Many of us lead busy lives and in the winter months walking your dog at night or during the hours of darkness is often the only option. It goes without saying that one of your — and your dog’s — major senses, sight, is seriously impaired when it’s dark. This can lead to accidents and, potentially an unwanted trip to the emergency vets. Here are several dog walking safety tips to consider when walking your dog at night or early morning.
When dog walking, light and bright is always best!
Potential dangers when walking your dog at night
- Other dogs
- Other walkers
- Potholes and other hazards
- Cars and other vehicles
When walking your dog at night, there are two things you can do to make your walks easier and keep yourself safe. These are:
- Always carry a torch. Or better still, wear a head torch, as these leave your hands free
- Wear bright clothing. It’s equally important you wear a bright coat, ideally one with reflectors
How do I keep my dog safe when walking in the dark?
You’re far more likely to lose your dog in the dark, which means they run a greater risk of being knocked down by a car if your near roads. There are lots of things available to help you find your dog more easily and make them visible.
- Reflective gear. As well reflective collars and leads, consider putting reflective strips on their legs. If your dog wears a coat these can be bought with reflective patches, too. Take a look at our Reflective Leads, Harnesses and Jackets.
- LED lights. These lights are now lighter and brighter than ever and batteries last much longer. The clip-on versions can also usually be recharged via a USB
- LED collars. These can make it much easier to find your four-legged friend in the dark - Take a look at our LED Collars.
Things to be aware of when walking your dog at night
Familiarity helps, so if you plan on taking your dog on a new walking route you should try to do it in daylight first. Other things to consider are:
- Other dogs. Meeting other dogs is more of an issue in the dark, so if your pet is nervous it’s probably best to keep them on a lead or within sight
- Other people. Consider joggers and cyclists
- Potholes and other objects. Be aware of broken glass and other sharp objects, which can injure your dog’s feet.
- Cars and other vehicles. Road traffic accidents are one of the most common cause of emergency admissions during the hours of darkness
Keep these tips in mind when walking your dog in the dark.