Eva Mendes' dogs prepared her for motherhood.

The 44-year-old actress feels her pet pooches helped her get ready to be a mother to Esmeralda Amada, four, and Amada Lee, two, who she shares with her partner Ryan Gosling.

She said: ''You know what? It's not that different. It really isn't. The love that you have for your dog, and how you are with your dog, I think, is really similar to how you are with your children. I really feel that, and people will probably get really mad with me for feeling that way, [but] it's just so beautiful.''

Speaking about her late pooch Hugo, she added to People magazine: ''He was so special. I would just talk to him and I would treat him like a person, like, I think, most dog lovers do. I just have that bond that will be there ... He may be gone, but that feeling has never left me. It is one of the most special presences in my life. Hugo - who, again, I miss so much - he prepped me for motherhood. George, who I miss so much, prepped me for motherhood. It was the best training that I could have.''

Meanwhile, Eva previously admitted being a working mother makes her feel ''guilty''.

She shared: ''Oh my God, nobody warns you about the guilt that you feel when you do work! I don't know how I find balance, because I think it is like a day to day kind of struggle, you know? I'm all for obviously taking care of myself - that's how I can take care of them of course - but that guilt that is just kind of always there. It's like, 'Ugh, this is gonna be there forever now.'''