure there is no residue of explosive devices.
  • Return your pets to their carriers at the re-composure areas away from the screening point.
    • TIP: If you are ever unsure of anything then ask for help! TSA officials will be more than happy to assist however you need.
  • TSA regulations for service dogs and animals.
  • TSA screening process for animals.

Airline Guidelines

Hooray! You got your pets through the scary metal detectors! The next step is getting them on the plane. Remember that all airlines have different rules, so it’s crucial to do your research. You can’t just show up at the gate with a pet and expect to be let on board. When you initially buy your ticket, you’ll have to make sure you book a spot for your pet, too. If you are at all unsure of whether or not you’ve done this right, it’s always a good idea to call the airline’s helpline.  Every airline is different in terms of in-flight rules and regulations, so we strongly encourage you to do as much research as possible beforehand. Here are links to the regulations for the four major domestic airlines:

TIP: ALWAYS go to the airline’s official website to learn about what is and isn’t allowed on their planes. And when in doubt? Print it out! If anyone questions you, have copies of any receipts or pages from their direct website stating that you’re complying with all the rules.

We cannot stress this enough: follow all the rules! They really will make the difference between stress and success.

To learn about finding the right leashes, harnesses, and carriers, check out out Part II here (x)!

It’s that dreaded time of year again: coyote season; when everyone has a horror story about their friend’s brother’s dog who got snatched up in the middle of the night. The thought of your own pet succumbing to such a fate can definitely stir up some anxiety, but we’re here to help ease your mind a bit with some easy tips and tricks to help prevent anything bad happening to your loved ones.

Don’t Leave Food Out

  • Bring in all of your pet’s food and water dishes.
  • Thoroughly clean your grill after every use. Predators can smell the hamburgers you cooked at the family BBQ even after you’ve eaten them all!
  • Be cautious with compost. Avoid adding meat, bones, and any whole foods to your compost piles. Many predators–like coyotes–are opportunistic eaters.
  • Clean up any fruit dropped on the ground from trees. Yes, coyotes will even go after those crab apples! This will also help get rid of smaller pests like flies.
  • Be sure that all trash bins are completely covered and minimize the time they are left outside.

Always Supervise Pets

  • Like many predators, coyotes are nocturnal, so keep an especially close eye on pets from dusk until dawn.
  • Cats are more at risk than dogs because they are more likely to roam around outside, unsupervised, and their size makes them ideal prey for coyotes. The safest lifestyle for a cat is to be kept indoors at all times, however, at the very least be sure your cats are inside at night. 
  • Keep bathroom breaks as brief as possible.
  • ALWAYS have your dog on a leash–preferably a shorter one so you have more control if they try to run. We suggest the Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruffwear. It’s 6 ft in length, which is plenty of space for your dog to wander, but not enough so that you wouldn’t be able to control them if the situation called for it. It’s also super strong, so you know it won’t snap if they run.
  • Try to avoid evening walks, or stay in well-lit, highly populated areas.
  • Don’t let your guard down just because you have a fence. Coyotes have been known to jump fences that are 6 feet tall. Many experts suggest installing rollers on the top and regularly checking to make sure there are no weak spots or holes.

Hazing 

One of the best preventative measures you can take is by hazing coyotes whenever you see them–and no, that doesn’t mean telling them to do a keg stand. “Hazing” is essentially the process of keeping predators from getting comfortable in your backyard. If you were looking at a new house but saw that the neighbors were loud and obnoxious, would you want to move there? Definitely not!

HAZING DOES NOT MEAN HURTING ANIMALS

Hazing is the act of safely scaring an animal away. Unless your life is being threatened and there are no other options, there is absolutely no reason to attack or injure an animal.

  • Always keep a safe distance, and never approach a coyote or other wild animal.
  • Never turn your back or try to outrun a coyote. They have the ability to run 40 MPH (Humans average around 15 MPH).
  • Make yourself seem BIG! Stand up straight, raise your arms and wave them, hold a coat about your head, etc.
  • Create a simple “Safety Shaker” by putting pebbles, pennies, or bolts into a soda can and sealing it with duct tape.
  • Keep your home and yard well-lit–especially during nighttime bathroom breaks with your dog.
  • If you see a coyote and you’re inside, open a window and yell, clap, or make any sort of loud noise to scare it away. Remember: you don’t want them to feel comfortable.
  • Tell your neighbors you’ve seen coyotes in the area, and encourage them to haze them, as well. Team work is always effective!

It’s scary to see any sort of threat to your furry family members. Just remember that as long as you stay cautious, smart, and calm, you’ll be able to keep your pet safe from harm.

 

Summer (especially around the 4th of July) can be very stressful, especially if the furry family member gets anxiety during these hectic months. Does your pet have anxiety or stress from thunderstorms, fireworks, separation, travel, or their crate? Or do they show symptoms of stress and anxiety by excessive barking and whining, shaking, panting, drooling, clawing, hyperactivity, digging, hiding, or clinging? If your pet has any of these symptoms, Two Bostons has the solution for you!

Thundershirt: This amazing invention takes just a few minutes to put on and a visible difference can be seen in minutes! The Thundershirt is a lightweight, machine-washable spandex and Velcro wrap that works by exerting gentle, constant pressure all around your pet’s rib cage. After putting it on it provides direct feedback to your dog or cats brain – just like when you swaddle a new born baby.

The Thundershirt works…A survey of customers reports an impressive 85% success rate among pets experiencing anxiety or stress.

Anxiety and Stress Calming Supplements ~ These supplements paired with the Thundershirt can work wonders for your pets.

Happy Traveler by Ark Naturals: This was designed by a holistic veterinarian and PhD herbal scientist to ease anxiety and motion sickness. This is a great option for a quick fix…think of it like taking an aspirin for a headache. The active ingredients in Happy Traveler include Valerian, German Chamomile, L-Tryptophan and St. John’s Wort, all well-known herbs for their calming effects. It comes in pill form or chews and is a safe, non-toxic option for your dog or cat. Results most often can be seen in 45 minutes.

Rescue Remedy by Bach: Bach is a trusted name in natural remedies and this is a variation of the original stress relieving remedy that has been available for more than 70 years. Rescue Remedy contains a blend of five flower remedies: Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, and Rock Rose in an alcohol-free formula, ideal for sensitive pets. The dropper allows you to easily administer it to your pet. For best results, simply place four drops into your pet’s mouth. Or you can add the drops to food, water, treats or even rub it into your pet’s nose, paws or ears.

July Third by Herbsmith: An immediate calming supplement for dogs. The herbs in July Third help keep your pet calm by promoting a sense of relaxation naturally. The B vitamins and amino acids help regulate mood and support a normal emotional balance. All the active ingredients in this immediate calming supplement provide fast-acting, natural tranquilizers that will keep your dog calm for a brief period of time. For best results give your pet the recommended amount of chews a couple hours before the stress is expected to occur.

Help your pet (and you) have a stress-free Summer with a natural calming supplement and Thundershirt! Stop in today and we can answer any questions you might have, show you a Thundershirt and find the best solutions for your furry-friends!

 

 

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!

 

As April and National Canine Fitness Month is coming to an end, I thought I would give you some canine fitness tips and ideas to keep your dog active all year long!

First, the most important thing with canine fitness is maintaining a consistent routine! It is not only good for our dogs, but for us too. So, you might ask, what does consistent look like? Well, I think that it is different for everyone. Getting a daily exercise in might be almost impossible because of our busy lives, but it is recommended that our four-legged companions get 3 – 4 workouts per week.

Here are some fitness activities to try out:

Get Walking!  The most obvious and easiest exercise for most.  The fresh air is always good for you and your dog! Check out our Weekly Walks that start on May 3, 2018 at Two Bostons, Downtown Naperville!

Active Play. Throw a ball, Frisbee, or another fetch toy in a safe environment.  Run or jog with your pet to retrieve it to get some exercise yourself!

Hide and Seek. Place your pet’s daily allowance of treats behind doors, under bowls and chairs or around the yard for them to run and find.

Yoga! While doing Yoga, incorporate some of your pet’s obedience skills. When you go into cobra, ask your dog to lie down, when you move into downward dog, have him sit.

Obstacle Courses. Creating an obstacle course inside or outside with a small amount of equipment, like using cones, chairs, pool noodles will create a fun workout for both you and your dog.

Shadows. Many of our dogs are our shadows, following us around everywhere we go. Take advantage and encourage them to participate when you put on a cardio or yoga video. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them to do the same.

The key is to make movement fun for both of you, to develop a healthier lifestyle and bond with your four-legged family members!