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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

If you have a dog at home that goes through toys like it’s a treat, you might be hesitant to purchase more toys. But have you tried these??  These are perfect toys for our heavy chewers this Holiday Season!

snowball_coalThe Snowball and Coal by Planet Dog: This non-melting snow ball and lump of coal is made from an innovative material that allows your pets teeth to bounce off rather than sink in!  They are buoyant, bouncy, and have a minty smell and taste (great for bad breath) and made in the USA!  These balls are one of our most durable holiday toys and great fun for your pooch.

 

Knotties Holiday Toys by Hugglehounds: These holiday characters are lovingly made from cozy-soft yet tough corduroy.  They are also constructed with Tuffut technology; double-layer lining, extra stitching, no external stitching and embroidered details make it a safe and super-durable toy.  Each floppy limb features a knot to give your pup a good grip for flipping and tossing, and an enticing squeaker to encourage play!knotties

kyjen_holiday_tuff_candy_caneHoliday Tuff Candy Cane by Kyjen: It’s not the holidays without a giant candy cane! This dog toy has special durable seams to make sure that your tough chewer won’t get in. Sweeten up your dog’s holiday season with this Tuff Candy Cane!

hugglehounds-long-squeak-santaLong Squeak Santa by Hugglehounds: This Santa will have no problems fitting down the chimney for Christmas!! This Santa is a perfectly stick-shaped plush without pesky limbs getting in the way of quality squeak time. Long Squeak toys are all about the important business of squeaking; they squeak when squeezed, squeak when released, and the squeaker continues to work even after being punctured. Santa is made of ultra-plush, super-tough corduroy fabric, and a soft fuzzy beard.  Inside of course is the durable double-layer Tuffut lining. The extra stitching, no external stitching and embroidered details makes this a safety-conscious and super-durable toy.

Check out all of our Holiday Toys on our website and surprise your dog with a present under the tree this season!

 

 

BriannaM_Profile

As pet owners, we always want to find great ways to entertain our furry friends. We’ve talked about interactive games and fun puzzle toys in past blogs as ideal winter boredom or busy-day alternatives – but these same options are also a perfect choice during the “dog days” of summer! Interactive games and puzzle toys capture interest and exercise curious minds any time of year. Part of the fun is that they incorporate your pet’s favorite food or treat in a way that challenges them to keep playing.

Food is a prime motivator for my dogs. It encourages them to play with a toy and then play some more, putting in the extra effort to figure out how it works. They love pushing, biting, rolling, and experimenting with different strategies – trying to find the fastest, most efficient way to get at that food! Then they return to the toy again and again, because you never know when there might be a few more yummy rewards in there, just waiting to be found.

As we’ve mentioned before, many interactive games and puzzle toys can be used for entertainment while you’re busy doing other things. Knowing our pups are productively engaged while we’re otherwise occupied gives many of us pet parents extra peace of mind. It also makes the time pass more quickly for our pets – and that means less chance of destructive behavior!

Now your pet is not going to love every single interactive game or puzzle toy out there. So luckily, our Two Bostons stores carry a great variety of options to suit pets of all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some of these products are durable plastic puzzle games, including several excellent options from Nina Ottosson. These include the Dog Tornado (my dogs’ special favorite), the Dog Twister, Dog Magic, and Dog Treat Maze. We also carry a range of plush puzzle games. These include Kyjen’s squeaky Hide-A-Squirrel, Hide-A-Bird, and Hide-A-Bee, which let your pet hunt for a fuzzy friend. Last but not least are treat balls, which come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Popular customer picks include the Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball and the IQ Treat Ball by Ourpets. Don’t forget that many puzzle toys go all the way from a beginner to an advanced level. This is a big bonus, because it means your pet can stay engaged with the same toy over time — even as they master each new level. Ask anyone on our Team for suggestions.

 

PuzzleToy_Party

What’s the best thing about a puzzle toy party? Technically, you only need ONE hors d’oeuvre because those hungry pups just keep trying … and trying … and trying to get at the treat!

 

Like I said earlier, I use the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado with my three dogs (see pics above) and they love it! The Tornado looks like a giant blue bone with four spinning layers. Inside each layer, there are little pockets to put treats, food, peanut butter, even frozen tidbits (the toy is freezer-safe). To get to the yummy reward, dogs have to turn the layers of the bone. I especially love this toy because my pups don’t usually find all the rewards right away. This keeps them highly entertained as they keep trying to figure out how to get those last few morsels! I would say the Tornado is considered a beginner interactive game, and it’s a great starter option if your dog has never tried this kind of toy before.

Remember that you should never give your pup or kitty a new toy for the first time without supervision. Always watch to see how they react, and if there are parts they might try to gnaw, claw, or pull off. Also, make sure there are no loose pieces that could be chewed apart or swallowed when you’re out of the room.

Stop by any of our locations today, and bring along your furry friend! We’ll be happy to introduce you to our favorite interactive toys, and suggest a few options that are perfect for your pet.

MelissaG_profile

With summer just around the corner, our canine friends are itching to get outside – and so are we! After all, who can blame us after that terrible winter we just had? While trips to the dog park and getaways to the lake house are fun ways to enjoy the warmer weather, they can quickly turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not keeping your pet properly hydrated.

Just like us, pets need water to keep cool and to regulate their temperature. In fact, hydration is even more important for a dog, because – unlike us humans – dogs don’t have sweat glands distributed over their entire body surface. Most canine sweat glands are, in fact, located around their foot pads. So when your dog is overheated, he can only cool himself down by perspiring through his paws, or by panting through his mouth.

That’s why cooling water is crucial – and it’s never a good idea to head out into the heat and just assume you’ll stumble across a clean communal water source. You never know if standing water has been contaminated by other animals, or overheated in the scorching sun. Plus, many dogs tend to avoid water that comes from an unknown source or a stranger — so getting them to drink under these circumstances can be a hassle. Though on the other hand, we pet parents can’t be expected to walk around with fresh water at all times … can we?

Actually, we can – thanks to my absolute favorite go-to water source for Shenzi (left photo, below) during the warm spring and summer months: the Gulpy Water Dispenser by Kyjen. You fill up Gulpy just like a regular bottle, but the cap has a long connected tray that folds up against the bottle for easy storage. When your pet is thirsty, just open the tray, squeeze to release the water, and offer it up to your pet! Once you’re on the move again, just toss the extra water out of the tray and fold it up, so there’s no mess.  It’s super-portable, and the convenient side clip makes it easy to attach to a bag, backpack, or purse. Plus, you don’t have to worry about unexpected leaks since water won’t come out unless you squeeze it. Gulpy gives me peace of mind knowing that I have a convenient way to get Shenzi her water on the go (even if she’s more focused on the other dogs at the dog park)! It comes in a small and large size, with the large size being slightly smaller than your average Aquafina water bottle. I recommend the Gulpy Water Dispenser to any pet parent who comes in asking for portable containers or collapsible bowls.

Gulpies and Dexas

Pups like Shenzi (left) can stay hydrated anywhere with the fold-up Gulpy Water Dispenser or popular “popware” pet bowls from Dexas. These portable bowls pop open when you need them, then fold flat like a Frisbee so they’re easy to tote.

But speaking of collapsible bowls, that’s another awesome option we recommend for thirsty pups! Dexas makes a line of safe, durable silicone “popware” pet bowls that collapse down flat for easy traveling. They also come with handy clips to attach them to your backpack or purse. These portable pop-up bowls are perfect when you prefer to give your pet water from a fountain or your own bottle during an activity break. Plus, they can be used to hold food as well – say, when you want to grab some Sweet Spots ice cream cups for your dog on your walk around Downtown Naperville!

Both of these compact, convenient watering options can be found right here at Two Bostons, and they’re excellent ways to keep your pup cool and hydrated in the bright spring and summertime sun. Be sure to stop in and pick one up … then get back out there and enjoy this beautiful weather!

 

StephanieN_Pprofile

Have you ever bought a new squeaky toy that you were super-excited to give it to your dog – only to discover a couple days later the squeaker was broken? When this happens, the dog often has no interest in the toy and it gets nosed aside like stale kibble. But have no fear! This frustrating problem is solved by Invincibles squeak toys. These are part of the extra-durable Plush Puppies line designed by Kyjen.

An Invincible squeak toy contains no stuffing, and still has the ability to squeak even after the squeakers have been punctured. Why? Because its squeakers can refill with air even when they’re perforated. Each toy also features extra-tough, double-layered seams that are perfect for enthusiastic chewers. While no toy is 100% resistant to wear and tear, these toys are pretty darn close!

Invincibles come in a snake and a super-cute gecko design. The snake is available in size Small or Large, in either green or red. Size Small is 22.5 inches long and has 3 squeakers inside; while size Large is 36.5 inches long and has 6 squeakers inside for double the fun. The gecko is available with 2 or 4 squeakers inside, and comes in either blue or orange.

I have two dogs, a German Shepherd named Maya and a German Shepherd mix named Macy. Macy absolutely loves squeaky toys, but she always seemed able to break the squeakers in the toys. After she broke them and ripped the toy apart, we would either have to throw it away or she’d lose interest. When I brought home a red Invincible squeak snake, Macy was ecstatic. She loves to run around with the toy in her mouth, and even cuddles with it! She especially loves the fact that it contains 6 separate squeakers! Sometimes she will just lie down and squeak every single one.

ToughToys

Squeaker-free GoughNuts (left) and super-squeaky Invincibles are tremendously tough for hours of tail-waggin’ tossing, tugging, and chewing. Macy (center) also gives her Invincibles snake extra points just for being so snuggly.

As long as you’re exploring toys that last awhile, check out our fresh-and-fun GoughNuts! These toys don’t squeak, yet they’re still pretty close to invincible. GoughNuts are designed for dedicated chewers, with a serious focus on safety. Developed by polymer engineers and made in the USA of natural rubber, GoughNuts leverage a patent-pending “green means GO, red means STOP” design. So in the very rare case that your pooch happens to chew through to the red color on the inside of the toy (see above), simply take the toy away, take a picture of it, and send it to the manufacturer. Guess what? You get a brand new Goughnut! This is part of the manufacturer’s unlimited warranty. GoughNuts come in several fun shapes and colors, and float at water level for those pups who love to swim.

Why not get both of these toys together? They’ll give your pup practically indestructible options that will ensure years of safe, healthy, energetic play. For more firsthand ideas and suggestions from our Team, visit any Two Bostons store — and bring your furry friend along. Happy squeaking!