Summer is upon us, and breezy nighttime walks with your 4-legged pal are becoming increasingly appealing. As eager as you may be to head out for an evening stroll with your pooch, there are extreme risks to taking walks in the dark. Follow these 5 tips to ensure you and your dog stay out of harm’s way.
Wear Reflective Gear
Gearing your dog up with reflective accessories can drastically decrease you and your dog's chances of being struck by a vehicle. In fact, nearly 75% of pedestrian accidents happen at dawn, dusk, or nighttime. It may surprise you, but research also shows that bright colors alone are mostly ineffective at night. Try these accessories to increase both you and your pet's safety:
Use a Leash
Your dog may be the best off-leash walker in town, but it’s important to keep him close while walking in the dark. Having total control over the distance between your dog and the road is crucial to your pup’s safety. We recommend a short leash for night time walks versus a long lead or flexi leash, because they give you less control than a traditional leash in the event that you need to reel your dog in.
Carry Your Phone
Taking your phone with you on evening walks is especially important, because it serves multiple safety functions. Having your phone close can provide a sense of security and deter criminals from approaching you and your dog. It also allows you to quickly make calls in emergency situations, and has a built-in flashlight for waving down help, warning an approaching vehicle that you’re in their path, or lighting the sidewalk for better visibility.
When walking on the sidewalk, especially on a busy street, be sure to walk against oncoming traffic. You should also keep your dog on the side furthest from the road, so that they can’t unexpectedly dart into the street. Be sure to choose a well-lit, populated area for your walk, and do your best to avoid alleyways and side streets.
Use the Buddy System
Walking with a friend increases you and your dog’s safety by providing an extra set of eyes to watch for danger, and an extra person to call for help in case of emergency. If you don’t have someone to walk with, give your pal a call and give them updates during your walk, but be sure to pay close attention to you and your dog’s surroundings!