It’s easy to see why some people would prefer to walk their dogs at night — it’s more convenient. First of all, the weather is much more pleasant in the evening - the air is cool, and the sidewalks no longer retain any heat. Second, there are less people walking around at night than in the daytime. You don’t have to worry about running into people as much. And on the other hand, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, you may find that walking your dog at night is something you can't avoid.
Dress for occasion
Don’t wear dark clothing at night. It’s more difficult to spot pedestrians in black clothes than white ones. Well, you don’t necessarily need to wear white. As long as you don’t wear clothes that blend into the night then you should be fine.
Wear reflective gear
Reflective gear is characterized by its ability to remain visible under any circumstances, whether it be at night, in a sandstorm, in the hail, or a torrential downpour. Sometimes it’s called high visibility or ‘Hi-Viz’ clothing. These are often seen on people who work in high risk situations such as construction sites or industrial zones. But now, they’re being brought to the public because of how useful they are and how it makes walking with your dog in the dark a safer place.
Wearing a LED Reflective Belt, for example, will give you 360 degrees of visibility. It's 100 times safer than any other alternative because it reflects oncoming light and illuminates. There is no way to overlook anyone wearing this. Vehicles will see you well in advance - ALL THE TIME.
LED Collars are a lifesaver
The LED Dog Collar is the answer to a significant problem faced by many night-loving dog owners: visibility of their four-legged friends after sundown. Whether you’re playing a game of fetch or taking your nightly walk, you shouldn’t need to worry about losing Fido in the backyard or drivers failing to see your dog at night.
Lightweight, durable, fully adjustable, and USB rechargeable, this flexible LED-illuminated collar provides optimal visibility, ensuring you -- and vehicles -- can see your best friend at all times. The convenient, easy-to-use clips make fitting your dog with the collar a breeze. One quick click is all it takes to adjust the light between slow, steady, and rapid flashing modes, and you and your pup are ready to go.
Make your dog wear a LED vest
Maintaining excellent visibility is vital for safe morning and evening walks with your four-legged friend. Whether you’re playing or taking a pre-dawn stroll before work, you should light up your pup with the unrivaled illumination, fluorescent color, and reflectivity of the LED Dog Safety Vest.
Unlike other reflective vests, this features three bright, attention-grabbing lighting modes and is durable enough to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions. This fits dogs of most sizes and is easy to slide on, adjust, and use. Indeed, this is perfect for backyard fun, hunting and camping trips, hikes, walks, and all kinds of outdoor excursions.
Check your dog’s tags
Attached to your dog’s collar should also be an identification tag for people to look at in case of emergency.
Don’t wear headphones
You already have limited visibility. You don’t want limited hearing as well. Keep your eyes on the road and your attention on your dog. Even if you’re not on open road and you’re on a trail instead, it’s still not a good idea to keep your headphones in. There could be animals on the trail that you can’t hear because there’s music blaring into your ears or you might be dancing (how can we blame you?) and then you trip, fall and hurt yourself. Bottom line, leave them at home and listen to the music of your surroundings instead.
Stay on the sidewalk
It won’t always be possible for you to walk on the sidewalk at all times, but you should stay in the safe zone as much as possible. Sidewalks are always well lit. Streetlights are just a few feet from the sidewalk, which means they keep both you and your dog out of harm’s way. Aside from that, your dog can walk ahead of you (on a leash) and you don’t have to worry about them running into an accident.
Now is not the time to get adventurous
Stay on the same routes and don’t take any shortcuts. People have tendencies to get lost at night (we wonder why?), probably because it’s dark? Bingo! Follow the route you normally take and stick to it. And if possible, stay close to home. If you need a guideline of how far you’re allowed to go at night, think about this: if you can’t see a part of your house, then you’re too far from it.
Walk against traffic
The rule of thumb is that if you’re walking up the road, always walk against the traffic. You need to see where the trucks, cars, and motorcycles are headed so you can safely avoid them. Also, keep your dog on the inside and walk with the traffic adjacent to you. The cars may make them anxious and panic. The worst that could happen is that your pet runs on to the road, too.
Obey traffic rules
Regardless of how you’re getting from Point A to Point B, whether it be in a car, bike, scooter, or you’re walking your dog, obey traffic rules. Follow the pedestrian light, they’re there for a reason. Cross when the pedestrian light is green, and stay on the sidewalk and never cross when the light turns red. Use cross walks, the white paint is luminescent even in the dark. Plus, cars will always stop for a pedestrian (and their cute dogs). If there are no stoplights available, use hand signals to indicate where you’re headed. It will give cars and passers-by a hint of where you’re headed and when to slow down.
Keep your dog on a leash
No matter how well-trained your dog is, you will have to keep them on a leash. This gives you more control over them in unexpected situations. This safety precaution is for you, your dog, and fellow pedestrians. During the early evening, people start walking home from work. While most of them will be amused by your adorable dog, some of them won’t be so friendly. And if you haven’t practiced consistent recall with your dog, it could get them in trouble for bothering people who aren’t too friendly with canines. Keeping your dog on a leash gives the impression that you have the situation under control, and you can pull back your dog at any given time.
For visibility, it’s much better to use a light-up leash. The Illumiseen LED Dog Leash features an easy-to-use metal clip that snaps onto the D-ring of the collar within seconds, and it is designed to help you and your pup stay visible to motorists, even in low-light conditions. With one simple click, you can choose between slow, rapid, or steady flashing glow modes based on the outdoor conditions and your intended route. The busier the road, the more illuminated the leash should be.
Keep your phone on you
This doesn’t mean that you should walk and text. It’s only for emergency purposes. Aside from that, it can be used as a flashlight.
Watch out for other animals
Depending on where you live, you could run into a wild bear or a sewer rat. Either way, you need to stay clear of animals that roam the area at night. Your dog needs to respect the wildlife in your area because it’s their territory, not his/hers. They could potentially be carrying rabies or Lyme disease, so you want to stay clear of that. Additionally, dogs with a high-prey drive might have the urge to run after furry critters like raccoons, squirrels, or god-forbid a skunk. Inversely, small dogs are at risk of being the victims of wild animal attacks. Their size makes them easy to bite and swoop up.
Carry a flashlight if you’re walking in an area with no lighting
You can carry a flashlight with you if you’re walking your dog in a campsite, for example, or through the woods if you’re going for a hike. There won’t always be streetlights where you walk so it’s best to be prepared for any situation. You don’t necessarily have to carry a giant torch with you, a small handheld flashlight should do. Or even better, a headlamp so you can keep your attention on your dog.
Remember, eyes on the road, attention on your dog. Enjoy your evening walks and bonding moments with your dog. Stay safe!