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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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!

 

 

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

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

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

 

Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially if you have little human-kids…carving pumpkins, making costumes, buying candy and seeing all of the other costumes. Kids get so excited to see how much candy they can collect and then the sorting of it and trading with friends or siblings (this was the best part)! Our fur-kids, on the other hand, might not like any of this. Below are safety tips to make sure that your pet has a fun Halloween too.

The Candy Bowl ~ The candy bowl is for little human goblins, not our four-legged goblins. Several of those treats that are handed out are toxic to our pets. ALL Chocolate – especially dark and baking chocolate – can be dangerous, even lethal.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased hearth rate, and seizures. Sugar free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar, causing loss of coordination and seizures.  The number for the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: 888-426-4435 (the hotline charges a fee of $65 per case).

Be Careful with Costumes ~ For some pets, putting them in a costume will cause undue stress. If your pet loves being in a costume, make sure it does not limit their movement, ability to breathe, bark or meow. Make sure to check for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Make sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big day, to make sure they enjoy it and for them to get used to it.

Protecting Your Pets ~ Having a doorbell constantly ringing and too many strangers can be scary and stressful for our pets. Keep them in a separate room away from the front door during trick-or-treating hours. If you would like something to help your dog calm down during this stressful time, stop in and ask a team member about Happy Traveler (this is an amazing product that will help in all kinds of situations that brings on anxiety for our pets). If your dog is social and doesn’t get stressed with visitors, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t run outside. And always have the proper identification – just in case they do escape – a collar with ID tags and/or microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Decorations ~ Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire and a curious kitten are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Keep glow sticks away from your pets, the liquid in the sticks are thankfully not toxic but it tastes awful if you pet does chew on one. This can cause them to paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. If you think that your pet did chew on a glow stick offer some water or treat to help clear the liquid out of their mouth.

We hope that you and your families have a fun and safe Halloween and if your pet does like to be dressed up, stop in so they can trick-or-treat too!!

 

Forget about Christmas, this is the actual best time of the year. The smell of fresh cut grass, the beautiful colors in our gardens, the warm weather, the list goes on and on for us.

For our pets, mainly dogs, this time of the year is great too! Longer walks, more time at the dog park, all the squirrels running around and OH WAIT, WHAT WAS THAT? FIREWORKS?!?!?! To us loud unexpected noises are little more than a nuisance, but to our furry family members they can be extremely scary. Many try to run and hide in a dark corner of the house, jump on their owners lap for protection or even scarier – run out of their own yard because they are so disoriented.

My Moe, at the first sign of a thunderstorm or fireworks, will get up from wherever he is and hide under the desk in our spare room if I forget to give him Happy Traveler beforehand. I give it to him about an hour before the storm hits or before I know fireworks will be starting. Since it helps keep him calm for 4-6 hours, I usually only have to give him one dose. If there is a storm all day I give him a dose every 5 hours. Happy Traveler calms my guy down without making him groggy or out-of-it. L-Tryptophan, Valerian root, chamomile and St. John’s Wort are the natural calming ingredients that are safe for cats and dogs 12 weeks and older. On stormy days Happy Traveler naturally helps my Moe stay calm and confident.

For stronger storms I give him a little extra Happy Traveler to keep him calm and make sure his favorite penguin toy is nearby for added comfort. That’s what is so awesome about his product! Since it’s all natural you can adjust the dose as needed after an hour if the recommended dose isn’t quite enough for your pet.

Happy Traveler is such a versatile product because it can help in situations that you might not have thought of. I give my Daphne Happy Traveler before nail trims to keep her calm. Nail trims still aren’t her favorite, but the process is quicker because she isn’t as scared of the situation. If you avoid car rides with your pet because they get sick, Happy Traveler can help with their motion sickness. Your pet’s anxiety of being left alone while you’re at work can also be relieved by Happy Traveler. That means your pet could be a good boy or girl and not chew on your furniture while you’re gone because they don’t know how to relieve their anxiety any other way.

If you’ve noticed situational anxiety in your pet, Happy Traveler is a great product to try out. Many team members here at Two Bostons use it for our own pets and we would be happy to share our experiences with you! We hope you and your pets have a great anxiety-free summer!

 

 

 

In my family, Halloween is one of our favorite times of year. The trees are colorful, the kitchen smells like apple cider, and the cutest little ghosts and goblins wander around the neighborhood doing the best to look frightful!

10431249_791800060866672_1675487833336778634_oBut while we humans are having such a fun time, that’s often not the case for our furry friends.  The sound of a repeatedly ringing doorbell can send some dogs and cats scrambling for cover. Unfamiliar holiday visitors can cause excessive anxiety. For these situations, the Thundershirt and Happy Traveler, by Ark Naturals can be a huge help! See our past blog: Thundershirt + Happy Traveler = Stress Free Summer to learn more about these two products.

The scarier aspect of Halloween, from a pet perspective: the fact that tiny trick-or-treaters may decide to “share” some of their Halloween goodies with your four-legged friends. Even when the trick-or-treaters aren’t so tiny, their treat baskets can often wind up unattended, or in easy-to-reach places.  I can tell you, that when this happens the frantic trip to the emergency vet is NOT pretty.

So, as Halloween is just around the corner, it is worth remembering some especially menacing food culprits to keep away from our beloved pets:

Chocolate ~ In ANY form, this is extremely toxic to your dog or cat. It contains high levels of caffeine and theobromine – both of which are hard for cats and dogs to process.  The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous.

Grapes and Raisins ~ Humans often think of these as healthy Halloween alternatives. But for dogs and cats — they will cause kidney failure.DogToxins

Xylitol ~ This no-calorie sweetener is often used in sugar-free gum and certain baked products. In many dogs and cats, it can cause a sever, and sudden, life-endangering drop in blood sugar levels.

Ethanol (including Ethyl Alcohol, Grain Alcohol or Drinking Alcohol) ~ Even small amounts of this compound can cause life-threatening toxicity in dogs and cats – and don’t forget, flavor syrups and raw yeast bread dough often contain it too.

At Two Bostons we have several pet-safe alternatives for your dogs and cats to still enjoy Halloween Festivities.  Check out our bakery case, Puppy Kisses or other sweet treats!

 

MelissaG_profileA few weeks ago, we posted an awesome blog about some of the dangers your pet may encounter during the fall season, such as, school supplies, garden snakes, and mushrooms that grow during this time of year. But Halloween also can be a “scary” time of year for our furry friends.

Just think–the constant ringing of the doorbell, the children dressed up as strange creatures, all the candy laying around–all these festive activities can cause a lot of anxiety in pets and are often overlooked in the excitement of our own enjoyment of the holiday.

 

Here’s some helpful tips from Two Bostons to make sure you and your pet have an awesome Halloween!

 

  • Stressful pet? Get some Happy Traveler! We’ve talked before about how awesome Happy Traveler is for pets who are scared of thunderstorms and fireworks. But if that doorbell has your pet on high alert, a little happy traveler can be perfect for that as well! About 30 minutes before the Trick-Or-Treaters are about to head out, give your pup the recommended dosage or put their Thundershirt on. When the doorbell starts to ring, your pet will feel much more relaxed and the night will go a lot more smoothly! Stop by Two Bostons, or visit our website to stock up today before the kids come knocking!

    Happy Traveler Pills

    Happy Traveler pills

Happy Traveler Chewables
Happy Traveler Chewables

 

 

  • Be cautious on walks. It’s always risky going out for a walk at night in the dark, but it never hurts to be extra cautious on Halloween. Kids are dropping candy everywhere, and the number one pup toxin–chocolate–could be hiding in the grass nearby. You may not know until your pup has already started chowing down on it! Bring a flashlight with you and if you see anything that looks at all like it could be something your dog is going to try and goggle up – avoid it! Help clean up any chocolate wrappers or discarded candy you find to help your neighborhood clean up as well. And if kids are still out trick or treating, be sure to avoid any rowdy crowds that could get your pup worked up.

dogsincostumeonleashes

 

  • Consider your pet’s personality. If your pet is not good in crowds, DON’T try to take them Trick-or-Treating with you! I would absolutely love to bring Shenzi around in her adorable costume, but I know she gets very excited around kids and it would probably be a bad idea to put all that stress on her. Even though it’s tempting to bring your dressed up pup out with the kids for adorable photo opportunities, you’ll be saving yourself, your dog, and other Trick-or-Treaters a lot of stress by keeping the dog at home while you venture out with the kids.

In the excitement of the Halloween season, we often overlook our furry friends and how they’ll react to all the events happening on Halloween night. Take a few precautions and Halloween will be a fun and enjoyable time for everyone – and don’t forget to send Two Bostons pictures of your adorable fur babies dressed up in our Halloween Up Country collars and Party collars!

Holiday Collers by Up Country--Check out the Halloween one!

Holiday Collers by Up Country–Check out the Halloween one!

 

Did you find this blog post helpful? Well then post a comment and let us know! Two Bostons wants to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

MBB_Profile

At Halloween, many pets experience an increase in stress, and no wonder. Visitors ring the doorbell at unexpected times throughout the evening. Parties and get-togethers bring strangers in and out of the house at random intervals. Scary movies on AMC Fearfest include booming, startling sound effects. But if you think about it, these types of factors are in play all year long. Thunder, fireworks, neighborhood barbeques, motorcycles, marching bands, birthday parties – to a pet with an extra-keen sense of hearing (like our dog Grant), any one of these elements can provoke a disabling anxiety attack. Fortunately, there are solutions available that don’t require harsh sedatives.

ThunderShirt
Remember when you were a little kid, and you got really upset over something, and Mom or Dad would give you a great big hug? To humans of all ages, hugs can be very calming and reassuring — in fact, experts highly recommend swaddling as an effective calming aid for infants and even certain young children. But did you know that this very same principle can actually apply to your dog or cat?

Pet parents who have witnessed an anxiety attack know exactly what happens – your pet pants, and drools, and shakes uncontrollably, sometimes trying to crawl into or underneath or behind things in a panicked attempt to flee the scene. If you’ve ever tried to calm an animal in the midst of a full-on anxiety attack, you know how futile it can be. Often they won’t even respond to your familiar voice. In these kinds of cases, the ThunderShirt works like a big, snug hug.

ThunderShirt Swaddling Approach

Ever wonder why doctors recommend swaddling to calm a fussy baby? The same principle applies to the ThunderShirt (which maybe they should consider re-naming “WonderShirt”)!

Not exactly, of course, but the idea is pretty close. In our house we call Grant’s ThunderShirt his “Huggie Shirt” (as in “Hey Grant, let’s get your Huggie Shirt on!”) and he’ll run right over to it. The ThunderShirt uses the same principle as swaddling an infant or hugging a crying child. Its effects can be dramatic – the first time we put it on Grant, he flopped down on the carpet and dozed off in the middle of a bad storm (while the rest of us did a quiet little happy-dance). In fact, studies show that the ThunderShirt has an 80% success rate among pets experiencing a range of stressful situations.

So what is it? It’s a lightweight, machine-washable spandex and Velcro wrap that’s extremely quick and easy to put on. It works by exerting a gentle but constant pressure all around your dog’s rib cage. Many anxiety experts believe that this pressure helps release stress-relieving hormones like endorphins, but it also provides direct feedback to your pet’s brain. With Grant, we’ve found that hyperventilating turns into its own a vicious cycle – once he starts panting rapidly, he can’t stop, and that makes him even more agitated. The ThunderShirt helps calm this rapid-breathing feedback loop; and as breathing eases back to normal, your pet gradually calms down as well. It’s one of the smartest pet investments we ever made.

ThunderShirt Fitting

Once you purchase a properly-fitted ThunderShirt, it’s extremely easy to put on. Our dog Grant runs right over to his like it’s some kind of prize. Which, in a way, it is.

 

Happy Traveler
That brings us to Maizy, our sweet puppy mill dog. Maizy is generally fine with loud or sudden noises – it’s people and situations that provoke her anxiety. Being around strangers, going to the groomer or kennel, taking an unfamiliar car trip – all of these things can get Maizy pretty freaked out. So for her, we use Happy Traveler products from Ark Naturals. These are all-natural, non-habit forming, calming botanical remedies designed by a holistic veterinarian, and formulated specifically for dogs and cats. They’re similar to Bach Rescue Remedy (which we’ve also used with great success). But the thing we especially like about Happy Traveler is that it comes in both capsule form and a super-handy chewable form as well. Maizy LOVES the taste of these little chews, and sees them as her “treats.” So right off the bat, they make any situation seem less stressful – after all, she’s getting something yummy! But this treat also happens to calm her throughout the experience – it doesn’t knock her out like a sedative, it just gently mellows her general mood.

When dealing with an anxious pet at Halloween or any time of year, I should add one thing that we’ve been told by Narnia, the amazing pet behavior school in Plainfield, IL. When pets begin to seem anxious, Narnia reminds us pet parents that it’s important to act as calm, matter-of-fact, and unruffled as we can. Often we want to run to our furry friends, scoop them up to cuddle them, tell them how sweet and good they are. According to Narnia, though, making a “big deal” with our pets when they begin to show signs of stress often reinforces the very behaviors we’re trying to calm and re-shape. This advice has helped us tremendously!

To see the ThunderShirt in action, help your dog get fitted properly, or learn more about wonderful Ark Naturals products, just visit any of our Two Bostons stores!

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.