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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

MBB_Profile

Dog for Dog is an all-natural pet food and treat company with a driving mission to help dogs in need. For every single Dog for Dog product purchased, the company donates a second product to one of these deserving canines. It’s called the “Buy One/Give One” program. The company’s goal is to deliver pure, natural nutrition to dogs at every life stage, in every situation, everywhere.

All-natural DOGSBUTTER is one of Dog for Dog’s most popular products – and why doesn’t that surprise me? After all, nearly all pups adore peanut butter … and USA-made, USA-sourced DOGSBUTTER takes peanut butter to a brand new plateau. It’s basically peanut butter, pumped up (see our previous blog post from Heather and her adorable Corgi girls here)! There are actually three varieties of DOGSBUTTER. Each one is completely free of sugar, salt, soy, artificial ingredients, and hydrogenated oils. Each one is also chock-full of protein and inflammation-calming Vitamin E:

1) DOGSBUTTER with Flaxseed contains nothing but all-natural peanuts, golden flaxseed for a healthy Omega-3 boost, and palm fruit oil. Palm fruit oil comes from the fleshy part of the fruit rather than the kernel, and is rich in monounsaturated or “good” fats. It contains only half the saturated fat of the more popularly used palm kernel oil.

2) DOGSBUTTER Skin & Coat also adds coconut to support supple skin and nice, thick fur growth.

3) DOGSBUTTER Immunity & Digestion adds not only coconut but also ginger, to help keep pup tummies calm and happy.

Now here’s possibly the best part of all: With every single jar of DOGSBUTTER purchased, Dog for Dog donates an all-natural, nutritious meal to a precious pooch in need. What a fantastic way to help nourish and sustain a sweet homeless dog who desperately deserves some pure, healthy TLC.

Here are just a few yummy ways we’ve used DOGSBUTTER in our house. Tell us about some of your own!

  • *Make peanut butter popsicles to cool your pup down. We just mix water or rice milk with small spoonfuls of Dogsbutter in the compartments of an ice cube tray or in tiny paper cups, then freeze. Sometimes we even add a Bully Stick or one of the Sam’s Yam Bichon Fries as a tasty edible “handle.” These pops keep in the freezer indefinitely, and Grant and Maizy go crazy for them after a long hike or a morning run.
  • *Hide a pill in some refrigerated Dogsbutter, which molds around the pill’s shape to hide it completely. Our pups are so busy inhaling that they don’t even realize there was any medication involved.
  • *Use it to stuff empty raw bones or Kong toys. A little goes a very long way, because Grant and Maizy spend hours trying to get at every last bit.
  • *Help with toothbrush training by initially massaging a new pup’s gums with a tiny bit of Dogsbutter on your index finger. They’ll focus on the yummy taste, and — once they get used to having you touch their teeth — you can move on to a finger brush with a little dab of toothpaste.
  • *Drizzle it over kibble for picky eaters. BOOM. Food all gone.

Don’t forget that all of our Two Bostons stores collect almost-empty peanut butter and DOGSBUTTER jars, which we then donate to area shelters and rescues so their adoptable pups can have a tasty, protein-packed snack as well! So next time you stop by, drop off your almost-empties and pick up a new jar or two of yummy DOGSBUTTER. That way, multiple dogs will have YOU to thank!

 

 

AmberWalker_Profile

Hey Two Bostons readers! You love your dog. Your dog loves you. But there are really good times to leave your dog alone. Below, I share a few examples:
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  1. When your dog is eating.
    In the early days of owning your dog, by all means — walk past, add chicken to the bowl, create a good sense of “when I walk by, good things happen and I’m not going to steal your food.” This prevents resource guarding and can help calm tendencies toward food aggression. But once you’ve established the food bowl safety zone, it’s time to let your dog eat in peace! Do you love having your dog’s drool all over your feet during dinner? Your dog doesn’t want your face, or your hands, or your toes near his paws while he eats, either!
  2. When your dog is resting on his bed.
    Always let dogs rest on their beds or in their crates alone. NEVER CRAWL INTO THE CRATE WITH YOUR DOG. Just don’t do it. No matter how cute your dog looks next to your toddler when they’re all curled up together, it’s a terrible idea. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because it causes a great deal of stress for your pup. It stresses my own dog out just to see my infant crawling towards her after she settles in for a nap — that’s why I redirect Kayla every time, so Yellow Lab Hadley can rest. Even the friendliest dog may nip or bite if he or she feels anxious or unsafe.
  3. Chewy Time!
    Let your dog enjoy a nice bully stick, antler chew, or raw bone all alone. This is not the time to test how much tolerance your dog has by letting your kid (or yourself) take the bone away, give it back, take the bone away, give it back. This can be extremely frustrating to your dog — in fact, it can actually create a resource-guarding issue stemming from the dog’s annoyance with the human. If you must take the chew away from your dog for whatever reason, trade it with a small piece of food or an alternate toy.

Remember, we all need some quality alone time … and our dogs do, too! This WGN News segment tells you more.

HeatherD_Profile

Hey all! Heather here (along with Lilu and Ahsoka). If you’re anything like me when I first brought Lilu into my life, you might be craving a little insight and information on key puppy essentials — things you’ll need right away when bringing home your new furry family member! I encourage you to stop into one of our locations and ask any Team Member for a copy of our detailed New Puppy Checklist, which they’ll be happy to review with you. In the meantime, here’s a short sampling to help you get started:

  • Two Ceramic or Stainless Steel Dishes. One for food, one for water. Stay away from plastic bowls, as they can get microscopic tears and scratches that harbor bacteria – which can then be transferred to your dog’s food or snout.
  • Rubberized Food Mat. A rubber mat is fantastic for easy cleaning and keeping bowls in place. Lots of puppies can get overexcited with their food, and push their bowls around while eating. This kind of mess is minimized (and cleaned up way more easily) when you have a rubber food mat.
  • Durable Collar. You’ll most likely get a few collars over your dog’s lifetime, but a good sturdy one will last and last – and a super-cute pattern makes it so much more unique! Up Country offers some great choices that satisfy both needs at once.
  • Leash. My favorite is the Slackline Leash by RuffWear. Check out my blog from last year to see why my girls and I love it so much!
  • Sturdy Harness. We always recommend a harness, right from the start. Why? Because when a puppy is rambunctious and bounding every which way, he can pull very hard on the leash. Collars can put tremendous pressure on the neck and windpipe — and this can lead to chafing injuries, windpipe collapse, or choking. A properly fitted harness does the trick when it comes to easing pressure off the neck area. Check out the Up Country Step-In — awesome patterns, great functionality!
  • Comfy Bed. A bed is enormously soothing to a nervous new pup in a brand new space. Ahsoka has been using her Bowser Bed since day one. She’s turning five this year, but has considered this bed her safe haven since her very first day in our house. Bowser Beds are fully machine washable and made to be extremely tough — up to 8 times more durable than most other beds. You can even use the center part of the bed as a snuggly liner to make your pup’s crate feel safer and more comforting.
  • Smart Starter Toys! Start your pup off with at least one sturdy chew toys, like our Jax and Bones Rope Toys or even an all-natural bully stick. As a really nice bonus, you can actually wet and freeze Jax and Bones toys to create a soothing chew solution for teething issues. Also consider at least one interactive, intelligence-stimulating toy like the Ourpets IQ Treat Ball, the Planet Dog Snoop, or an awesome Nina Ottosson Puzzle Toy. These will keep your curious canine busy and happy while you’re cooking dinner or doing the dishes!

NewPuppy_Essentials

This is just a small sampling of the key items you should have on hand when you first bring your new pup home. Stop by any Two Bostons with your brand new furry friend, and we’ll gladly give you a complete copy of the New Puppy Checklist along with our own firsthand suggestions. Remember that our Team Members are specially trained and certified to measure and fit your pup for the precise gear he needs to keep him safe and comfortable as he continues to grow!

ChelseaM_Profile

A lot of us dog owners may not be aware that tennis balls can actually be quite dangerous to our furry friends. They can turn a typical game like playing fetch, for example, into a scary situation. There are times your dog might catch the ball in his mouth, but farther back than it should go. The ball could get stuck in your pup’s throat, and once this happens it usually blocks off breathing. This requires immediate action — and if the blockage is not removed right away, you dog may not survive.

There have also been studies showing that the glue used on tennis ball seams can erode tooth enamel. That’s because the natural stickiness allows this glue to stay on teeth long after your pup is finished with the ball itself. If your pooch likes to chew or eat tennis balls, pieces can also get stuck in the throat, esophagus, or anywhere along the digestive tract. Fragments can often get lodged in the bowel, for instance, and this can require emergency surgery.

These problems are seen most often in breeds like Labs, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers. Why? Mainly, sheer size. These larger breeds are more likely to enjoy catching tennis balls and playing a bit more roughly with their toys. They also have mouths that are large enough to wrap around the entire ball. But tennis ball fragments can still pose health and choking risks for breeds of any size.

Like tennis balls, there are other toys that are smart to avoid for safety reasons. They include:

  1. Any ball-shaped toy that your dog can fully fit inside his mouth
  2. Bones that are thin, small, or splinter too easily
  3. Jerky treats made (or partially sourced) in certain overseas countries
  4. Commercial rawhide chews, which are not digestible and often contain formaldehyde or bleach

Fortunately, there are many great alternatives that are safe to use with correct supervision. For instance, here are Two Bostons we only offer treats and chews that are completely digestible for cats and dogs. Our products are made and sourced in North America – often locally – with natural ingredients subject to stringent safety standards. Most toys we carry are made of safe, non-toxic, and/or recycled plastic or rubber. Many are reinforced with extra-durable seams and stitching.

Tennis Ball Alternatives

Many dogs can hold one entire tennis ball (or more!) in their mouths — and even smaller fragments pose a serious choking hazard. Fortunately, there are safe, healthy, fun, and tasty alternatives to meet your pup’s chomping and romping preferences.

We’ll talk about some firsthand Team favorites in a future post, but there are a few that are especially awesome. When it comes to toys, for instance, check out the Planet Dog line (see football photo, above). These non-toxic, clean-rinsing toys are made in the USA with energetic players and assertive chewers in mind. First of all, they smell like peppermint, so they offer a great little breath-freshening boost with every chew. But they’re also made of pliable, super-durable Orbee-Tuff material. The special rubberized consistency allows the toy to bounce and float; and it stands up to even the most aggressive chewer because it encourages a dog’s teeth to rebound off the toy instead of puncturing the surface. Plus, Planet Dog toys are 100% guaranteed against defects … and many are also recyclable.

If you’re interested in chomper-friendly alternatives that your dog CAN digest, we carry a number of safe, healthy, non-splintering chews as well. Our customers just love bully sticks, which are made from fully digestible free-range beef with no added hormones, antibiotics, or animal by-products. Himalayan Chews (far right, above) are another huge favorite, which offer a long-lasting boost of flavor and calcium. Then there are Yaky Sticks, which wrap a Himalayan Chew around a bully stick for the best of both worlds! Sam’s Yams are a safe, yummy, all-vegetable hit that are totally digestible. Crocodile Bones are a super-healthy and safe option as well. And don’t forget about antlers (center, above). These are full of calcium and phosphorus and very clean-chewing – no gunky mess on your carpets. At Two Bostons, we carry only the naturally-shed variety in deer, elk, and moose flats.

So stop by and ask us for more firsthand suggestions — then stay tuned for more fun, safe, healthy Team insights in future posts!