If you usually take your dog for a walk either before or after work (or both), you will probably be walking in the dark from time to time, particularly in the winter. Making sure your dog continues to get his exercise throughout the year is important, but so too is staying safe. If you are walking in the dark with your dog, it is vital that you both can be seen by others. Here are a few tips for staying safe when walking at night with your dog.
Choose a Safe Route
It is a good idea to stick to routes that you know when walking in the dark. Choosing new routes when visibility is low is not safe for you or your pet. Ideally, choose a well-lit route with a sidewalk, which will mean you don’t have to walk on the road. If you do have to walk on the road for some of the route, be sure to walk in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Make Sure You Can Be Seen
Wearing reflective clothing is wise because it allows others to see you. The lights from traffic will catch the reflective clothing or bands and will make you visible to drivers. However, according to the folk at Voyager Harness, it is also important to make sure your dog can be seen too, to prevent accidents. You can buy a reflective dog harness or collar or get some Velcro reflective strips to attach to your dog’s harness for nighttime walks.
Some people will carry a flashlight with them when walking at night, but others will use a headlight attached to a strap. This allows them to keep their hands free, but it will illuminate the route in front of them.
When walking in the dark, it is essential that you can hear what is happening around you as this will keep you safe. If you wear headphones, you will not be able to hear properly.
Take Safety Accessories
As well as a flashlight to allow you to see clearly, there are other safety accessories that might benefit you and your dog during a nighttime walk. For example, you should make sure to have your cellphone with you in case of an emergency. This can be used to make a phone call should you get into trouble, but it could also be used by emergency services to track you. It is a good idea to carry your phone in your hand rather than have it in a pocket or pouch. This will ensure you have easy access to it should you need it.
Furthermore, a GPS tracker on your dog’s collar is something worth considering. This would help you find your pet should he get free or you lose hold of the leash when walking. A dog whistle is another piece of equipment that could help in this situation.
Walking your dog in the hours of darkness is not to be discouraged, particularly during the winter months when it tends to be dark when most people are leaving for work and then dark again when they return home. However, if you do walk your dog when it is dark, it is imperative that you take safety precautions such as walking a familiar and safe route, making sure you and your dog can be seen, and having as many safety accessories with you as possible.
Many people enjoy walking their dogs at night, and for various reasons. Particularly because there are fewer people out and about. But staying safe is a must.