Remember these safety tips when walking your dog at night.
Always use a leash
This one is non-negotiable. Even if you live in an area without much traffic, and your dog has an excellent recall, you should always leash up at night. Just like humans, dogs get startled by people or animals suddenly emerging from the dark. If your dog gets scared while off-leash, she may run off, and it’s a lot harder to find a lost dog in the dark. Also, a leash will keep her from running into the road at night, where cars may not see her before it’s too late.
Stay Visible with Reflective Vests
Reflective vests for you and your dog are one of the best ways to keep you both safe at night. Reflective vests increase your visibility for cars, bikes, and other humans and pups passing by. We recommend vests for both canine and humans, as they are one of the greatest tools to keep you visible at night. Another great way to keep your dog visible at night is with light up leashes and collars.
Hook Up with A Headlamp
Headlamps give you the hands-free ability to see what’s in front of you and navigate the darkness safely. If you often walk your dog in the dark, a headlamp is a near necessity. A flashlight is a good substitute for a headlamp. Either way, cleaning up after your pup in the dark will be easier if you can see the poo!
Walk smart (and take a familiar route)
In addition to gearing up against the weather and dark, it’s important to use caution and common sense when walking your dog at night. You don’t need to be afraid, just cautious. Cars, joggers, cyclists, and other dog walkers may not be paying attention, and can startle your dog at night.
- Walk against traffic so you can see what’s coming.
- Stay on the sidewalk along well-lit roads, and avoid shortcuts through dark lots or alleyways.
It’s best to stick to familiar routes when walking your dog at night. There’s no good time for a dog to get lost, but it’s especially dangerous in unfamiliar territory in the dark. Walking on familiar, main streets won’t only prevent you from getting lost in the dark. It will also help prevent run-ins with other creatures who may be prowling around at night. Opossums, skunks, and raccoons come out to play at night, and while they may be cute in pictures, they’re no fun to encounter with a spooked dog.
Carry your phone
This is plain common sense: your phone may be a lifesaver in case of emergency. Be sure to keep it charged, and save the phone numbers for your local non-emergency police, emergency veterinarian, and a taxi service just in case, or ensure quick access to a ride-sharing service via an app. In addition to being a safety necessity, your smartphone may have several features to improve your nighttime walk: a built-in flashlight to use as a backup light source and navigational tools to help you map your route in the dark. Just don’t get caught up checking your social media pages or email and distract yourself from your surroundings.
Do NOT wear headphones
This goes with being aware of your surroundings when walking your dog at night. If you are wearing headphones, you won’t hear someone walking up behind you, or a car that may be out of control. Just enjoy the peacefulness of the night air.
Walking your dog at night doesn’t have to be scary. With a familiar route and the right accessories, your evening outing can be a walk in the park. Watch this safety tip video from Safety Pup for walking your dog at night.
North American Underwriters is an independent insurance agent located in Farmington and Hamden, CT. We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers, so you receive the insurance for your budget and needs. You can reach us at 860-674-4000 or (203) 230-8810 or online at https://www.nauinsurance.com/.
Source: https://www.rover.com/blog/how-to-safely-walk-dog-at-night/ and https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-walking-at-night/ and https://www.rescuedogs101.com/top-5-tools-safe-walking-dog-night/ and https://www.longanimal.com/blog/safety-first-walking-your-dog-at-night/