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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It’s the time of year again that so many pets and their parents dread: fireworks season. Sudden loud noises and bright lights paired with the occasional busy BBQ is a recipe for disaster for many animals. In fact, the #1 day that animals go missing is July 4th. Luckily, your pets have you as a parent, which means that as the season comes and goes, you’ll be able to keep your cats and dogs comfortable in their home!

The first step to helping your pet’s anxiety is identifying it. We’d like to invite all pet parents to read this portion, even if you don’t consider your pet to be anxious, as oftentimes anxiety can be confused for behavioral issues. What’s important to remember is that like humans, no two animals manifest their emotions in the same way. Look for abnormal behaviors. Did your potty trained dog suddenly start peeing on the couch? Did your cuddly cat hiss when you tried to pet them? Your animals aren’t just suddenly doing bad things just to annoy you. They’re trying to tell you something! (Keep in mind that behavioral changes could correlate to a variety of issues and to contact your vet if you think your pet is ill.)

When we think “anxious dog or cat”, we picture our beloved furbabies cowered in a corner shaking and whimpering, but oftentimes that is not the case. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Destructive behavior such as chewing and scratching or unusual amounts of damage to toys or other items
  • Social withdrawal, hiding, and aggression
  • Excessive barking/meowing
  • Shaking, panting, and drooling
  • Suddenly becoming clingy (it might feel like a good thing but make sure your pet is getting lovey dovey for the right reasons!)
  • Peeing/pooping/vomiting around the house

If you recognize any of these symptoms in your own pet, don’t worry as there are plenty of ways you can help! What’s important now is figuring out what their triggers are and doing what you can to help minimize their stress.

Sudden loud noises tend to be a pretty universal cause of anxiety in pets, but if you think about it; a lot of humans feel the same way! We’ve all been startled before. The only difference is that after that initial jump, we typically find an explanation for the noise and can be on guard for it again. Animals, on the other hand, don’t have that luxury. While you can’t get rid of things like fireworks and thunderstorms, there are still options to make them less scary.

PRO TIP: Rather than treating your pet’s anxiety right when or after the fireworks/storms/etc. start, try to prepare them at least a 45 minutes – 1 hour ahead of time, if possible. Having your pet go into a stressful situation already somewhat relaxed is going to be more effective than waiting until the last minute. Think about it as if it’s a headache: it’s easier to manage if you take an Advil the second you feel your head start to get sore rather than waiting until it’s at its worst to do anything!

Thundershirt

The Thundershirt is the product you’ve heard a ton about but probably haven’t tried yet! We know that was the case for a lot of our Team Members when they first started out, but now most of them (along with a little over 85% of users) absolutely swear by it! The concept is simple: soft fabric creates a swaddling effect to make your pet feel safe and secure. Think of it like a hug! We currently sell them online (click here to order now!) but you can also come into any of our stores to grab one of your own. Our Team will even help make sure you pick the right size!

 

 

CBD

There’s a lot we love about CBD, but one of our favorite things is that it works wonders when it comes to anxiety. Keep in mind, though it is made from the hemp plant, there is absolutely no THC. It also won’t turn your pet into a drooling zombie! What it will do is gently ease your pet into a state of calm. Some of our regulars have also reported pets taking the best naps of their lives! There are a lot of different options to choose from, but a great place to start is the Full Spectrum CBD oil by Super Snouts. We have it online to order here, but we also carry it in our stores where you can also get a free personalized consultation from a member of our Team!

Another great CBD option to try is Treatibles. Just like the name suggests, they’re bite-sized hard chews for dogs and cats that are infused with hemp oil! They come in three flavors–turkey, blueberry, and pumpkin–so even picky pets will find something they love. Like the oil, you can grab a pack in our stores or order them online!

Herbal Remedies

Have you ever felt relaxed after drinking a cup of tea or lighting your favorite candle? That’s exactly what supplements can do! Companies like Herbsmith and Earth Animal–yes, the brand with the yummy No-Hides!–have special blends of herbs that can help naturally relax your pet. You’ll find things like chamomile and lavender as some of the ingredients. Typically they come in the form of drops or chews, and if you choose to go the drops route, you might find that just the scent leaves you feeling more relaxed!

If you’re looking for drops, “Calm Down” drops by Earth Animal have always had the best results for us personally. You can find them in any of our stores or order online here! If chews are more your thing then try out Herbsmith’s “July Third” for some immediate relief. Like the Calm Down drops, you can find July Third in-store or online here.

Relaxation Squares

What dog doesn’t love peanut butter? If you have a dog who turns their nose up at supplements and wiggles their way out of the Thundershirt, give these Heavenly Hounds treats a try! These are a favorite of both regulars and Team Members at Two Bostons because they’re simple and effective. Hidden in the peanut buttery goodness is a blend of herbs that will make their troubles melt away. The best part is that they’re compact and fit nicely in your purse or wallet so you can always be prepared for sudden noisy situations or travel. You can stock up in our stores or order them online here!

Our final and most important tip for pet anxiety is to remind everyone once more that no two pets are the same. What helped your neighbor’s dog might not help your cat and vice versa. Animals are just as unique as us and sometimes it might take a little experimenting to see what works for your furry friends and what doesn’t. Even if you feel like you’ve tried everything out there, there’s usually something you just haven’t discovered yet, and that’s where we come in. Give us a call, send us an email, or pay us a visit. Together we can put the fun back in the 4th!

This weeks blog is from Amber Walker, lead trainer and owner at Animal Intuitions, LLC…I hope you get some good tips to help your dog be Halloween ready!

Hisk and Hark! Draw close and tremble! This is the night when ghosts assemble!

Halloween season is here with crazy costumes and scary decorations everywhere we look.  Many dogs have no issues with them and others 10-2015 Halloween with Leowill be petrified.  It’s so important to me that a puppy is able to brush off a scary situation, that in my puppy classes we have Halloween night every 6 weeks all year long!

I can’t tell you how many owners purposely scare their dogs with creepy masks or devilish costumes because their dogs freak out and it makes the owner laugh…and it drives me crazy.  I already dislike jokes, pranks, and April Fools on humans but to do those things to an animal that doesn’t have an understanding of what Halloween or any joke concept, is just sinister!  If I just described you…I wag my finger.

So! For those of us that want to make sure our new puppies or adult dogs are ready for this season, there are a few things you can do.

***TRAINING TIP: Anytime you can take a neutral situation (nothing bad or good is happening) and turn it into a positive one, you are setting your dog up for future success!

  • Get Halloween decorations out on the floor (if safe and won’t be destroyed by dog) or low and still in your hand in the “off” position, for those with sound and lights.  Allow your dog to investigate it on their own.  Treat or pet your dog for being brave.
  • If the decoration or costume moves or lights up, turn it on from this low/still position and pet or treat your dog for being brave again, now with lights and noise.  You may have to start from many feet away at first.  Bring the object closer as the dog is showing signs of being relaxed or curious.
  • As your dog becomes comfortable with the object, move it around or allow self-moving objects to move at this time.  Pet or treat your dog for bravery and curiosity.
  • If your kids are going to be wearing their costumes all the time, allow your dog to see it in pieces or flat on the floor before the kids are flying around the house in them.  For puppy class, we allow the dog to get rewarded for the mask, gloves, cape, and head piece all separate before the trainer dons the entire outfit as one costume.dogeatingcandy
  • Doorbell!!  Since your doorbell will be ringing every 90 seconds, consider bringing your dog to the front door on a leash, standing there, and ringing it over and over again with a cookie each time it rings.  Allow them to see no one is there, nothing is happening, and the doorbell is actually really boring.  Up til now, there’s a good chance your dog thinks that a pizza rings the bell every single time.  Or for simplicity, put the dog in a different room with Through A Dog’s Ear music, some lavender diffused oil and a white noise sound machine and let them sleep the night away!
  • Keep all chocolate and candy out of reach of dogs especially counter surfing pets.  And keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case they do get into the candy bowl.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Make it your pets’ favorite too!!

If you are reading this, you are probably a pet lover already – so you know and are already reaping the benefits of having a furry family member!  But sometimes, one just isn’t enough…are you wanting to add another pet family member to your house?  Do you (like me!) have to do a lot of negotiating and convincing of why another pet in the house is needed and beneficial…well now you can use this! Pet companionship is proven to reduce stress; increase feeling of contentment; even lower blood pressure.  That’s a lot of advantages from one devoted family member.

It is a fact that multiple pets are good for each other too.  Dogs and cats take cues from others in their “pack,” and will entertain each other while your away.  Adding another cat or dog to a single-pet household can help the current pet with separation anxiety and a younger pet can spark new energy in the life of an older one.

cat-and-dog-snugglingMost vets agree that owning multiple pets can give us pet parents:

Greater peace of mind – When we have to work a long day or be away for an evening, it is reassuring to know that your pets can keep each other company.

A better understanding of each pet – It’s amazing how you will see so many other aspects of your pet’s personality come out around other animals!

dog-puppy1Personal insight – If we pay close attention, each animal can teach us something different about ourselves and those we care about.

A greater sense of gratitude – Watching animals romp and play reminds us how much they live for (and in) the moment – and encourages us to let go of worries about the future or guilt about the past.

If you are thinking about adding another pet to your household, consider the type and breed that would represent the best “fit” for your lifestyle.  Take your existing pet(s) along with you to meet the new pet you are considering.  Neutral, non-territorial settings can help you get a better feel for general temperament, as well as food and sharing issues.  Experienced rescue and shelter personnel can offer invaluable insights that can help you all enjoy a smooth transition!

2015-adopt-a-rama-logo-with-TBlogo

Don’t forget that we have our 6th Annual Adopt-A-Rama coming up on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from Noon – 3:00 pm at Two Bostons – Springbrook…we will have over 20 Chicagoland shelters and rescue represented for you to meet, greet and help find you your next four-legged family member!

Summer can be very stressful and especially if the furry family member gets anxiety during these hectic months. Does your pet have anxiety from storms, fireworks separation, travel, or their crate or do they show symptoms of excessive barking and whining, shaking, panting, drooling, clawing, hyperactivity, digging, hiding, or clinging?  If your pet has any of these symptoms, Two Bostons has a solution for you to try today!

 

thundershirtThe Thundershirt is a lightweight, machine-washable spandex and Velcro wrap that works by exerting gentle, constant pressure all around your pet’s rib cage.  It takes just a few seconds to put on, but it provides direct feedback to your pet’s brain – just like when you swaddle a new born baby. Once this rapid-breathing impulse is calmed, respiration begins to ease back to normal and the body relaxes as well.  With most pets, a visible difference can be seen in minutes.

The Thundershirt works…which is why we are able to offer a money-back guarantee.  A survey of customers reports an impressive 85% success rate among pets experiencing anxiety or stress.

The Thundershirt comes in seven different sizes and two colors, grey and pink – bring your pet in and the Two Bostons Team will find them the perfect fit.

 

ark-naturals-happy-travelerark-naturals-happy-traveler-chewablesHappy Traveler: 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. Johns Wort, all well know herbs for their calming effects.  It comes in pill form or chews and is a safe, non-toxic option for your dog.  Results most often are in 45 minutes.

 

 

 

When the Thundershirt and Happy Traveler are paired together you are sure to help your pet calm down before the loud booming of the fireworks, that storm rolls in, or that road trip.

We look forward to your visit and hope that we can make Summer = Stress Free!

It’s firework season which means there are a lot of dogs about ready to freak out *however* some of last year’s puppies will experience fireworks for the very first time.
I’m going to give you this blog’s take away message right now: Take every neutral experience (where nothing good and nothing bad happens) and make it a good, positive, well treated experience!
fireworksdog
Most of the time, a firework goes off and your dog is fine. They realize that nothing good or bad happens. But that doesn’t mean that a particularly close firework or an extra loud one won’t change their mind quickly and create a fearful dog for the future. So every single time a firework booms, throw a party! Treat your dog, play a quick game, etc. Let them think that firework booms predict awesome things.
And start now! I know that I’ve been hearing some backyard fireworks especially this week during the Blackhawks hockey finals but also those preparing for the big night. Starting now while there are only 1 or 2 bangs will help them ease into July 4.
If your dog is already fearful of fireworks, here are a few tips.
One: Go back and read this blog from Two Bostons’ blog. It recommends great products to help ease and anxious dog.
Two: Don’t coddle or comfort your dog when they are afraid. It’s human empathy to comfort those that are afraid but that will only communicate to your dog that it’s okay to be afraid and they should continue feeling anxiety.
Three: Create a comfort place for your dog to go retreat in. Let them have some alone time during the fireworks and offer them a delicious chew toy as well.
Boom! Boom! Happy Independence Day everyone!!
Ask the Trainer is written for Two Bostons Pet Boutique by Amber Walker of Animal Intuitions. To ask Amber any question regarding training your pet, please email her at askthetrainer@twobostons.com

Is your dog a nervous wreck this time of year? Does the weather report have you trapped? Do you hesitate to invite people over because your dog is too anxious? Do you hesitate to take your dog out because of the same reason? If so, this post is for you!

We have several amazing products that I’d like to introduce you to today to help calm anxious dogs.

The first is the Thundershirt.

This amazing little shirt looks like a regular dog jacket, doesn’t it? Well, I can tell you it is not. It is like a hug for your dog, only, you don’t have to be hugging your dog the entire time…let the shirt do the work for you! It works by applying very gentle pressure on some of the pressure points on your dog’s trunk. It is very easy to use, simply fit the shirt around your dog’s trunk and Velcro it closed. Over 85% of our customers have seen marked improvement with the use of this shirt. Plus, there is a money-back guarantee. So you can try this out on your dog worry free! It comes in grey and pink…just because your dog is nervous, doesn’t mean he or she can’t be fashionable 🙂

Happy Traveler is a great option for a quick chill pill. Think of it like taking an aspirin for a head ache.

ark-naturals-happy-travelerark-naturals-happy-traveler-chewables

 

The active ingredients in Happy Traveler include Valerian, German Chamomile, L-Tryptophan and St. Johns 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. You should see results in about 45 minutes.

The last product I’m going to show you today is Rescue Remedy.

Bach is a trusted name in natural remedies and this is a new variation of the original stress relieving remedy that has been available for more than 70 years. It contains a blend of the same five flower remedies found in Rescue Remedy, Impatiens, Clematis, 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. This is suitable for use on pets of all shapes and sizes, including: Reptiles, Fish (just add to tank water), Birds, Cats, Dogs, Horses, and Rabbits. For best results, simply place four drops into your pets mouth. If you can’t do that, you can add the drops to food, water or treats or rub them into your pets nose, paws or ears.

Please stop by one of our stores to talk to a team member about which of these awesome products would work the best for your pet’s anxiety.

Hey All!  Heather again! If your Fourth of July is anything like mine it includes hamburgers, brats, family and an overly anxious dog terrified of the fireworks!  Whether your dog cowers under the covers because of the fireworks or thunder, or he shakes and shivers every time he gets in the car, even when you visit the vet, a ThunderShirt might just be your anxiety cure!

I know!  A shirt that is good for anxiety!?  How could that be!?  Well, think of when you or someone you know swaddled their new born baby and the baby automatically began to calm down!  The ThunderShirt is designed to provide a gentle, constant pressure that can have a dramatic effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited!  In fact, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using!

Many experts believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system and this idea has been commonly used for years! Some examples of where pressure has been used as a calming aid are during vaccination of cattle, Touch dog trainers, people with autism and children with certain behavioral problems use pressure shirts and weighted vests.

There are many symptoms for which a Thundershirt may benefit your pup at home including yawning, excessive barking and whining, shaking, panting, drooling, clawing, hyperactivity, digging, hiding and clinging to owners.  Many dogs show improvement with the first time that they wear the Thundershirt and it is safe to wear for extended periods of time.  Some cases have even reported that after a time of wearing the Thundershirt their dog had less or no anxiety towards their normal triggers!  A dog may eventually be so calm during their normal anxious times that they no longer associate thunder or fireworks with a negative experience!  How amazing could that be!!

And don’t forget about all those other times your dog gets anxious – Separation from owners, traveling, crating, vet visits or if your dog is anything like my Lilu, walks that include being near manholes and drain covers!!!  She’s an interesting one, but a Thundershirt does just the trick!

The Thundershirt couldn’t be easier to use! It’s held together by velcro and I’m going to show you just how simple it is to put on your dog:

First, unhook all the velcro, lay out the shirt and grab your dog.

Next, lay the shirt on top of your dog and place the long strip under your dog’s belly. Secure the velcro fastener.

Then, take secure the top strip of fabric to the velcro fastener.

Finally, secure the velcro fastener on the front of the shirt, under your dog’s chin.

And, there you have it. A calm dog in a very few minutes.


Fourth of July is coming quick so stop in today to pick out either our gray Thundershirt or Rugby Pink for all those gal dogs out there!  Our fabulous team members can show you exactly how to fit the Thundershirt so don’t forget to bring Fido with you to get the correct size!

 

Is your dog a nervous wreck this time of year? Does the weather report have you trapped? Do you hesitate to invite people over because your dog is too anxious? Do you hesitate to take your dog out because of the same reason? If so, this post is for you!

We have several amazing products that I’d like to introduce you to today to help calm anxious dogs.

The first is the Thundershirt.

This amazing little shirt looks like a regular dog jacket, doesn’t it? Well, I can tell you it is not. It is like a hug for your dog, only, you don’t have to be hugging your dog the entire time…let the shirt do the work for you! It works by applying very gentle pressure on some of the pressure points on your dog’s trunk. It is very easy to use, simply fit the shirt around your dog’s trunk and Velcro it closed. Over 85% of our customers have seen marked improvement with the use of this shirt. Plus, there is a money-back guarantee. So you can try this out on your dog worry free!

 Happy Traveler is a great option for a quick chill pill. Think of it like taking an aspirin for a head ache.

The active ingredients in Happy Traveler include Valerian, German Chamomile, L-Tryptophan and St. Johns Wort, all well known herbs for their calming effects. It is a safe, non-toxic option for your dog and you should see results in about 45 minutes.

Another awesome herbal supplement we offer is Calm Shen by Herbsmith.

Calm Shen is made with Chinese herbs and is more of a long-term solution to your dog’s anxiety. If you think of your dog’s health as an arch, where the middle is the place to be, and your dog is all the way to the left or right, Calm Shen will direct your dog’s system back toward the middle. This supplement will build up in your pet’s system with continued use and you will see an over all decrease in anxiety as time progresses.

We also offer Canine Calm Spray.

This nifty little spray acts as a calming aromatherapy for your pooch. Canine Calm contains pure essential oils, including bergamot, lavender and geranium, from plants traditionally used in remedies for relaxation. You can spray this on bedding and in your dog’s crate; however, on of the best ways to calm you pet is to spray it on your hand and rub it into the ears and belly. This awesome spray will help take the edge off for your pet.

The last product I’m going to show you today is Rescue Remedy.

Bach is a trusted name in natural remedies and this is a new variation of the original stress relieving remedy that has been available for more than 70 years. It contains a blend of the same five flower remedies found in Rescue Remedy, Impatiens, Clematis, 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. This is suitable for use on pets of all shapes and sizes, including: Reptiles, Fish (just add to tank water), Birds, Cats, Dogs, Horses, and Rabbits. For best results, simply place four drops into your pets mouth. If you can’t do that, you can add the drops to food, water or treats or rub them into your pets nose, paws or ears.

Please stop by one of our stores to talk to a team member about which of these awesome products would work the best for your pet’s anxiety.

Thundershirt Thundershirt
We have really been hit with extreme weather in the midwest this past week. First we’ve had heat beyond belief, and then storms out of nowhere. The storms have been pretty wild.

Does your dog suffer from anxiety during a storm? Mine sure does. Have you ever heard of the Thundershirt? 

The Thundershirt is a patent-pending design was created to help ease anxiety in dogs using a gentle pressure wrap. The Thundershirt works, which is why we are able to offer a money-back guarantee. A survey of Thundershirt customers report that over 85% of dogs have shown significant improvement in at least one anxiety symptom when using the Thundershirt.

The Thundershirt can be used to treat all types of anxiety in dogs including noise anxiety such as thunder, separation anxiety, anxiety during travel, anxiety in the crate, and barking anxiety to name a few. Pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years and now the Thundershirt offers an inexpensive way to treat anxiety in your dog with this well-designed pressure wrap that is easy to use.

The Thundershirt for Dogs comes in seven different sizes. We are happy to help you determine which size is right for your pet. Give us a call today at 630-357-7621 or 630-305-0150 and we’ll help you get started. You can also check out (and purchase) the Thundershirt on our website www.twobostons.com

You have nothing to lose and your pet has everything to gain!