With dark night’s drawing in and colder weather, we look at PetStay’s top tips for walking safely in the dark with your dog.
When the lights are on by 4 in the afternoon it can be difficult to muster the energy to go on a cold dog walk. But even if your four-legged friend is reluctant to head out a walk is the best way to bond and exercise your pet.
Walking in the dark doesn’t have to be a chore or unsafe. From thick gloves and reflective gear, you can make night time dog walks fun. Read our tips and stay safe and seen at night.
Use a lead
This may seem like a simple tip but using a lead at night is incredibly important. Even if your dog is used to walking off-lead, a lead can help you remain in control. If your dog is suddenly startled, they may run off and it is a lot harder to find a dog in the dark.
For additional safety, use a lead with reflective material or LED’s to ensure you are both seen in the dark.
It’s obvious to say but wrap up for the weather! Nights can be cold so keep you and your pet warm. It is important to stay warm and visible! Wear a reflective vest so you can be seen on streets that have no lights.
Your dog can also wear reflective and bright gear to make sure they’re seen in the dark. Head to your local pet shop and browse a range of hi-vis collars, lightweight jackets and more.
Walk the same route
Walking a familiar route will mean neither you or your dog will get lost! Things can look a lot different in the dark and should your dog run off, they will be more familiar with the route home.
Take your phone
Not only does your phone keep you in contact with home, but there are a number of apps that can make your walk safe and fun. Mobiles nowadays have a flashlight function, handy for dimly lit areas, but you can also download apps to track your walk.
Something we suggest on all our walk posts but treats are a great way to keep your dog engaged with you outside the house. It can also help you with training if you are met with a sticky situation such as barking or a busy road.
There are more options to help you exercise your dog in winter. If you are working late or won’t be home til later in the evening you could always consider hiring a licensed dog walker or ask a friend.