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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Dr.ErinGuestBlogAnimal chiropractic is a natural and simple way to make a positive difference in your dog’s health and wellness.  It is a gentle, yet highly effective treatment modality that allows the animal to utilize their very own healing capabilities.

An animal chiropractor is a licensed chiropractor or veterinarian who has undergone specialized post-graduate animal chiropractic education and understand the complex biomechanic and neuromusculoskeletal systems animals.  They are certified by either the AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) or IVCA (International  Veterinary Chiropractic Association). Animal chiropractors focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on health.

Some common conditions seen by an animal chiropractor are limping or other gait abnormalities, neurological conditions such as seizures or paralysis, signs of pain in the spine or a limb, muscle spasms, chronic ear infections, incontinence, allergies, arthritis, and more.

sheltieshow2The only definitive way to know if your dog needs to be adjusted is to have them examined by a certified chiropractor.  However, there are a few “home checks” you can do to see if they would benefit from chiropractic.

  1. Put your dog in a sit position, hold a treat in front of them.  Now bring the treat to their shoulder.  They should go directly nose to shoulder in a simple, easy motion.  If they scoot back, twist sideways, or do anything besides that simple lateral neck movement, they may have a problem in their neck.
  2. Another way you can check your dog is to feel along their spine.  Feel for heat, cool, swelling, or muscle twitching.  You can gently press along their spine and see if it causes them any discomfort anywhere.  If they jump, turn their head, if you feel muscle tension or twitching, or temperature changes, they may have a problem in that area.  The more you do this, the more sensitive you will become to subtle changes.
  3. You can also observe them…if they have difficulty executing certain movements, such as walking, running, going up or down stairs, jumping into the car or on a couch, getting up from laying down, squatting, or sitting, they may have a chiropractic problem that needs to be addressed.  Abnormal posture when standing or sitting, nail dragging, as well as side sitting can also be indications.

While chiropractic care helps a variety of conditions, prevention is the key.  All chiropractors, whether for people or animals, are proactive in health.  Meaning they want to maintain optimal wellness and prevent disease from happening in the first place.

Your pet should be examined periodically to ensure there are no abnormalities in movement and function, this covers areas such as range of motion, gait, posture, and muscle tone to ensure optimal wellness, help prevent disease, and to keep your dog’s health at their full potential.

parkerbIdeally, chiropractic care for dogs should begin at an early age and continue throughout their lifetime, but it’s never too late to start.  An animal chiropractor can evaluate your pups to ensure they are developing properly as well as help your adult dog stay active and healthy.  It can keep working and sporting dogs in top condition as well as keep senior dogs active and pain free.

Animal chiropractic is a great compliment to your dog’s regular veterinary care.  Plus, it’s not limited to only dogs, any animal with a spine can benefit!  A pet under chiropractic care functions and heals much more efficiently, leading to a whole new level of health!


For further information on animal chiropractic visit and click “animal chiropractic” or email Dr. Erin O’Connor at

In the blog Five Ways to Start the Year Off Right earlier this month, I told you one of the ways to start the off the year right was to feed appropriate diets and supplements.  Do you know what supplements can do to help your pet?

Much like our diet, a dog’s diet cannot be expected to cover every single need their body has.  You may run into a skin and coat issue, or an occasional digestive issue, or quite possible joint issues as your pup ages. And by supporting your dog’s system with a healthy diet and supplements, you are ensuring that your dog will have the be life possible.8b585d469f168a716cbfea7fb285fbcb

Many breeds suffer from seasonal allergies and dry skin from the elements.  This can cause uncomfortable itchiness and a dull, unhealthy coat.  One way you can combat that is with an Omega 3 or a Salmon Oil supplement. Omega 3 acid is a fatty acid that is essential in a dogs diet and is key to a healthier skin and shinier coat.  It also works to help joint, heart and immune system health.  We have several options to choose from, including:

You might also run into the occasional digestive issue (on both ends).  Supplements are a great way to boost your dog’s system on a daily basis to make those episodes fewer and farther between. They can also work as a stop measure should your pooch be experiencing intestinal upset.

Pumpkin is also a great choice for keeping your pooch regular.  These supplements help those pups with diarrhea or even constipation.  You can learn more about using pumpkin from our previous blog: Serving pumpkin has benefits. Here are some options for you in the digestion area:

And of course…

Simply add this supplement daily to keep your pooch regular.  It combats gas, facilitates regularity, firms up loose stools, soothes and protects the GI Tract.

Finally, you are going to want to protect your dogs joints.  This is something that you do not want to wait to do!  You don’t wait until your car runs out of gas on the side of the road, instead you stop at the gas station.  Think of your pups joints like that…supplements that contain glucosamine are great for chronic arthritis pain, relieving swollen joints, morning stiffness, inability to run and play as well as age related immobility.  They can also help protect and heal cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.  They are also great for providing a strong base for your pup to draw from as they age.  Here are a few supplements you might want to consider:

Hopefully you will look at making one of these a part of your dogs everyday life! Stop by any Two Bostons store to see all of our supplements and feel free to ask one of our Team Members for help with choosing the right one for you and your dog.

Bone broth: it’s been called “soul food” for dogs.  This is a great product to use for many cats and dogs, specifically finicky eaters, pets who aren’t feeling well, pets with decreased appetites, and especially older pets.  Adding Bone Broth is a great way to increase the moisture content of any kibble, which is important for the overall health of any dog or cat. Use it as a topper for kibble, a fun treat, or as a way to rehydrate any Honest Kitchen formula. Just mix, serve, and watch your happy pet become even healthier.


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What’s not to like about it?   For me, there was the one issue that it usually takes a few hours to prepare it.

Now, that wait is over with The Honest Kitchen’s new dehydrated Bone Broth.   Just add a Tablespoon of the powdered mix into 1 cup of hot water and let the yumminess begin.


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How does it smell? It must smell pretty good since my husband asked what was going on since he smelled pot roast, but knew he would never catch me cooking one! As soon as I started mixing, Beamer literally started drooling and as you can see, both dogs devoured it and started looking around for seconds:


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What makes this Bone Broth ideal (besides it being super easy to prepare)?

  • The Honest Kitchen has taken the functionality of this treat and added turmeric, not only adding antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to the mix, making it a great support for pets with food allergies.
  • Bone Broth is a highly nutritious treat and loaded with healthy benefits, including glucosamine and chondroitin, provides great joint support. This makes Bone Broth a wonderful choice if you would like to give your active or older pets an extra tasty supplement.
  • Bone Broth is also a great support for liver detox as it contains the amino acid glycine.  This is important as the liver must work extra hard clearing toxins such as chemical cleaners (think carpet or floor cleaners), synthetic ingredients, vaccines, and even many of the flea and tick preventatives from your pet’s body.

I’m looking forward to making a regular ritual of making bone broth for my babies and encourage you to as well – Enjoy!

So….it is almost the New Year! And with the new year we all want to strive to be the best we can be!  This year we want you also to make sure that your pets live the best and most healthy life possible. Each month in 2016 we will be having a different educational focus to make sure you can be the best pet parent possible…here are five things that you can start to do today to make that happen, and a preview of what you can expect to learn more about this year from us!

  1. Running-With-Dog-1Exercise, Exercise, Exercise ~ It is important for us…it is important for them too!  The best way to maintain a healthy weight is exercise.  That could mean walking more, running, chasing, anything that gets the heart pumping. An unhealthy weight can lead to many health issues…so it’s time to break out that leash and get moving.
  2. 5a2f0fcddb77f334c8ef41df3963f895Feed Appropriate Diet & Supplements ~ Make 2016 the year your pets eats the best diet possible…this means a diet that closely resembles what a dog would eat in the wild.  We recommend raw diets; however, we know that is not doable for everyone, so more importantly a grain free diet is extremely important.  Much like our lives, your dog’s diet can’t be expected to cover every need his or her body has, so we recommend supplements that fits your dogs lifestyle and needs.
  3. dogs-playing-at-dog-parkBe Social ~ Can you imagine going through your life never talking to another human being?  I can’t!  Let your dog get out there and make friends.  Check out some of our local dog parks and let your dog be a dog.  There are many ways to help your dog socialize…and you’ll have fun too!
  4. nina-ottoson-dog-finder_c-g Play More ~ All work and no play makes Fido a dull boy…or at the very least a naughty boy, because he is constantly getting into things he shouldn’t.  Go through your dog’s toys and weed out the ones that are worn, broken, or simply are not played with.  If you haven’t done so yet, get a puzzle toy to stimulate your dog’s brain.  Or, get a toy that you can play with together.  We have many to choose from that are just the right size and durability for your pooch.  Let us help you pick the perfect toy!
  5. 25666036-origpic-7cf762Hydration Station ~ Fresh water is key to keeping your dog healthy.  Whether that is in your home, on a walk or on the road, it is important that you always have a supply of fresh water available to your pooch.  A raised feeder is the perfect way to offer your dog water (and food) that promotes a healthy posture and ease of swallowing.  The Drinkwell is another great way to offer your dog fresh water.  And for when you are on the go, portable drink dispensers are the way to go!

1de3189bbc6a24d16df518a7e6e3d994So here are the five easy ways to start the year off right for you and your dog!  We are looking forward to providing you with the best year yet…it is going to be jam packed with information to help you be the best pet parent you can be, you will get it from Seminars, Blogs, Events, Newsletters, Social Media and other fun activities and community partnerships!


This time of year you see pumpkin in everything: drinks, side-dishes, pasta, cookies, bread, and of course pie! For as much pumpkin we eat this time of year we can all be grateful that it  good for us!  You are probably wondering how eating pumpkin pie can be good for you…well it has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving and only 49 calories.  It is loaded with antioxidant-rich Vitamin A and beta carotene, energizing potassium and iron, plus Vitamin C.

gettyimages-492269311Guess what?!? Pumpkin is also good for your dogs and cats! It is probably best not to have them eat actual raw pumpkin but canned, natural, unsweetened pumpkin; pumpkin seeds; and cooked fresh pumpkin have numerous benefits for our furry friends.  The same goes for plain, pureed sweet potato.  These powerhouse foods can help “squash” a variety of pet-related issues and ailments and support the following areas:

Digestive Health: Thanks to their fiber content, pureed pumpkin and sweet potato (again, not pie filling, but plain with no added sugar or spice, like the canned variety made by Fruitables) can help dogs and cats with bouts of constipation and diarrhea.  Adding a tablespoon or two to their regular meal (in proportion of your pet’s size) has been proven to help keep them regular.  Both is also very effective when it comes to calming upset stomachs in pups and kitties.

fruitables-pumpkin-switch-canFood Transition: If you’re transitioning your dog to a different or healthier food, you definitely don’t want to risk upset tummies or messy stools.  Fruitables Pumpkin Switch is a great transition aid that provides a calming digestive “buffer.” It calms the stomach and eases digestion to make the transition much easier.  Simply add a spoonful or two to your pet’s bowl as you begin to include higher proportions of the new food.

Skin, Coat, and Urinary Health: Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, so they help support overall healthy skin and fur.  According to several vets that we have talked with, the oils in pumpkin and its seeds can help support urinary tract health over time as well.

fruitables-sweet-potatoWeight Management: My dog has put on an extra pound or two over this past year because she has a toddler that likes to give her the food he doesn’t want…I have simply reduced a portion of her breakfast and added in some plain canned pumpkin or sweet potato (such as Fruitables Sweet Potato SuperBlend).  She loves the flavor, and it keeps her feeling full all while helping shed a couple extra pounds.

If you would like to learn more about the pet-related benefits of pumpkin or sweet potato, ask anyone of our Two Bostons team members.  They can give you their insights and suggestions specific to your dog and cat.  Don’t forget that you can also try a range of treats, snacks and supplements that feature pumpkin and sweet potato, like Fruitables.

Dave Grooms, Owner of The Oak Brook Kennel Club and a PetTech Certified Pet CPR & First Aid Instructor shares critical information on building your home pet first aid kit.

Dave-InstructorEvery pet owner should have a separate first aid kit for their animals.  Why?  Your dog or cat (or turtle or lizard) doesn’t need band-aids.  So called Pet First Aid Kits can be expensive and are many times just re-hashed people first aid kits.  Check them out online.  If they contain band-aids – you know the manufacturer simply re-labeled a people-produce.

We think a better alternative is to build your own kit.  First, find a plastic tackle box or a clear plastic box with a lid – preferably with a handle.  Next, pick up these essential items:

  • 8 – 10, 4-inch gauze squares to control bleeding (bigger if you have a larger pet)
  • 1 rapid-read thermometer and a small tube of Vaseline
  • Flashlight – used to find a splinter, check eyes or mouth
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • A muzzle – either purchased or made from a 2″ wide strip of felt cloth (4′-6′ length)
  • 3 – 4, 2-inch wide rolls of gauze tape or ‘vet wrap’ to place over gauze squares and to apply pressure on wounds
  • 2 -3 instant cold compresses for stings and sprains
  • A pair of scissors to cut fur, a leash or collar
  • Hand sanitizer and disposable gloves
  • Cotton swabs
  • 3 – 4 sanitary napkins – great for deep lacerations
  • A list of your pet’s allergies and medications plus one phone number to your nearest 24 HOUR emergency care Veterinarian Hospital


Pet Tech Logo - New 11-09In an emergency, time is of the essence.  Building our own pet first aid kit means you’ll know exactly what you have on-hand during an emergency.  You’ll shave precious seconds off your reaction time not having to fumble through your kit’s contents.  Don’t forget to label your new Pet First Aid Kit, “For Pets ONLY” in permanent marker.  Most importantly, make the time to show each member of the family where the kit is and what is in the box.  It’s even a good idea to practice applying a bandage to your pet – before an actual emergency happens.

Dave will be on hand for a series of Pet First Aid Seminars, with the first tonight (10/7/2015) and the others later in October and November.  He’ll be presenting critical life saving tips and tricks to ensure your pet family member stays happy and healthy.  He will be doing an informative demonstration of dog and cat CPR, plus demonstrating how to safely approach an injured animal.  For more information about the upcoming Pet First Aid Seminars, visit the Two Bostons Event Page.

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!


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!

With the temperatures rising through the end of July and into August, I thought it would be a great time to remind you about the very real dangers of Heat Stroke to our four-legged friends.  Could you imagine wearing your winter coat right now? That is what it is like for them during the summer.


Panting_xlibberWhat 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 hypothermic.  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?

Temperature-in-Car-GaugeMany 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?

  1. Unexplained Restlessness
  2. Excessive Panting
  3. Fluctuating Panting
  4. Excessive Drooling
  5. Foaming at the Mouth
  6. Dry or Tacky Gums
  7. Difficulty Breathing
  8. 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 too.  Having a cool spot to lie in the house will also work wonders!  If you have not seen our Canine Cooler Mat, you need to check this out today!


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.  But, by keeping your furry friend cool, giving access to plenty of water, and taking care to limit large fluctuations in temperature, you will help avoid the dangers of heat stroke this (and every) summer.


West Paw Design loves dogs and that’s why one-hundred-percent of their durable Zogoflex® dog toys are made in America, Guaranteed and Safe!  Designed to withstand gnawers, fetchers and every dog in-between, every one of the seven styles of Zogoflex® toys are: latex-free, BPA-and-Phthalate-free, non-toxic and recyclable.  All toys float and are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a snap!

If your dog is one of the few that can take on a Tux (and win!), simply return to us for a replacement toy – that’s right 100% of West Paw Design’s Zogoflex® dog toys are guaranteed!

TOPPL® A customizable puzzle and treat toy that turns play time upside down and all around.  Trap treats inside its inner ridges and watch your dog try to tip it over and keep him entertained and challenged.  Perfect for smaller dogs, big dogs and clever dogs.  Topple-Green-Kibbles-380PRO PUP TIP: Interlock the two sizes (small and large – sold separately) to make playtime over the Toppl!zogoflex-dog


BUMI® Pull it, flex it, stretch it, love it!  Large Bumi stretches out to 20″ and is an easy-to-throw toy that will keep people and pets entertained and active for hours.  PRO PUP TIP: Playing tug-o-war with Bumi is tons of fun and keeps both humans and pets engaged and entertained.

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

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

TUX® A dog’s chance to have his cake (or peanut butter) and eat it too!  The perfect combination of a supremely stuffable treat toy that will not hurt or damage the soft mouth of a dog, while still being guaranteed tough against dog damage.  PRO PUP TIP: Stuff peanut butter, yogurt or canned dog food in the center and freeze to keep dogs entertained.

2012-03-dog-frisbee-kai-200x150ZISC® 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 is also available in glow-in-the-dark, for fun without the sun – no more excuse that it’s too dark outside to exercise.  PRO PUP TIP: Flip Zisc over and fill with water when dogs need a drink!


HURLEY® Toss it, float it, chew it, love it!  Hurley is a bone-shaped durable dog toy that won’t absorb slobber.  Hurley is all the fun of a ball and a bone in on durable toy.  PRO PUP TIP: Replace dog’s sticky, raw hide bone with a Hurley – it’s dishwasher safe so super easy to clean!

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®


The following article was written by Liz, our Downtown Team Member who recently lost her pal Brock:

Whoever said, “A girls’ best friend is a diamond” has probably never owned a dog. My best friend was a tall four legged, black eyed, 7 year old American Bulldog named Brock. I swear that when he got excited and started to pant, he’d smile. Over the past 7 years, Brock and I grew an incredible bond. We did just about everything together, from sleeping in on lazy days, to getting puppy lattes at Starbucks. I remember his automatic drool that started as soon as he saw the drive-thru window; he sure loved his puppy lattes.


On March 13, I lost my best friend at just 7 years young. Just 1-week prior, Brock had been diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant tumor of the blood vessel cells that is extremely aggressive. Hemangiosarcoma is more often found in dogs than in any other species. Unfortunately this is why there has not been much research on this particular cancer. It usually occurs in middle-aged to older dogs, and in larger breeds, especially German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Dobermans, Portuguese Water dogs, Bernese Mountain dogs and English Setters. But obviously it can occur in just about any breed.

The primary location this cancer lies in is in the spleen, but it can also be in the heart, liver, skin, and bone.  After time though, it will usually spread to all those locations. The scary part about Hemangiosarcoma is that usually when you see symptoms, it’s already too late. Hemangisarcoma is not curable, when diagnosed the average survival rate is  any where from 19 days to 2 months, and 6 to 10 months with chemotherapy treatment.

With Brock, he had been absolutely normal up until the day he was rushed to the emergency vet for white gums and weakness.  This is when we found out that he had a tumor on his spleen that ruptured and was causing extreme internal bleeding. If we had not taken him to the vet that night, he would of bled to death internally and we would not have known anything. Just the day before, Brock had been at the dog park, being a normal happy dog. We did not see this coming, not in a million years.


Thankfully we had the option to do emergency surgery to remove the spleen and have a fighting chance against this awful thing that was eating away at my best friend. After surgery, Brock’s recovery was astonishing and we even got to take him home the very next day. Unfortunately the rest of the news that followed was not at all what we hoped for. His cancer spread to this liver, the chemotherapy route did not work and we lost our puppy just 3-weeks after the first sign of illness.

In these past heart wrenching weeks, I’ve done so much research trying to answer everything that I had going through my head. With that, I wanted to share what I learned and pass it on to other dog lovers.  Some very important signs and symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma are loss of appetite, arrhythmias, weight loss, weakness, lethargy, collapse, pale mucous membranes, and/or sudden death.  The best way to help prevent this scary cancer is to start doing annual ultrasounds for the high-risk breeds after they turn the age of 5.  Even though ultrasounds can be pricey, a simple procedure like that can really save your dogs life. A great article that gives more detail on Hemangisarcoma can be found here. I encourage you to read it.

Words can never fully describe the love that I had for Brock. And I miss him more as each day goes by.  It feels like yesterday he was just giving me his routine kiss on the lips that he would have to jump up from his front paws to do, or his nightly check of my bag after I had come home from work to see what goodie I had brought him home. The memories that I have with him will live on forever. And even though he may no longer be here physically, he will always be in my heart. I learned so much from him, and will continue to as time goes on after his passing.  I think its safe to say that he is in doggie heaven, running through the biggest dog park towards a mountain made of bully sticks, smiling that big smile.