With daylight savings time once again upon us, we’ll be walking dogs in the dark much more often.
The sun may be snoozing, but our four-legged pals still want to frolic and play as much as they do in the summer.
We’re dispensing some tips and tricks for staying safe when walking your dog at night, plus some fun dog gadgets for night-time frolicking that you and fido are sure to enjoy!
1. Stay Visible With Reflective Vests
Reflective vests for you and your dog are one of the best ways to keep you both safe at night.
Reflective vests increase your visibility for cars, bikes, and other humans and pups passing by. We recommend vests for both canine and humans, as they are one of the greatest tools to keep you visible at night.
You can get human reflective vests and canine reflective vests on Amazon, as well as local pet supply stores. Plus, they’re fashionable as heck!
2. Stick To The Paths You Know
While exploring new avenues and walking routes is always fun, be sure to avoid trying out new trails at night.
For one, this will prevent you and your dog from getting lost. However, it’s also smart to stick to well-worn paths at night to avoid chance encounters with nature’s nocturnal creatures.
From raccoons and skunks to fisher cats and coyotes, there are plenty of night time animals you don’t want your pup chasing after. Walking on populated paths means other animals will be less likely to rear their heads.
3. Hook Up With A Headlamp
Headlamps give you the hands-free ability to see what’s in front of you and navigate the darkness safely.
If you often walk your dog in the dark, a headlamp is a near necessity (come on, you don’t want to pick up doggie poo with a flashlight in one hand…you need ultimate visibility).
Think of yourself as the Indiana Jones of the dog-walking world, exploring night-cloaked streets and caverns with your faithful furry friend.
Not sure what to get? We recommend the Yalumi Headlamp, available on Amazon. It has great reviews and costs under $20 bucks.
4. Always Use A Leash
This likely goes without saying for most, but you’ll always want to walk your pet on a lead at night. Even dogs who are great off leash can get spooked or lost at night, when it’s a bit tougher to see and get around.
Plus, if your dog darts out into the street, there’s a higher risk of him or her getting hit by a car at night, when visibility isn’t as good.
For this reason, leashes are truly a must for night time dog walking.
5. Light-Up Leashes and Collars
Another great way to stay visible at night is with light up leashes and collars. These fun and flashy walking wearables for your pooch will light up the night.
There are tons of great light-up collars, but one popular collar that receives rave reviews is the Petiner Dog LED Light Safety Collar. This light-up collar can be set for several different modes, from blinking to steady light.
If light-up collars don’t float your boat, there are also blinking LED mini-lights that can be clipped onto a variety of clothing or items for easy visibility.
6. Don’t Forget Your Phone
To be safe, it’s always smart to carry your cellphone with you when you are going for a night walk with your canine.
Ideally, you should walk your pup at night with a friend or companion so you aren’t alone, but of course that’s not always feasible. In those cases, always make sure you at least have a cellphone for backup in case of an emergency.
7. Glow In the Dark Fetch Toys
Finally a fun one!
Glow in the dark balls and fetch toys are a great way to have fun and play with your dog in the dark.
One very popular glow-in-the-dark dog toy is the Chuckit! Max Glow Ball. The Chuckit! ball glows in the dark and whistles in the air when thrown, giving your dog two ways to find it.
Another great toy is the West Paw glow-in-the-dark frisbee, making night time fetch more fun than ever before!
Pro Tip: Use a UV light to charge glow in the dark dog toys more quickly and help them shine brighter! Rather than running inside every few minutes to charge it, grab a UV LED flashlight which you can bring outside and use to continuously charge the glow in the dark toy.
Do you have any other tips for how to stay safe and have fun with your canine at night? Share your tips in the comments!
November 25, 2019
I have to walk my dogs by myself at night, because my husband works nights, and we don’t have a fenced yard. I stay close to the house, which is well-lit, but, to be honest, it scares the hell out of me. Even though I’ve been doing this for three years now, it never gets easier. It’s especially scary when it’s icy and slick outside. Last year, the yard was covered with thick ice for most of the winter. I’m dreading that this year.
November 26, 2019
That doesn’t sound pleasant, BB. 🙁
Please be careful this winter!
December 3, 2015
Super tips! We do a lot of walking after dark and our streets don’t have sidewalks, so I love having a light up collar for Haley. I sure do miss the summertime though when it comes to dog walking.