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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

 

Welcome to Kefir: 101, the crash course about one of our favorite bowl boosters! See that cauliflower-ish stuff up there? That’s what is commonly known as the kefir “grain”, but actually, it’s not a grain at all. It’s a culture made of billions of helpful bacteria and yeast which work in combination to give your pets some amazing health benefits.

The kefir grain is typically not consumed on its own, but rather made by infusing it with a dairy product. For humans, this dairy base can range anywhere from traditional cow’s milk all the way to almond milk, however, we usually recommend that pets drink it as cow or goat’s milk. It’s a natural process with very few steps, meaning you won’t be left with additive-filled chemical goop. Essentially, the grain is left in the milk for a period of time to let it ferment. Once the required time is up, the milk gets strained and bottled while the kefir grain is recycled to make another batch.

But what happens when it goes from the bottle to your pet’s bowl, or more importantly, their stomach? The bacteria (remember, it’s healthy bacteria!) works to do things like regulate your pet’s digestive system, relieve allergy symptoms, and support their immune system. It’s also known to have antibiotic and anti-fungal properties, as well as extra skin, coat, and teeth support!

When you start your pet out, we suggest doing it gradually, just as you would with any new food. It’s easiest to use as a meal topper, but you could feed it on its own as well! Just mix a teaspoon – tablespoon’s worth (depending on your pet’s size) with their food a few times a week, and voilà! You’ve got yourself a yummy, natural supplement that also adds variety to your pet’s diet.

Whether you’re a first time user or an old pro, we always recommend Open Farm kefir as our go-to brand! The milk itself is 100% Certified Humane®, and only comes from cows that are pasture-raised, hormone-free, and antibiotic free. You’ll also find organic cinnamon and turmeric for some extra antibiotic and anti-inflammatory benefits!

You can take a closer look on our website here, however, we only sell it in-store to ensure proper refrigeration.

Have you caught the bowl boosting bug? Check back with us every Tuesday for easy and effective ways to add extra nutrients to your pet’s diet!

 

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!

It’s that dreaded time of year again: coyote season; when everyone has a horror story about their friend’s brother’s dog who got snatched up in the middle of the night. The thought of your own pet succumbing to such a fate can definitely stir up some anxiety, but we’re here to help ease your mind a bit with some easy tips and tricks to help prevent anything bad happening to your loved ones.

Don’t Leave Food Out

  • Bring in all of your pet’s food and water dishes.
  • Thoroughly clean your grill after every use. Predators can smell the hamburgers you cooked at the family BBQ even after you’ve eaten them all!
  • Be cautious with compost. Avoid adding meat, bones, and any whole foods to your compost piles. Many predators–like coyotes–are opportunistic eaters.
  • Clean up any fruit dropped on the ground from trees. Yes, coyotes will even go after those crab apples! This will also help get rid of smaller pests like flies.
  • Be sure that all trash bins are completely covered and minimize the time they are left outside.

Always Supervise Pets

  • Like many predators, coyotes are nocturnal, so keep an especially close eye on pets from dusk until dawn.
  • Cats are more at risk than dogs because they are more likely to roam around outside, unsupervised, and their size makes them ideal prey for coyotes. The safest lifestyle for a cat is to be kept indoors at all times, however, at the very least be sure your cats are inside at night. 
  • Keep bathroom breaks as brief as possible.
  • ALWAYS have your dog on a leash–preferably a shorter one so you have more control if they try to run. We suggest the Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruffwear. It’s 6 ft in length, which is plenty of space for your dog to wander, but not enough so that you wouldn’t be able to control them if the situation called for it. It’s also super strong, so you know it won’t snap if they run.
  • Try to avoid evening walks, or stay in well-lit, highly populated areas.
  • Don’t let your guard down just because you have a fence. Coyotes have been known to jump fences that are 6 feet tall. Many experts suggest installing rollers on the top and regularly checking to make sure there are no weak spots or holes.

Hazing 

One of the best preventative measures you can take is by hazing coyotes whenever you see them–and no, that doesn’t mean telling them to do a keg stand. “Hazing” is essentially the process of keeping predators from getting comfortable in your backyard. If you were looking at a new house but saw that the neighbors were loud and obnoxious, would you want to move there? Definitely not!

HAZING DOES NOT MEAN HURTING ANIMALS

Hazing is the act of safely scaring an animal away. Unless your life is being threatened and there are no other options, there is absolutely no reason to attack or injure an animal.

  • Always keep a safe distance, and never approach a coyote or other wild animal.
  • Never turn your back or try to outrun a coyote. They have the ability to run 40 MPH (Humans average around 15 MPH).
  • Make yourself seem BIG! Stand up straight, raise your arms and wave them, hold a coat about your head, etc.
  • Create a simple “Safety Shaker” by putting pebbles, pennies, or bolts into a soda can and sealing it with duct tape.
  • Keep your home and yard well-lit–especially during nighttime bathroom breaks with your dog.
  • If you see a coyote and you’re inside, open a window and yell, clap, or make any sort of loud noise to scare it away. Remember: you don’t want them to feel comfortable.
  • Tell your neighbors you’ve seen coyotes in the area, and encourage them to haze them, as well. Team work is always effective!

It’s scary to see any sort of threat to your furry family members. Just remember that as long as you stay cautious, smart, and calm, you’ll be able to keep your pet safe from harm.