There is no getting away from in, the nights are starting to creep in. At the end of this week the clocks go back, and we will all probably have to walk our dogs in the dark at some point. Dark dog walks bring their own pros and cons. Personally, I love a crisp frosty walk early in the morning before the sun has risen, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea!
I’m lucky that I don’t have to walk my dog, Frank, in the dark. I’ve also worked my business so that I don’t walk any of my customers dogs in the dark either. For me personally, I can’t keep a dog safe if I can’t see all around me. As I walk dogs that are reactive (including my own) it’s really important to have a clear view so that I can distract the dog I’m walking, if need be, or move in a different direction.
If you walk your dog off lead, then this makes dark walks a bit more challenging but not impossible. There are plenty of hi vis coats, collars and leads available for your dog. There are also lights that you can clip on to your dog’s collar. It might also be worth putting an extra tag, or something that will make a noise when your dog is moving round so you can at least hear them.
If you are going out for a walk with just you and your dog at night, try and always let somewhere know where you are and how long you will be out for. There are different kind of apps for your phone so that it can be tracked if that makes you feel safer. It is best practise to walk in an area with street lights, but always worthwhile popping a small torch in your pocket or think about a head lamp (I know what you are thinking, sexy!) This is also a time when you should not have earphones in.
Although you may not be able to walk your dog off lead, when it is dark, it’s much better to be safe. Your dog can and will benefit from a walk on lead. Keep the long walks off lead to the weekend or when you can get out in the daylight.
If your job means that you won’t see daylight during the working week, now is the perfect time to think about a dog walker. A dog walker can get your dog out in the daylight and let your dog off lead, if applicable. Yes, it will cost you some money, but you will be giving your dog an adventure rather than just a stroll round the dark pathways.
We have already talked about what you can buy for your dog to be seen, but what about you? You could wear something that has got reflective material on it. Lots of sportswear has this on. Think about appropriate footwear for dark walks. You may not always see what is on the ground so footwear that is flat and has a grip on will help.
Here are some links to reflective dog collars, collar lights and hi-vis jackets for dogs just for ideas, always do your research for what is best for your dog. The ones shown are just a very small selection that are available. Many retailers sell similar products.
Please keep you and your dog safe.
Love Sally xx
Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!
After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.
Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. You can also find Sally chatting as a guest on dog related podcasts.