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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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!

 

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!

 

 

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!

I will assume that you want the cold weather to go away and Spring to stay as much as I do.  And this includes our pets too!  We are all really starting to feel the cabin fever and have a lot of pent-up energy.  This weekend we are going to be having our Free Harness Fittings, so I thought I would get you thinking about getting out of the house and out on regular, relaxing and enjoyable walks!

Most complaints about dog walking is about them pulling…Have you ever asked yourself, “Who’s walking who?” this is for you!!

1. Collars, Leashes and Harnesses: You want to find a collar that is an appropriate width for the size of your dog and a leash that is easy for you to hold and handle. We have all kinds of different leashes to choose from! We strongly recommend that you use a standard leash instead of a retractable leash.  Read about retractable leashes in a previous Blog: Do you know why you can’t find retractable leashes at Two Bostons?

Using a harness to walk your dog is safer and healthier. Placing them in a well-fitted harness will be much better for them and will give you more control as well!

If you have a dog that REALLY pulls (or maybe you want a very well-mannered walker) you should try the No-Pull Dog Harness by SPORN. This is the best no-pull system that we have found. The SPORN fits just like a regular harness but pulls up on the dogs’ armpits, which is a pressure point, when the dog pulls. This doesn’t hurt the dog at all, but it does make it uncomfortable if they continue to pull.  The best thing about this is that you don’t have to correct your dog, he will correct himself!

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. One of our favorite Poop Bags and Dispensers in the Lavender or non-Scented Bags by Earth Rated. These poop bags are for those who want to go green! Made of 100% renewable resources and dissolve in as little as 40 days.

3. Hydration: If you are just going around the block you may not need to worry about taking water with you, but if you are on a longer walk or it is in the middle of a hot summer day, you will want to keep your pups hydrated! We have a few different options for you to choose from. One of those is the Gulpy Water Dispenser by Kyjen. It is easy to use, doesn’t leak and you can easily carry it with the built-in belt clip.

 

The most important thing is to have fun on your walks! Stop into Two Bostons this Saturday, (3/11/17) for our Harness Fittings and we will help you find all the right walking gear for you and your pups!

Two Bostons will also be starting our very popular Weekly Walks on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at our Downtown Naperville and Burr Ridge stores.

Out-U-Go!-LogoDuring summer is a great time to make some exercising goals and because we want to be outside, those may include our dogs.  Lindsay Gray, Top Dog at Out-U-Go! Naperville provided us with some helpful pointers to make sure that you and your dog have fun while being safe.

  1. Just like all training, this is not something you should expect to happen perfectly on attempt #1.  Remember that this is a new exercise for you and your pup and you need to be patient. Instill a lot of what you would do with normal training and techniques and remember to stay positive and patient.  Your first run might be more of a walk to get used to each other, and this is okay!
  2. Having the right equipment can make all the difference!  Many runners appreciate a hands-free leash that attaches to your waist (Like the Roamer or Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruff Wear). A harness is a good idea to keep the stress off your pups neck and provide you with a bit more control while you are running.  And don’t forget the poop bags and water!dog-walk-on-leash
  3. Not all pups are going to be a great running partner.  Make sure they aren’t too young and can comfortably keep up with the distance you plan to run.  Small dogs need to run a lot faster than a larger breed to keep up with you and might be better suited for brisk walks.
  4. Some simple commands will help your run move more  smoothly.  You will want to keep your pup from stopping to go potty on every tree, so make sure to keep them tight to you and have a Heel command ready. Leave It, or some other distraction technique, would be great for the obstacles you are bound to pass on your route.
  5. After walk care is just as important as getting them ready to go! Make sure to keep an eye out for pads that are wearing down, check the areas of their body around their equipment for chaffing or rubbing, and give them a cool and comfortable space to cool down when you are done!

Lindsay will be one of our experts presenting at our upcoming Dog Walking/Running Clinic on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm at Two Bostons – Springbrook.  Bring your walking or running buddy with you and she will provide you more tips and tools to help you accomplish your walking and running goals this summer! Visit our website for more information!

 

Worst Case scenario…you are on a morning walk with your dog and he sees a rabbit and pulls to chase it. Instead of pulling you this time, he drops dog-pulling-womendown and makes this horrible raspy wheezing noise as if he isn’t getting enough air.  You go to your vet and find out that all of that pulling against his collar collapsed his windpipe.  Yes, they will recover…

Many dogs will wear well made collars for years without a problem. But, there are also certain dogs who are natural pullers, or especially susceptible to trachea problems.  For those dogs, prolonged pressure against the windpipe (even simple over-excitement) can cause serious breathing issues.

One solution that we have to prevent this is the Sporn Mesh No-Pull Harness.  This harness is designed for moderate to heavy pullers; but it can also be used by any pet parent who wants to minimize pressure on their dog’s windpipe.  Like all Sporn products — including the double-dog adjustable leashes, which allows you to walk two pets at once — the harness is made of very high-quality nylon and nickel-plated hardware, so it will stand up to years of wear-and-tear.

There are SO many reasons we love the Sporn Mesh Harness at Two Bostons:

  • It fits around the dogs chest and shoulders – so when they jump or pull, your dogs neck and windpipe aren’t taking the full impact of his weight.
  • The mesh construction of the harness is cool and flexible.  It stretches with natural movements while walking or running.
  • It is very easy to get on and off – your pup just steps into it, adjust the straps and attach the leash…and off you go!
  • Sporn guarantees this harness for life against material defects or damage during standard use.
  • Sizing is super-easy!  Generally, go by your dog’s weight and neck circumference.  Stop by any Two Bostons store and one of our trained team members can help you with a quick custom fitting.

No-Pull Sporn HarnessAs a reminder…don’t leave your dog unattended while wearing ANY piece of gear with loops or buckles. These have the potential to get snagged on something in your absence.

So…if you would like to stop unwanted pulling in its tracks — while protecting your dog’s neck and windpipe — visit us today!

This Saturday, 5/14 we are having Harness Fittings from 11:00 – 3:00 pm at all Two Bostons stores!  You can bring in your current harness or our expert team members will help you find a the right one for you!

 

It’s Springtime and dog-holding-shoestoday is National Take A Walk in the Park Day!

I would have to assume that we are all happy to see the cold weather be gone. This includes our pets too!  They get cabin fever and pent-up energy just like us.  Now that we can get out more often for walks, let’s talk about a few pointers to get your pup out of the house and make it a relaxing enjoyable walk.  We all know that a tired dog is a happy dog!

Most complaints about dog walking revolves around them pulling…If the question, “Who’s walking who?” has ever been thought, this is for you!

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 for you to hold and handle. We have all kinds of different leashes to choose from! We strongly recommend that you use a standard leash instead of a retractable leash for several reasons.  Read about retractable leashes in a previous Blog: Do you know why you can’t find retractable leashes at Two Bostons?

Using a harness to walk your dog is safer and healthier for any breed, but especially the short-faced breeds like the Boston Terrier, Pug, Boxer or Bulldog.  These types of breeds tend to have necks that are more susceptible to damage when they pull on their collars.  Placing them in a well-fitted harness will be much better for them and will give you more control as well!  sporn_mesh_harness

If you have a dog that REALLY pulls (or maybe you want a very well-mannered walker)  we suggest trying the No-Pull Dog Harness by SPORN. This is the best no-pull system that we have found!  The SPORN fits just like a regular harness but pulls up on the dogs’ armpits, which is a pressure point, when the dog pulls.  This doesn’t hurt the dog at all, but it does make it uncomfortable if they continue to pull.  The best thing about this is that you don’t have to correct your dog, he will correct himself!

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 are the regular plastic bag cylinder shaped bag holder that hold a roll of plastic bags, or the more fashionable poop bag carriers that look just like cute cell phone holders!  Both kinds will attached to the top of the leash so they are out of the way but there when you need them!

WalkingBlog

3.  Hydration:  If you are just going around the block you may not need to worry about taking water with you…but if you are on a longer walk or it is in the middle of a hot summer day you will want to make sure you keep your pup hydrated!  We have a couple of different options for you to choose from.  One of those is the Gulpy Water Dispenser by Kyjen.  It is easy to use, doesn’t leak and you can easily carry it with the built-in belt clip and it fits into bicycle water bottle holders!

The most important thing is to have fun on your walks!  Stop into any Two Bostons store and we can help you find the right walking gear for you and your pup!

Two Bostons will be starting their Weekly Walks on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at the Downtown Naperville and Burr Ridge stores.  For more information visit our website at twobostons.com/pages/events.

With the weather we have had the past week and with the days getting longer, all of us runners are starting to get out again and isn’t it so awesome to be in the fresh air?

In my house, when I get out my tennis shoes and start to get ready, my dog gets super excited thinking that she is going to go on a walk…and then she sees me walking out the door without her and the disappointment when she doesn’t go just breaks my heart.  This might happen to you too…would you take your dog with you if you didn’t have to mess with holding a leash?

We have the perfect leash for you to try with your dog today! The Flat Out Leash by Ruffware is an everyday leash that can be waist-worn.  Yes, that’s right…no more juggling a leash along with headphones, iPod, and poop bags!  The Flat Out Leash is amazing because you can wear it around your waist and if you need to keep them secure while at a stop light you can just reach down and grab the traffic handle.  It really is the perfect leash.  Here are some other key features:

  • Durability and design aesthetics come together in the Ruffwear-designed Tubelok™ webbing
  • Adjustable padded handle, with aluminum Talon Hook™ can be hand-held, waist-worn or secured around a tree post
  • Talon Clip™ is strong, secure and ergonomically designed for one-handed attachment
  • Convenient accessory loop for pickup bags or small clip-on items
  • Traffic handle offers quick restraint
  • The leash is 6 feet in length and 1 inch of webbing

Ruffwarephotos

Now for me, my dog is too old to go out running with me.  But, I first got introduced to this leash after I had a baby and wanted to take the baby out in the stroller and take the dog with too.  It was the perfect solution for us!  We could enjoy our walks without having to fumble with holding the leash.  I am also able to secure the leash to the stroller if I need to.

Stop into any Two Bostons and the team will help you try out one of these problem solving leashes today!

 

If you and your pup hang out at a lot of pet-friendly establishments and events – like our Two Bostons Weekly Walks, for example – you may have noticed that “standard, non-retractable leashes” are often a requirement.  And you may have noticed or even asked if we carry retractable leashes.  Wonder Why?

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1. Retractable leashes can cause injury to dog and human. If your pooch should suddenly race past you, thin-string retractable leashes can zip across your exposed skin (or your child’s) in a half a second. Plus, it is often a human reflex to grab the leash hard when a dog bolts. The dog’s neck and back can be seriously injured due to being jerked when they suddenly get to the end of the leash after running after that rabbit or other dog.

2. Unwanted meet-and-greets. Retractable leashes allow your canine to approach other dogs uninvited. At best, this might lead to an irritated owner. But worse, it could cause the spread of disease, disruption of a healing injury, or even a sudden and aggressive dog fight.

3. Cord breakage. Many retractable leashes aren’t strong enough to handle the dog they’re attached to. Pups who have a tendency to bolt or take off running can often snap the thin line or tape on a retractable leash before you even comprehend what just happened. Worse, the plastic hand-held retractor may come out of your hand and go banging down the pavement after your dog, causing a panicked rush into speeding traffic or a busy bicycle path.

4. Projectile injuries. If your dog’s collar were to suddenly break and come off, the leash cord/tape would retract with such rapid force that it could strike you (or someone else) in the face, teeth, or eyes.

dog pulling5. Retractable leashes encourage dogs to pull. Think about it: if we as their guardians do not provide consistent boundaries how are our canine companions supposed to know what is acceptable? Sometimes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder, they may be given 10 feet. Then, when only a few feet are provided because they are walking in a busy area and they begin to pull (because normally this results in getting a few more inches or feet, right?) they are instead “corrected” because they aren’t behaving well. What?? How confusing!

 

6. Entanglement or strangulation. The retractable string or tape can get twisted around our own hands, another person’s ankle, your dog’s neck and legs, a wagging tail, 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.

 

So, instead of hoping for good behavior and no broken or amputated fingers, let’s just decide to use a standard (aka non-retractable) leash and provide the guidelines and boundaries your dogs need and ultimately desire to have a great walk. Ask anyone on our Two Bostons Team to show you some sturdy, dependable standard leash options.

 

Dogs need exercise and so do humans.  This summer get happy and healthy with your personal-trainer motivator, and best friend — your dog.  Whether walking, hiking or running, take along an American made, Guaranteed tough and Floatable Zogoflex® dog toy to add excitement to exercise!zogoflex-blog1

In a study conducted by Northern University, overweight people were given a sensible diet and advised to take daily walks with their dogs.  A control group without dogs got the same diet and exercise recommendations.  Not only did the dog owners lose more weight, they were happier. (source: ModernDog.com)

ZISC® A Frisbee that flies through the air with speed and accuracy.  Its pliable material allows dogs to pick it up from flat surfaces easily.  In backyards, at the park or on the water (it floats!) Zisc will get you and your dog moving.  Zisc is also available in glow-in-the-dark, for fun without the sun – no more excuse that it’s too dark outside to exercise.  TIP: Flip it over and fill with water when you dog needs a drink!

BUMI® Pull it, flex it, stretch it, love it!  Large Bumi stretches to 20″ and is an easy-to-throw toy that will keep people and pets entertained and active for hours.

JIVE® Designed with a groove to give an extra fun bounce, Jive helps to improve a dog’s physical and mental fitness.  Small Jive fits in a standard ball thrower for an extra workout for your dog and your arm muscles!

TIZZI® Lively, fun and excitable, the oh-so-entertaining Tizzi helps you and your dog release pent up energy.  The spiral design helps propel this toy further for some extra-calorie burning fun.  TIP: Unlock the handles to dispense low-fat treats in the hollow center when dogs need a snack break!

Zogoflex comes in bright, easy-to-spot colors, are guaranteed tough, floatable and pliable.  Perfect for trips to the park and lake or to toss down the trail.  West Paw Design’s proprietary Zogoflex material is one-hundred-percent sourced, designed and manufactured in the USA! Made in America with the planet in mind, and pets at heart®