Walking dogs in the dark

The time of the year that most people despise has approached- Daylight savings “fallback”! Once November 4th hit, the clocks fell back an hour resulting in earlier sunsets and darker days. It takes time to adjust to the changes for humans and for pets! When the sun goes to bed before 5 pm, it feels much later than what it is. This could take some getting used to for you and your pup especially if they’re used to their pre- or post-dinner walk suddenly taking place in the pitch black. But don’t let the dark intimidate you or stop a long walk from happening. There are plenty of helpful tips and cautions to take to keep your pet safe during the darkness.

 

It’s hard to see in the dark

Its no secret that it’s difficult to see in the dark, which of course makes it more stressful to navigate through. Compared to humans, dogs do have better vision in darkness due to the structure of their eyes. Although they can see significantly well, dogs still may get spooked as some objects or people in the dark can get perceived differently. This is especially important to keep in mind for dogs that are more fearful of other people in general. Fellow walkers may be bundled up in big jackets and hats, which in the dark can cause high anxiety in your dog. Take advantage of street lights as much as possible as they can help light up the street your walking down. This might be a perfect time to switch up your usual walking route to an alternate way that you know has more streetlights. Plus, this keeps it fun and entertaining for your dog as they get to explore new areas!

 

Have the right equipmentNight dog walking safety

Having the right equipment for night time walks is essential in keeping everyone safe. A flashlight is particularly useful to have as a source of light. If you don’t have a flashlight on you then a cell phone flashlight helps too. Keep a clear view of what other people or animals are around you so you can avoid a dangerous situation. Coyotes are wild animals who are most likely out and about during the dark hours. You’ll want to keep an eye out for them to avoid any interactions. Cyclists and other walkers can be difficult to see in the dark, but will most likely be out and about too.

 

Stand out!

Both dog walkers and dogs need to stand out as much as possible in the dark. Cars driving by might not be able to notice us walking if we’re wearing all dark clothing. Instead of blending in, try your best to stand out! There’s plenty of equipment to help with this. Reflective leashes and collars are perfect visibility products that stand out more towards drivers. They make reflective vests and harnesses too! I highly recommend staying away stay from retractable leashes. Not only are they difficult to control your dog, but the thin string is almost impossible to see in the dark. It’s highly unsafe if you don’t have a clear view of the leash so try to avoid those attractable leashes if possible.

Your dog may prefer to do their potty business and playtime out in the backyard instead. Take precautions in keeping your dog safe even in your own fenced in territory. Wild animals can and will climb most fences, so keep an eye on your dog at all times. Automatic lights are wonderful in keeping the area well lit and safe. Also, I think we can all agree that no one wants to accidentally step in doggy poo if you’re out back cleaning up in the dark. So, keep yourself and your dogs safe with these tips on conquering the dark, shorter days!

 

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