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Keeping Your Home Healthy When You Have Pets

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Our pets fill our homes and hearts with love and laughter. But they can also fill your home with mud, hair and much worse. This is why its so important that, if you have fur babies in your home, you make an extra effort to keep the place tidy and healthy. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Fight the Fur

First things first, pet hair is more than just a fashion accessory you didn’t ask for on all your clothes. It can clog up your home’s air filters and contribute to allergens around the house. If I’m being honest, our French Mastiff, Stella, sheds so much that sometimes, it looks like there are a bunch of little Stellas running around the house. Regular grooming of your pets can reduce the amount of hair and dander floating around, and a good vacuum designed for pet hair is a must-have.

2. Master the Mud

If you have a dog, chances are you’re familiar with the “joy” of unexpected mud parties. Creating a pet cleaning station near your entryway—a simple setup with towels and paw cleaner—can help prevent your pooch from turning your living room into a mud wrestling ring.

3. Tick Talk

Let’s get serious for a second and talk about ticks. These little critters can be more than just a nuisance; they can be a health hazard to your pets and your family, so you need to know how to spot them and how to get rid of ticks fast. Regularly check your pets for ticks, especially after they’ve been outside. Invest in reliable tick prevention for your pets, and consider treating your yard with a pet-safe pesticide to reduce the tick population. Remember, it’s always a good season to say ‘no’ to ticks!

4. The Great Scent Cover-up

Pets can bring some unique smells into your home, and we don’t mean freshly baked cookies. While regular baths for your pets can help, sometimes you need a little extra firepower. Natural enzyme cleaners are great for breaking down pet smells instead of just masking them. For a quick fix, baking soda is great for sprinkling on carpets before vacuuming to absorb odors.

5. Emergency Clean Kit

Accidents happen—especially when you have pets. Keep an emergency cleaning kit handy that includes paper towels, disinfectant, and odor removal spray. For those times when Fido mistakes your carpet for the grass, you’ll be prepared to act fast and minimize the damage.

6. Purify Your Air

Pets can contribute to less-than-pristine indoor air quality. An air purifier can do wonders to capture pet dander, pollen, and other allergens, making breathing easier for everyone. Plus, it helps keep your home smelling fresh, so you’re not greeted by eau de dog when you walk in the door.

7. Secure Your Trash

Pets are notorious for their treasure-hunting skills, so it goes without saying they can sniff some pretty exciting (to them) stuff in the trash can. So if you don’t want to come home to stinky garbage all over the kitchen floor, secure your cans with tight-fitting lids to keep Fido out.

Maintaining a healthy home with pets is all about staying one step ahead of the fur, odors, and little surprises, but you can do it!

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Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies, Why is losing a dog so painful, How do you get over the grief of losing a dog?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

There’s a reason they call dogs “man’s best friend.” They worm their way into the deepest crevices of our hearts and become inextricable parts of our families. So when the day comes to say goodbye, it absolutely shatters you.

Last year, on May 6th, our beloved Lola, a sweet, quirky Victorian bulldog who’d been by my side for over a decade, passed away. Her loss left a chasm in my soul that still hasn’t closed, even weeks later.

Our Lola was more than just a pet – she was our furry child, a bright light during one of the darkest chapters of our lives. Back in 2012, my world imploded after suffering a devastating miscarriage and losing our first boxer, Saffaron. I vividly remember curling up night after night, hollowed out by grief, utterly convinced that my family would never make it through that gaping void of compounded loss.

Then, on December 14th of that same year, Lola quite literally pranced into our lives – a tiny ray of hope swathed in a big pink bow. From the moment we locked eyes with her sweet, gentle spirit, we knew she was our family’s redemption and path to healing. Lola filled every nook and cranny of our broken hearts with her pure, unconditional love.

She was there for us through all the ups and downs over the next decade – our steadfast, loyal companion who sensed our every sadness and snuggled up to us until the sorrow temporarily melted away. When I shattered my leg in 2015 and couldn’t walk for 3 months, Lola stayed dedicated by my side day and night, raising my spirits in a way only she could.

Our bond went far deeper than most people share with their household pets. We loved our Lola as fiercely and wholeheartedly as we love our human children. So you can imagine the earth-shattering despair when her health began rapidly declining in the summer of 2022 due to Cushing’s Disease.

Why Losing a Dog Leaves You Broken

For months, I had to hand-feed Lola, spoon by tiny spoon, as she grew weaker and more emaciated before my eyes. My heart shredded further each day watching her die a slow, undignified death despite our relentless vet visits and medication protocols. It’s impossible to know when to let go. We were in constant contact with our vet to make sure that she wasn’t in pain,

I tried preparing for the inevitable while paradoxically holding out hope for a miracle. I told myself “When the time comes, at least you’ll know you cherished every second with her and eased her suffering in the end.”

But as all my fellow pet parents know, those affirmations offer little solace when you’re suddenly staring into the eyes of your beloved fur baby and realizing this might be the last time. On May 6, 2023, Lola collapsed in the yard, finally succumbing to her illness. The light faded from her warm brown eyes as she locked her gaze on mine, silently communicating this was her final goodbye.

That pit of dread and grief was all too familiar, conjuring up the anguish of my miscarriage – that same powerless feeling of watching someone you’d give your life for slip away. I promised myself I’d hold Lola until her final breaths, stroking her soft fur and reassuring her that everything would be okay. For hours, I cradled her in my arms, violently sobbing as I felt her tiny heartbeat grow faint under my fingertips.

When the inevitable occurred and Lola finally stopped breathing, a part of me went still and cold too. We rushed her to the emergency vet not to save her, but to ease her transition to the other side since she seemed trapped between two realms. Standing in that sterile lobby begging strangers to help my baby as her limp body hung in my arms…I’ve never felt so hopeless and hollowed out.

How to (Try to) Heal a Shattered Heart

Lola was more than just a beloved pet – she was a child to me, a treasured family member whose cuddles and kisses provided comfort unmatched by anything else. Her love helped carry us through some of life’s most traumatic, arduous valleys. And now, home no longer feels like home; living in a Lola-less house each day is like being stabbed anew.

My morning routine is forever altered – there’s no tiny wagging tail to greet me or watchful brown eyes following my every move as I get ready. No affectionate snuggles as I breakdown in tears reaching for her favorite soft blankets that still hold the smell of her. I see her everywhere yet nowhere. One saving grace is that we have Stella, the Dogue de Bourdeaux we adopted the spring before we found out Lola was sick but even so, our Lola was irreplaceable.

Friends and loved ones with the best intentions still mention our sweet Lola. But they couldn’t possibly comprehend the permanence of this loss. Just like humans, our pets leave indelible pawprints on our lives that we’ll carry forever.

While the searing pain of acute grief does inevitably dull over time, for those of us who love our pets as our own children, that dull ache never fully disappears. We simply learn to rebuild our lives around the holes they’ve left in our hearts.

One step at a time, one fond memory at a time, we transform our sadness into newfound gratitude for the unconditional love they bestowed upon us. For me, this pain transcends just being “sad Lola’s gone.” More than anything, I feel deep regret, knowing we’ll never again experience her constant companionship, her intuitive snuggles on my darkest days, those small joys that comprised my “normal” for over a decade. No other pet could ever replace the sacred space she occupied.

So if you’re grappling with this same devastation, please be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for days when you can’t pull it together, because this grief is incredibly disruptive and all-encompassing. Let the waves of sadness crash over you – cry until your heart feels hollow again if you have to. Your pain is valid and real.

Most importantly, keep your beloved pet’s spirit alive by sharing their story and honoring their unconditional love. I’m finding solace in reliving all the hilarious Lola tales that made our family roar with laughter over the years. Though our home feels emptier without her tiny paws clicking across the hardwoods, she’ll always be our guardian angel on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

In time, we’ll be able to celebrate Lola’s life without feeling consumed by tears. We’ll adopt another rescue and pay forward the boundless affection she shamelessly showered us with each day.

Until then, we’ll continue leaving the porch light on for our sweet girl, so she knows there’s still a way back home to the people who love her most.

A Call to Honor Our Beloved Pet’s Memories

I’m sharing Lola’s story today because I know I’m not alone in feeling this profound, seismic heartbreak and upheaval after an adored pet passes away. Whether your baby had fur, feathers, scales, or something else, their absence leaves a cavernous void that humans are simply not equipped to navigate gracefully.

So let’s build a community to uplift each other through these brutal, raw moments. If you’ve ever lost your own furry BFF, please leave a comment sharing their name and a fond memory that still makes you smile through the tears. Let’s swap coping strategies, survival tips, and most importantly – humor and hope that our pets’ legacies will carry us through the darkness.

We’re in this together, opening our arms and hearts as wide as our four-legged friends taught us unconditional love means. Hug your babies a little tighter today and be ever-grateful for their pawprints on your soul. After all, it’s better to have loved and lost an irreplaceable pet than never experienced their extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime companionship at all.

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Celebrating Our Furry Family on National Love Your Pet Day, Stella

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Remember Saffaron, our brindle-coated whirlwind who stole our hearts as newlyweds? Or Lola, the Victorian Bulldog who brought sunshine after a storm? Today, on National Love Your Pet Day, their stories remind me of the profound impact our furry companions have on our lives.

Saffaron, our first “dog-daughter,” wasn’t just a pet; she was a confidante, a furry therapist, and a champion snuggler. She saw us through thick and thin, from the wobbly first steps of marriage to the joy (and chaos!) of parenthood. Her unconditional love was a constant, a warm paw on our hearts during life’s storms.

Losing her was heartbreaking, leaving a void that felt impossible to fill. But then came Lola, a goofy, lovable Victorian bulldog with a penchant for stealing socks and giving the best wet-nosed kisses. She didn’t replace Saffaron, but her playful spirit and boundless affection slowly mended our cracks. We learned that love comes in many forms, each paw print unique and precious.

Celebrating Our Furry Family on National Love Your Pet Day, StellaAnd then, life surprised us again with Stella, our gentle giant of a French Mastiff. We weren’t looking, but sometimes, the best things find you. Stella arrived just as we were facing another loss, her presence a beacon of hope and unwavering love. She reminded us that even the deepest wounds can heal, and that laughter and joy can bloom even in the midst of sorrow.

These are just three tails in our ever-growing family story, each one a testament to the powerful bond between humans and animals. Today, I urge you to celebrate your own furry family members. Shower them with belly rubs, ear scratches, and their favorite treats. Take them for a walk in the park, play fetch in the backyard, or simply snuggle on the couch. Let them know how much they mean to you, not just with words, but with actions.

So, this National Love Your Pet Day, let’s shower our furry friends with the love they deserve! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Spoil them rotten! Whip up a batch of homemade dog treats, indulge in a belly rub marathon, or splurge on a new squeaky toy. Remember, the little things matter!
  • Plan a pawsome adventure! Take them on a hike, hit the dog park, or explore a new pet-friendly cafe. Let them sniff out some fun!
  • Shower them with affection! Extra cuddles, playful games, and heartfelt words of appreciation go a long way in their book (or bark, rather!).
  • Give back to the furry community! Donate to your local animal shelter, volunteer at a rescue organization, or simply foster a pet in need. Every act of kindness counts!

Remember, our pets are more than just companions; they’re family. They offer unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, and endless entertainment (hello, squirrel-chasing!). So, let’s celebrate them today and every day!

Now, it’s your turn! Share your own heartwarming pet stories in the comments below. Let’s spread the love and make every day a National Love Your Pet Day!

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Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

May has been hell, to say the least and there’s still a few days left. It started on May 1st and only 5 days later, it went from bad to worse. Our dog died. Yep, it sucked even more than you can probably imagine. I’ve lost pets before but out Lola, she hit different because she was the first dog the four of us got together. Not to mention she came into our lives at a crucial time.

My parents never warned me that the price of getting to really and completely love someone or something is unfathomable heartbreak you have to endure when they are no longer here. That’s a shitty lesson that I’ve had to learn all on my own over the years.

I’ve lost people and I’ve lost pets but what we’re going through right now feels heavier and more devastating than almost anything I’ve ever experienced previous. This one, it hit different. On Saturday, May 6th, we lost our beloved Lola. It was more than just losing a pet, she was a decade of our lives. She was my children’s childhood. She was glue and we absolutely adored everything about her and every second we got to spend with her.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

Like a furry little angel, Lola came to us when we needed her most. 2012 was a really hard year for our family. It was marked by transition and loss. We relocated and left behind all of our friends in South Bend and that spring we lost our third baby and a couple months later, our beloved Saffaron (Brindle boxer, our first fur baby) who we adopted right after we were married. As a family, we were devastated and feeling a huge void from two great losses. It felt as if there was no way we could weather the storm of our life.

But on December 14, 2012, we met Lola. The most beautiful, sweet, kind, caring, funny, loving and quirky Victorian Bulldog. It was love at first sight. She even came to us on a day when our hearts were filled with sadness and she made us smile through our tears. That is what our Lola did. She was redemption and hope all wrapped up in fur and a big pink bow.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

All of us loved her just as much as we would any child in our family. I know some of you are scoffing at the fact that I just compared my dog to your child but it’s the truth. I’ve had dogs and I’ve had human children and Lola was closer to human than not. All the love we had to give, to our Saff and our third baby, was poured into our Lola and she reciprocated every single bit of it. If you were sad, she would sense it and come sit by you, snuggle in and fill you up without fail. If anything, we loved her too much and now, the hole is too deep to fill. There will never be another Lola.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

In 2015, when I broke my leg, shattering bones and dislocating ankles, and could not walk for 3 months, Lola was my constant companion. She never left my side. At a time when I felt my most depressed and vulnerable, she was there for me. She was dedicated and loyal to the very end. On her last day, I returned the favor and she died in my arms.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

She’d been sick for months. Late last summer, she was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease right before her 10th birthday. She would have been 11 this upcoming September 6th. She had suddenly started gaining a lot of weight and was very thirsty. We thought maybe she was diabetic. But a series of blood tests determined that it was Cushings.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

We didn’t know much about the disease other than it was an overproduction of cortisol. We followed the doctor’s orders and gave her the medication they prescribed and hoped to prolong her quality of life for as long as we could. However, soon instead of being overweight she was severely underweight. She lost almost 20 pounds in just a few months and looked emaciated despite the fact that we were taking her in every 2-3 months for level checks and giving her medication daily for the disease.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

At some point the medication overworked and our Lola had no cortisol. She became weak and would hardly eat. Some, most, days I had to sit on the floor and hold her while I hand fed her chicken, fruit, pumpkin and water. I didn’t care, as long as she wasn’t in pain, this was the least I could do. The vet said she wasn’t but we could see and feel her declining. I won’t go into all the details because this wound is still too fresh and I may never stop sobbing if I go down that path.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

Long story short, no matter how much you expect it or reconcile yourself to the fact that someone or something you love is dying, when the time comes, it is excruciatingly painful. No amount of preparedness can ready your heart for the monumentally gaping hole that will be left by losing someone you love. Yes, even a dog.

Honestly, losing our Lola may have been more painful than some of the human losses we’ve recently suffered. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to demean any loss. I am only saying that our Lola was more than a dog to our family. She was a sister, a daughter and a friend and she is irreplaceable in our hearts. I spent almost every day of the last 11 years with her at my side, at my feet and in my arms.

Lola, Nobody tells you what to do when your dog dies

On morning that she left us, she woke up and could not steady herself. When she went outside to potty, she vomited. She never vomits. Weakly, she continued to stumble around the yard like a wobbly newborn calf and I knew something wasn’t right. She headed toward me and locked her eyes on mine. Something wasn’t right. As I was holding her, she relieved herself all over me and went limp. My heart broke, I thought she’d died.

Then, she moved. I cleaned myself up as the Big Guy and the girls cleaned up Lola. In my heart, I knew, that this was our last day with our sweet Lola. I was terrified but on the other hand I was ready to help her peacefully transition. She’s been sick for almost a year and, as much as we wanted her here with us, we could not bear to watch her suffer. I promised myself that when the time came, I would sit with her in our favorite chair and hold her until the end.

We all surrounded her and loved on her. Through our sobs we held her and told her we loved her and how good she was. We could not change the inevitable but we knew we could give her a peaceful and loving goodbye, no matter how much it broke our hearts. It’s the least she deserved after being our faithful and loving companion for the past decade. I administered one of her pain pills just to make sure she was comfortable.

I sat in the big brown, leather, oversized recliner (where the two of us sat together countless times over the years) and I put her in my lap, wrapped in her favorite blanket (she was rail thin and always cold lately), she placed her tiny head on my heart and she slept there for hours. Only rousing ever so often to gently raise her head and look at me and then drift back off to sleep much like a milk drunk newborn.

Later in the day, her breathing became labored and shallow. She was no longer conscious and was no longer lifting her head. I placed my hand on her tiny heart and I could feel it racing beneath my hand like a thousand wild mustangs running across the plains. And then suddenly, it slowed down to what felt like 1 lone baby mustang and then it felt as if she disappeared right beneath my fingers.

Her heart was beating so faintly beneath my fingertips that it was almost undetectable. But still, she was very faintly breathing. We couldn’t take it anymore. I’d spent the entire day holding her so that she could pass peacefully in my arms but even when it’s what’s best for the one dying, it is almost impossible to survive for the loved ones watching them fade away. We decided to rush her to the emergency room. Not to be saved but just to make sure that she didn’t linger in between life and death.

We walked into the emergency room sobbing, holding the limp, seemingly lifeless body of our beloved and loyal Lola knowing that this was the last time we would ever see or hug her again. Knowing that this was the last time that we would ever get to rub her neck or kiss her forehead, knowing all of our days with her, were behind us now. We were there when she took her final breath, loving her until the very end. Ushering her to the other side with an abundance of gratitude and love.

We cried all day that Saturday. We’re still crying today, 3 weeks later. I feel like we might cry forever over our Lola. It was one of the worst things we’ve gone through recently. This morning I woke up and saw that my husband had emptied her food bowl (probably to prevent me from having to do it) and I started sobbing. Last night, I slept restlessly. I woke up reaching out for her. My heart can’t get used to her little head not being on the pillow next to mine. I see her in her bed, in the corners, under the chairs and couches, around every corner. I’ve cried for days over this loss. I don’t know how we’ll ever return to normal after losing the tiny angel who saved my family from more loss than our hearts could handle in 2012.

Lola we’ll love you forever. You are, were and will always be the best girl, our sweet Floki Moki.

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Best Ways To Look After Your Fur Baby When Everyone's Super Busy, raising a puppy

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Bringing your first pet into the household is an amazing time for everyone, but everybody in the family needs to consider their personal commitments before they have a pet. This is why it’s so important for you to make arrangements to look after the dog while everybody is at work, at school, or has extracurricular activities. This is why structure is so important. What are the things you may benefit from incorporating into your life for the sake of your pet?

Syncing up the Family Schedule

It’s not easy, but you need to start aligning your timetable to have a better schedule so your dog is not left alone for long periods of time. It also ensures that they will benefit more from regular mealtimes. Rather than putting out kibble for them to feast on throughout the day, you can give them high-protein puppy food from a pouch that will ensure they have the goodness. If you work near your home, you could take an earlier or later lunch than normal so the dog has several visits by everybody in the family.

Taking Your Dog To Work

While this is not going to help everyone, more and more companies are encouraging a “bring your dog to work” day. It’s good for you and your pets as they will have a change of scenery and you will not be worried as much if you are leaving them by themselves. But in order to do this properly, you’ve got to ensure that the dog is safe in transit. Having good quality dog cages for your car will make a big difference.

Exercising Before Heading Out

Your dog is not going to sit still while you are out for the day. If you’re expecting them to rest you need to ensure they run off most of their energy before you leave. You will need to devote some time with them so you can either go for a run or a high-energy playing session, in addition to their regular morning walk, as this will increase the chances of them relaxing or hopefully sleeping.

Purchasing Automated Toys

If you are concerned that being left to their own devices is not good, especially when everybody has one of those days where they are all incredibly busy, there are a range of automated toys available for canines. For example, an electronic wobble ball provides a lot of fun and numerous battery-operated robots can keep your pet entertained. It’s important to note that this is not a long-term solution, but is only for those days when everybody is so busy. The best thing for any pet is to have regular routines.

Choosing the Right Breed

If you are contemplating getting a dog, one of the best things you could do is find the right dog breeds that will benefit more from being left alone, especially if everyone is out for the day. Some dog breeds are more independent than others, so do your research before you start bringing a pet into the household. They will do a lot for you but you’ve got to make sure that you do a lot for them in return.

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Questions To Ask Before Getting A Family Dog

Dogs are awesome. We are dog people. To be fair, we love cats and guinea pigs and mostly all animals but dogs are our favorite. They can be excellent additions to any family. Saffaron, Lola and Stella are the best things that have happened to us. These furry friends stick by your side for their entire lives, giving you all the attention you need, through thick and thin, dogs just love you unconditionally. Honestly, humans don’t deserve dogs at all. They’re far too good for us; offering up all of their love without wanting anything but a few belly rubs and treats in return. If you’re considering getting a dog? Below are 6 questions to ask before getting a dog.

Having a dog to yourself is one thing – it’s completely different if you want to get one for a family. When you have kids to think about as well, you can’t make a snap decision to just get a dog. A few key questions need to be asked and answered to help you figure out if this is the right move for you and your family. 

Do you have room for a dog?

Firstly, is there enough room in your house for a dog? You might have a relatively small home with a small backyard. It’s absolutely perfect for you and your family right now. There’s enough space for everyone, and the yard is just big enough for the kids to enjoy. 

Unfortunately, if you add a dog into the picture, the house seems a lot smaller. There’s no space for the dog to roam around during the day – particularly if it’s a fairly big one. You can’t really find anywhere to keep a dog bed and there’s certainly not enough room outside for your pooch to have a little house. 

Consequently, some families might be unable to handle a dog because there’s not enough room in the home. This does depend on the type of dog you’re thinking about getting – smaller ones don’t need that much room. However, we will talk more about dog breeds later on! 

Are you able to look after the dog?

How busy is your daily schedule? Are you packed to the brim with things to do every single day? If you already struggle to find time for yourself – which a lot of parents do struggle to do – then a dog may complicate things. Suddenly, you have another responsibility on your hands. 

Can you walk the dog regularly? Will you be able to keep them groomed? Can you ensure they’re given all the attention they deserve? Is a puppy financially feasible for you; can you afford to keep them fed, loved, and rewarded with treats when they need them? These things may not always be cheap or convenient to provide but you need to consider them. For example, you might think treats are not a necessity but Treatibles are great for training, and behavioral adjustments, some are good for joint pain, tummy issues and relieving anxiety.

Yes, you can argue that your kids should give them lots of attention. In reality, they are the ones that probably asked you to get a dog anyway! But, what if they are too young to walk the dog by themselves? They’re too little to give the dog a bath or even to feed it. So, all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. One thing you can do is invest in the best gps dog fence, if you have a lot of open space for your dog to roam, as this will lessen the responsibility of exercise.

Okay, what if your kids are old enough to help you look after the dog. In this scenario, you still have to give them loads of attention when the kids are at school. There are many hours in the day when a dog will be left without your children to take care of it. Can you find the time in these hours to give them attention? If you work a full-time job, the answer will be a resounding no. 

Please, please, please take this into consideration before getting a dog for your family. As you can imagine, time is the number one reason people surrender dogs. Owners simply can’t find the time to give a dog the attention and care it deserves. Don’t be one of those people that gets a dog and has to give it up. It’s not nice for the dog to be taken to a new home, only to end up being abandoned at an animal shelter. 

If you want a family pet, but don’t have the time to devote many hours a day to that pet, think about getting a cat. They’re super low-maintenance and can be left for hours on end with no issues. As long as there’s water, food, and a cat flap, the cat is fine by themselves.

Why do you want a family dog?

Ask yourself, why do you want a family dog? It might seem like a strange question, but consider what has pushed you to think about bringing a furry friend to your family. Is this a decision you and your partner have been thinking about for a long time? Perhaps you had dogs before when you were growing up, and you’d love to have one for your new family to enjoy. That’s a perfectly viable reason to get a dog; you want a new addition to the family!

But, what if you’re getting one because your kids have pestered you about it. They’ve been saying they want a dog, so you’re finally thinking about caving in. If this isn’t something you and your partner are too keen on, don’t give in. 

It’s never a good idea to get anything because your kids really want it. Kids are kids, meaning they like different things all the time. They may love the idea of a dog right now, but will they still be as interested in a few weeks or months?

A dog is a long-term investment for you and your kids. Be sure that this isn’t just a phase before you decide to get one. 

Can you afford a dog?

After answering the previous questions, you’ve reached a pivotal point in the dog acquiring process. Can you actually afford the financial commitment that comes with owning a dog?

The initial costs will vary depending on how you get your dog. If you adopt, it’s completely free. If you purchase a dog from a breeder, prices depend on the specific breed of dog as well as the caliber of the breeder. 

However, these aren’t the main costs you should be worried about. Instead, you need to question if you can afford the ongoing costs of dog ownership. So, how much is this going to cost? Well, you should start by considering everything you need to buy: 

There’s a lot you need to think about, and the costs can add up to anywhere between $1,500 to $9,900 per year. That’s a lot of money that you might not be able to afford. Of course, it all depends on your financial situation. Some of you may do the calculations and figure out that you can definitely afford an extra mouth to feed. If that’s the case, you’re one step closer to owning a dog. 

If you can’t afford a dog, think about how you can save money to possibly get one in the future!

What dog breeds are good for kids/families?

You can financially afford a dog, but you’re still not ready to go out there and pick one up. Some dogs are better suited to families and young children than others. For the sake of your kid’s safety, you need to consider breeds that are suitable. Here are some of the options you should think about: 

Labrador retrievers

Labs are always popular family dogs because they have the perfect temperament for kids. They’re very patient, playful and full of love. As you can see on https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-retriever-michigan/, you can get labrador retrievers in a range of colors, with chocolate labs being very popular these days. They do grow to be quite big, but they always retain a sense of playfulness that makes them perfect family companions. 

Boxers

Boxers are great medium-sized dogs, so they’re great to have around kids. There’s never any worry about the dogs knocking over young children, and they have a very fun-loving, bright and active demeanor that makes them ideal for a family setting. While originally a working dog, these dogs are constantly eager to play games and have fun outside. They’re a great option if you want a pet to occupy your kids for hours on end. 

Boston terriers

A small dog breed that works really well with families and children is Boston terriers. The great thing about Boston terriers is that they are pretty low-maintenance. They don’t need to be walked that much, and they’re more than happy to stay inside for hours a day. Make no mistake about it, this doesn’t mean they’re lazy creatures. They are still keen to play with your kids, they’re just easier to look after than many other dogs. 

Should you adopt or buy a dog?

The final question is whether or not you should buy a dog. It is a good idea to adopt whenever possible. However, if you are looking for a specific breed of dog – or you want a puppy from birth to raise in your family, buying from a breeder might be the better option.  After asking yourself all of these crucial questions, you will know if a family dog is the right choice or not. Furthermore, you should also know what breed of dog is the best, and whether or not you should adopt it. It is so important to think this decision through as carefully as you can. Don’t rush into things as it could mean you get a dog that ends of being put up for adoption very soon.

What would you add to our list of questions to ask before getting a dog?

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things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastif

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

A couple of months ago, we were doing our regularly scheduled visit to play with puppies because puppies make us feel better about life and life has been kind of shitty these past couple of years. When completely out of character, we impulse-bought a “Dogue de Bordeaux” which I think is French for expensive ass dog but still not as expensive as its much tinier but much more expensive little cousin, the French bulldog. Apparently, if your dog is French he’s going to be adorable, lovable and expensive. These are things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff if you’re nasty.

The thing is you know how when you just know something is right? Like my husband said he knew right away that I was “the one”, his “soul mate”. Well, we all felt the same way about Stella (our big, beautiful, playful, sweet, lovable French mastiff). The thing is when we bought her, we had no idea what kind of breed she was which is very out of character for our family because we like to research and plan the shit out of everything.

This may have been the most spontaneous thing we’ve done in the past decade because since we had children, we’re always thinking long-term and BIG picture but not on Friday, March 11. Nope, we fell head over paws in love with Stella Coco on the spot. The Big Guy was signing paperwork before the girls and I even knew what was happening.

things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff

The first couple of days, not going to lie, I was having major buyer’s remorse. Remember, no idea what the Dogue de Bordeaux was before deciding to bring her home. Once I got home and Googled Dogue de Bordeaux, I scared myself because she will be the biggest dog breed we’ve ever owned with the shortest life span and she needs a lot of love and attention. Did I mention she’s only 6 months old and eats 5 cups of food a day? The vet predicts 8 cups a day by the time she is full-grown.

I was intimidated because they are also known for being great family guard dogs but that’s never been what I looked for in a dog. Our dogs are like family members. TBH, I think the Big Guy and I gravitated towards this mastiff because of her HUGE paws. When our Bella was a baby, we called her Big paws and Stella the big paw French Mastiff shares our Bella’s gentle, giant, friendly disposition. How could we not bring her home with us, she was born to be a part of our family.

things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff

Things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux

  1. The DDB is an excellent companion, deeply devoted to her family. 23 hours of the day, she’s calm, affectionate, docile and steady. But for that one hour (at least in my experience, at the puppy stage) she can be needy, hyper and super playful but always loving. She also has a protective instinct and guards her family with courage like a boss b*tch. In my opinion, Dogues de Bordeaux are great for families with older children who won’t be easily knocked over or startled by this big dog that tends to hop when excited.
things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastif

Be warned, this gentle giant is not a pushover most of the time. Along with that mostly calm temperament comes a stubborn streak that will make a teenage girl seem easygoing, self-confident, and a tendency to dominate. However, in our house, she is very submissive to our much tinier and older Victorian bulldog, Lola. I’m not sure if it’s because Lola’s older, if it’s a doggie respect thing or if it’s the regal Bridgerton aura that Lola emits but Stell tens to just roll over and bear her belly for her big sis. Socialization and patient positive training are a must with Dogue de Bourdeauxs, much like myself, they can’t be forced to do anything. Start early—it’s easier to train a puppy than a DDB who may be bigger (and certainly stronger) than you are.

  • Dogues do very well at dog sports. While only moderately active, their willingness to learn and eagerness to please their owners make them adept at cart-pullingobedience and even therapy work.
things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff

Keep in mind, that exercise will tire them out so we’ve figured out that burning off some of that energy before bedtime (much like when we used to dance the sillies out with the girls) is the key to the whole family getting a good nights sleep.

  • Do not teach your cute 30 lb. puppy any habits that you wouldn’t want your 130 lb. DDB to have. We’ve always had medium-sized working dogs but never something as massive as our Stella is anticipated to be so our dog babies have always been lap dogs, even at 50 lbs. we’re made of sturdy stock but our pediatrician has assured us that this warning needs to be heeded or we will be the ones who suffer the consequences. She loves to sit on our laps, sleep across my teenager’s chest and cuddle in like she’s tiny. She is currently 60 lbs. at 7 months (honestly, she’s on the smaller size compared to other DDBs of the same age and we are fine with it) and she’s getting too strong for the girls and me to control or pick up so positive reinforcement is the trick in our house. She loves treats like they’re addictive.
  • These are tall like ridiculously tall. Our girl can stand up with her front paws at the height of our kitchen island. Did I mention
  • They drool. Apparently, they really, really drool! Our Stella is not as wrinkly as some of the others and has not started to drool uncontrollably yet. It’s coming though. She loves to fill her jaws with water and carry it across the house. Anyone who lives with a Dogue de Bordeaux quickly becomes familiar with strings of drool covering furniture, floors and walls. Be prepared that you may have to up your cleaning game. I know, sounds like a shit trade but I promise you, all the love that your French mastiff will give you will be worth every single slobbery kiss you endure. To know a dogue de Bordeaux is to love her sweet face, drool and all.
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Today, A Dog’s Way Home is opening in theaters everywhere and to celebrate, the girls and I are making our Lola some homemade peanut butter and banana dog treats. Or as my Mother-in-law calls them, cookies.

Only, this time instead of the dog treats being some kind of preservative filled meat by-product treat, it will really be a cookie. In fact, it will have some of Lola’s favorite things in it. Our dog is crazy for peanut butter and bananas, the only thing that could make it better in her eyes is if I could sneak some chicken, bacon and watermelon in it.

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home

Lola’s peanut butter and banana dog treats are going to be homemade goodness. Honestly, I think I might have a hard time keeping the girls out of these dog treats because om gong to infuse them with cbd since I red at Pet Life Today that it has many benefits for them.

READ ALSO: Is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo Method for You? 

You all know I am in the middle of KonMari-ing my house so I don’t have lots of time to spend on baking projects. Also, did I mention that our dishwasher bit the dust this week? Oh my, it did and I’ve realized that all of those dish nights I had as a child have made me truly hate hand washing dishes. So obviously, I am trying to dirty the least amount of dishes possible but Lola is a great pup and she deserves a yummy, homemade treat. Doesn’t your pup?

This is s very simple and easy recipe. Easy enough to let the kids help and you only need to dirty one bowl, a mixing utensil and one cookie sheet. Easy Peasy. Even the littlest kids can help.

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home

 

Lola’s Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe

Lola's Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe

Deborah Cruz
Easy, delicious homemade dog treat for your furry friend. Lola's Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treat Recipe. So easy to make even the kids can help.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine dog treat, vegetarian
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup banana mashed
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the flour, eggs, oatmeal, peanut butter, salt, and banana in a bowl.
  • Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. 
  • Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
  • Bake in preheated oven until crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Keyword Dog treat recipe

READ ALSO: A Puppy Saves Christmas

We’d love to hear if your dog loved these dog treats as much as our Lola! #LolaApproved!

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home 

If you give Lola’s Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe a try, let us know in the comments.

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A Dog's Way Home, pets, Lola, kid's crafts, art

Are you a dog person? Is your furbaby showered with love and adoration? Do you have a special voice you use to greet your four-legged friend when you get home? No shame in our game, we definitely do. We love our Lola. She truly is one of the family. I don’t know what we’d do without her and all the joy she brings with her happy tail wagging and dog kisses.

Lola was a Christmas gift for our family to ourselves after a particularly hard year. In 2012, we suffered a miscarriage and lost our first fur baby, Saffaron. We were gutted. There was so much upheaval in our lives from the losses and so much love in our hearts that needed to be given and had no place to go.

The girls had been begging for a pet to fill our dog-sized hole in our hearts. It feels weird now to think that one goes to a place to “buy” a pet, especially since they are so much an integral part of our family’s story.

Lola was like salve to our hearts. She is our constant companion and loves our daughters as fiercely as we do. When I work at my desk (or on the couch or from my bed), Lola is always beside me. When the girls are sick, she sits by them until they are well. When the Big Guy has had a particularly bad day, she knows and she lays her head in his lap and soothes his soul.

I can’t even imagine a world without Lola in it. Who knew you could love a four-legged friend as much as you love human family? But how could you not, they are always there to make the world a better place.

Gabi wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up and she has a particularly special relationship with Lola. She calls her, “my sister” and she means it. In a lot of ways, Lola has healed us as a family and there is nothing we will ever be able to do to repay her for that. For now, we love her with all that we’ve got and she does the same in return.

Gabs painted a canvas of Lola to put on her wall in her bedroom and it is adorable. I think this is a great activity for all kids to do. It gave Gabs some one-on-one time with Lola and now, she has this sweet memory of the day her and Lola sat together for an hour as she tried to get her sweet face just right. I love it. I want one for the wall in my office.

A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming family adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human. A Dog’s Way Home is based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron with an all-star cast including Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi and Bryce Dallas Howard. Its safe to say that the dog in the movie was treated with cbd treats from Observer to reduce the anxiety of being in a film studio.

“Finding Bella” takes us on the journey of a dog trying to get back to her owner. Bryce Dallas Howard, the voice of Bella, shares the story of how Shelby the dog was rescued and goes on a journey of her own. Discover Shelby’s epic adventure as she finds her forever home and new life purpose as a therapy dog.

A Dog’s Way Home In Theaters January 11, 2019

 

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milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

Do you consider your fur baby to be one of the family? We do. Our 5-year-old Victorian bulldog, Lola, truly does feel like our third child. We love her and she is definitely part of our family. For every celebration or milestone that happens in our family, we want to include her with a treat of her own. Recently, we discovered Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats at our local Meijer store and Lola loves them almost as much as we love her.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

She deserves to be treated and rewarded just like the rest of us do. Lola has taught our girls not only a love of animals but a respect for all beings and a kindness towards the world. Lola is the gift of love and I think everyone should know the love of a dog and then they’d know how to put that kind of love into the world.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

You see, Lola came into our lives at a time when we had a lot of love to give and a void of where to direct it. In May of 2012, I miscarried our third child. In August of that same year, we lost our beloved 13-year-old Boxer, Saffaron. For the second time in the span of one year, our family felt an incredible loss. Loss hung over our heads like a storm cloud but despite all that grief we still had so much love to give.

The girls started asking for a puppy around Thanksgiving, which by the way was the due date of when our third child would have been born. I think that made the wound in our hearts feel a little more gaping. The Big Guy and I began to give the idea some thought because we wanted to encourage the girls to heal and them wanting to move on and take a chance on loving another dog was a huge step in that direction. So on December 14, we just felt like we needed to direct all that love someplace and Lola was going to be it. The rest is history.

Lola came into our lives and filled up the hole in our family’s heart. She closed that gaping wound in our soul and she made us feel whole again. That’s a tall order for a dog. In fact, even as a lifetime dog owner, I never could have expected an animal could be such an integral part of a family but she is. She came in and healed us in ways that we didn’t even know we had been broken.

So the least we can do is give her Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats. They are mouthwatering treats inspired by the snack we make in our own kitchens but unlike unhealthy table food, Milo’s Kitchen home-style treats are made just for dogs with 100% real chicken, beef, duck and sweet potato and free of artificial flavors and colors. The best thing is the snacks don’t just look like jerky, sausage slices and meatballs but are actually 100% real jerky, sausage slices and meatballs.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

Lola is part of our family and she deserves to be treated just as good as the rest of us. We want to keep her healthy and alive for as long as possible because we love her. Nothing says, “I love you,” more than something made with love and care.

So far, Lola’s favorite Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats are the Steak Griller’s Recipe with Angus Steak (Delicious, tender strips made with real Angus Steak full of beefy flavor), Premium Chicken Jerky Strips (a great-tasting, home-style recipe made with real chicken for the best mouthwatering jerky taste) and the Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices. She can’t get enough of them.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

If you treat your fur baby with Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats or if you would like to give them a try, you can take advantage of this mPerks offer of 30% off Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats now through 10/7 (while supplies last) before you head into Meijer today!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and The J.M. Smucker Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #miloskitchen https://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

 

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