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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

We’ve all been there. We find the cutest little dog toy. It’s fluffy and colorful and looks at you with big cartoon eyes that just seem to say “don’t worry, your dog could never destroy someone as adorable as me!” Then you bring it home, and sure enough, the toy does, in fact, get destroyed. But what if we were to tell you that we knew of a plush toy that can withstand your pup’s jaws…and what if we told you it was also…machine washable??? Too good to be true? We thought so at first, too.

Meet Fluff & Tuff, one of our favorite plush brands that opened a very new, very cuddly door of playtime opportunities for our dogs!

First and foremost, Fluff & Tuff values safety above all else. One of the biggest issues with many plush toys is that you don’t know what they’re made of or where they come from. Dogs have been known to get sick from ingesting the materials of cheap toys, or choke on the squeakers inside them. There have also been issues with foreign objects like plastic or metal accidentally getting stuffed inside, leading to illness and even fatality. That’s because the safety standards for dog toys are typically much lower than human-grade products. Needless to say, we find that unacceptable, you probably find that unacceptable, and Fluff & Tuff definitely finds that unacceptable.

All the materials used are American-made and non-toxic, right down to the polyester filling and squeaker inside. To avoid choking hazards, every detail (eyes, mouths, etc.) are embroidered on, rather than using plastic that could fall off. The squeaker has also gotten a safety upgrade by being sewn in a little pouch, so you can rest easy knowing that your pup won’t choke. They’re also double scanned individually for any foreign objects, and fit the same tough standards that human toys do.

It’s those little ways of going the extra mile that make Fluff & Tuff such an amazing brand. It almost feels as if you were the one who designed the toy, because if we’re being honest with ourselves, we can all be a little neurotic when it comes to making sure our furry friends are kept safe! That’s because this family-owned company is headed by pet parents, just like you, and their quality testers are their own canine companions since nobody knows what dogs like better than dogs!

But what exactly makes Fluff & Tuff so “tuff”? The secret is in the extra layer of Tuffweb™ mesh lining and double-stitched seams. In short; everything is super reinforced and ready to withstand a whole bunch of tugging, tossing, and snuggling. Our very own Beamer and Sassy actually have several Fluff & Tuff toys of their own, and we’re proud to report firsthand that they definitely live up to their expectations!

That being said, it’s important to remember that a plush toy is still a plush toy and therefore not indestructible (nothing is when is comes to a dog with a goal!). A common misconception we’ve run into is that people mistake them for chew toys since they’re marketed as a durable brand. They’re definitely durable! But not for extended chewing. That’s why it’s always important to know what types of toys your dog prefers, and to always supervise them during play.

If you still aren’t sold on why we love Fluff & Tuff as much as we do, you should come by Two Bostons and feel one for yourself. “Fluff” isn’t half their name for nothing! There’s a reason dogs love them so much, and we’ve even had reports from pet parents who find typically “un-cuddly” dogs asleep with their fuzzy friends. They’re so soft, you’ll have trouble believing they’re actually dog toys, and with the huge selection of animals to choose from, you might even end up wanting one for yourself. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t!

Amber WalkerAs much as we don’t want to hear it…winter is around the corner.  That means more indoor play with your dog.  Amber Walker, owner and lead trainer at Animal Intuitions, LLC has provided us with this great blog that teaches and reminds us of some rules and boundaries when playing with your pups.

 

We love to play with our dogs!  But just like kids on the playground, dogs have a style of play, preferred time length of play, and particular games they enjoy.

Some dogs love to retrieve, while the other dogs can’t wait for you to throw the ball so they can leave it in the grass.  Some dogs will thrive in a good chase game but it can quickly turn into a game of nipping and squealing.dog-chasing-ball

As in any civilized community, there are important rules to good play.

First, the dog must understand some basic cues such as Drop It, Leave It, Take It, and All Done.  A great way to teach these cues is through the art of play however it is the pet parents’ responsibility to monitor closely while the cues are being taught.  Using something like a piece of chicken to trade for a Drop It cue is crucial for the learning process through shouldn’t be needed down the road.

dog-playing-tugSecond, the pet parents (and especially children!) must have a relationship with the dog before they can dive into safe play.  Sometimes I’ll see a family dog that will listen to Dad with 100% attention but ignore little 6 year old Kayla when she asks the same thing.  It’s really important for our kids to be a part of the training process so the dogs learn that the kids are more than just a play object that squeals, flails, and runs!  This helps facilitate safe play.

Third, recognize the style of play your dog likes best and learn to read their behaviors during play.  It’s not uncommon to see proper and fun dog-dog or dog-kid play turn sour quickly when dog’s signals are not read correctly.

Fourth, follow these general play tips:

  •  ALWAYS supervise play.
  • Don’t push a dog past a play limit if he is communicating that he’s finished.  Look for lip licking, head turning, yawning, and body shakes (like shaking off water).
  • Give lots of breaks during play for water and potty and catching of breath.  Breaks happen naturally but there may need to be forced breaks too.
  • Play should always be fair: no pinning, no cornering, no chasing if the run is to get away.
  • For a child, if play gets out of hand, STOP, cross arms in front of body and stare at feet.  The supervising adult will notice the tree stance and immediately stop in to help.  Instead of screaming, the child can loudly say the parents name or count loudly to get a parent’s attention if they are distracted.
  • Running, squealing, flailing, and yelling will increase the intensity of play and sometimes encourage inappropriate or unsafe dog behaviors.

A couple of rules go a long way…Now go to Two Bostons, pick up a NEW toy and have some fun with your dog!

Let me paint a picture for you. A few months ago, we were at a trade show and AdreAnne and I were talking and walking down the middle of the aisle. All of a sudden, I realized I was talking to myself (and looking quite silly). I looked around and couldn’t find her…so I started to backtrack. That is when I realized that I was dropped like a hot potato for a squirrel.

Yes. A squirrel.

Well, to be fair, three squirrels actually. And they were in a log.

And they’re so darn cute I forgave her on the spot…because who doesn’t get distracted by squirrels every now and again?

Now, you and I both know that as quickly as those squirrels caught her attention, your dog would be just as interested. They are three super cute squirrels with a rubber ball inside (no squeaker). Perfect for fetch, tug of war, catch, hide and seek, and any other game you can think of.

Perfect for any size dog…from large:

To small:

(Pouncy Pets Photos)

And because there are three toys in the log, you can have three times the fun!

Just look at this cutie. It’s got a chubby belly (which is actually a rubber ball):

And an embroidered face, so you won’t end up with 1/2 a face:

A furry tail that is fun to play tug with:

Plus, it has the added bonus of being super cute 🙂

Our Elf, Eddie, had a really fun time playing with them last night. We had to reset the display this morning! (Thanks a lot Eddie!)

In any case, this is the perfect gift for any pooch who love to play. Plus, you can yell out “SQUIRREL” at the dog park for real 🙂 So be sure to stop by one of our locations today and pick up your Squirrels in a Log. You won’t be sorry!

 

 

 

Here are some action shots of my guy, Diesel, with his new toy! And if you work from home like I do, or you do, well, really anything at all during the day that precludes you from paying attention to your furry pal 100% of the time, then this toy is for you.

It’s called the Magic Mushroom and I just love it! What we’ve got here is a treat dispenser:

I like to fill it with the Zuke’s Mini Naturals Wild Rabbit Formula treats 1. because they rock and 2. because they fit so well.

I like it because it’s a big enough toy for my guy and it’s durable. And, I like it because this toy couldn’t be simpler, for the treat filler and the treat user.

It comes apart in three pieces. They aren’t pull apart, they screw together so they are very durable.

The dispenser has an adjustable setting, so you can easily set the treat dispension for your dog’s skill level. You can keep it open wide for first time users, or dogs like ~ahem~ mine who need a little extra help. Or you can make it more difficult for the treats to come out.

Then you place the treats in the bottom portion of the mushroom (see how nice the Zuke’s look in there?) and screw it all back together. Then your dog will tip it over and roll it around and the treats will fall out. Easy peasy!

Did you just have a baby? Surgery? Did you want to sit down? Paint your nails? Talk on the phone? Then you have to check this out! It will add hours of free time to your day!