How to recognize Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat stroke is a medical emergency for both humans and dogs.  While many of us are familiar with it in ourselves, many of us know very little about it in our canine pals.  And unfortunately, it can have very serious consequences for your dog. Heat Stroke is the common name for Hyperthermia.  It is when a dog’s  temperature rises above 103º Fahrenheit.   Because dogs only have a few sweat glands in the pads of their feet, and their primary way of cooling their body is panting, they can over heat faster than we realise.   In this blog, we explore ways to prevent heat stroke, the symptoms to look out for if it does occur, and ways to treat the condition if it is happening. As stated before, heat stroke is a medical emergency, if your dog is suffering from heatstroke, take him to a vet right away. 


Prevention of Heat Stroke

The easiest way to prevent heat exhaustion is to keep an eye on your dog and their activity. Keep your home cool, and do not leave your dog in a parked car. On hot summer days, be sure to moderate your dog’s activity levels and their playtime outside. Dogs should not be outside playing for too long or too vigorously. You should also avoid taking walks in the afternoon when the temperature is the highest.  Short playtimes, staying hydrated and appropriate activities and exercise can prevent heat exhaustion in dogs. Maintaining their body temperature within a normal range will ultimately prevent heat exhaustion and stroke.

Note:  even being under a hot hair dryer for a long time can cause hyperthermia.  And brachycephalic breeds (flat faced dogs like: french bulldogs, pugs, boxers, pekingese) are more susceptible to heat stroke because of the structure of their airways. 

Techniques we use at Citizen Canine to keep the pups cool are: no ball playing on hot days, lots of shade breaks, shortened walks, beach trips, lots of water breaks, splashing water on any place that doesn’t have fur (bellies, inside of back legs, feet, jowls and, if tolerated, inside of ‘drop’ ears).


Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Some of the early signs of are: excessive panting, excessive drooling, thick and sticky drool, bright red gums,  dry or sticky gums, skin is hot to the touch. As their exposure continues, you can see other signs:  pale or blue gums, stop panting and drooling, rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, muscle tremors, vomiting or diarrhea,  unwilling to move, collapse.   

At Citizen Canine, we are constantly looking in our dogs’ mouths…..what colour are their gums?  Are they drooling?  What does the drool look like?  How much are they panting?  We want to catch any pups struggling with the heat early.  Then we have the ability to treat them without the situation becoming dire.


How to recognize Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Treatment of Heat Stroke 

If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, walk them or carry them to a cool shaded area right away. It’s essential to get them out of the heat. If your dog will drink, you can give them cool water.  You can use a cool, damp towel on their exposed skin, i.e.. belly. Lowering the body temperature needs to be done gradually–do not use cold or freezing water. If you’re indoors, you can set a fan to blow over them. You should call your vet immediately, and discuss an appropriate course of treatment for your dog. The prognosis for recovery depends on how high their temperature is, and how long it remains high.  Treatment is critical.  


Being familiar with the basics of Heat Stroke in Dogs is essential, especially in the summer when it’s more common. It can be serious and life-threatening if not recognized and treated as soon as possible. Be sure to play smart and play safe this summer and prevent heat stroke from occurring. At Citizen Canine, we believe in the old adage: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it couldn’t be more relevant than with Heat Stroke.  We are trained and experienced and will always be sure your dog is happy, healthy and in good hands. Check out our dog walking services and find out what makes our walks stand out from the rest!

How to Deal With Coyotes and Keep Them Out of Yards

how to deal with coyotes and keep them out of yards

Despite living in the city, we still get visits from the wildlife in surrounding areas. Coyotes seem to be making more appearances these days and entering our neighborhoods. These animals can be dangerous, and it’s always best to keep a safe distance. To help keep your dog safe this summer, we thought we’d write about how to deal with coyotes and keep them out of yards. These animals are predators in the wild and must be handled carefully if encountered. Check out these tips on how to keep coyotes out of your yards and away from your pets. 


Build Physical Barriers

The obvious way to keep coyotes out of your yard is to build physical barriers preventing their entry. Fences and enclosures work as great barriers in protecting your home and pets from unwanted visitors. Fences or walls must be about 7ft tall to prevent a coyote from jumping over. Other physical barriers like sheds can be used to deter coyotes from coming into your yard. Certain smells guide a coyote. If your yard smells like food from your garbage, a coyote is more likely to come and visit.  So always make sure you put your garbage in the bin, and keep your yard free of any al fresco dining particles.  This also encourages them to return to check-in afterwards. You must never feed a coyote in your yard or around your house if you do not wish for it to return for a visit. Investing in some structured barriers can make protection a lot easier.


Technology, Chemicals and Smells

If physical barriers are out of budget, or if your yard is too big for borders, then setting up areas with certain chemicals and scents can help keep coyotes away. Naturally deterring scents that coyotes don’t like are wolf urine, human scents like cologne or perfume, cayenne pepper, and vinegar. These scents do repel coyotes but must be reapplied regularly, especially in the case of rain or after a storm. 

Technology can help automatically deter coyotes. Specific devices like radios, strobe lights, or sirens can also help repel the presence of coyotes. The lights and sounds will activate through motion sensors which can help you keep coyotes away without physically getting the job done yourself. Even homemade scarecrows can be used around the yard to trick coyotes that humans are nearby. 


Keep Pets in While it’s Dark Out

Coyotes usually come out around dawn or dusk. During these hours or the late evenings or early mornings, it’s best to keep your pet inside or supervised while outdoors. If you have cats or small dogs, it would be best to keep them indoors until the day.  Always keep your dogs on leash in areas where you’ve seen coyotes before.

If You Encounter A Coyote

Coyotes are generally reclusive animals who avoid humans and will not go near them unless they become accustomed to their presence. It’s essential to prevent coyotes from ever being comfortable around humans. If you see any activity encouraging the presence of coyotes, please report this immediately to your local authorities. 

If you do encounter a coyote on a walk with your dog, there are some crucial things you need to keep in mind. The biggest thing to remember is never to run! It may be a quick reaction, but this would lead to a chase with an animal you cannot outrun. Instead of running, act big and loud, waving your arms/jacket, stomping your feet and yelling to scare the coyote, as shown here.   Noise makers, like whistles are also great, as they are small enough to be kept in a pocket when you’re out walking.  And mostly importantly, keep your dog on a leash at all times, especially if you think it will lunge toward the coyote or start running. 

Once the coyote is out of sight, you can begin walking away. Don’t let your eyes off the coyote during your encounter. 


Coyotes are beautiful animals, and they are an important part of the urban ecosystem, but we have to make sure are pets are safe, too! We hope this blog on how to deal with coyotes and keep them out of yards was helpful and will better prepare you for any encounters in the future. Please stay safe and keep your eyes peeled! If you’re on a busy schedule, please check out our dog walking services and contact us for more details.


how to deal with coyotes and keep them out of yards

National Dog Rescue Day

May 20th is National Dog Rescue Day; however, you can help rescue a dog any time of year. There are many pups out there waiting to be welcomed with open arms into loving homes. We have listed some different ways you can help rescue a dog. We also included some dog rescues around the Toronto Area with dogs ready to be adopted into loving homes. On behalf of National Dog Rescue Day  here are some ways you rescue a dog.



If you’re ready to welcome a new addition into your life, then adopting a dog is a direct way to change a dog’s life. Many dogs are waiting to be adopted. Be sure to do your research on which dogs suit your lifestyle best. It is also a good idea to talk to the adoption center or Rescue to see if they can pair you with a dog that fits your lifestyle best. Usually, the facility has an adoption process to follow. This is to ensure that the dog finds their forever home and feels comfortable around you. 



Another direct way to rescue a dog is to foster. Creating a temporary loving home helps foster dogs develop social skills and helps them get comfortable living in a home. By creating a safe and caring environment, these dogs can start their healing process and start coming into their skin. Not only will you be helping these dogs, but you’ll also be helping the shelter by freeing up space for other dogs that they can take in. 



Donating is an indirect way to rescue a pet. By donating to local rescues and adoption centers, you can help shelters buy resources for their animals. Donations of any amount can go a long way. From purchasing food, toys, beds, or even making more space at the facility, your donation is used to help the cause. 



If you can’t donate, there are still significant ways that you can help rescue a dog. Volunteering is a great way to help dogs without the long-term commitment of owning a pet or spending any money. By volunteering your time, you can help change a dog’s life and help the shelter keep up with all the care and work they have to do daily. This can alleviate some stress for the shelter and make you feel good about helping a great cause. 



Educating others about pet care and shelters can help rescue more dogs in the present and the future. Educating people about spaying and neutering their animals can help them make informed decisions about caring for their pets. This can help reduce present and future stray populations and inform people about the amount of responsibility taking on a pet is. Sharing your experiences and knowledge on pet care can go a long way. 


If you are looking to adopt a dog for National Dog Rescue Day, you should research the shelters around your area. There are many shelters around the Toronto area that you can look into. Here are just 4 shelters that you can check out for National Dog Rescue Day. 


Save Our Scruff 

Save Our Scruff’s mission is to help build the community’s awareness of dog’s needs through their various platforms and education. They aim to set their dogs up for successful adoptions in their futures and hope to enhance the lives of the dogs they take in. Check out their page and see how you can get involved.


ARF Ontario

ARF is an Ontario-based non-registered charity. They run on volunteers that work to find forever homes for animals from crisis situations. What makes them unique is their care for animals regardless of geography from around the globe. Since they are volunteer based, they foster and rehabilitate animals as they do not have a physical facility. If you would like to adopt one of their rescues or help out in any way, please contact them. 


Speaking of Dogs

Speaking of Dogs is a Canadian registered charity based in Toronto. They aim to help dogs from shelters and dogs that were surrendered. They focus on senior dogs; however, they are dedicated to educating the public and fostering dogs until they can find their forever homes. Please visit their website to find out how you can help or adopt a dog to a forever home. 

Fetch + Releash

Fetch + Release is a volunteer-run dog rescue dedicated to saving dogs in need. This organization is also a foster-based facility that aims to find a forever home for the dogs in their care. Check out their mission and vision and all the ways you can help


No matter how you want to help dogs for National Dog Rescue Day, your help will not go unappreciated. Helping out our furry friends makes the world a better place for all!

Please check out our dog walking services and rescue your dogs from staying indoors! Please contact us for more details.

National Dog Rescue Day

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.  


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.



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


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. 


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