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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Last week was National Puzzle Day, and at Two Bostons we are celebrating during the entire month of February!  Each store will be having a Puzzle Day over the next few weeks (see dates below). We want you and your pups to come in, learn and try some of our most popular puzzle and treat dispensing toys.  Is your dog up for the challenge?!?!

There are endless benefits to using these types of toys.  Here are some we’ve discovered:

  1. They help prevent boredom. I’m sure many of you have smart pets who seem to get into everything — but a lot of times, this happens because your furry friend is simply bored or trying to get your attention while you’re doing chores around the house.
  2. They stimulate problem-solving skills. I have found that letting Karlee play with a puzzle makes her happy and keeps her mind busy while she while her paws and snout slide and flip it around.
  3. They’re a lot of fun for your pup. Karlee is one happy camper when I get her puzzle toys out.
  4. They’re multi-purpose. This is one of my favorite things about puzzle toys. They can be set up as a fun activity that provides great mental stimulation and they can help pets (especially dogs) slow down while eating. Does your pup gobble his food down in just a couple of big mouthfuls? Puzzle toys are a great solution, they have to work a bit for their food. It slows down eating and prevents things like choking or bloat from happening.

Here are some of our favorite puzzle and treat (or food) dispensing toys:

  • Hol-ee Treat Ball by JW Pet ~ Skill Level – EASY. It Rolls, Slides, Rotates, and out comes the TREATS! Holey moley…this is an awesome dog toy! All you have to do is unscrew the top and fill it with your dog’s favorite treat or kibble. It’s made from durable, non-toxic natural rubber.
  • Dog Magic by Nina Ottosson ~ Skill Level – EASY. Remove the bones to reveal the treats! This is a relatively easy game where your pup must dislodge the bones to get the hidden treats. You can choose to put the treats under one, several or all the bones, to vary the difficulty of the game. Great for cats too!
  • Fun Feeder­­™ by Outward Hound ~ Healthy Non-Slip Slow Feeder. Does your dog think he is at an eating contest? This Fun Feeder ™ will help your dog slow down their race to the finish! Featuring meal-lengthening ridges and mazes, this feeder keeps pups engaged for up to 10x longer at meal time, which improves digestions while helping furry friends eat at a fun, healthy pace. The Fun Feeder™ comes in 3 different colors and designs, it also features a slip-resistant base to prevent sliding and food spillage.  They are dishwasher safe, and available in mini and regular sizes.
  • Bob-A-Log by StarMark ~ Skill Level – EASY. The Bob-A-Lot’s innovative design dispenses treats or food as your pup uses its nose or paws to top it over. The top and bottom chambers can have the dispensers adjusted to make it easier or harder to get the treats out. It is also a great way to stop your quick eaters from gobbling down their food.

Stop in and try let your pups try out some of these puzzle toys at Puzzle Day.  And until February 28, 2017 when you purchase a puzzle or treat dispensing toy you get 20% off Plato Small Bites Treats (any flavor; small, 4oz. bags).

Puzzle Days at Two Bostons: 2/4/17 ~ Two Bostons, Springbrook | 2/11/17 ~ Two Bostons, Burr Ridge | 2/18/17 ~ Two Bostons, Downtown Naperville.

 

 

 

National Cat Day is Saturday, October 29th!  Founded in 2005, by Pet and Lifestyle Expert & Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Page, the holiday – and its group of supporters and sponsors – support the recognition of the number of cats that need to be rescued each year as well as encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they offer.national-cat-day

As a cat lover, you already know about all of the super fun cat toys we have at the stores…here are some of our most popular cats toys for your special feline to celebrate with!

Yeowww Banana by Ducky World ~ This is a customer favorite by far…your kitty will go berserk for this fruit! YEOWWW, what a trip!  No cotton filler, stems or seeds, just jam-packed with premium, 100% organically grown, super-strong catnip.

Kitty Cuddle Pal by Petstages ~ With the colder weather fast approaching, the Kitty Cuddle Pal would make a purrr-fect gift for your kitty!  It can provide warmth and comfort for your kitten on the upcoming cold days.  Simply microwave this toy and place it with your can when you’re away, or any other time she needs comfort.  The Kitty Cuddle Pal is imported and filled with buckwheat.  Your cat will thank you for warming up their winter!

Magneticat Cat Toy by JW Pet ~ What more could capture your cat’s attention than a twitching, singing prey? The Magneticat Cat Toy is made from a weighted bottom that holds a rod dangling a magnetic ladybug.  Using magnetic forces, the ladybug twitches and swings to keep your cat captivated for hours.  No batteries are needed!

Cat Maze by Nina Ottosson ~ Is your cat smarter than average…if so, this is for you to try!  This fun, interactive toy makes your cat work for its treat or food.  The Cat Maze works with the help of your cat pawing and batting to dispense the treats. The bright colors and plastic material make for a great play time! So, challenge your cat with the Nina Ottosson Cat Maze!

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We have lots of other toys, treats, furniture and more for you to spoil your kitty on their National Holiday!  Stop in to check out all of our cat products.

In last week’s blog: Keep Your Pup Busy this Winter, I told you about a starter puzzle toy to try out with your dog this winter.  Did your pup figure it out already? Or is your pup just so smart that you need to try out some puzzle toys that are little more difficult?  Well, we have them for you!!  Here are some of our favorite puzzle toys to try today!

  • Dog Twister by Nina Ottosson ~ Skill Level – Hard. Spin to reveal the treats! This puzzle toy encourages your pup to learn to dislodge the bones and move the compartments to earn the treat hidden inside.  You can make your dog work even harder by hiding less treats or even locking some of the compartments.  This is great for cats too!

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  • Hol-ee Treat Ball by JW Pet ~ Skill Level – EASY.  It Rolls, Slides, Rotates and out come the TREATS! Holey moley…this is an awesome dog toy!  All you have to do is unscrew the top and fill it with our dog’s favorite treat!  It is made from durable, non-toxic natural rubber.

 

  • $T2eC16d,!zkFJJwSE2bJBSZR2Vfm,!--60_35Dog Magic by Nina Ottosson ~ Skill Level – EASY.  Remove the bones to reveal the treats! This is a relatively easy game, where your pup has to dislodge the bones to get the hidden treats.  You can choose to put the treats under one, several or all of the bones, to vary the difficulty of the game. Great for Cats too!

 

 

  • Tornado by Nina Ottosson ~ Sill Level – HARD.  Rotate the layers to reveal the treats! The idea behind the ‘Dog Tornado’ is for the dog to dislodge the removable bones, then turn the revolving sections to reveal hidden treats.  It has many variables to increase the level of difficulty as the dog’s skill improves.  This one is good for Cats too!COA-054_1z
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  • Bob-A-Lot by StarMark ~ Skill Level – EASY.  The Bob-A-Lot’s innovative design dispenses treats or food as your pup uses its nose or paws to tip it over.  The top and bottom chambers can have the dispensers adjusted to make it easier or harder to get the treats out.  The Bob-A-Lot is also a great way to stop your quick eaters from gobbling down their food too quickly.

Celebrate National Puzzle day by stopping in and picking up one of these or any of the other several puzzle toys that we have!  Your fur-kid will be thanking you this weekend!

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One of the things my husband and I really enjoy is helping to sponsor and support kids around the world by furnishing food, clothing, medical aid, and toys; and giving them the chance to attend school. At the moment we’re assisting children of various ages in Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Thailand, the U.S., and Russia. So for us, part of this priority has been deciding that our own house doesn’t need to be as large or fancy as we’d once envisioned. And that means our pets need to be comfortable in a more modest living space as well.

I’ve found that dogs are pretty adaptable to numerous situations. But if you happen to live in a smaller-sized home, some breeds have an easier time adjusting than others. Perhaps most surprisingly, I’ve found that breed size is not always the most important factor. What seems to matter more is whether the pet has a certain kind of temperament — including a lower tendency to bark constantly (especially if you happen to have neighbors living in close proximity); and lower exercise needs that can be satisfied via daily outdoor strolls, regular indoor play, and/or ready access to a secure, dog-friendly outside area.

In particular, we love taking our pups to Aurora’s Gregory Island Dog Park. It’s in a quiet, peaceful setting right on the river, and adjacent to a nature preserve with walking trails. It also has completely separate, off-leash play areas for larger dogs and smaller dogs under 35 pounds. We appreciate this type of feature in a dog park, because large dogs can sometimes accidentally injure or trample a smaller dog during energetic play. Our pup Grant, for example, is built like a hedgehog but seems to think he’s a Great Dane – so he could easily get hurt if he were swept into a big-dog romp session. If you have a larger dog and want to visit Gregory Island, it’s important to note that the big-dog side of the park is not fully fenced in. The river itself acts as a barrier … unless your dog loves to swim, in which case you’d need to be very watchful. The small-dog side is fenced on all four sides. To register your pup(s), contact the Fox Valley Park District Park Police Office at 630-264-7421.

Dog Park Areas in the Fox Valley

The Illinois Fox Valley has some of the most beautiful, safe, and spacious dedicated dog park areas in the Midwest.

 

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County also has a number of beautiful, spacious off-leash dog parks. There are six in total, though we particularly like Greene Valley – which, again, has a separate fenced area for dogs under 35 pounds. Blackwell and Springbrook Prairie are two other fully-fenced areas that have lots of great trails, too. Keep in mind, though, that Springbrook’s “fence” encloses an absolutely gorgeous but huge expanse of land — so your dog can become lost in the high brush if s/he doesn’t respond well to callbacks. To obtain a permit, contact the Park District Office at 630-933-7248.

In addition to dog park visits, our two dogs enjoy a LOT of indoor playtime. They have one easily accessible toy box on the floor, plus a special “hidden toy box” that only makes an appearance during bonus-round, extended-play sessions. Grant is our “let’s play fetch” pup, so he especially enjoys squeaky plush toys from Hugglehounds and Planet Dog (the Hugglehounds Red Candy Cane is a special favorite). Maisy is our resident brainiac, and her sweet, serene puppy face conceals a surprisingly wolf-like set of teeth that can chomp through almost anything. So for her, we rely on hidden-treat puzzle toys like the Nina Ottosson Plastic Dog Brick , the awesome JW Pet Hol-ee Treat Ball, plus extra-durable offerings like the Kong Ballistic Bone. With the holidays coming up, these are some excellent options to consider when it comes to keeping your pups busy and active on snowy days.

Indoor Toy Options

Indoor play should be a part of every dog’s life. With the holidays coming up, consider extra-durable options plus puzzle toys that stimulate your pup’s natural intelligence.

Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of “small-space” dog breeds with the help of our vet and behaviorists. In an upcoming blog, I’ll share some of the breeds I’ve found to be among the best candidates when it comes to co-existing happily in smaller living quarters.