Some regions may experience sunsets as early as 5 pm. For pet owners living in these areas, walking their dog after knocking off from work would mean going out when it is already dark. If you are looking to walk your dog at night, we have put together a list of tips that you can try, to maintain the safety of your pet as well as your own.
Use a Leash
This one is a must-have. Even if you reside within a neighborhood that has little to no traffic, always remember to use a dog’s leash at all times. Dogs can get startled too just like human beings. When something suddenly emerges from the dark, they may become scared and abruptly wander off. It is much more difficult to find a lost dog in the dark, thus keeping your dog on a leash can prevent it from running into the night and getting onto the streets where there may be oncoming traffic. If you can find a leash with a reflective side, it is much better to keep your dog visible under streetlights.
Dress for the Conditions
Apart from a reflective leash and collar, you can also dress your dog in reflective apparel. If it is wintertime, make sure that your dog also gets to stay warm. Their fur naturally supplies heat to their body, but in extreme weather conditions, throwing in an extra layer of clothing will not hurt. There is also a wide range of reflective dog apparel that also keeps them warm at the same time.
Light Up the Walk
Apart from reflective gear, you can also make use of lights to keep yourself and your dog well visible during the night. You can also illuminate the path that you are walking to make sure you and your dog do not stumble into any obstructions or trip and fall over loose objects. Consider making use of waterproof lighting equipment if you are expecting rain. For your dog, there are lights that can be clipped onto their collar for ease of usage.
On top of gearing up for the dark and cold, it is just as important to walk smart. Make sure you take a route that you are familiar with and practice common sense when in the outdoors. There is no need to be afraid but just practice caution. There may be other people who are jogging, cycling, or walking their dogs and when they do not pay attention, your dog may get startled. Here are some tips to take note of:
- Walk against traffic so you know what is coming.
- Do not put on headphones when walking your dog at night so you can be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay on the sidewalk where it is well-lit and avoid taking shortcuts through dark alleyways or parking lots.
Always stick to a route that you are already familiar with. If there comes a time when your dog does get lost, your familiarity with the area can help you find your lost dog with ease.