As the nights grow darker and visibility is diminished your evening dog walks can become a lot more challenging, it is important to take steps to keep you and your dog as safe as possible.
This time of year can potentially be dangerous for both of you if you don’t ensure that your both visible to cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
Visibility at Night
Ensure both you and your dogs have some form of reflective clothing on or by carrying a torch and attaching LED Lights to your dog’s collar/harness/lead.
These are good ways of highlighting you both and ensuring your visibility and allowing those around you to can see you in the dark, there’s nothing more scary for either your dog or a human than someone suddenly appearing out of the dark in front of them, being visible at least allows oncoming humans that chance to get out-of-the-way . . .
Even if you have outfitted your dog with LED lights and reflective gear, it is still best to carry your own torch, I myself use a head torch that has an elasticated strap and fits on my head, makes me look like a sort of miner, and just like a miner it allows my hands to be free, this allows me to both hold onto my dog and clean up after her
Also carrying a torch can help in lighting the path in front of you and your dog; how many times have you tripped over a branch or the roots of a tree because it’s been dark, lighting your paths can help you avoid a trip, but can also highlight hazards that your dog might encounter; broken glass, wire etc
If you have to walk on a roadside at night ensure that you walk against traffic this enables you to see what it coming so that you can get out-of-the-way quickly, if need be.
Always stay aware of the sounds and movements around you, and be prepared to move quickly.
There may be loose dogs, nocturnal wild animals, roaming cats, and unfortunately in some places, troublesome people on an evening dog walk, with these things in mind, it’s always best to keep your dog on a lead, and always keep a firm grip on it, strange noises, other dogs or people running up out of the dark can all lead to your dog becoming scared and disoriented and if they are not on a lead, there may be the chance that they run off as losing your dog in the dark is probably every dog owners nightmare.
Make sure that your dogs contact details are up to date on their collar tags, so that in the event that they get spooked/run away in the dark, whoever finds them will be able to contact you and re-unite you with your furry friend.