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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

If you look at a wild canine’s teeth, you’ll see clean, white shiny teeth.

Why? They are eating what nature intended, raw meat, bones, and organs of their prey.

If you look at a domestic canine’s teeth, many times you will find tartar buildup, yellow or brown discoloration, inflamed gums, and maybe even some loose teeth.

Why? They are eating food that has no dental benefits. It is a myth that kibble can help control your dog’s tartar. In reality, it will control tartar just as well as trying to clean your own teeth with granola. Many kibbles also contain ingredients such as sugars, carbohydrates, and starches that cause the kibble to stick to a dog’s teeth. These ingredients are also a food source for opportunistic oral bacteria, which will actually cause further tartar to form. Since these foods do not contain live nutrients and many times contain things like preservatives and dyes, they will disrupt normal flora in the body and can lead to tartar that way as well.

Many people view dental disease as a normal process when there is nothing normal or natural about it. The reason this unnatural process is happening is because dogs are eating food that they are not designed to eat. 

Raw food is the natural diet of your dog and it has a variety of benefits, with the focus of this article being to improve or maintain good dental hygiene.

Raw meaty bones are the best option to control tartar as they provide an abrasive, cleaning action on your dog’s teeth. It’s important to emphasize four areas when providing raw meaty bones to your dog.

  1. The bones must be raw. Cooked bones splinter and can cause harm to your pet.
  2. It is important to always supervise, know your dog and choose a size appropriate raw meaty bone for them. If they tent to gulp, the bone needs to be larger than their mouth or head so that they can gnaw rather than gulp.
  3. If your dog is an intense chomper, it is important to not give them a bone that is very dense as this can cause a tooth fracture. Dense bones are those which are weight-bearing bones of adult cattle, such as a marrow bone.
  4. Remember to handle raw meaty bones the same as you handle your own raw meat. Have your dog work on them in an area that you can sanitize such as a create or outside. Do not allow them to run around your house with a raw bone. Refrigerate or freeze the bone if they have more to work on later.

Raw meat contains live enzymes and probiotics. The enzymes help to keep teeth clean by breaking down bacteria on your dog’s teeth. The probiotics found in a raw diet also maintain normal balance and populations of bacterial flora in the mouth. Both also help to retain pH balance, making it less likely that any harmful bacteria can thrive in your dog’s mouth. Furthermore, it does not stick to a dog’s teeth like a dry food.

Healthy teeth & gums of my raw fed German shepherd

In terms of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, nothing compares to a raw diet. A raw diet is a species appropriate diet for our dogs, meaning it is the easiest diet for them to digest and assimilate nutrients from, as it is in the natural state that a dog’s body recognizes and utilizes. Prevention of dental disease is not feeding a kibble diet and doing regular dental cleanings. Rather, prevention is honoring the natural design of our dogs and feeding and caring for them accordingly. Their body will be better able to maintain health the way it was meant to in the first place.

Pictured are my raw feed dogs: Lolo (border collie), Bella (Italian greyhound), and Onyx (German shepherd)

Dr. Erin O’Connor is an AVCA Animal Chiropractor and ACAN Naturopathic Carnivore Nutrition Consultant. She sees patients out of her clinic, Vitality Chiropractic Center in Aurora, as well as Autumn Green Animal Hospital in Geneva. For further information, visit myvitalitychiropractic.com or email Dr. O’Connor at drerinoconnor@myvitalitychiropractic.com.

 

At Two Bostons during the month of January get Weruva Classic Cat Cans for 20% off!!  Spoil your kitty this month and stock up.  This cat food is one of our favorites and can very easily become your cats too!

First, we love their story…named after their three rescued cats, Webster, Rudi and Vanessa the Forman’s were on the search for “The Best Cat Food Under the Sun” and didn’t seem to find what they wanted, so they got the best ingredients from around the world and created WeRuVa! After adopting their dog Baron they started to expand into dog food.

Second, the food is produced in a human food facility…using most of the ingredients and processes that are used in food we consume. Weruva’s base proteins of chicken, beef and fish include only top-quality muscle meat, such as white breast chicken, whole tuna loins and select cuts of beef. Fresh vegetables and other unique items like Grilled skipjack, tilapia, red bigeye tuna and more are added.

Third, when you open a can of Weruva…you will notice that the ingredients maintain a natural look and recognizable texture, so you can see and understand the ingredients!  They start by flaking the fleshy, meaty cuts off the bone and hand place them into the cans. You see what you get!!

Fourth, Grain Free Greatness…All recipes are grain, GMO, MSG and Carrageenan FREE. Because Weluvya Cat Cans is the original in their brand, featuring boneless, skinless white breast meat chicken and fish loins. Chicken formulas are free of fish, and fish formulas are free of chicken.  All are protein focused and low in fat. You can also get a variety of different recipes to keep your kitty loving every meal time!

We hope that you will love Weruva as much as we do.  If you have more questions, feel free to ask any of our educated team members.

 

 

Every year we make a new years resolution and most of the time it has something to do with getting in shape, or making healthier choices. What about doing the same for your pets? Here are 6 simple ways to improve your pets health and wellness this year!

1. Feed a Healthy Diet ~ Wanting our dogs to live a long healthy life is an obvious thing, but in order to do that they need to have the healthiest and most nutritious diet…this means a diet that closely resembles what a dog would eat in the wild. If you ask any of our Team Members we would say that the BEST is a raw diet, but for most this is not doable.  The most important thing to remember when choosing a diet for your dog is that it is GRAIN FREE.

2. Regular Wellness Checks ~ Your dog or cat cannot tell you if something is hurting or if they feel sick. You can do at-home checks on your pets between taking them to the veterinarian.  Most times pet’s are not taken to a veterinarian until an illness has already progressed past the point of stopping or reversing it, so by checking your pets at home you will be able to notice changes that may need to be treated or checked out.  Having a wellness check with a veterinarian twice a year is ideal for healthy pets.

3. Healthy Weight ~ 45% off all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, while 55% of all cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese…this is crazy to me! This usually starts with feeding too much or not the right food. To also maintain a healthy weight see #4! An unhealthy weight can lead to many health issues.

4. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! ~ We need to do it, so why wouldn’t our pets need to, too? Exercise to our pets means taking regular walks, running, chasing, and anything that gets their heart pumping!

5. Be Social ~ I know you don’t sit in your house all day, every day, never going out, talking to people and being social. Again, your pets don’t want to do that either. Let your dogs get out, make friends and be social. Check out some dog parks or bring them to the Breed Socials at Two Bostons!

6. Play, Play, Play ~ Is your dog bored with his toys and getting into more trouble or chewing on things he shouldn’t? Go through your dog’s toys and weed through the ones that are worn, broken, or simply are not played with. Get a new puzzle toy to stimulate your dog’s brain. Or maybe one that you can play together. We have several different toys to choose from, we will help you find the right size and durability for your pup!

We hope that these 6 tips will help you and your pets be even happy and healthier in 2018! Stop in anytime and we can help get you on the right track with food, treats, toys, supplements, leashes, and more!

 

It is COLD Outside…actually it is freezing outside!  I was hoping that it was only going to last a few days and then be back into the 30’s for the rest of the winter, but that doesn’t look like it will be the case this year.  Here are some tips to keep your pup safe during the cold weather.

Limit time outside – Even dogs with thick, heavy coats can still feel cold.  Our pets can also get frostbite and hypothermia just like we can. Not even an Arctic sled dog is meant to spend long periods of time outside during the winter. Only take them outside for any length of time if they are going to be active and exercise.

Bundle them up – Small and short haired dogs especially need a little extra help when it is cold out. You may also want to give the puppies and older dogs a little extra warmth because it can be hard for them to control their body heat. If you need a new sweater or coat, look at our warm dog coats on our website or come in and we will help!

Protect their Paws – Your pups paws are very sensitive and in the winter ice, snow, salt, antifreeze and de-icers can be very harmful to your their paws and pads. Make sure you wipe down their paws after coming inside.  You can also get Mushers Secret Paw Protection by Top Dog that creates a wax barrier to protect their paws against particles and harsh temperatures. And you can get dog boots so they can enjoy walks and outdoor fun still in the winter!

Don’t leave them in the car – We know not to leave our pets in the car when it is hot out…same goes for when it is cold too!

Know the Signs – If you see your pet doing any of the following, get them inside right away:

  • Whines or acts anxious
  • Has ice on her body
  • Can’t move or they slow down
  • Won’t stop shivering or is weak
  • Looks for a warm place to burrow

If you see any of these signs of frostbite and hypothermia call your vet right away.

At Two Bostons we have several sweaters, coats, boots, blankets, beds and more to keep your pups warm and cozy during the winter months. Stop in and any of our team members can help you today!

 

 

Before the holidays and everything gets to chaotic in the house, take a quick look over these 10 common holiday items that are poisonous to our pets and make sure you don’t have any of them laying around.

  1. Christmas Trees and Wreaths – Christmas trees can cause nausea and vomiting, but are only mildly toxic, but if the large amounts of needles are consumed, this can lead to possible blockage or a GI tract getting punctured. The water from the tree could also contain toxic fertilizers too.
  2. Lilies – These beautiful flowers are extremely poisonous to cats. Just a small leaf or flower petal can cause sudden kidney failure. Daffodils are also poisonous to both cats and dogs.
  3. Grapes, Raisins and Currants – All of these can cause kidney failure in dogs, so don’t leave the fruitcake out for the dogs!
  4. Poinsettias – Most of us have heard that poinsettias are extremely poisonous to our pets, well, this is actually a hoax…you don’t want your pets to eat them, but it is only mildly toxic and will just cause nausea and vomiting.
  5. Chocolate and Cocoa – The chemicals in chocolate and cocoa can be highly toxic to dogs and cats. Small amounts will cause usually lead to vomiting and diarrhea, but a large amount can lead to seizures.
  6. Alcohol – Don’t leave your drinks around for the pups to lick out of…alcohol can be extremely toxic to pets. Their blood sugar and blood pressure can drop severely, cause respiratory issues and all can lead to death.
  7. Xylitol – This is a sugar substitute found in sugarless gum and candy. Cats can usually tolerate Xylitol, it is very toxic to dogs and can lead to low blood sugar and liver failure and then to death.
  8. Holly and Mistletoe –  Holly and mistletoe can vary on how toxic it is, but most are mild, again causing nausea and vomiting and some may cause heart issues.
  9. Fatty Foods – Your dogs and cats may have a taste of chicken or turkey from time to time, but don’t over do it with the fatty foods.  Eating too much can lead to pancreas and liver problems in cats and dogs.
  10. Liquid Potpourri and Snow Globes – We all love our homes smelling amazing and it always gets us in the holiday spirit, but if your pets take a drink of it it can lead to chemical burns and trouble breathing. Snow Globes can contain harmful chemicals, like antifreeze, that is very very poisonous and often leads to death in even small amounts.

Other items to look out for: 

  • Candles can make your pets curious, you don’t want them to get knocked over or get burned.
  • Wires, batteries, plastic and glass can all be deadly if ingested.
  • Tinsel can make cats very curious, but if ingested can lead to blockages and ruptures and expensive surgery.

If you think that your pet may have been poisoned, take them to the veterinarian immediately or call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. By calling you will be billed a consultation fee.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!!

 

 

Happy Holidays!…or were you a bit embarrassed by your dog’s behavior at Thanksgiving and now anxious about Christmas? Your dog was probably anxious too with all the smells of incredible food and the extra carousel of visitors coming and going.

Now with Christmas in sight, in addition to the foodie smells and visitors, the whole house seems to have changed decor too! There are 4 levels of anxiety that you can quickly figure out how stressed out your dog is and if Fido should stay to hangout or if your visitors should be letting Fido have a solo holiday in the other room.

Amber Walker, KPA CTP, Owner & Trainer, Animal Intuitions, LLC. You can contact Amber at 630-53-PUPPY (630-537–779),  Amber@aitrainers.com or www.aitrainers.com

 

Before the crowds, dropped food crumbs, and Holiday dinners and parties..stop and pick up some pumpkin for your pup! Why pumpkin you may ask, well pumpkin has three grams of fiber per one-cup serving and only 49 calories. It is loaded with antioxidant-rich Vitamin A and beta carotene, energizing potassium and iron, plus Vitamin C!

And while it is amazing for us, it is also amazing for our pets, I don’t mean the actual raw pumpkin that you dig out on Halloween, but the 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. These powerhouse foods can help “squash” a variety of pet-related issues and ailments and support the following areas:

Digestive Health: Thanks to the fiber content, pureed pumpkin and sweet potato (again, not pie filling, but plain with no added sugar or spice, like the can from Fruitables) can help dogs and cats with bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two to their regular meal (in proportion of your pet’s size) has been proven to help keep them regular. Both is also very effective with it comes to calming upset stomachs in puppies and kitties.

Skin, Coat, and Urinary Health: Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, so they help support overall healthy skin and fur. According to several vets that we have talked with, the oils in pumpkin and its seeds can help support urinary tract health over time as well.

Weight Management: If your dog has put on an extra unwanted pound or two, just simply reduce a portion of her breakfast and add in some plain canned pumpkin or sweet potato (such as Fruitables Sweet Potato SuperBlend). They will love the flavor and it will keep them full, all while helping she a couple of extra pounds (I wish it was this easy for us!!).

If you would like to learn more about the pet-related benefits of pumpkin or sweet potato, ask any of our team members and they can give you insights and suggestions specific to your dog and cat. We also have a range of treats, snacks and supplements that feature pumpkin and sweet potato.

 

 

When I told my Mom I was writing a blog about giving pets as gifts, she said, “You are preaching to the choir. Your blog followers already know this.” She’s right. So I ask that if someone mentions in passing you that they are “getting so-and-so a dog for a present,” please share this information!

I have 3 short stories to open with:

Story #1: My friend Kim adopted a German Shepherd puppy from Chicago Tails. This 5-month puppy was relinquished because a first time grandpa gifted it to his daughter. She had just had a baby 5 months earlier and he wanted the puppy and baby to grow up together as the same age.

Story #2: My friend Meredith has her dog because a woman gifted her father a Labrador as a companion while he was recovering from knee surgery.

Story #3: A vet-tech friend is helping to re-home a sweet pit bull puppy that was given as a baby gift at an 18 year old’s baby shower.

As an outsider, all of these stories are obvious that a dog isn’t a good match for these life circumstances but every one of these dog presents is a sweet gesture with genuine intentions. No one went in (I assume) and said with an evil laugh, “Ha! Ha! Ha! I will gift you a dog to make your life difficult!” They truly believe it’s a great idea.

The only time a pet is an acceptable gift is if the recipient is fully aware that they are being gifted a dog and have consented. In that case, it may still be a gift but it’s not a surprise. The only time a dog surprise is an acceptable gift is if you, yourself, are personally going to be hand on with the dog, such as a gift to the family member inside your home.

If a dog is being gifted, it’s likely that the recipient does not already own a dog so let me remind you about being a first time dog owner or first time in a long time owner. And if you are the gifter, you probably aren’t donating your time or money to the dog’s new family!

Last year, Americans spent $62.75 billion dollars on their pets. The first year of new supplies for a dog can be about $500-$1000. The first year of new puppy vet bills can average around $1200. Training is required and necessary. Working with a certified trainer in group classes or private training in your home will be hundreds, even thousands of dollars. If you are training your dog without a professional, then swap thousands of dollars for thousands of hours! The first year, for some owners, can average up around $6,600! In addition to the cost, the time needed to invest into a new dog is 24/7. 24 hours a day because with a new puppy or dog, your overnight hours are likely being committed to the dog also in potty training or acclimation to the new home. Just like with children, the dog owner doesn’t get a day off.

Talk to your recipient before you gift a dog or any other living being!

Amber Walker, KPA CTP, Owner & Trainer, Animal Intuitions, LLC. You can contact Amber at 630-53-PUPPY (630-537-8779),  Amber@aitrainers.com or www.aitrainers.com

 

 

If you have thought about adding a new furry-friend to the family, you might think that getting a puppy is the only way to go. Puppies are so adorable and fun, but you can go to a local shelter and look at adopting a senior (usually 6 or 7 years old) dog.

Here are 10 benefits of adopting and adding a senior pet to your family during Adopt a Senior Pet Month this November.

  1. What you see is what you get: Older dogs are an open book – you know what their full-grown size is, what their eating and grooming requirements are, and they will have established their temperament and personality. This will help ensure that this is the right dog for you and your family!
  2. They have MANNERS: Most senior pets are already house trained; unlike a puppy; and are familiar with the basic commands (come. sit. stay.) that will make your life easier, especially if your house has young kids! Older dogs are eager to please and enjoy the mental stimulation, they also have experience in reading humans which will help them quickly figure out how to do what you are asking.
  3. An older dog is past the chewing phase: Anyone who has had a puppy that chewed furniture, shoes, rugs, and anything and everything they can get to…you can now relax, you won’t have that phase when adopting a senior dog.
  4. A senior dog requires less exercise: You might be experiencing this already…as we age, we all slow down a bit. Same goes for a dog, they will be less frisky and rambunctious than a puppy, so the requirement for exercise will be far less.  (They still enjoy walks and exercise, just not as often!!)
  5. They are not a 24-7 Job: Dogs in their older years will not require the constant monitoring like puppies do. You will have more freedom to do your own thing.
  6. Just Add LOVE: An older animal will adapt to a new family given love and time. You might not be this dog’s first family (or even second or third), but once you adopt and shower him with love, you will be his only family!
  7. Great for all ages: Senior pets have a more relaxed temperament which makes them excellent companions for the young and elderly. More mature people benefit with an older dog companion that is aligned with their energy level and lifestyle, and children can benefit from an animal who is more tolerant and may already be well socialized with them.
  8. They know they have been given a second chance: Talk to anyone who has adopted a mature dog and they will tell you that they are convinced their pet knows they have been saved. Just one look in their eyes and you can see that they are saying, “Thank you for saving my life.”
  9. Be a HERO: At shelters and rescues, older dogs are more than always the last to be adopted. Taking one home will give you an emotional return on your investment, and you will feel the rewards every day you spend together!
  10. They are Cute…do you need any more than that?!?!

If you are interested in visiting our local shelters to meet some adoptable senior pets here are some of the local shelters that we would recommend visiting first.  A.D.O.P.T. Pet ShelterHinsdale Humane SocietyNaperville Area Humane Society and West Suburban Humane Society.

 

 

Open Farm is one of the newest brands we started carrying at Two Bostons!  They offer your cats and dogs with the highest quality kibble along with dog treats and they just introduced their Freeze-Dried Dog Food.  We wanted them in our stores, not only because your pets will love their product but also because of their very high standards. Here is why you should give them a try today! (Added bonus: All products are 20% off until 11/22/17)

  • Nutrition ~ Premium nutrition, delivered naturally. Open Farm is a family-run business, so they choose farmers that share the same exceptional quality.  The grain-free recipes focus on a limited set of premium proteins, fruits and veggies that are raised naturally, responsibly and humanely.They stay away from unhealthy fillers:
      • All Open Farm recipes are 100% grain-free
      • They never use any corn, wheat, soy or rice
      • Absolutely NO animal byproducts
      • Free from meat meals – using only ocean-caught fish
    • Nutritious ingredients in every recipe:
      • Non-GMO fruits and veggies
      • Include generous portions of nutritious coconut and fish oils
      • Use prebiotic fibers in every batch to support healthy digestion
      • Their recipes are designed for rotation
      • Options that are 100% poultry free and potato free
  • Animal Welfare ~ Raising the bar for farm animal welfare. They source all of their meat from animals that are raised with kindness and respect. Not only does this result in happier and healthier farm animals, it leads to a higher quality of meat for our pets!
  • Sustainability ~ Better food from a sustainable source. Sustainable Fishing, Farming and Packaging!
  • Partners ~ Partnerships that make a difference. Open Farm partners with third party organizations that are leaders in humane and sustainable sourcing practices, so you can trust that your pet’s food is coming from a good place.
  • Transparency ~ Pet food you can trust. Where your pet’s food comes from shouldn’t be a mystery. That is why they provide detailed information on every ingredient used in the recipes. 

Open Farm freeze-dried dog food is an upgrade to their already amazing kibble. The freeze-dried raw recipes are made with humanely raised meats, organic fruits and veggies, topped with superfoods like organic coconut oil and tumeric. You can use their freeze-dried raw food as a meal, or a mixer to kibble.  Just scoop add water and serve! You can get a bag of Open Farm freeze-dried in a variety of recipes: Grass-Fed Beef, Homestead Turkey, Surf & Turf and Harvest Chicken.

Try Open Farm today and receive 20% off until 11/22/17!