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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Over the past several weeks we have been talking about getting your dog ready for Spring and Summer, showing you must have products for walks, and outdoor adventures. You might have noticed that we have not mentioned and don’t carry retractable leashes.  Here is why…

Injuries – Retractable leashes can cause injuries to humans and dogs.

Human Injuries: If Fido suddenly jets past you to get that squirrel, the thin-string on retractable leashes can zip across your exposed skin (or your child’s) in less than a second. If the dog’s collar were to suddenly break and come off, the leash cord would retract with such rapid force that it could strike you (or someone else) in the face, teeth, or eyes.

Dog Injuries: When your dog bolts on a retractable leash and they hit the end of it, their back and neck can be seriously injured from being suddenly jerked.

Injuries to Both: The retractable string can get twisted around your hands, another person’s ankle, your dog’s neck and legs, a tail or even a pet’s neck. If your dog senses he’s hog-tied and thrashes around, it can cause the cord to pull tighter. This could lead to a life-threatening situation in a matter of seconds.

Cord Breakage – Many retractable leashes are not strong enough to handle the dog that is attached to them. If a dog bolts or takes off running they can often snap the then line or tape before you even realize what happened. And even worse, the plastic hand-held retractor may come out of your hand and go banging down the pavement after your dog, causing him to panic and rush into traffic or a busy bike path.

Boundaries – Retractable leashes encourage dogs to pull. If we as pet-parents don’t provide consistent boundaries, how is Fido supposed to knowwhat is acceptable? Sometimes with retractable leashes they are given 2 feet, sometimes 6 feet, and if they pull a little harder they might be given 10 feet. Then, when you only give them a few feet they begin to pull (because normally this results in getting a few more inches or feet, right?) and they are instead “corrected” because you are in a busy area and not behaving well. What?? How confusing for Fido!

Uninvited Meetings – Retractable leashes allow your dog to approach other dogs for an unwanted meet-and greet. This might just lead to an irritated owner, but it could cause the spread of disease, disruption of a healing injury, or even a sudden and aggressive dog fight.

Instead of worrying about injuries, and hoping for good behavior, you can provide guidelines and boundaries that your dog needs and desires to have a great walk with a standard (non-retractable) leash. Ask any of our Team members to show you some dependable, sturdy standard-leash options!

 

 

When the seasons change, it seems that we always want to do some cleaning…we have some awesome products to make sure that your dog and your house get clean this Spring!

Reduce the stress of bath time with this new Aquapaw™ Bathing Tool. It is the first wearable combination sprayer-scrubber giving you total control during bath time.

  • You can ‘Click’ ON and ‘Click’ OFF the water flow with one hand by just making a fist and pressing the button, allowing you to have one hand on your pet at all times
  • One-size-fits-all straps that can quickly and easily be adjusted and worn on either hand
  • Comes with an adapter for either the shower or the garden hose
  • Includes an 8 foot hose

If your house has hard-wood floors and you are constantly looking to see what you can and can’t put on them…we got it!  Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner Dual Action Stain and Odor Remover is specially formulated to safely remove stains and odors from hard surfaces. It has a finish-protect technology that cleans deeply while protecting natural floor coatings on sealed wood, ceramic tiles, vinyl, linoleum, brick, and grout. It will quickly remove stains and the odor-locking technology seeks out, traps and works to destroy the stain and odor.

Don’t let your dog track mud into the house, the Mudbuster™ by Dexas provides you with a quick easy way to get their paws clean. The silicone bristles will remove the dirt and mud from paws, keeping the mess in the MudBuster and not on your floors. It is easy to use:

  • Just add water
  • Insert the muddy paw
  • Do a little twist
  • Dab dry
  • Repeat 3 more paws

The Dirty Dog Doormat is great for this unpredictable Chicago weather.  It will let you welcome your pets inside, while leaving the mess at the door. The mat’s made of super-absorbent microfibers that dry FIVE times faster than most ordinary door mats and it can hold up to 7 times its own weight in water and mud! All the dirt, moisture that is tracked-in will soak themselves in the fibers, then stay locked inside the mat so floors stay clean and dry. You can toss the mat right into the washing machine when it becomes too soiled. The Dirty Dog Doormat is also great insides a dog’s crate, underneath food and water bowls or in the car.

Stop into any Two Bostons store and ask our team member to show you these products and others to keep your pet and your house clean!

 

Is it ever going to feel like Spring outside?!? I am sure our pups are feeling the same way! When it finally warms up and we can enjoy the outdoors, we want to make sure that you and your pups are ready!  Here are a few pointers to make to get your pup out of the house and enjoy a relaxing walk.

1. Collars, Leashes and Harnesses: You want to find a collar that is an appropriate width for the size of your dog. You will also want a leash that is easy to hold and handle. Using a harness to walk your dog is safer and healthier for all dogs, but especially short-faced breeds like Boston Terriers, Pugs, Boxers or Bulldogs. These breeds tend to have necks that are more susceptible to damage when they pull on their collars. Putting a well-fitted harness will be much better for them and will give you more control.

If you have a dog that REALLY pulls (or maybe you want a well-mannered walker) we suggest trying the Freedom No-Pull Harness by 2 Hounds. On the back of the harness there is a control loop, it gently tightens around the chest to discourage your dog from pulling. The harness has four adjustment points and stainless-steel hardware, making it strong enough to hold any dog from 14 to 250+ pounds. They are made in the USA and come in several colors and sizes.

For those of you that like to be hands free while walking, hiking, running or pushing a stroller, we have the perfect leash for you!  Ruff Wear has two leashes: Flat Out and Roamer Leashes.  They can both be converted from a hand-held leash to a waist worn leash with a quick adjustment. They also have a traffic handle positioned close to the E-Z snap hook that lets you take control and rein in your pup.

2. Poop Bags: Let’s face it, they do it! So be prepared…we have several different poop bags and poop bag holders to choose from. There is the regular plastic bag cylinder shaped bag holder, or the more fashionable poop bag carriers. Both kinds will attach to the top of the leash, so they are out of the way but there when you need them!

3. Hydration: If you are just going out for a quick walk around the block you probably don’t need to worry about taking water with you, but if you are on a longer walk or it is a really hot summer day, you will want to make sure you keep your pup hydrated! We have a few different options for you to choose from.

The Gourd Water Bottle & Bowl is perfect for on-the-go people that like to take their dogs along! You can take one water bottle for you and the dog! You drink from the top and just detach the bowl at the bottom and pour water in for your pup. It holds 24 ounces of liquid and the detachable bowl hold 8 ounces. It is also Dishwasher Safe.

4. Pet Corrector: Does your dog act like he hasn’t been out of the house for a year when you start your walks. This can help turn your hyperactive, loud and possibly aggressive dog into a well-behaved pup. The Pet Corrector is a hiss of compressed gas, that is completely safe for animals. Using the spray interrupts your dog’s unwanted behavior and grabs his attention. You control the blast of air, so you can respond to the bad behavior immediately.

Have a fun Spring and Summer enjoying the outdoors with your favorite pup!  If you need help with any supplies or have questions about any of the products mentioned, stop in or call any time!

With the snow almost gone (hopefully) and the grass getting green, you might be noticing some burnt spots on the grass. We have just the thing to prevent your dog from making those spots all over your lawn.

Well first, do you know what causes these patches? Dog urine contains a variety of nitrogen compounds and too much nitrogen will burn the grass and thus create those yellow patches in your year.  And guess what? One of the main ingredients in lawn fertilizer is nitrogen.  So, when your dog relieves himself in the same spot over and over again – it’s like putting a handful of fertilizer on that spot over and over.

So how can you fix the problem, you ask?  We have two ways to help you with this…1. Make sure your dog is on a high-quality food so that they are processing their nutrients correctly.  2. Dog Rocks® – yes…it’s real, Dog Rocks®!

Dog Rocks® are a 100% Natural Australian product that will save your lawn from those nasty burn patches.  They work by binding the excess nitrogen in the drinking water your dog a better quality of water.  (that will help your lawn ~ remember the main ingredient in fertilizer?) The rocks contain zeolite traces which are often used in aquariums to filter water safely and naturally.

All you do is put them in your dog’s water…yes it really is that simple! Just open the bag, rinse the rocks off, place in your dog’s water dish and top off the water to refill rather than start fresh every time.

And if you have a dog that loves to take them out and play with them…no worries!  Just fill a pitcher with water and put the rocks in there.  That way you can use the water from the pitcher every time you fill the bowl and you will still be able to reap the benefits of the rocks.

They work rather quickly…usually within the first 24 hours you will notice your pet will stop leaving new lawn burns.  (Your current brown patches will not go away overnight…you will still need to nurse those back to health, but at least you won’t have any NEW ones!)

Dog Rocks® are safe for any pet sharing your dog’s water bowl (such as cats, rabbits, etc.).  And again, they are all natural…no yeast like in other lawn burn prevention products.  Landscapers have been known to endorse Dog Rocks®, because the appropriate level of nitrogen in your dog’s urine can help your lawn!

We carry Dog Rocks® two package sizes.  The small package is a 2-month supply and the large package is a 6-month supply.  You should use the rocks year-round too, since your dog will continue to burn your lawn in every season…you just don’t always see your lawn!

You can also visit the Dog Rocks website for more information and some great tips!

 

The Easter Bunny will be hopping in to leave a basket full of goodies in a couple weeks…do you have everything you need to fill your favorite furry-friends basket? Here are our favorite items to fill your pups Easter Basket with this year!

Petlou Easter Toys – These plush toys are perfect for your pup to cuddle, toss, or just carry around! They are made from extra soft plush materials and will crinkle, and squeak.

Bows – Dress her up in bows! They are the perfect accessory for Easter or any special day!

Long & Lovely Spring Toys – The Rooster, Duck and Bunny are sure to give your pup hours of fun with 5 squeakers! They are super durable with no external seams and machine washable.

Easter Bunny Bakery Treat – Every pup has to have their own over-sized Easter Bunny Treat to munch on for a few days!

Hide-An-Egg Burrow – Dogs will love burrowing into the Hide-An-Egg to retrieve colorful little squeaky eggs.

Ruff-Tex – If you have a chewer at home, this is the toy for them! Flexible, stretch-able, bounce-able and durable for hours of fun.

Bakery Treats – These Easter themed bakery treats will add a fun to any Easter Basket, and your dogs will be thanking you for the sweet treats!

Hatchables – This toy is about to hatch! This is two toys in one…your pup can play catch with the egg or work the animal out of its fuzzy shell. You can also keep this egg-cellent toy in full form and use it as a treat dispenser.

Long & Lanky Spring Toys – These animals are ready for Spring! The Long & Lanky Duck, Bunny and Rooster are full of squeakers. Constructed with a 3 layer design and double reinforced seams. Designed perfectly for tug time.

Egg-Noggins – This colorful squeaky plush egg toy comes in six fun designs!

 

All of these fun Easter and Spring products can be found on our website by clicking here!

 

According to a study by AAA and Best Western International, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their cats and dogs with them when they travel. Are you taking your pet with you on a road-trip for Spring Break or Summer Vacation? Before you go, here are 10 tips while planning your trip!

  1. Try it out. Before taking a long road trip, make sure you know how your pet responds to car rides. Does she get car sick? Anxious?
  2. Buckle up. Make sure that your trip is safe by restraining your furry-friend with a pet seat belt, car seat or travel crate. Each year about 30,000 accidents are caused by a unrestrained dog in the front seat, according to the AAA. Pets wondering the vehicle are a distraction to the driver and can be injured in the even of an accident.
  3. Keep heads inside. Your dog (like most) may love to stick his head out the window, but according to the ASPCA, riding this way could cause ear damage or expose your dog to lung infections.
  4. Pit Stops. Your pets should get out every 2-3 hours and go to the bathroom and get a little exercise.  Make sure to look at your route for pet-friendly stops along the way.
  5. Hydrate. Our pets need to stay hydrated while traveling, have a gallon of water along with a travel bowl on hand at all times.
  6. Don’t leave them alone. On a day that is just 70-degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in 10 minutes, which can be deadly.
  7. Prepare. Take your pet’s medical records along in case of an emergency. And make sure that you pet has an ID tag on their collar at all times with your cell phone number.
  8. Thundershirt. If your pet gets nervous when traveling, consider getting a Thundershirt. These snug-fitting shirts target pressure points to help calm them. You can also get Happy Travelers for a safe drug-free option for pet that suffer from anxiety.
  9. Comfort. Bring a familiar blanket/bed and toy along to help your pet feel more at home during the trip.
  10. Hotels. Book pet-friendly hotels, and make sure your destination allows your four-legged friend. GoPetFriendly.com can help you plan your road trip!

Two Bostons has several pet-travel products to make your trip fun and safe.  Check out all of the products on our Travel Gear page, you can also come in and we can help get you everything you will need!

 

Are you looking for something to keep your pup entertained while we wait for the warmer weather to get here? Look no further than Planet Dog’s Snoop!

Simply pop it open, fill it with your favorite food or treats, fold it back down, and give it to your pup.

Not sure what food or treats to put into the Snoop…Rocket suggests Ziwi Peak, an air dried raw food that looks like tiny beef jerky squares. To mix things up, we also use Freeze Dried Treats by Open Farm.

If you have any questions any Two Bostons team member can help you find the perfect snack to fit in your Snoop!

 

 

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!