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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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!

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!

 

 

Does your dog frequent dog parks?

Do you use an over-the-counter flea and tick preventative or on a medication that might cause liver damage?

Does your dog have digestive issues?

If you said YES to any of these, you might want to give Milk Thistle a try!

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean and has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy. In the first century it was documented to be used as a remedy for poisonous snake bites. Now, it is commonly used as an ailment for liver, kidney and gallbladder problems. The seeds in milk thistle contain a flavonoid called silymarin, which protects the liver from toxins. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help the liver repair itself and block the entry of toxins resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

Here are some ways that milk thistle works:

  • Reduces fibriotic activity
  • Strengthens the membranes of liver cells to prevent damage from toxins
  • reduces the action of liver enzymes responsible for causing inflammation of the liver
  • Enhances protein synthesis by increasing RNA activity, and stops absorption of toxins in the liver

Here are some circumstances that Milk Thistle would be beneficial:

  1. Digestive benefits – It prepares the digestive tract to start producing a hormone called gastrin. Gastrin starts the production of gastric acids and bile, which help in digestion and the breaking down of fats in the small intestine. Milk thistle has a mild laxative quality to it that helps to lubricate the stools and prevent both constipation and diarrhea.
  2. Dogs that take Phenobarbital or another medicine to help control seizures caused by canine epilepsy – One side effect of Phenobarbital is possible liver damage. Drugs such as Phenobarbital, when processed through the liver, can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue.
  3. Dogs that frequent dog parks – For dogs that spend time at the parks you are probably using something more than just a topical flea and tick medication. Over-the-counter flea and tick treatments, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix are pesticides and for it to kill and prevent fleas and ticks, the chemicals must enter the blood stream through the liver. Permethrin that is used; for example, can slow down the nervous system. Milk Thistle will help flush the chemicals from the liver and rebuilds those cells that may have been damaged by the pesticide.

We carry Milk Thistle by Herbsmith at all stores. It comes in a 75-gram powder form bottle, and we can order larger bottles upon request. Come in and talk to us anytime if you want to learn more or have other questions!

 

You may have seen or even heard someone at Two Bostons talk about Milk Thistle, you may have wondered what it is, or thought that sounds like a weird plant or something (I know that is what I thought the first time I heard it).  Let me know tell you about it and why your dog might be a good candidate to try it out today!

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean.  It has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy.  Its first documented use ithn the first century was as a remedy for poisonous snake bites.  Now, it is commonly used as an ailment for liver, kidney and gallbladder problems.  The seeds in milk thistle contain a flavonoid called silymarin, which protects the liver from toxins.  It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  This may help the liver repair itself by stimulating the production of new liver cells.  It can also block the entry of toxins into the liver and remove them at cellular level, resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

Here are a few ways in which milk thistle works:

  • Strengthens the membranes of liver cells to prevent damage from toxins
  • Enhances protein synthesis by increasing RNA activity, and stops absorption of toxins in the liver
  • Reduces fibriotic activity
  • Reduces the action of liver enzymes responsible for causing inflammation of the liver

Here are a couple of circumstances that you might use Milk Thistle.

#1.  Maybe your dog is on Phenobarbital or another medicine to help control seizures caused by canine epilepsy.  One side effect of Phenobarbital is possible liver damage.  The liver’s function is to filter all absorbed toxins introduced to the body before allowing it to pass through the blood stream.  Drugs such as Phenobarbital, when processed through the liver, can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue.  Milk thistle should be administered to every dog taking liver taxing medications, and especially if the liver is damaged or diseased.

102107675-dog-park-bullies-632x475#2.  Do you have a young dog that frequents the local dog parks? For dogs that spend a lot of time at the parks, you probably use something more than a topical flea and tick medication. Over-the-counter flea and tick killing treatments, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix are pesticides.  In order to kill and prevent fleas and ticks, the chemicals must enter the blood stream through the liver. Permethrin; that is used in K9 Advantix for example; can slow down the nervous system by binding to sodium channels. That is where milk thistle comes in.  This powder helps flush the chemicals from the liver and rebuilds those cells that may have been damaged by the pesticide.  We would heavily suggest this product for every dog on a medicated flea and tick preventative.

Milk Thistle has digestive benefits as well!  It prepares the digestive tract to start producing a hormone called gastrin.  Gastrin starts the production of gastric acids and bile, which aid in digestion and the breaking down of fats in the small intestine.  Milk thistle may have a mild laxative quality to it.  This helps to lubricate the stools, and prevent both constipation and diarrhea.

We  have Herbsmith’s Milk Thistle at all stores.  We carry the powder form in a 75 gram bottle, but we can order larger bottles upon request.  Please come in and talk to us about any other questions or concerns you may have.

In today’s Guest Blog, AdreAnne, owner of Two Bostons Pet Boutique is sharing a new product to help in supporting your senior pet.

 

It’s always tough to see your pets age. Many times, I’ve felt helpless and I think we can all agree that isn’t a great feeling. As our pets age, it becomes even more apparent they need a little extra love and attention.

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As Daisy got a bit older, we noticed that although her body was healthy, she seemed to start developing some cognitive issues. She started getting up and wandering around in the middle of the night. She also seemed a bit confused at times. I think Andy was getting tired of me asking, “Do you think she’s alright?” as she was just sitting there. She would get a “far off” look and wasn’t focused. A few times, I observed her playing or walking in the yard and then she would suddenly stop and stare off in space. Now, I will be the first to admit that I had a very strong bond with Daisy, so my worry about her was certainly the cause of my first white hair! I just knew there was something extra I could be doing for her, but I didn’t know what.

As soon as I heard about Senior Dog Wisdom, a veterinarian developed, special formula for aging dogs to help support normal, healthy aging and cognitive brain function, I grabbed a container for Miss Daisy right away.

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The difference it made within a matter of a few weeks was incredible. No more random walks around the bedroom in the middle of the night and she seemed much more alert. I have to say that I absolutely love this product. This is a must have for anyone with a sweet senior to give them a little extra support to age healthier and stay sharp!

You can pick up Senior Dog Wisdom at any Two Bostons store or you can order it online.  If you have any questions, please stop in or call and one of our Team members can help you out today!

 

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Hi guys — Erica here to tell you about an exciting new product we have at Two Bostons. It’s called Nutrients: Superfood for Superdogs by Herbsmith, and it’s a veterinarian-developed, highly-concentrated blend of nutrient-rich fruit-and-vegetable “superfoods” that are specifically geared towards a carnivore’s nutrition needs.

Customers often ask us if we carry a pet-optimized vitamin, so we were thrilled when we found this yummy supplement powder that’s packed full of natural vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. I’m a nutrition junkie, so I was intrigued to see the addition of so many wonderful “superfoods.” Barley grass and sea algae have long been popular dietary additions for nutrition-minded humans, and have really received some added exposure over the past couple of years. Dogs can benefit from these nutrient-dense greens as well. Barley grass contains vitamins, chlorophyll, active enzymes, and antioxidants. It’s known to aid in digestions and to help detox organs. Sea algae is one of the richest known plant sources of minerals and amino acids. These nutrients help enhance energy, fortify the immune system, and enrich coat color and skin pigmentation. Sea algae also supports thyroid function because it’s rich in iodine.

HerbsmithPhotos

This powder-based powerhouse also contains blueberry powder which supplies key antioxidants. Cranberry pieces add proanthocyanidins, flavonols, and quercetin, which are all polyphenols with potent antioxidant abilities. According to pet nutrition experts, foods containing proanthocyanidin molecules may help to improve heart health and lower cancer risk. Herbsmith Nutrients powder also includes sweet potatoes, which supply healthful beta carotene; and avocado meal, which is a good source of omega-9 oil. Calcium and iron are supplied by spinach powder. Tomato powder delivers lycopene, and broccoli powder infuses this supplement with high levels of indole-3-carbinol, which is thought to help inhibit cancer. Finally, freeze-dried turkey is added to make this supplement powder extra tasty.

Any dog can benefit from Herbsmith Nutrients. This supplement would be an especially great choice for the pet parent who makes a homemade raw or cooked diet. It comes in an easy-to-use jar, with a lid for shaking on one side and for measuring on the other. The supplement can be sprinkled on kibble to replace nutrients that may be lost during high heat extrusion, which is necessary to process the kibble pieces. I’ve been adding it to my dogs’ raw diet for the past couple months, and they gobble it up!

The jar comes in two convenient sizes, 2.93 and 6.5 ounces. So stop by any Two Bostons store today, and ask us to tell you more about Herbsmith Nutrients – it really is superfood that can benefit your very own superdog!