Night walking your dog is sometimes inevitable for some people. And walking in the darkness without any safety measures can be dangerous. Despite being smarter than canines, you can get hit by a speeding vehicle at night due to poor visibility. Your pooch can easily be spooked in the darkness and won’t be as smart about making decisions to protect themselves from danger.
In this article, you will learn some key precautionary measures that will increase your dog’s safety significantly. As a response to sudden danger, dogs will try to escape, and if they run, they can get lost.
Ensure your dog’s leash is visible
Before we discuss how leashes can be made visible at night, first, you should never consider walking your dog off-leash. No matter how familiar the route is or how less the traffic is, things can startle your pet in the darkness. Even the most obedient dogs with good recalls don’t respond when they’re freaked out.
In addition to that, using a leash enables more surface that is visible at night. You can use reflective leashes, high-quality LED leashes, or even apply reflective tapes on the leash.
LED leashes are a better option because they’re always visible, unlike reflective leashes. If your dog decides to take a sprint, you can easily spot him. One more benefit of self-illuminated leashes is small animals like rabbits, opossums will be able to spot your pooch from a distance and won’t spook your dog.
Also, your pooch is unfamiliar to the wildlife at night on their path. So, however cute the encounter seems to you, your dog may get freaked out and want to escape from there. Using LED leashes or reflective ones will keep you safe as well.
Use reflective collars and LED collars
Like leashes, there are reflective as well as LED collars available. Those colors are usually bright and can be noticed from greater distances. In a nutshell, using such collars will improve the overall visibility.
Add more lights when night walking
Additionally, or you can attach lights to your dog’s collar. These lights are specially designed for this purpose. You have to clip them to the collar and turn it on. Some of them come with options for blinking patterns too.
If you’re night walking your cat on a leash (yes, you can walk your cat like a dog too!), ensure that you’ve chosen a good cat harness and attach lights to it to stay more visible. Cats can see in the dark so other animals won’t spook them. But more light is required for drivers of the vehicles and bikers.
Wear a reflective vest when night walking
Wearing a reflective vest will protect you from vehicles passing by. You will be easily visible, and also, you can wear bright-colored clothes under the vest to improve visibility.
Similarly, you can get a reflective vest for your dog as well. If the weather is too cold outside, there are warm reflective vests available too.
All in all, vests add to your and your dog’s safety and keep your pooch comfortably warm during intense cold weather.
Take a familiar route
You may want your dog to explore new surroundings because you’ve just moved to this new place. But night walking is not the right time to take an unfamiliar and possibly adventurous path.
The first reason is that you too may be new to this route, and in case of an emergency, you won’t always be able to make the best decisions.
Dogs love to explore and sniff around. An unfamiliar route means unfamiliar wildlife and unexpected encounters with them, especially at night.
For instance, your dog would want to chase a coyote he met or any other nocturnal animal. Also, any nocturnal animals may take your dog by surprise, and losing your dog in the dark will be the last thing you would want to happen on a walk.
Conclusively, taking unfamiliar routes at night alone is always a bad idea.
Use a headlamp
If you have a headlamp, that would be quite helpful for night walking. This way, you can keep your hands free.
Alternatively, you can use any lights that can attach to your body to see the path ahead.
Take advantage of tech in an emergency
To begin with, keep your phone handy. This might seem an obvious tip but ensure that your phone is fully charged before you go for a walk.
Always keep emergency contacts handy. A cab driver’s contact number or a cab booking app and nearby animal hospital’s contact details will suffice.
If your dog has a GPS collar, make sure that it is charged and working properly. Wearing it will help you to track his location in case he is lost. Call your friends and try to find your dog as soon as possible before the collar’s batteries lose their charge.
In case of an accident, you can take photos and shoot videos as evidence to use if you have to file an insurance claim.
Be cautious for safe night walking
It’s entertaining to listen to music while walking. But it can distract you and put you at risk. Always consider that the driver hasn’t seen you. That’s the only way you can stay 100 percent sure that you’re safe when night walking.
When you’re distracted, you’re likely to miss road signs and crosswalks, and that can increase the risk of getting hit. Always stay alert and follow the rules. And, not to mention, walking sideways and sticking to well-lit areas should be given the top priority.