As we near the end of summer and enter fall, our days are getting shorter, and walking our dogs in the dark becomes a regular thing (both in the morning and in the evening).
There are some extra challenges when you walk your dog at night and it is imperative for you to ensure that both you as well your dog are completely visible for the sake of safety. Remember, drivers are also now driving in the dark as well, and we want to be sure we are always safe.
So here are some friendly tips…yes, they are obvious, but good to be reminded once in a while…
Use a leash
We all know it is the law (unless at the off-leash dog park), however, sometimes temptation gets the better of us. Let’s make sure not to do this in darkness.
You are at a disadvantage in darkness compared to your dog. Your dog is much better than you in the dark given their heightened senses including sight, smell, and hearing. They may notice that rabbit or squirrel that you don’t, and take off running. It is important to keep your dog on a leash when you take it outside at dark.
Wear bright or light colored clothes. Better yet, something with reflective material
Try to stand out in the dark. Even a bit of moonlight, car headlights, or a street lamp can cast enough light that your white shirt or yellow jacket pops out and you are seen. Walking your dog in the dark is not when you want to ‘blend in’ to your background.
Try to walk in well-lit areas and have a flashlight
Try to stick to areas, which are well-lit while walking your dog at night. This is good for both safety and security. Stay away from alleys and remote parks as much as possible at night.
Having a flashlight with you also helps when you need to see where you are going, what is up ahead, or if you hear or see something suspicious. Having a larger, heavier metal flashlight that can also be used for self-defense is never a bad idea and can be useful in that time of need.
Use a reflective collar
You dog is smaller and shorter than you are. And even when on a leash, as always should be, your dog will be harder to see. A reflective collar is a great way to add some visibility to your dog. To add even more, a reflective leash will be great too.
Use Common Sense
Probably one of the stronger tips…if doing something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. Dark alley, no flashlight, dark clothes, etc.
Keep your walks safe and have fun!