The top ten best dog breeds for kids!

 

 

Finding the right dog to bring into your family home is a big decision that can affect your child’s life for the next 14 to 15 years. There are many things to consider when looking for the right dog.


Some of the questions that might be running through your mind: “Should we get a small breed or a large breed? Will we have enough time and energy to play with the dog? Is it going to be a lot of work to groom and maintain?”


Children benefit greatly from having a dog in the family. It establishes a respect for animals and a sense of responsibility in a child, and your puppy will love, protect and cherish your children always.


I have put together a list of the 10 best dog breeds for kids. This list is based on personality, grooming, compatibility with children and need for space!

 

BULL MASTIFF

Personality:

Bullmastiffs do very well with children and show amazing patience with them. This breed has a very kind, sweet and gentle nature.


Grooming:

Bullmastiffs shed little and require only minimal grooming making it very easy on owners. It also cuts down on all the vacuuming at home which is a major plus!


Compatibility:

This dog breed is devoted to family and adores children, making the Bull Mastiff an ideal family dog.


Need for space:

Bullmastiffs can do well in apartments or condos because they're so mellow.

 

NEWFOUNDLAND:



Personality:

This is a vibrant breed who loves and adores being around people, and wants to be included in all aspects of family life


Grooming:

As you can see in the picture this breed has a rather fluffy coat which may be a dirt and debris magnet. Because of this it is best to have them brushed daily in order to stay clean and prevent tangles and mats from forming in the hair. When properly brushed, baths are only required every one to two months. Newfoundlands are moderate shedders, though they shed heavily twice a year, in Spring and Fall.


Compatibility:

 The Newfoundland loves children, and is very protective over them. The entire family will quickly fall in love with this wonderfully sweet, large dog.


Need for space:

The Newfoundland doesn't need much time to run, but they do need lots of daily walks. If you live in an apartment or condo it might be too small for this breed, they are best fitted in a larger home with a backyard.

 

LABRADOR RETRIEVER:


Personality:

The Labrador’s beauty is matched by its sweet personality and its intelligence! Whether black, chocolate or yellow, the Labrador Retriever is playful, patient, loving, protective and reliable


Grooming:

Grooming doesn't get much easier than with a Lab, but the breed does shed — a lot. So its smart to brush them daily, especially when he or she is shedding, to get out the loose hair. Labs require a bath about every two months or so to keep them looking clean and smelling good.

Compatibility:

The Lab has the reputation of being one of the most sweet-natured breeds, and it's well deserved. They are outgoing, eager to please, and friendly with both people and other animals.


Need for space:

Labrador Retrievers are ‘dogs’ in the truest sense of the word – they work hard, play hard and eat as much as possible! Labs love to run around catching Frisbees and playing ‘ball’ and need plenty of space.

 

 

BULL TERRIER

Personality:

Sadly and unfairly branded as an aggressive breed, the Bull Terrier was actually bred to be a companion dog. They are both friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike! These strong yet sensitive dogs are protective, loving and gentle.


Grooming:

The Bull Terrier requires almost no grooming, making it the perfect choice for little ones who are not able to brush or wash the family pooch on a regular basis!


Compatibility:

The Bull Terrier is an ideal dog for children who will enjoy a dog with a high energy level.


Need for space:

The Bull Terrier is a hyperactive dog who loves running around – and sometimes around and around again – so they require an adequate amount of space to be able to exercise and run during the day.

 

THE COLLIE

Personality:

The well-bred Collie is sweet, friendly, and gentle. They are known as a great family dog whom enjoys being a part of all household activities. Especially fond of kids, they enjoy playing with them and protectively watching over them.


Grooming:

The Collie has a beautiful, long, smooth coat which requires brushing and grooming on a daily basis

Compatibility:

Collies get along with adults, children and perhaps even the unfriendly neighbor! Their exuberant and bubbly natures make them the ideal family dog. Collies also love to please and protect their loved ones


Need for space:

The Collie loves to participate in activities and sports – such as jogging, running alongside a bicycle and herding animals! This makes the Collie best suited to a home with a large garden area where they can run around during the day.

 

PUG

Personality:

Pugs are playful, outgoing, trustworthy and loyal! These absolutely adorable dogs are kind and gentle – it’s tough to go wrong when choosing a Pug as a family pet!


Grooming:

The Pug is a dog that does not shed much. However this dog breed has a beautiful long smooth coat which requires brushing and grooming on a regular basis!


Compatibility:

Pugs are patient and sturdy little pups that were bred to be around people. They are usually compatible with other pets, making them a good choice for families with children.


Need for space:

Since these guys are a lot smaller than the other breeds listed above, they are perfect for apartment-dwellers, The Pug is active enough to be fun, but still small enough not to require a 5-mile run every day

 

MALTESE POODLE

Personality:

Maltese Poodles are active, intelligent, playful and affectionate creatures! This is a proud and elegant breed of dog that is both caring and loyal

Grooming:

The Maltese Poodle has a hypo-allergenic coat making it ideal for a family of allergy sufferers! It does, however, require frequent grooming, or its fur will get out of control!


Compatibility:

 The Maltese Poodle is a great playing partner for any child. This breed of dog is also very into learning and is also very highly trainable, which makes it a highly suitable companion to a child ready to learn about responsibility and respect


Need for space:

These little munchkins require little exercise or space and are ideal for any home environment!

 

BULLDOG

Personality:

This gentle breed is both a friendly and loyal dog who will get along with the entire family as well as other family pets! The only time they will ever get upset is when their dinner isn’t served on time!


Grooming:

The Bulldog has a short coat which does shed, so regular brushing and grooming is necessary


Compatibility:

The Bulldog has a sturdy build that is perfect for kids who like to play a little roughly. Their loving natures and loyalty mean they will form a bond with your entire family.


Need for space:

As you can see in the picture above, bulldogs are more on the low energy side making it easy for them to either live in a large house or a small apartment. All they need is a big comfy bed and they are happy!

VIZSLA

Personality:

This beautiful breed is gentle, loyal, and very affectionate towards its family members.

 

Grooming:

The Vizsla has very little ‘doggy’ smell, and does not shed much. Grooming is good for any dog however it is not a daily duty with the Viszla!


Compatibility:

Make sure you are ready to have a best friend for life before getting a Viszla, because these dogs thrive on forming the closest of bonds with its family


Need for space:

The Vizsla requires a lot of exercise and enjoys running around fields and parks. It also enjoys spending time indoors with its family. They are an ideal dog for an active family!


BEAGLE

Personality:

Beagles are smart, affectionate, curious, friendly and playful. They are ideal family pets because of their size, low grooming maintenance and easy going nature with children.


Grooming:

The Beagle has a short coat which requires weekly brushing.


Compatibility:

This short-haired hound loves to be a part of the family and to be involved in everyday activities! The Beagle loves to follow little ones around the house and yard, keeping one eye on them


Need for space:

Although this breed does not require a ton of exercise, it is still important for any breed whether they are low energy or not to get daily exercise. It will help your pet live a longer and healthier life!

 



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Pet proofing the house for the holidays

 

Christmas is right around the corner! Time for Presents under the tree, candy cane shaped cookies and carolers singing at your front door step. We get so busy decorating the house and baking goodies for the family that we don’t have time to worry about Max picking things up off the floor like ornament hangers  and eating them or getting on top of the counter and snatching those yummy chocolate frosted Christmas tree cookies that you just made.

However, incidents like these can cause your pup to get super sick and most likely will result in a trip to the nearest animal hospital.  So it is always best to dog proof the house of anything that can cause harm to your furry friend. Below are some tips to successfully doggy proof your home:

 

-Raise the Christmas tree so it’s not low to the ground

Although Christmas trees are generally safe for dogs and cats, the pines can cause a laceration in the eye if the pet happens to walk into it and the sap from the tree can cause a mild stomach upset which may bring on vomiting and or diarrhea.

 

-Don’t use the dangerous stuff

Ribbons, yarn and tinsel can be extremely dangerous if ingested by your pet. It can wrap around their intestines and more than likely will result in surgery to remove it. If you absolutely have to use these products, make sure they are inaccessible by your pet and that they are securely fastened onto whatever you are using them for so they can’t fall on the floor.

 

-Take advantage of crates

It is always a good idea to crate your pup during the holidays especially when you are not home and the house is full of Christmas decorations. Even when you are home, it’s nearly impossible to watch your dog 24/7 to make sure they don’t get into anything. If you are not a fan of crating maybe lock them in the bedroom while you are gone.

 

-Conceal Electrical cords

Make sure to conceal all electrical cords in the house. If your pet decides to chew on them like a toy, it can result in a burned mouth and electrical shock.

 

 -Keep pets away from chocolate

We have all heard it….chocolate is one of the most toxic foods to dogs. So make sure that your holiday treats that call for this yummy ingredient are kept in a spot where your dog is unable to get to it. Signs that your dog probably ingested chocolate are: Vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rates and or seizures.

-Be safe and buy non-toxic

Use silver duct tape in place of ribbons, 100 percent nontoxic native trees in place of pines and recyclable paper ornaments. Sure, paper isn't as shiny, but it’s classy — and one less thing to tempt pets.

 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE ESTRELLA FAMILY!!!!


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Leaving your dog in a hot car is now illegal in most states

 

 

Picture this….it is a hot summer day, you are out and about running errands and you start walking to your vehicle and you see a dog in a parked car with no owner. What do you do?

Even if the windows are cracked, the temperature in the car can increase within minutes. 

 

 

This has become such an issue that 22 states have made it illegal to leave a dog in a car unattended. Below is a link to show you which states are banning it and how much you can possible be fined for it.

 

https://www.animallaw.info/topic/table-state-laws-protect-animals-left-parked-vehicles

 

Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet. People might think that their dog will be okay if the windows are cracked but in reality, studies show that this has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.


Below are signs that a dog may be suffering from a heat related illness:

 

·         Excessive panting

·         Excessive drooling

·         Increased heart rate

·         Trouble breathing

·         Disorientation

·         Collapse or loss of consciousness

·         *Seizure

·         *Respiratory arrest

 

 

What to do if you see a distressed dog in a hot unattended vehicle:

 

·        * If the dog looks distressed (see above signs of heat-related illness), call the police, the local animal control agency or 911 right away.

·         *Leave your name and phone number with the person who takes the call in case the responding officers need more information.

·         *Go inside the nearest business(es) and ask the manager to make an announcement.

 

 

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Everything you need to know about taking care of your dogs




Us owners have a big responsibility when it comes to taking care of our dogs. Since they cannot care for themselves they rely on us for everything such as: feeding them, giving them water, bathing them and giving them Love. It pretty much is like having a kid, except the only difference is, they have a tail and a furry body.If you have a full time job, and a family at home the last thing you feel like doing after a long busy day is walking your dog. But dogs need exercise daily. It’s things like this that you have to make sure you are doing on a daily basis even when you are feeling tired and exhausted.If you are a first time owner and have absolutely no clue how to take care of a dog, I have listed some basic information for you to read through to help you get a better idea of what dogs need on a regular basis.

 

Step 1:

Spend quality time with your dog. Dogs need to know that they are loved by their owner. It isn’t hard to take just a few minutes every day to snuggle up with your pup and give them kisses. Everyone can do it. It doesn’t take a special skill or a special person to show their dog love so make sure you do this regularly. I know for me, every time I walk in the door after being gone all day my pups welcome me by jumping on me and giving me kisses when I pick them up. So it isn’t hard for me to want to lie down on the floor with them and give them a bunch of kisses back.

 

Step 2:

Visit the veterinarian regularly. It is important to take your dog to the vet so they can do a physical exam on a yearly basis just to make sure they are healthy. If you want to prevent certain diseases and rabies you may want to consider getting them vaccinated.


Step 3:

Feed your dog a healthy well balanced food. Most people don’t know how important a dog’s nutrition affects their health. There are so many commercial brand food products out there and it is hard to figure out which one is the best. To play it safe, just feed them a human grade well balanced diet. There are so many preservatives in kibble and canned food that make a lot of dogs sick and sometimes they end up needing to be hospitalized. How I think of it is, if us humans were to eat potato chips and candy and fried food every single day, we eventually would end up getting sick too…..it’s the same philosophy for dogs. If we eat well, so should our pets.

Step 4:


Always give your dog’s toys to play with. With so much going on in our lives on a daily basis it is impossible to give them 100% of our attention. It is always a good idea to go to the pet store and buy them a toy that will keep them occupied while we are busy or away. Just make sure it is a good size for your dog that way you don’t have to worry about them choking on it. Also make sure that they are good quality. They will be more expensive but they will be safer for your dog. So skip your Starbuck’s drink this week and use that money towards a new toy for your pup!

 

Step 5:


Provide basic dog training for your dog. If you just brought home a puppy and it is making a mess of your house or doing things he/she shouldn’t be doing its probably time to get them trained by a professional. You can look up professional trainers on the internet or call a veterinary hospital to see if they have any recommendations for you.

 

Step 6:

 

Take them out for a daily walk. Just like us, dogs needs exercise on a daily basis. It is good for their overall health and keeps them from becoming obese which can cause major health issues in the future. So whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a nice hike up the hills, make sure you exercise your dog regularly, it also keeps us in shape too! So it’s a win win for everybody.

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21 cool facts about cats!

 

 

 

Most of us know that cats purr when they are happy, enjoy chasing laser beams and love lounging around all day, but there are some facts about them that you may not know!

 

 

 

·        The average cat snoozes for about 16-18 hours per day

·        Calico cats are almost always female


·        Most cats are lactose intolerant and should not be given cow’s milk


·        Cats knead their paws when they are happy


·        A male cat is called a “Tom” and a female cat is called a “Queen”


·        Cats can get tapeworm from eating mice


·        Cats have more than 100 different vocal sounds


·        An adult cat has 30 adult teeth


·        Cats can run up to 30 mph


·        A cat can jump approximately 7 times its height


·        A female cat carries her kittens for about 58-65 days before they are born


·        Cats cannot taste anything sweet


·        A cat’s sense of smell is approximately 14 times greater than that of a human


·        A group of kittens is called a kindle; a group of adult cats is called a clowder


·        Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw


·        Cats who fall five stories have a 90 percent survival rate


·        A cat’s whiskers aren’t just for show – they help cats detect objects and navigate in the dark


·        Cats cannot see in complete darkness, only at low light levels


·        Humans greet each other by shaking hands; cats greet one another by touching their noses together


·        Cats have sandpaper-like tongues that they use to clean groom themselves

 

·        Unlike humans, cats only sweat through their paws. This is why you may see them leave moist paw prints in the summer time!



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 Why do dogs lick your face?


 

There is nothing quite like lying down on the couch after a long day at work and having your dog instantly jump on you and lick you all over your face acting as if they haven’t seen you in months. But you can’t help but wonder…..are they doing this because they missed me? Or is it because of something else? Of course we all want to think that it’s purely out of love, but that is not always the case.

 

 

 

So what is it that makes dogs want to give you those big sloppy kisses?


We taste good

It may sound funny, but one of the reasons why dogs like to lick our face is because it smells good to them. The salt on our skin is what is enticing to them. They may also smell food particles that are left on our face after eating something.

They are hungry

Animals rely on their owners for everything because they are selfless creatures and it is our job to take care of them on a daily basis. We need to walk them, bathe them, feed them and give them love. One of the signs of showing that they are hungry around dinner time is giving us sloppy wet kisses. They are trying to tell us that they are in need of something. If you think about it, puppies lick their mothers lip’s to stimulate a regurgitation reflex so they can eat the food their mothers vomit. It is how they were raised to ask for food. So when your pup is licking your face around supper time you know it’s time to get up and fill that bowl with their favorite meal.

It gives them pleasure

A lot of people may not know this but the act of licking actually sends endorphins through a dog’s body and gives them a sense of comfort and security. It’s almost like hugging for humans it gives us a warm comforting feeling.

They respect you

Your dog respects you….you are his/her leader. Wild dogs use face licking to communicate respect for and submission to their pack leader. When your dog licks your face, he or she may be communicating that they acknowledge you as the dominant pack leader.

Affection

 

At the end of the day, your dog loves you, you are his person. And because they can’t talk to you, the only way they can show that to you is by loving on you and giving you those big kisses. In fact, when puppies are with their littermates they lick each other to strengthen the family bond. So when a dog is licking your face, it’s because they are trying to get closer to you and to show you how much they love and respect you. 


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Foods that are toxic to dogs



                   





Not sure what foods are toxic to dogs? We get a lot of phone calls at the hospital asking us, “My dog just ate a ____, should I be worried?” Although there are some human grade foods that are nutritious to dogs as shown above, there are also some that can be seriously harmful. I have put a list together that shows what foods you should never allow your pup to have.

 

 

                                                        

Alcohol:

I have heard stories about teenagers giving dogs alcohol at high school parties and getting them drunk just to amuse their guests. If only they knew how poisoning it is to a dogs body. Alcohol can cause not only intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing, and abnormal acidity, but potentially even coma and/or death.

 

Apple Seeds:

Apples themselves are not bad for dogs, it is more of the apple seeds that are toxic. They contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested. This is really only an issue if a large amount was eaten and the seed were chewed up by the dog, causing it to enter its blood stream. But to play it safe, be sure to core and seed apples before you feed them to your dog.

 

Avocado:

Avocados contain Persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.

 

Cooked Bones:

Most people think that it is safe to give their dogs bones from their leftover dinners. They are right in a way…… Raw (uncooked) bones, are appropriate and good for both your dog’s nutrition and teeth however, cooked bones are known to easily splinter when chewed by your dog which can cause damage to their gums, teeth, and throat; causing pain and even potential injury. If your dog swallows the shards from cooked bones, he or she also runs the risk of internal injury.

 

Candy and chewing gum:

If your pet has their nose in your purse like mine always love to do, make sure they aren’t able to sniff out your gum packet. Any gum or candy that contains “Xylitol” can lead to the over release of insulin in their body which can cause kidney failure, and worse.

 

Chocolate: 

The famous one that everyone in the world knows about. Not only does the caffeine in chocolate cause problems for dogs it’s also the theobromine and theophylline in it which can cause the dog to start panting, vomiting, and have diarrhea. It can also damage their heart and nervous systems. So make sure those yummy homemade chocolate cupcakes that you just made are hidden somewhere where your dog can’t sniff them out!

 

Coffee:

I don’t know about you but I can’t start my morning off without having a big cup of fresh coffee. If your dog decides to feel the same way that morning and ends up drinking your entire hot cup of jo, we may have a problem on our hands. While 1-2 laps of coffee, tea or soda will not contain enough caffeine to cause poisoning in most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds, tea bags or 1-2 diet pills can easily cause death in small dogs or cats

Corn on the cob:

We all enjoy a nice corn on the cob at a barbecue party paired with some barbecue ribs and baked beans but if your dog decides to join in on the festivities we can assure you that Max will not be feeling too hot after. If a dog eats corn it is a sure way to get their intestines blocked. The corn is digested, but the cob gets lodged in the small intestine, and if it’s not removed surgically, can prove fatal to your dog. Additionally, too much corn kernels can upset the digestive tract as well so be cautious to not feed too much.

 

Fat Trimmings:

There you are eating your delicious home cooked meal and you decide to look down at the floor and you see Max staring at you with those beaty eyes and slobber drooling down his mouth. You think you are doing him a favor by giving him your scraps but really it is the complete opposite. Feeding them fat trimmings from our food can cause serious pancreatitis which means a not so fun visit to the doctors where they could potentially be hospitalized for days getting fluids and treatment. Just give them their favorite treat instead trust me their stomach will thank you for it later.

 

Grapes and raisins:

This is one that lots of dog owners are unaware of. Grapes contain a toxin that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. We’ve heard stories of dogs dying from only a handful of grapes so do not feed your pup this toxic food

 

 

 

Macademia Nuts:

 These contain a toxin that can inhibit locomotory activities, resulting in weakness, panting, swollen limbs, and tremors as well as possible damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous, and muscle systems.

 

Milk and dairy Products:

Many of you might not know this but dogs are actually lactose intolerant and when they drink milk or consume dairy products they can get the same side effects as humans such as diarrhea and gas. 

 

Mushrooms:

Just as the wrong mushroom can be fatal to humans, the same applies to dogs. Don’t mess with them!

 

Onions:

We all thought that chocolate was the absolute worst thing that you could give your dog but onions happen to be in the same category. It does not matter if they are raw, cooked, dry or in powder form. They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause anemia and damage red blood cells.

 

Peaches and pears:

I know a lot of home owners enjoy having fruit trees in their backyard but certain ones can be harmful to your pooch if they pick them up off the ground and ingest them. Peach pits are not only a choking hazard they contain amygdalin, a cyanide and sugar compound that degrades into hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when metabolized. Pear seeds also contain trace amount of arsenic and are dangerous.

 

 

 

Salt:

Just like salt isn’t the healthiest thing for humans, it’s even less healthy for dogs. Yes it tastes good but the side effects of having too much of it just doesn’t make it worth it. Overdosing on salt can lead to an imbalance in electrolyte levels, dehydration and potentially diarrhea.

 

Sugar:

I don’t know about you but I have a major sweet tooth. Chocolate, sour candies, gummy worms you name it, but too much of it can cause serious health problems in the future. Same thing goes for dogs, too much sugar can cause obesity, diabetes and dental issues.


Tobacco:

A major toxic hazard for dogs (and humans). The effects nicotine has on dogs are far worse than on humans. Nicotine can damage your pup’s digestive and nervous systems, increase their heart rate, make them pass out, and ultimately result in death.

 

Yeast:

 

 If you’re planning on making some homemade bread for dinner tonight make sure your pup isn’t around. Just like yeast rises in bread, it will also expand and rise within your dog’s tummy. Make sure they don’t get any. While mild cases will cause gas, lots of farting, and discomfort – too much of it could rupture their stomach and intestines.


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