If you have a dog, you know that dogs love to walk. Some dogs are more energetic than others (and some people like to take their dogs for multiple walks per day), but pretty much every dog can benefit from getting outside and breathing in that fresh air.
However, the act of walking your dog at night comes with its own set of risks. It's dark out, and you may not always be able to see where your dog is going (and vice versa). While night walking has many benefits for both humans and dogs alike, it's important that you take certain precautions before hitting the road with your pup at night.
But before that, let's talk about the challenges of walking your dog at night.
Challenges of Walking Your Dog At Night:
If you walk your dog at night, then you have probably experienced the following:
Almost being hit by a car because you can't see where they are going.
Even if you don't get hit by a car, cars swerving around you and your dog is never fun. Seeing has an obvious link to safety, but sometimes you just need to know where your dog is.
Picking up poop in the dark. We all know that this is an inevitable part of dog ownership (and there are certain products like these can help), but nobody wants to go digging around in the grass at night if they don't have to.
Weather can also present a challenge, especially if you live in an area where the temperature drops overnight or there can be rain at any time.
Your dog sees better than you at night and can also go running behind less dangerous animals like squirrels which they usually ignore in the daytime.
All of these are manageable, but it's up to you to take the necessary precautions when walking your dog at night.
How To Keep Your Dog Safe At Night:
Here are a few things that you can keep in mind when it comes to your dog's safety while going outside.
1. Increase Visibility
When you are out, your dog needs to be visible; therefore, make your dog wear a reflective raincoat so that it not only protects your dog from raining and cold weather but also makes your dog visible. You can also use reflective leads as well.
2. Never Let Your Dog Off of Your Site
You want to make sure that your dog is close by at all times. If you let your dog off of the leash (and it isn't in an area where this is allowed), then you are making yourself and your dog vulnerable.
Thus never let your dog off the leash and keep it around you whether your dog tries hard or not to go free.
3. Watch Your Dog's Feelings Keenly
If you see that your dog is moving slowly or has become lethargic, then it might be time to head home. If you walk your dog at night and notice any signs of discomfort (no matter how slight), don't ignore them; take action.
This can help keep both you and your furry friend safe while walking at night, so don't ignore any warning signs.
By taking the necessary precautions and keeping your dog safe while walking at night, you can help ensure that both of you get out of an evening walk alive and well!
4. Use Tracking Device
There are some GPS trackers that can be attached to dogs collars, which will alert you if your dog wanders off from a certain area. This is especially helpful when you have a dog that likes to bark at everything it sees because if they see something on the other side of a fence or in another yard, they may try to jump over to chase it.
The main idea is to make sure your dog is safe whenever you take them out at night, and by using these tips, you can easily accomplish this!
5. Avoid Busy Streets
When taking your dog for a walk in the dark, be sure to avoid busy streets if possible. High-traffic areas pose a higher risk of your dog getting hit by a car, so avoid them if possible.
If you have to walk on a busy street, make sure that it's before the morning rush hour or after the evening rush hour. This way, there will be far less traffic, and you'll both get home safely!
6. Watch For Ice
If you live in an area where the temperature dips below freezing at night, be sure to check for ice on your sidewalks or roads. If you know that there is a possibility of ice outside, do not take your dog out. This can help keep you and your dog both safe!
7. Use A Reflective Dog Harness Or A Dog Collar
You want to make sure that your dog is as visible as possible when you are walking at night; therefore, a reflective harness or collar can be extremely helpful. You can find these products in any pet store, and they usually cost extremely less, depending on the size of your dog!
Protect Your Dog and People At The Same Time
If you are worried about your dog being around other people, perhaps you should try to find a way to keep them away from the public or keep both your dog and the people around you safe. Here's what you can do.
1. Don't Walk Alone
If you are walking alone at night, then not only are you putting yourself in danger, but your dog is as well.
That's why it's always best to walk with a friend or with other people who do not own dogs so that if the need arises, someone else can call for help.
This might make you feel a little bit uneasy, but it will keep your dog and yourself safe!
2. Use Flashlight
Use a flashlight or headlamp to light your way and make sure that you and your dog can see where you are going. This is probably the most important thing that you can do to make sure your dog is safe at night. If you have a dark yard, invest in a motion-activated light to place by your back door or walkway. This will help ensure that you and your dog are visible when coming and going from outside.
3. Go on Familiar Routes
By going on familiar routes, you and your dog will be able to see where you are going, and it will help prevent any accidents from occurring. Not only that, but this can also keep both of you safe by letting you know what to expect and when to expect it!
Your dog is your family, and you need to protect it when you go outside. The least you can do is make your dog wear a dog raincoat, and if the raincoat is reflective, then it will be a plus as your dog will be visible as well.
Taking care of your pet is everyone's responsibility, and if you want to play a part in keeping your dog safe at night, then by using these tips and tricks, you can ensure that both of you get home alive and well!