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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Here’s the thing about Ziwi Peak: it’s so good that your pet most likely thinks they’re getting a bowl of treats for dinner! This is definitely one of our go-to foods for picky eaters. Most pets LOVE the taste and if they eat just a little bit, you know they are getting a mouthful of super high nutrition. The jerky-like consistency is great to use as a food topper or as an entire meal.

 

All Ziwi Peak food comes straight from, you guessed it, New Zealand! We know that might be a little confusing since we usually stick close to American-made food, but New Zealand actually carries some of the highest quality livestock in the world. In fact, a lot of the brands we carry source their lamb from New Zealand for that very reason. All of their animals are free-range, and eat only high quality organic food. They also tend to be generally healthier than animals in other areas of the world since New Zealand is virtually free of diseases like rabies; one of the many benefits of living on a remote island!

Speaking of living on islands, Ziwi Peak fully utilizes both the land and sea to source their ingredients. Fresh green tripe is used to make food more palatable and support healthy digestion while green-lipped mussels add in an extra boost of natural glucosamine for joint health! Even though they only make up about 4% of what’s in the actual food, it’s still good to know that Ziwi is making every last ingredient count.

What’s the other 96%, you ask? Meat, organs, and edible bones. That’s it! No grains, legumes, fillers, or nonsense. Just delicious New Zealand protein that goes through a natural air drying process to become the food your pets can’t get enough of. It’s the closest you can get to feeding raw without actually feeding raw! In fact, it’s so close that we even suggest pet parents who exclusively feed fresh use it as a “backup” for when they’re out of town and trying to make feeding as easy for the sitter are possible.

Whether you’re thinking of switching over completely, using it as a fresh feeding backup, or simply looking to add a little New Zealand flavor to your pet’s bowl, it’s always good to have a bag or can on-hand!

Have you caught the bowl boosting bug? Check back with us every Wednesday to learn easy new ways to pack some extra nutrients into every meal!

 

My name is Mary Ann and I’m a Team Member/lifelong cat parent at Two Bostons! About two years ago, I moved out into an apartment for the first time and shortly after, I rescued my very own cat. Her name is Clarice and she is a spoiled princess. But here’s the thing…even princesses poop. And my princess poops a lot.  By no means am I saying that was a surprise, but the only place her litter box can fit in my apartment is about three feet away from my bed so it’s less than ideal. I’ll spare you the smelly details.

Before working at Two Bostons I was using the same “big box” brand of litter I’d always used with my prior cats, and frankly, it was the worst. I felt like I was constantly choking on litter dust, and every time Clarice used her box my entire place stunk for a good fifteen minutes. Naturally she also tracked it everywhere, including my bed, because for some reason she just loves to snuggle after a good poop.

Then I tried Boxiecat and my life was changed forever.

Obviously I was skeptical after 20+ years of using the other stuff. It just sounded too good to be true. Easy to scoop, non-tracking, and minimal smell? There was no way, but I still figured it was worth a shot. I opted to go for BoxiePro which has all the aforementioned benefits plus probiotics to make it self-cleaning. That part was extra important to me because of the close proximity to my bed. So I grabbed a bag and hoped for the best.

One of the initial things I noticed was that there was virtually no dust. With the other brand it felt like ages for my room to not smell like litter after changing it, but with Boxiecat I could actually breathe! To any readers and/or cats out there who have any sort of breathing issues like asthma, allergies, or even a general sensitivity to dust, I HIGHLY suggest checking out Boxiecat for this reason alone! You really don’t realize how much dust your litter has until you use something without any.

The tracking was also reduced substantially. On top of Clarice’s box being in my room, my apartment is also completely carpeted, so I went the whole nine yards to do what I could to prevent tracking (covered box with high walls, a mat to catch the litter as she left, etc.), but there was still always litter everywhere. Now there is almost none. I think it’d be impossible to eliminate tracking entirely, but Boxiecat has made it pretty minimal. I also have more peace of mind knowing there are anti-bacterial properties so it feels a little less disgusting to roll over in the morning and find a litter grain stuck to my cheek (I said a little).

Boxiecat is also saving me money. With the other brand, I was going through about 20+ lbs a month. I got to the point where I was scooping multiple times a day which contaminated the unused portions of the litter because the clumps would break apart which meant things got smellier faster which meant I was changing it bi-weekly. Sometimes even weekly! With Boxiecat, the clay they use is ultra absorbent, so it creates what they call “flat top clumps”. Essentially the quick absorption catches the liquid upon contact, rather than letting it seep down to the bottom of the box. It’s easier to scoop and doesn’t fall apart! I’m back to only scooping once daily, plus I only have to completely swap litter once a month*.

Now let’s talk about odor control because that’s arguably the most important thing.

It works! There is still a little odor, but like litter tracking, I don’t think it’s possible to 100% eliminate everything. I like that it neutralizes the odor, rather than just covering up the scent with a different scent. When Clarice uses her box there’s not even a 5 minute window where I’m plugging my nose, then afterwards it’s as if I didn’t even have a cat as a roommate!

So is Boxiecat worth it? Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes three thousand times YES! I cannot get over how big of a difference this product has made. My entire place just feels so much cleaner, and now when I have guests over, my anxieties of having them walk into a stinky apartment are gone! I truly can’t recommend this product enough.

We currently carry four varieties of Boxiecat litter so you can find what’s perfect for your unique feline family! Grab some in our stores or order it online!

Taurine is one of those things you’ve probably seen mentioned all over the place lately but when you go to research, every article you find is written in medical gibberish. Fear not, pet parents, we’re here to break down exactly what it is and why your pet needs it–no dictionary required!

In a nutshell: Taurine is an amino acid that is exclusively found in animal-based proteins. It works to keep our pets’ bodies functioning properly, especially for normal vision, heart health, digestion, and reproduction.

Why it matters: While cats and dogs naturally can produce taurine, dogs just barely produce what they need and cats are physically incapable of producing enough to ensure healthy functions. While this might sound a little alarming, your furry friends can get more taurine through their diet!

Where does taurine come from: As mentioned above, taurine only naturally occurs in animal proteins, which is one of the many reasons it’s crucial for your pets to get as much meat as possible! Hearts are especially jam packed with it, but there are also supplements available. Most pet food brands are conscious about the amount of taurine in their recipes and add in additional taurine if necessary.

How to make sure your pet gets enough taurine: Feeding fresh is almost always the answer when it comes to boosting your pet’s health! Even if they only eat two fresh meals a week in addition to their current diet, you’ll see a world of difference in everything from your pet’s coat, energy levels, poop (it’ll become less smelly and smaller!), and, of course, taurine levels. Fresh food is the closest you can possibly get to what an animal would eat in the wild without actually releasing them in the woods to catch their own dinner–that means it has optimal nutritional benefits!

Another option is to start including fresh or freeze dried treats into your pet’s routine. Remember how we said that hearts are one of the best sources of taurine? You can actually feed freeze dried hearts as a yummy snack! Some of our personal favorites are the Freeze Dried Chicken Heart Bites by Fresh Is Best. It’s a single-ingredient snack that’s 100% American-made. They’re even so tasty that both dogs AND cats love them! You can check them out in our stores or order them online here.

You can also easily add daily supplements to your pet’s diet. There are quite a few good ones available but our go-to and most trusted is Herbsmith’s Taurine Boost powder. It’s as simple as adding a spoonful to your pet’s bowl and giving it a quick stir!

 

In conclusion: Taurine isn’t as complicated and scary as the internet makes it out to be!  Remember: if you still feel unsure, confused, or have questions, reach out to us. We aren’t kidding when we say we could talk about pet wellness all day!

Have you caught the Bowl Boosting Bug? Check back with us every Tuesday to learn more little ways to add big nutrients to your pets’ bowls!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thundershirt

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

 

 

CBD

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

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

Herbal Remedies

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

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

Relaxation Squares

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

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

Whether you’re a newcomer or have been with us for years, you’ve probably caught on that we’re pretty picky about what we sell at Two Bostons. If you ask any of our Team Members what we look for in a product, you’ll always get the same answer: we don’t sell anything we wouldn’t feel 100% comfortable giving our own pets. But that’s just the shorthand answer. We love brands that are more than just brands. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that just about everyone we work with shares our same core values of improving the lives of pets and their people, and Green Juju Kitchen is certainly no exception.

So what is Green Juju? Well, aside from being fun to say, it’s sort of like a health smoothie for dogs that’s great for their immune systems, joint health, coat, and overall bodily health. Simply take a spoonful and mix it with their usual meal (it’s a topper, not a replacement for what they usually eat!). There are two different blends to choose from:

The “Just Greens Blend“, which contains 100% organic celery, zucchini, kale, dandelion greens, parsley, bison bone broth, coconut oil, lemon, turmeric, and ginger.

The “Baily Blend“, which contains 100% organic cucumber, green cabbage, broccoli, turkey bone broth, cilantro, chard, coconut oil, blueberries, turmeric, and lemon. 

Everything is sourced from local farmers, and every cup is prepared by hand for a little touch of love and care. When you open it up, you’ll even see that you recognize pretty much everything in there, so it won’t feel like you’re giving your dog some sort of mystery mush.

The next question is: will dogs really eat this stuff? Yes! We definitely understand why you might feel skeptical, and the truth is, even we were a little at first, too. After all, when you think dogs you think steak, not organic cucumbers, broccoli, and green cabbage. At the same time, you don’t exactly think kids + broccoli, cucumbers, and green cabbage, either, but we still manage to get them to eat it! All jokes aside, a lot of our Two Bostons regulars have come in and told us what their dogs thought, and the majority were pleasantly surprised. 

Green Juju is so successful because it wasn’t developed by humans who one day decided to give their dogs some veggies and see what happened. It was developed by pet parents with extensive professional experience in canine nutrition for owner Kelley Marian’s dog Bailey, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Since Bailey was already weakened from her illness, Marian knew she most likely wouldn’t survive the surgeries and treatments needed to get healthy, so she decided to take a holistic approach instead. The fruits and vegetables provided the extra vitamins she needed that couldn’t be obtained from meat alone, and soon, Bailey’s immune system was strong enough so she could get the surgery to be cancer-free. After having such great success with her own dog, Marian knew she couldn’t keep it to herself, and thus Green Juju was born.

That’s what puts the “Juju” in Green Juju. Its a product and brand whose roots go deeper than soil–it sprouted from love and has been made with heart ever since.

Image courtesy of greenjujukitchen.com

 

Keeping up with your pets can be exhausting at times…it is normal to spend a great deal of time trying to prevent problems such as fleas, worms, ear infections, and much more.  Yet, one problem often goes unnoticed….Canine Obesity, and it is estimated that nearly 34% of all dogs are overweight.  The reason for this is that many pet owners are not aware of the severity of obesity symptoms, or aware of how to tell when their pet has reached an unhealthy weight.dog-on-scale

There are many harmful symptoms of canine obesity including:

  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Inability or lack of desire to exercise
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Sensitivity to heat

Clearly, overweight animals are only cute on the Internet, in real life the reality of their condition is anything but…How do you know when your pet has reached an unhealthy weight?  Often times it is hard to determine what the ideal weight of your pet should be, as well as specifically what is causing their condition.

Causes of Canine Obesity:overflowing-dog-food-bowl-9506814

It may sound harsh, but often times the cause of a dogs weight problem is their owner.  The owner is mostly in control of when and how much a dog eats, as well as how much exercise they get on a daily basis. Making sure that a dog is being fed the proper amount of food, as well as getting plenty of exercise every day is extremely important.  It is easy to cut the amount of weekly walks down, but doing so could have serious repercussions for your pet.

 

How to Tell:

The easiest way to tell whether or not your pet is overweight is to look down at them from above.  Ideally you will be able to feel their ribs but you will not be able to see them.  If you can see their ribs then they are too thin, but if you cannot feel them at all then they are most likely overweight.

Solutions:dog-need-exercise

One simple way to help your companion shed pounds quickly is to cut their daily amount of food by 25%.  Often times the problem can be as simple as overeating so make sure to actually measure the amount of food that you’re giving your pet.  You should give your pet the amount of food that it says on the bag, that your pets weight is SUPPOSED to be, not what they currently weigh. You can also help by increasing the amount of exercise they get a day.  The ideal amount of exercise per day is about two – half hour walks.  If your pet is not currently getting this much, it is best to slowly build up to the ideal exercise level.

Canine obesity is a fairly serious problem, affecting around 1/3 of all dogs. Thankfully though it is not a difficult problem to solve.  With a little bit of dedication you can get your pet back to a healthy weight very quickly!

If your dog has a few pounds to shed…you and your pup can participate in the Two Bostons Lose Pounds with Your Hounds Challenge.  It is a 6-week weight-loss challenge with your pup! The program starts the week of April 25th and runs until June 11, 2016.  For more information visit our website or email Lisa at lisa.s@twobostons.com!