Dogs, Sleep, and Covid

DOGS, SLEEP, AND COVID

The Covid Pandemic has brought a lot of changes to our lives and the lives of our pets. With many of us working from home, we brought the bustle of a busy day into our space. This brought about a huge change for our dogs and their sleep schedule. Dogs, sleep, and covid are important topics of discussion regarding the shift to a work-from-home norm. Sleep is crucial for all living things, including our dogs. We explore how sleep is essential to dogs and ways to help your dog sleep while you work from home. 

 

How much sleep do dogs need?

Most adult dogs need 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. Puppies need about 15 to 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of sleep! 

We’re not talking about napping or relaxing. We’re talking about proper deep sleep. It was easy for most dogs to get all the rest they needed when the house was empty of humans during the day. They can get approximately 6 to 8 hours every night while you sleep, and then they could nap during the day to make up the balance.  

But that’s not how our world is right now. Our homes have become our offices and our classrooms. Everyone’s home. All. The. Time. While our pups can still get some shut-eye overnight while everyone else is sleeping, they no longer get their naps in during the day. The home is busy with noise, meetings, lessons, and people just doing people things. Some dogs will be able to manage; some may not.  

DOGS, SLEEP, AND COVID

Lack of sleep and its effects

The side effects of disrupted sleep can include general grumpiness and snarkiness. A lack of sleep can also result in a lack of concentration in learning or training. The overall inability to tolerate changes in their space and their day can also result from not enough sleep.

Here are some ways to help your dog get some more sleep.

Create their own space

The best way to help your dog get some restful sleep is to create their own space to rest. If you have a crate that your dog likes to sleep in or is comfortable with, make sure it is available for them to use at any time during the day. If your dog has out-grown their crate or no longer uses one, then it is recommended that you dedicate a space just for your pup. This will create a divide from the hustle and bustle of humans at home. 

A separate space can be created by placing their bed in a different room (even a bathroom could work) or on another floor. They need an area where they aren’t constantly being woken up or tempted to follow you. Their space can include their crate, bed, toys and their bones so they can feel comfortable.  

Keep in mind; it might take some time for them to settle in the new location.  

Let them sleep

A sleep-deprived dog needs downtime more than they need exercise. If your dog doesn’t get up at the same time you do in the morning, let them sleep until they get up on their own. If it’s time for a walk, and you see they are sound asleep, let them sleep. Having a good rest is crucial to their health and will result in a better-behaved dog.

Build a routine

Have a schedule to maintain consistency. This will provide your dog with some stability and predictability. They will know when it’s walk time and when it’s nap time. Spending some energy and then recharging is always a good thing and even better when your dog can get in the habit of doing so.  

Settling activities

Settling activities are great to wind your dog down and get them relaxed. Some activities can excite your dog. These excitable activities include walks, runs, playing tug, etc. There are many things you can do to help your dog settle and relax post activity.  

A gentle grooming session or a canine massage can help your dog relax. A Lickimat can also help calm their excitement by focusing their attention on the mat. Any activity that’s great at getting a dog to settle and relax is a good one before bed.

 

Misconceptions

A common misconception is that a tired dog is a good dog. That is only true to an extent. An overtired or chronically fatigued dog is less able to cope with stress, just like humans. As dogs become increasingly tired, you will see their grumpiness escalate into a growling, air snapping or even biting. This is a situation that can easily be avoided by letting your dog rest when they need to.

Managing nap times, creating a routine, and creating a space conducive for napping is an easy and essential step for ensuring your dog gets the right amount of sleep daily. Keeping our canine friends happy and healthy while working from home is important as responsible pet owners. Little things like rest can affect so much. 

If you have any questions about how to crate train or create a safe place for your pet to sleep in, please contact us.

 

10 Essential Items for Winter Dog Walking

10 ESSENTIAL ITEMS WINTER DOG WALKING

With Winter here, we need to make sure we’re a little more prepared for our outdoor adventures. A little bit of snow and cold won’t stop us from walking our dogs, so here is a list of 10 items needed for walking your dog in the Winter.

 

1. Paw Safe Salt 

Even though our dogs have greater balance than us, it’s still good to take all safety precautions to avoid any risk of injury and discomfort, especially on ice. For your icy driveways, walkways, and stairs, consider using pet-safe salt and products to reduce the slip on the ground. Pet salt can cost a bit more, so be sure to look out for sales or use other safe alternatives such as sand to reduce slip. 

Sometimes walking in salt is difficult to avoid in public areas and sidewalks. If this is the case, then make sure you have a cloth or something in your pocket that you can use to wipe your dog’s paws. 

 

2. Paw Balm or Boots 

For those salty sidewalks you can’t avoid, you can also purchase paw balm or boots to protect your dog’s paws. There are various paw wax and balm products on the market that will protect your dog’s paws from the salt and keep them moisturized from dryness. Boots are also another option to keep your dog’s paws warm and protected from the outdoor elements. You can purchase various kinds of styles and colors from your local stores or businesses or buy them online. Your dog is sure to be thankful for the comfort on their paws.

 

3. Proper Fitting Harness

A properly fitted harness is essential for any walk. For the winter season, a properly fitted harness will ensure that you are not being pulled and reduce the risk of slipping. There are various types of harnesses out there, so make sure you find the one that suits your walking needs and is comfortable for your dog.

 

4. Treat Pouch

Bringing treats for a walk is always a good idea. Whether you are currently training your dog or just going for a stroll, treats are still a good idea to bring if a new training opportunity presents itself. You can also use the treats for recall practice given a chance. A treat pouch can also keep your clothing and pockets clean without leaving any treat residue or crumbs and give you extra storage for your keys.

 

5. Boot Grips 

We mentioned different ways for slip prevention for your dog; however, we humans need slip prevention too. Although salt won’t harm humans wearing boots, it would still be a smart consideration to invest in some boot grips. This would be especially useful for walkers that like to adventure through icy trails; however, all dog walkers in the winter should consider investing in a pair of good grips to prevent any injury from happening. 

 

6. Lights and High Visibility

Winter days are short, and most of us finish work when it starts to get dark. For the safety of both you and your dog, make sure to wear some piece of reflective clothing on your body to be seen in the dark. There are a ton of reflective leash, harness and collar options for dogs in stores or online. Similarly, there are also a ton of options for lights to be attached to harnesses and collars so that your surrounding environment can see you walking your dog in those dark winter evenings. 

10 ESSENTIAL ITEMS WINTER DOG WALKING

7. Coats and Winter Attire

If you have a dog that is a short-haired breed or does not have a lot of body fat, it is essential to invest in a proper jacket for your dog to wear for outdoor walks. Although dogs have fur, some breeds still need help in keeping warm, especially in cold winters. Be sure to look for jackets at your local pet stores, or you can find them online to be shipped to you. Whichever coat you purchase your dog, they will be grateful and happy that you thought of them this cold winter season. 

 

8. Pet Spa Appointments

Although you wouldn’t expect it, having your dog on a regular grooming schedule is important in the Winter. Baths are not necessary; however, nail clippings and maintaining fur length is important. In the Winter, your dog’s nails can break and chip walking on the ice, causing pain and discomfort. This is why it’s essential to keep their nails nice and trim.

Long-haired breeds can get snow clumped in their fur, causing them pain from the weight of the mass of the snow accumulated. Snow can also accumulate around their toes, leaving them uncomfortable to walk. Keeping these dogs groomed and brushed will reduce these problems.

 

9. Towels

The winter can be a wet season, depending on the temperature changes that year. Puddles can quickly form if the temperature drops by a bit, and fresh snow can turn to water once it lands on your dog’s fur due to the warmth of their body temperature. For these reasons, our dogs come back from their walk all wet, especially on their paws, legs and underbelly areas. This is why investing in a good towel is a smart move that will allow you to dry your dog off effectively and successfully in no time at all!

 

10. A Small First Aid Kit  

 You never know what you’ll encounter on your adventures! It’s better to be safe than sorry, so investing in or creating a small first aid kit for your dog is a smart thing to do. Your first aid kit should include a styptic pen, vet wrap, and some gauze pad. This would be especially recommended for longer outdoor adventures with your pup. 

 

Having your dog prepared for the winter months is crucial. Hopefully, this list of items can help you put together and organize the most important things your dog needs this season. If you aren’t sure or have any questions, please contact us at Canine Citizen. If you need help with dog walking, check out our Adventure Dog Walks
 

5 Gifts for Dog Training in Toronto

Gifts for Dog Training

Dog training is an important activity to perform with your dog as a responsible dog owner. Training can be both serious and fun, depending on your training goals. Being adequately prepared for dog training can set you and your dog up for a successful and rewarding training session. If you or someone you know is currently training or planning to train their dog, here are some gift ideas for dog training that would be beneficial to have!

1. Treat Pouch  

A Pouch is an essential tool for training and can make a stylish gift for dog training. You need to be ready with treats and have them easily accessible all the time. For example, I use a climbing chalk bag as my pouch. I love it because it’s inexpensive and also has a small zippered pocket to stash keys or any small necessities if I’m heading out for a walk. The best part is that it comes with its own belt. This makes it SO easy to use, and you don’t need to hook it onto another bag or your pants, and never run the risk of it falling off. Excellent!

2. Kongs or Toppl Toys

Toys that can be stuffed with treats are great tools and training gifts when you have a dog. These toys are intended to be loaded with food and then worked on for a while. I love these for training in routines. I often recommend them for younger dogs who are still susceptible to “Puppy Witching Hour.” You can start them on a full toy to keep them busy about 15 to 20 minutes before their PWH is expected to start. Working on a kong is also brain work, so they spend their PWH energy more quietly.  

I also recommend toys for dogs who come home from their walks with wild, excited energy, because THEY HAVE SO MANY EXCITING STORIES TO TELL YOU! They can be a great way to refocus that energy into something positive. The act of going through the process of walk-kong, walk-kong, walk-kong can help build the routine of going for a walk and then coming home and settling down. This is so important for young or active dogs!

3. Hands-free leash  

These usually have some sort of waist attachment to use and can make a great dog training gift. They are great when you’re going through training because you will have two hands that are free to work with your dog!

Gifts for Dog Training

4. Treats 

And good treats at that! You’ll need some high-value tasty treats while you’re doing training. Ideally, you want something that tastes better than the new and exciting world around them. We recommend looking for things like: Rollover, freeze-dried liver…etc, but any treat can make a good dog training gift.

5. Toys 

Toys are especially crucial for young dogs. Having a variety of different kinds of toys is very beneficial for a dog’s activity and development. Try a stuffie with a squeaker to dismember. Or a rope toy with a handle so that you can play tug with your dog. Or even a fresh new collection of chuck-it balls would make a great dog training gift. Any toy that requires interaction, focus, and play is excellent for that stimulation and activity that your dog needs. 

For more advice or information about dog training and potential dog training gifts, please contact Citizen Canine.

5 Hidden Gems to walk your dog around Toronto

5 HIDDEN GEMS TO WALK YOUR DOG AROUND TORONTO

As these uncertain times of the covid pandemic continue well into the year, we look for more ways to entertain ourselves while social distancing. As pet parents, we also need to look for ways to engage our pets without going to the dog park so often. With limited options, we’re looking for more ways to spend outside before the Winter season comes along. If you’re a pet owner that’s tired of walking the same route every day with your dog(s), please check out these hidden gems in and around Toronto for some new adventure plans.  

 

Sherwood Park 

Sherwood Park is located in Midtown Toronto and can be a great outdoor escape for the entire family. This park offers beautiful wooded hiking trails and even an off-leash area for your fur babies to run around freely. Whether you spend a couple of hours here or the whole day, this truly is a great little local gem within the city to go out and enjoy with your dog. 

 

Cherry Beach 

Cherry Beach, found on the city’s outer part, should be explored before the Winter season comes around. Located on the north shore of the Outer Harbour at the foot of Cherry Street, this beach has a dedicated off-leash dog park so that you can bring your pup to. This hidden gem has a cottage country atmosphere that can create the illusion of escape within the city. Your dog is sure to love to run around the wide-open treed and take a dip in the water to cool down before doing it all again!

 

Crothers Woods

Another hidden gem in Toronto is Crothers Woods. This beautiful hiking trail is located in East York in the Don River valley in Toronto. Although this trail is not off-leash, it can offer a great outdoor adventure for you and your pup. This trail offers about 10 kilometres of various hiking difficulties to explore. With the range in hiking difficulty, this trail can be a walk in the park or a challenging workout for you and your pup. Whichever path you select, you can enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful scenery this trail will provide. 

 

Hinder Property 

The Don River valley has another hidden gem in the Toronto area. The Hinder Property located at Bathurst and Shepard offers a scenic hiking route and bike trails. This beautiful forested hiking trail is not off-leash; however, it provides a nice quiet trail to walk or run along with your furry friend. This trail can be explored as an outdoor activity, or you can make it a full day adventure and bring a picnic to snack on and relax with your dog in the park.

 

Moore Park Ravine 

The Moore Park Ravine is another scenic gem in Toronto where you can escape a busy city life. This trail is a 6-kilometre loop trail that’s easy to navigate so you cannot get lost. This trail is excellent for walks, hikes, bikes, and runs, so remember to keep your dog on a leash. The Moore Park Ravine is an easier trail that’s easily accessible to you and your dog year-round. Whenever you’re looking for an inner-city escape, this hidden gem is ready to provide a nature escape to you and your pup. 

This season, take advantage of the beautiful fall colours and social distancing protocols and enjoy the beauty of nature. Toronto may seem like a concrete jungle, but there are quite a few hidden gems in and around the city to escape to. Pack your bags and bring your furry friends along for an adventure they are sure to enjoy!

5 Things To Do With Your Dog During COVID-19

5 THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR DOG DURING COVID-19

This year has brought about many different changes in the way we care and exercise our pets. Our pets went from going out regularly, socializing and interacting with everyone to going out once in a while and significantly limiting their social interactions. This must have been quite a confusing change for our social and attention-seeking fur babies. 

But as the restrictions loosen, and life returns to a new normal, our pets can start enjoying the outside world and socializing more often. Here are some ideas for physical activity and socializing you can do with your pets during COVID.  

 

Trail Hikes for Solid Exercise 

If you’re still hesitant to be out in public around too many people but are looking for some challenging and good exercise, you can check out Toronto’s and the surrounding area’s various trails. Hiking, walking, running, or biking a trail is an excellent exercise for both you and your dog. In addition to physical activity, you’ll get fresh air and the chance to take in all the nature around you. After an outing like this, you’ll both be feeling the burn and ready to kick back and relax for the rest of the day. 

 

Swimming for playtime together 

For those warmer days in the month, taking your dog swimming would be a great physical and social outing for both you and your dog. This can be an afternoon event at a neighbourhood park, or a day trip or weekend away to a beach! Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs and a perfect form of exercise for older dogs with joint issues. If you have access to a pool, this activity can be done regularly in your own space’s comfort and safety. For other ideas of places to swim, please read our blog listing pet-friendly areas to take your dog swimming: Top 5 Places to Take Your Dog Swimming in Toronto.  

 

Picnics for socialization and together time

For a low-key hang out with your furry friend, a picnic can be the perfect afternoon or weekend activity. At a nice local park, your dog can run around and play and socialize with other dogs and people that may be around. You can even invite some friends for a small gathering of dogs and people and catch up to mix for the day. This is sure to be an enjoyable activity for humans and dogs alike! 

 

Toronto City walks for socialization and exercise

If you’re looking for more colour and noise with restaurants and shops as your backdrop, then a walk in the city might be better for you. A walk through the city can expose you and your dog to all sorts of sights, sounds, and smells. This can be an excellent exercise for physical and mental stimulation with some entertainment along the way. While being out and about, your dog can also meet other dogs in the neighbourhood and get the social interaction they need. This activity is just a significant mood changer for both humans and dogs. 

 

Parkour for brain training and exercise 

Some of us may still be more hesitant to leave the house very often. But this does not mean that the fun stops inside. If you and your dog are stuck inside, you can still bring an exciting and fun environment to your home so that your dog can get some moderate exercise and psychological stimulation. Some websites and facilities offer online or private training programs or classes to do with your dog from home. If interested, you can do a Google search for a particular course or check out Helicopter Tail Co.’s page for more information about these at-home services.

 

This year has caused us to get creative with the way we exercise and socialize our pets. Although it’s different from what we’re generally used to, these activities and moments will only bring you and your furry friends closer together for memories to last a lifetime.