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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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!

 

It’s pretty amazing how often we at Two Bostons hear about dogs with digestive issues. From pickiness and anal gland problems to vomiting and diarrhea, almost every dog is bothered by at least one of these problems at some stage of their lives.

If your dog has digestive issues, or if you are looking to be proactive in preventing them, a quality diet is a great place to start. Talk to any Team Member at Two Bostons and find out why the foods we carry, from kibble to dehydrated and raw, are some of the best available. Plus, our Free Food Faster™ program can save you money on pet food!

In addition to feeding your dog a high-quality diet, consider adding a new supplement with some pretty astonishing digestive benefits. Introducing Flora4 100% Raw Organic Sprouted Seeds! Sounds like crunchy granola, right? But just wait till you hear about what this stuff can do!

  • First, Flora4 contains NO synthetic enzymes or probiotics. All enzymes and probiotic strains are food-based and occur naturally. So, you’ll see a very short and pronounceable ingredient list on the bag, which we always like!
  • If you serve your dog plain raw meat or meat you’ve cooked yourself, adding Flora4 will complete the vitamin and mineral profile dogs require.
  • It can help with scooting, constipation and diarrhea, because of its combination of soluble fiber and intense levels of LIVE probiotics.
  • Flora4 can help with skin and coat conditions due to therapeutic levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • If your dog has recently had surgery or has gone off solid food, Flora4 can be added to goat’s milk or bone broth to help restore balance of good gut bacteria. It’s also very effective in re-establishing healthy gut bacteria levels after an antibiotic treatment.
  • If your dog is diabetic or has yeast issues, Flora4 is a great alternative to pumpkin for a digestive aid, since it’s a low glycemic and low sugar product.
  • Flora4 can also help reduce hairballs in cats with its enzymes and fiber.

This product is suitable for grain-free diets, and you can try it out in a 1.5 oz packet or an 18 oz bag. The small packets are great for travel, and Flora4 itself is a ground, powder-like product that’s easy to sprinkle onto pet’s food. Come try it soon and see what it can do to keep your pet’s digestive system running smoothly! It’s Maple-approved, too!

MBB_Profile

Let’s just get this out of the way: I am a pumpkin fanatic. I’m not sure when this happened, because I don’t remember loving pumpkin as a kid – but these days, I try to sneak it into everything I possibly can: pies, quick breads, side dishes, casseroles, ravioli, risotto, muffins, cookies, even yogurt. For me, enjoying Thanksgiving dessert is one of the high points of the holiday season (okay, the year).

So you can imagine how grateful I am that pumpkin is actually good for you. It has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving, and only 49 calories. It’s loaded with antioxidant-rich Vitamin A and beta carotene, energizing potassium and iron, plus Vitamin C. But did you know that it’s also wonderful for your dogs and cats? YES! It’s probably best they don’t eat an 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. Specifically, these powerhouse foods can help “squash” (heh) a variety of pet-related issues and ailments and support the areas listed below:

Pets and Pumpkin

Pets seem to love pumpkin and sweet potato … so it’s good news that pumpkin and sweet potato love them right back!

 

Digestive Health: Thanks to their fiber content, pureed pumpkin and sweet potato (again, not pie filling, but the plain kind with no added sugar or spice, liked 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 to your pet’s size) has been proven to help keep them regular. I can also tell you from extensive personal experience that either choice is very effective when it comes to calming upset stomachs in pups and kitties.

Food Transition: If you’re transitioning your dog to a different or healthier food, you definitely don’t want to risk upset tummies and/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. But according to several vets I’ve talked with, the oils in pumpkin and its seeds can help support urinary tract health over time as well.

Weight Management: My dogs love pumpkin almost as much as I do. So if I notice anyone in our “pack” becoming a teeny bit too plump, I simply reduce a portion of their daily breakfast and add in some plain canned pumpkin or sweet potato (such as Fruitables Sweet Potato SuperBlend). They love the flavor, it keeps them feeling full, and it can really help them shed those couple extra pounds.

If you’d like to learn more about the pet-related benefits of pumpkin or sweet potato, ask anyone on our Two Bostons team for their insights and suggestions. Don’t forget, too, that Fruitables and other reputable brands make a range of treats, snacks, and supplements featuring pumpkin and sweet potato.

Fruitables Options

Fruitables (and other brands) make a range of pet products containing healthy helpings of pumpkin and sweet potato. Just ask our Two Bostons team!