7 Tips To Make Dog Walking At Night Pleasant And Enjoyable
It's important to walk your dog daily, and this sometimes means walking your dog in the dark. Keep reading to learn how to be smart and safe during night-time dog walks.
Our schedules can be very demanding and as we approach winter our daylight hours are diminished, so knowing how to be safe and also enjoy walking your dog after dark can relieve pressure on those more demanding days.
Some people find walking at night more peaceful and enjoyable, but as darkness opens us up to some additional risks, it’s important that you consider both your own and your pups safety when making after-dark walkies part of your routine.
If you're not a fan of the dark then we recommend trying to find a walking buddy to link up with during the darker evenings, perhaps a neighbour or someone that lives nearby.
If you are feeling vulnerable, scared or anxious, your pup will pick up on those emotions and likely feel uncomfortable too. If no one's available to join you, use this time to catch up on phone calls with friends or family, who can provide some company from a distance.
Here are some of the main considerations we thought the Pawdaw Family would benefit from when it comes to walking in the dark.
Top Tips for Walking Your Dog at Night
1. Use Reflective Gear
Visibility is one of the first things to consider when walking your dog at night. To keep both you and your dog safe we recommend investing in reflective gear. You can get leads, collars, and even vests with reflective materials to make your pup more visible to passing cars and other pedestrians. We also advise wearing shoes and jackets with reflective strips to make yourself more visible.
2. Light Up the Path
To illuminate your path, carry a reliable torch with good battery life, or we prefer taking a headlamp on dog walks as it frees up your hands so you stay fully in control while your pup is on the lead. This not only helps you avoid potential hazards but also creates a safer atmosphere during your walks.
3. Choose the Right Route
Opt for routes that are well-lit and familiar to you and your dog when walking in low light. Stick to areas with sidewalks and avoid poorly lit streets or unknown trails that can introduce extra opportunities for trips and falls. Don’t go too far away from home or your car and avoid walking on remote paths, especially if alone with your dog.
4. Keep Your Dog On The Lead
Even if your dog is well-trained, the additional risks and hazards at night make it a wise choice to keep them on the lead during your night time walks. This prevents them from running off or getting into trouble.
If you are in an enclosed park or field where you know your dog is safe from harm then it’s ok to let them off. Just make sure they have a flashing collar on so they can be seen from a distance.
If ever in doubt, just keep them on the lead. It’s a safety measure for both your pet and others.
5. Be Aware of Surroundings
Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for other dogs, wildlife, or any potential dangers. Vigilance is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable walk, for instance, this may not be the best time to wear headphones, instead we recommend treating it as a chance to switch off from everything and enjoy the outdoors with your favourite furry friend.
6. Decode Dogs Behaviour
Even though your dog can see in the dark better than you can, their behaviour may change a little at night.
Things they come across during the day may be much scarier when encountered at night, which is another reason to keep them on the lead and avoid a bolting pup.
Pay attention to your dogs movement and behaviour and look out for any signs they may be frightened or uncomfortable so you can try to anticipate their actions.
7. Be Prepared
Depending on where you live and your dogs unique needs, there may be other factors you need to be considering for your personal night walks. These are some additional safety precautions you may want to consider:
Always take a charged mobile phone
Have a GPS tracker on your dogs collar in case they get lost
Walking multiple dogs at night is possible, but it requires extra attention and control. Ensure each dog has reflective gear and is well-behaved on a lead.
Walking your dog at night can be a wonderful experience for both you and your furry friend. It’s usually much quieter and more peaceful, plus the beautiful starry sky to get lost in.
By following these top tips for walking your dog at night, you'll create a safe and enjoyable routine that strengthens your bond and keeps you both happy. Remember, safety always comes first, so prioritise visibility and vigilance on your night-time adventures.
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