6 Things to Consider When Walking Your Dog at Night
Although the winter season invites cosy nights in, hot chocolate by the fire and the exciting lead-up to Christmas, it doesn’t always treat dog owners with the same kindness! The longer nights and shorter days mean that a lot of pooch pawrents have no other choice but to walk their pup in the dark.
While night walks may seem scary and lonesome at first, there are ways to make your night walks safe and enjoyable for you and your pup! Here at Yappy, we’ve compiled a list of 6 things to consider when walking your dog at night. Firstly, let’s address some of the challenges that dog walks at night pose…
Challenges of Dog Walks at Night
While dog walks at night can be peaceful, quiet, and a good chance for any canine owner to clear their head, there are some challenges that accompany walks in the dark too. Here is a list of some of the problems posed by night walking:
However, you shouldn’t let the darkness get in between you and your dog’s bonding time. If you’re busy working during the day, we know that your dog’s second or third walk may have to take place when you’ve come home and it’s dark. So, we’ve come up with a list of 6 things to consider when walking your dog at night.
1. Stay Visible
The most dangerous part of night walking is the fact that joggers, cyclists, and cars can’t see you and your pooch in the dark. In order to keep your dog visible, we suggest that you invest in a reflective or light-up vest, lead, collar or harness to make sure that everyone sees your pup as you’re on your stroll.
You could even pop one of our brightly coloured bandanas around your pup’s neck to make them more visible on your walkies. Some of our brightly coloured bandanas, leads and collars also feature your dog’s name to help identify your furry friend if they run off on your late-night strolls. Remember, bright is best when it comes to staying visible!
It's not only important for dogs to stay visible but it's a good thing for owners to be visible too. Consider purchasing a headlamp or a light source that clips onto your clothing as it’ll help light your path whilst keeping your hands free. Remember that you want to see what you’re doing, especially when it comes to picking up your pup’s poop in the dark!
A light-up or reflective vest also wouldn’t go amiss whilst walking your pooch, you may even consider coordinating your outfits so that you look like luminous furshionista’s when you're on a late-night prowl!
2. Stick to Routes You Know
We know that exploring new routes and paths can be exciting but trying out new routes with your dog at night, especially when it’s dark, isn’t the best option. Instead, you should stick to a familiar route to avoid getting lost. At least then you’ll be aware of all the obstacles on your course, and you’ll know where the well-lit areas are. So, enjoy a familiar route at night and experiment with new places in the daytime.
3. Carry a Phone
Although a walk can be a good opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and become a technophobe, we advise that this is better practised during daylight hours. Phones are pawsome navigation devices so if you do happen to get lost, a phone is a great way to get you right back on track. Also, if there’s an emergency with you or your dog, phones are the ulti-mutt way to get the help you need urgently. Plus, most phones have built-in torches, perfect for helping you navigate through the darkness.
4. Scrap the Headphones
Even if you’re an avid music listener, we suggest that you ditch the headphones whilst on night walks with your dog. Whilst you might be accustomed to blasting out tunes with your doggy in the daytime, it’s good to stay alert when it’s dark. It’s essential for you to be able to keep an ear out for your surroundings to help protect both you and your pooch. Therefore, leave the earphones behind and embrace the late-night ambience.
5. Walk With Traffic
Something that many hoomans forget to think about is which side of the road is safe to walk on. However, this point is super important for your dog’s safety. It’s best to walk towards oncoming traffic so you can see cars coming from a distance, then you can bring your pooch closer to the pavement to avoid any near misses. By walking against oncoming traffic, you risk your dog suddenly running onto the road as they won't see approaching cars.
6. Bring a Friend or Companion
Bringing a friend or companion on your walk is a great way to keep you and your pooch safe at night. Whether it’s a pal, a partner, or even your neighbour, why not see if they want to accompany you and your pup? It’s always nice to have company and having others with you means you’ll have more hands available in case of an emergency, plus if you get lost then you’ll have an extra navigator to hand!
Don’t forget to treat your pup with a dog treat when you arrive back safely from your night walk or as a reward for good behaviour when you’re out and about. Also, why not consider getting one of our super comfy dog beds or blankets for your pooch? This will provide your pooch with the ulti-mutt resting spot after their night walk!