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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Anyone who knows us at Two Bostons understands we’re cat-level-picky about what we choose to put on our shelves. If it’s not good enough for our pets then it’s definitely not good enough for yours. We all go above and beyond for our furry family, so wouldn’t you expect the brands you buy to do the same? That’s why we love working with companies like Zignature Dog Food–not only is their food great, but their philosophies are, too!

First and foremost, everything Zignature makes is done from the intention of mirroring a dog’s ancestral diet. That means meat, meat, and more meat! Fruits and veggies do tend to make an appearance, but meat is always the first ingredient, just like it should be. They understand that a dog’s natural instinct and body structure is what should always be listened to–and they do their best to remind consumers of that. There’s a concerning new trend of pet parents trying to give their animals vegetarian and vegan diets due to misinformation being spread around the internet; but Zignature, like many other brands, are making their beliefs explicitly clear: just because you’re a vegetarian doesn’t mean your dog should be. Yes, dogs can definitely benefit from fruits and vegetables, but there is no way they can get all the proper nutrients needed from just those things alone. They need quality meat–just like what Zignature provides.

Transparency is important when it comes to picking the right food for your dog, and in addition to Zignature’s open stance on vegan/vegetarian diets, they also make it easy for users to understand where their food comes from and why it’s great for their dog. We especially love the “ingredients” section of their website, where they have an easy to navigate grid of everything they use in their truest form and brief paragraphs detailing its dietary importance. While web-design might seem like a nit-picky detail, it’s actually a pretty important tool to the pet parents who like to do a little extra research.

Another thing that’s cool about Zignature is its wide variety of flavors. Between their wet and dry foods, there are over 30 different recipes to choose from, ranging from traditional meals such as turkey and pork to dishes a bit more exotic, like kangaroo. We know 30+ recipes might sound daunting, but Zignature food is actually made with the intention of having your dogs sample as many flavors as possible without getting a tummy ache! That’s because having variation in a pet’s diet is crucial…so yes, we know you’re totally curious about the kangaroo, and yes, your dog can give it a try without risking digestive issues!

Thinking about switching to Zignature, now? We don’t blame you! They’re such a great brand and certainly perfect for pups who love it when you switch things up.

Katie R. horizDeciding which dog food to buy can be quite stressful and confusing. Colorful packaging and popularity aside, the magic words and the key component to a great healthy dog food is GRAIN FREE.  Although extremely important, it is not the sole deciding factor.  The less ingredients the better! 

Dogs are instinctively carnivores, therefore the main component of their food should be meat! (You wouldn’t find Fido walking around munching on wheat or corn stalks naturally, so why put it in their food?!) Potatoes are also another unnecessary additive to dog food.  Potatoes are a high glycemic food, basically meaning it creates sugars in the body that don’t have any business there.

ScarlettSo which food would fit all of these demands? Let me share my journey with you…My rescue Scarlett (pictured) was an itchy mess for 2 years. Besides being on a grain-free food, I wasn’t really sure why she was in this constant state of misery.  She would constantly get ear infections, bite and chew her paws until they were raw, and had uneven bowel movements.  Then I walked into the lovely store by the name of Two Bostons, and mine and Scarlett’s lives changed!  As I was accepted into employment, my extremely knowledgeable coworkers and management team gave me the wisdom I previously was not aware of.

So what does this have to do with finding the perfect solution? Everything!! After many hours of research on all our foods, Zignature was my choice. Just like magic, in about 3 weeks Scarlett’s paws weren’t dark brown and stinky, she wasn’t chewing away at her poor feet, and her chronic ear infections ceased!

Zignature_Group5_Mixed_smRemoving that grain and common allergen proteins was the perfect fix. Zignature is a grain free, chicken free, potato free, soy free, gluten free, egg free, tapioca free and finally corn free kibble.  Now you may be asking why is it necessary to eliminate all of those ingredients, like chicken or eggs? It has been proven that chicken is the main allergen in dogs, because you can find it in just about EVERYTHING. The more you expose your dog to a single protein, the more likely they may develop allergies! Meaning, that the more you switch up the flavors of your buddies food, the better!  This ties into another amazing aspect of Zignuatre, the Variety!  The diverse flavors is extremely unique and makes it that much easier to change it up for Fido (or Scarlett)! From trout and salmon, to kangaroo, or venison, your pet can experience exotic tastes without compromising quality!

Zignature is closer to the canine’s natural diet, due to eliminating fillers and by-products.  Zignature also is classified as a “limited ingredient food”, meaning the protein pictured will be the only source of meat in the food, something that is quite rare in most food.  This again is an amazing quality for allergy pups or just dogs with sensitivities! Have I also mentioned that Zignature is proudly made in the USA as well?

So, if your curious about trying this amazing food with your pet, stop by Two Bostons!  Myself, or one of our other helpful team members would be delighted to share our stories and knowledge with you.

 

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As we celebrate our nation’s birth this month, our Team also decided to celebrate something that benefits YOU. It’s something that drives every single decision we make at Two Bostons, and it makes us very proud: We’re an independent, locally-owned business.

This means that whether you shop, work, or volunteer with us, YOU are an active contributor to local charities and Naperville civic life. YOU help create financial stability for our local community. YOU establish a training ground for generations of future entrepreneurs. YOU assist local shelters with supportive programs that help pets in need find loving forever homes.

 

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We’re a proud member of indieboundnaperville.org, and we’re also a featured retailer on shopindieretail.com (check out the Thundershirt segment)! We recognize that as our customer, you place a huge level of trust in the experience and service capabilities of our Team Members. It’s a responsibility we never take lightly. After all, every time you make the conscious choice to shop at Two Bostons, YOU make sure that:

  1. Community nonprofits receive ongoing support. It’s a proven fact that local business owners donate more to community charities than non-locals. At Two Bostons, we’re dedicated supporters of The Naperville Area Humane Society, A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter, and numerous others.
  2. Environmental impact is reduced. Local organizations make more local purchases that require less transportation. Two Bostons currently has 59 product lines that are exclusively MADE IN THE U.S.A. – and within those lines, we offer many different products including treats (like Sojo’s, Cloud Star, Stella & Chewy’s, and Bravo); toys (like Planet Dog, West Paw Design, Ruff Dawg, and GoughNuts); and foods (like Fromm, Pure Vita, Zignature, Nutrisca, Merrick, and Raw Bistro). In addition, many of our supplements and ALL of our collars are U.S.A.-made.
  3. More value is created within Naperville. Studies show that a dollar spent at an independent retailer is normally re-spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community. When you spend that same dollar at a national chain store, 80% of the money leaves town immediately. So by choosing to shop at an independent retailer like Two Bostons, you create $5 – $14 in value right here in Naperville for every dollar you spend! This helps give Two Bostons the resources we need to keep expanding our U.S.A.-made product line, provide community volunteers, and develop programs that directly benefit local organizations.
  4. Two Bostons owners invest in Naperville. Local business owners live in our community. They’re less likely to leave and they’re more invested in the community’s future. Our Two Bostons owners, for example, are members of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. They’re active in the Downtown Naperville Alliance. They periodically attend Naperville City Council meetings. They’ve led Two Bostons to develop a comprehensive cause marketing program that allows local organizations to receive vital sustaining funds. Our owners inspire our entire Team to partner with these organizations and participate in numerous community outreach events every month.

On August 16th , for instance, we’re partnering with popular Naperville eatery Crosstown Pub & Grill to bring you Pints 4 Paws! Stop by either of our locations through August 15th, and in return for a $20 cash donation to NAHS you’ll get a glass that you can fill with $2 pints or $3 craft pints from 12 noon -4 p.m. on the day of the event. Plus, of course, your pup’s invited to join us on the patio! Visit our Facebook page or web site for more fun summer happenings that are making a difference!

Why do YOU shop with Two Bostons? We’re always interested to hear your feedback!

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Ever have a day where you weren’t able to play with your pooch as much as you’d like?  Maybe a day when it’s been way too frigid and icy to play outdoors? Or perhaps you live in a smaller apartment or house, a topic we addressed in a previous blog? I know I’ve had some pretty busy days myself with working and holiday activities, and I’ve found a great solution: interactive puzzle toys.

My dog, Hunter, has a lot of energy. So I needed to find a fun way to occupy his time when I was getting the laundry done or cooking dinner —  and that’s when we discovered puzzle toys.  Hunter and I especially love Nina Ottosson puzzle toys. You can also introduce a similarly interactive element at breakfast or dinner time with Aikiou dog bowls and food stations. These provide some mental stimulation while dispensing your pup’s food.

 

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There are so many great interactive puzzle options for your pet! Shown here are the Nina Ottosson Tornado and Casino puzzle toys, plus one of several Aikiou interactive food stations.

 

If you have a dog (or a cat!) at home with unused energy and a sharp mind, then puzzle toys are perfect for you – and there are so many options available. What I specifically love about the Nina Ottosson toys are their differing levels of difficulty. They’re designed to match your pet’s intelligence, challenging pups and kitties all the way up to the “genius” level. Plus, each puzzle has different variations that help to increase its degree of complexity. So far, Hunter has been able to get through all the different levels and has gradually mastered each one (at some of the harder levels, you actually need to demonstrate so your pup can learn).

Right now, when I leave the house or need a few minutes to myself, our collection of interactive puzzle toys really comes in handy. I set the toys up for Hunter, so he’ll have a fun and constructive activity to keep him occupied. One of his favorites is the Dog Brick by Nina Ottosson.

 

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Hunter highly recommends the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick, which (like most puzzle toys) can be filled with a range of your pet’s favorite treats and even kibble. Sardine & Kelp treats are especially great for skin during the cold months ~ but Hunter just knows they taste yummy!

 

There are endless benefits to using these types of toys. Here are some we’ve discovered:
1. They help prevent boredom. I’m sure many of you have really smart pets who seem to get into everything — but a lot of times, this happens because your furry friend is simply bored or trying to get your attention while you’re doing chores around the house.
2. They actually stimulate problem-solving skills. I have found (and Hunter would tell you) that letting him play with a puzzle makes him happy and keeps his mind busy while he’s using his paws and his snout to slide and flip things around on his Dog Brick.
3. They’re a lot of fun for your pup. Hunter is one happy camper when I set these up for him.  It’s funny how much he’s grown to like these puzzles. Now, when he finds himself feeling bored, he’ll actually bring me the puzzle to set up!
4. They’re multi-purpose. This is one of my favorite things about puzzle toys. They can be set up as a fun activity that provides great mental stimulation. Yet they can also help pets (especially dogs) slow down while eating. Does your pup bolt his food or gobble it down in a couple big mouthfuls? Puzzle toys are a great solution.  In the morning, I fix Hunter’s bowl of food but I only put a little bit of his Zignature Kibble in the bowl. The rest goes into one of his puzzle toys. This way, he has to work a bit for his food. This slows him down and prevents things like choking or bloat from happening.

Some pooch parents may feel bad about putting food in a puzzle toy, because they don’t want their dog to get frustrated or go hungry. But rest assured, this is typically not an issue. In the wild, wolves spend a good chunk of their day attempting to obtain food. For them, this facilitates physical exercise and mental stimulation.  So domesticated dogs who rely on us for food can really benefit when we find creative ways to occupy their mind and prevent unwanted behaviors. Using puzzle toys can provide some of the critical (and necessary!) mental stimulation they need.

When it comes to filling your puzzle toy with treats, you have many different options. Hunter’s favorites are Sardine and Kelp Treats by American Natural Premium, which are great for his skin (but shhhhh, don’t tell him that). Since he has allergies, I tend to stick with limited-ingredient treats. So I (and Hunter) also like PureBites Beef Liver Treats, which are easy to break up. Of course, as I mentioned before, you can always just use some kibble each day to help cut back on calories.

Oh, and I almost forgot another awesome advantage of the Nina Ottosson puzzle toys: they’re dishwasher-safe! This makes cleanup really quick and easy. So if you’re considering puzzle toys for your smart canine or kitty, just stop by your local Two Boston’s and ask any team member for additional suggestions. Remember, puzzle toys also make a fantastic holiday gift for all the other pet lovers on your list!

You know we love to bring you the highest quality food available for your pooch…that’s why you need to know about Zignature.

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What is Zignature? It is a limited ingredient kibble that is made in the USA. All Zignature formulas contain no chicken, chicken fat, chicken meals, chicken eggs or chicken by-products…making it the perfect choice pets with a chicken sensitivity.

Additionally, it contains no corn, wheat or soy and is manufactured with all natural ingredients. You won’t find any fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives or colors in this food.

Plus, you will find that this limited ingredient food is potato free as well! Potatoes have a high glycemic index and can cause difficulties for dogs ~ even when on a grain free diet. That’s why Zignature uses chickpeas and garden peas as their binder. This is an awesome nutritionally complete meat diet and are made with turkey & turkey meal, Lamb & Lamb Meal or Trout & Salmon meal as the first and second ingredients.

This food is a great option for the allergy prone and steel stomach dog alike.  So what are you waiting for? Give it a try.