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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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.

 

During the Holidays everything gets a little more chaotic than normal…you may not be able to watch Fido or give him as much attention as normal. Which means he may get into some items around the house that may cause him harm and you don’t even realize it.  Here is a quick list of some items to look out for this holiday:poinsettia

  • Poinsettias – they may cause irritation to the mouth, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • MistletoeMistletoecauses digestive upset, but can potentially cause cardiovascular problems
  • Hollygastrointestinal no no!
  • Batteriescontains caustic, corrosive materials that can result in chemical burns if chewed or ingested
  • Alcoholic beverages and/or chocolateincreased heartbeat and it can make your pet very very sickwaterinbowl
  • Christmas tree watercontains fertilizer or preservatives that can be toxic to pets and over time it becomes moldy, stagnant, and not fit to drink
  • tinselElectrical lighting cordssome dogs consider them a chewing toy which can result in severe burns in and around the mouth and gums
  • Christmas tree tinsel or ribboncauses intestinal blockage and can actually cut into intestinal tissue
  • Potpourriliquid or dry may have toxic flowers in the mix so keep up high just for safety

 

Here are some other Winter Pet Hazards that you will start to come across as we start to get into the cold, snow and ice:

  • AntifreezeIt has a sweet, pleasant taste, and even the smallest amount can be fatal.  Keep out of reach, and check your local automotive shop for a pet safe brand…clean any spills the best you can.
  • Ice-melting productsthey can be irritating to the mouth and skin, ingestion may include (depending on the ingredients) vomiting, depression, or excessive drooling.
  • Rodent killersas it gets cold outside mice will move indoors for warmth causing us to get a pesticide to keep them out.  Keep these out of reach of the pets, you don’t want an unexpected vet visit.

37fef05e03447118e5be51de834c2bf9The one thing that I will say is…be observant of your pets behavior, and make sure all hazardous items (to the best of your knowledge) is out of Fido’s reach this holiday season! We all know it is hard to communicate with our pets, so they might get into SOME trouble…with that, please always keep your vet’s phone number in an accessible spot just in case of an emergency.

Wow…I feel like that was a lot to take in!  Now, let’s have a safe, happy and stress free holiday.

A while back I did a post on Pet Fairy Noshers and introduced you to the Monster Mouth toy. You can see the original post by clicking here.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know that Diesel is my almost 100 pound black lab. And, mostly, he is a huge chewer. He loves Two Bostons’ deer antlers.

But, I wanted to show you a little something about my big baby of a dog:

Nine times out of ten, when you come over to my house, this is what you will see. He walks around ALL. DAY. LONG. with the Monster Mouth in his mouth. He hasn’t destroyed it by chewing it to death (and trust me, he can put away a deer antler like no one’s business).

He’s had this toy for around five months now and this is what it looks like with daily use:

Now, I’m not saying it looks like it is brand new; however, for a rubber toy that has been in my dog’s mouth continuously for the last five months, I think it’s held up very well.

He’s really very funny with it. In fact, he hates when we talk to him about it and pretends he doesn’t even like it:

Notice how he’s all “Awww, Mom!” in this picture.

And now he’s like “That isn’t even mine…I don’t know what you’re talking about.” in this picture.

But the second he thinks I’m walking away, here he comes to get his Monster Mouth which totally cracks me up!

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, other than the obvious reason that he is adorable and super funny about his toy, I wanted to point this out because I was initially afraid to try a rubber toy for him. He is a HUGE chewer (I think I already mentioned that) and I was afraid that he would rip this to shreds. And look what happened! He loves the toy and is almost never without it (whether it is filled with anything or not~but when I fill it he goes nuts).

So, it’s true what they say, it’s ok to step out of the box every once in a while. You may be surprised by what your pet ends up loving. My suggestion, for any type of toy, is never leave your furry friend unattended when introducing a new toy or chew. Monitor their progress and let them have it in small increments until you are sure what they will do with/to the new toy. No toy is indestructible; I’m sure at some point he will chew this to the point that I need to replace it. In the mean time, I find it interesting that he is as gentle as he is and that he loves to carry it around. And I’m glad that I was able to find something that has brought him this much joy, since he adds so much joy to my life!

 

It’s almost hard to believe they’re back again…yep, the Holidays are here! Drive down any block USA and you are likely to see lights hanging inside and out, trees decorated in the windows, all manner of glitz hanging around, and a lot of frazzled people and pets.

Something to keep in mind about the holidays is that your pet probably does not understand the change in surroundings or routine. People coming and going, rich foods in the house, and new, interesting smelly and blinky objects are the new norm for the month.

Most pets are curious, which can lead to sniffing, chewing, and knocking over decorations. (I will never forget the year I walked into a disaster when Diesel decided to bark out the front window at the mail man and knocked over the tree…thank goodness I was there to pick up the glass ornaments before he could step on them and cut his paws.) Remember, your pooch does not understand that your Great Aunt Sally’s decorations have special meaning to you, please consider placing special item out of reach when decorating. Also, remember that cats and dogs alike love to play with dangling objects. It is not their fault if they paw at the ornaments on the tree…that is what they do. You will want to steer clear of tinsel as well. If ingested, it can lead to injury for your pet.

Keep your electrical cords tucked away, and watch out for any new seasonal plants. This will help avoid unnecessary injury and illness. You will also want to keep an eye on your pet if you have a real Christmas tree. Drinking the water in the stand can upset the tummy…so try to monitor that as well.

This is also the season for parties. If you are going to be away from your pet for a long period of time, consider hiring a pet sitting service or reliable neighbor to care for your pet in your absence. Finally, remember that even the most socialized dogs and cats can become stressed out in a crowd. If you are hosting a party, consider keeping your pet in a quiet room, maybe wearing a thundershirt. We can help outfit you with one at either of our Two Bostons store locations.

Remember, with a little preparation and foresight, you and your pet can have a safe and fun holiday season!

Woman walking two dogs on a coupler

It’s Springtime! I think it’s safe to say that we are all overly grateful for the cold and blistery weather to be gone. This includes our pets, too. They get cabin fever and pent-up energy just like us. They also tend to put on a few pounds over the long winter months which happens quite easily when we can’t get outside on a regular basis.

So, now that the fresh and warmer weather is here, let’s talk about a few pointers to get Fido out of the house and make us all a bit healthier and more relaxed. We all know that a tired dog is a happy dog.

Most complaints about walking dogs revolves around them pulling their humans during the walk. If the question, “Who’s walking who?” is shouted out by your neighbors, please read on!

 

First and foremost, walking your dog on a harness is healthier and safer for any breed, but especially the short-faced breeds like the Boston Terrier, Pug, Boxer, or Bulldog. These types of breeds tend to have necks that are more susceptible to damage when they pull on their collars. Placing them in a well-fitted harness will be much better for them and will give you more control as well.  The best part?  Harnesses now come in a ton of super-cute patterns!

For those dogs who really pull (or maybe you want a very well-mannered walker) we suggest the SPORN harness. We have found this to be the best no-pull system and is more comfortable for the dogs compared to the Gentle Leader and more effective than the Easy Walk harness. The SPORN fits just like a regular harness but pulls up on the dogs’ armpits, which is a pressure point, when the dog pulls. It does not hurt the dog at all, but it makes it uncomfortable as they continue to pull. The great thing is that you don’t have to correct your dog. He will correct himself as he pulls and receives input from the SPORN harness .

This leads right into the type of leash to use. I strongly encourage the use of a standard leash instead of a retractable leash for two reasons.

  1. Retractables can be very dangerous. They can snap back at you or your dog and can leave burn marks easily. This is especially important if children are walking the dog or if you are walking by a number of other animals (including other dogs, squirrels or rabbits).
  2. If used to walking on a retractable leash, no dog will know his boundaries unless he pulls to find out where the leash ends. Sometimes it could be 2 feet, other times it’s a full 10. This actually encourages them to pull to test the limits of the day. It’s similar to kids asking Mom for a cookie.

 

Kid:“Can I?

Mom: “No.”

Kid: “Please?”

Mom: “No.”

Kid: “Just one?”

Mom: “Oh, alright…”

And the dog pulls again to finally find more length given. You get my point.

If you happen to walk more than one dog at a time, you may want to consider using a coupler. This allows you to hold only one leash handle, but walk two dogs close together, two dogs far apart, or two dogs of different sizes. Our customers who have used the coupler have raved about the quality of their walks after test driving it.

Another item that many customers have found useful is a leash that actually wraps around your waist, like the Roamer or Flat Out leash by Ruff Wear. This helps keep your hands free as well as assists with control when walking a puller. This is especially true for women, as their centers of gravity are located at their waist, compared to men’s which is higher.

 

One more item to take care of before going out for a stroll: Poop Bags. My advice is to beware of the little holes in the bottom of plastic grocery bags. Nothing says ruining a walk like a leaky pick-up bag! There are the regular plastic cylinder shaped bag holders that hold a roll of plastic bags. If you want a more fashionable way to carry the necessities, there are also bag carriers that look just like cute cell phone holders. Both attach to the top of the leash so they are out of the way but are always there when you need them.

The most important thing is to have fun. Walks need to be enjoyable for both you and your pup to want to continue and to make it a part of your healthy lifestyle.

See you again soon!