Walking Your Dog at Night.
Although the nights are drawing in, our dogs still must be walked. Sometimes dim-light conditions start in the afternoon/early evening during autumn and winter. In this article, Holidays4Dogs provides some hints and tips for walking your dog at night in the dark Autumn and Winter evenings.
This time of year is just as nice as the warmer months for dog walking – unless there’s torrential rain! The colours of autumn leaves can be spectacular and the plants and animals are busy getting ready for winter.
It’s definitely the time of year for warm woollies, hats and Wellington boots. For many of us with busy lives, walking before dawn, or after dusk at this time of year comes with the territory of owning a dog.
Walking at night is no bother for dogs as their eyesight is so much better than ours in low-light conditions. However, for people, it can be more challenging to negotiate even a familiar walk in the dark.
Choose your walking route.
It goes without saying, that it is probably safer if you can stick to areas where there are street lights. Even then, it is important that both you and your dog are visible to other pedestrians and to traffic.
If you are walking in country lanes, parkland, or open countryside, make sure you can see any potential hazards. Sometimes it may be necessary to carry a torch, but you could also purchase a head-fitting torch to leave your hands free.
If you prefer not to walk alone, meet up with other dog walkers, or family members, for a group evening ramble. Sadly, there are risks to walking alone at night, especially for women, so it is important to stay safe.
Always carry a fully-charged mobile phone and let someone else know where you are going and what time you expect to be home.
Torches and headlights.
If your dog is off the lead, a torch signals to him exactly where you are. Despite their increased ability to see in the dark, it is common for older dogs to become confused and lose their bearings. If spooked, they may dash the wrong way in panic and could easily become lost.
Be seen and safe.
There are many products on the market which will ensure you are seen in low-light and dark conditions. Reflective dog collars and leads ensure your dog is clearly visible to you and other people. LED collars, leads and harnesses are a popular choice and have improved in quality, brightness and longevity.
LED lights sold as camping, or cycling accessories are a good choice too. These devices can be clipped onto your dog’s collar and some can be re-charged via the use of a USB.
Reflective jackets, or reflective strips, are also a good choice for dog walkers, making the person highly visible to drivers. Carrying a fully charged mobile phone is also a sensible precaution, particularly if you are walking alone.
Night walking can seem like a little adventure for you and your four-legged pal. However, if you feel uncomfortable walking your dog during the dark hours, then there is nothing wrong with avoiding these times. In fact, during firework night, it is better to avoid walking your dog after daylight hours. As long as your dog has been well exercised during the day, a wander around the garden for bedtime ablutions is perfectly fine.