As the days grow shorter, your dog continues to have the same exercise and potty needs. If you find yourself taking your dog for walks after dark, use these tips to keep you and your dog safe.
Get Reflective Gear
You and your dog should wear clothing and accessories with reflective strips. LED lights and glow-in-the dark products can be worn in addition, but reflective strips are best because they shine brightly without any need for battery power. We recommend this sturdy rope lead woven with reflective strips.If it's chilly, your dog can wear a reflective jacket. A reflective vest is lightweight enough for warm nights.For yourself, reflective hats, jackets and vests can all keep you visible at night. You can even purchase reflective strips that you can attach to clothing you already own.
Keep Your Dog Off The Road
At night, your dog may be nearly impossible for drivers to see.Walk between your dog and the road. This lessens the chance that they will step off the kerb. Also, if you're walking in an area that does not have pavement, your dog will be as far away from the cars as possible.Retractable leashes can be great for giving your dog extra freedom in open spaces, but they're not suitable for walking near roads, especially after dark. Some make it easy for your dog to unexpectedly dart into the road. If you must use one, make sure to lock it at no more than 2 metres.
Walk In Well-Lit Areas
If possible, take your dog to walk around a neighborhood with plenty of street lighting. It's best to avoid wooded areas at night because most wildlife is more active at night.Dogs are actually much better than humans at seeing in the dark. They have larger pupils with more light-sensitive rods than we do, so they're able to make better use of what little light is available. They also possess tapetums, which are like mirrors at the back of their eyes that reflect light - this is why their eyes can appear to glow in the dark, just like cats.
Carry Your Phone
You should always have your mobile phone with you so you can make an emergency call, or just let family members know where you are if you are going for a long walk or hike. However, do not allow yourself to be distracted by your phone while you're on a walk. The light from the screen will keep your pupils from dilating, so you'll have a harder time seeing in the dark. If you must listen to music or make a phone call, keep one ear free so you can hear what is going on around you.
Protect Yourself And Your Dog Against Pests
Many pests, including fleas and mosquitoes, are active at night because the daytime sun tends to dry them out. While you should make sure you and your dog are protected against pests before any walk, you should take extra care at night, whether you're in residential or wooded areas. Natural flea powder kills insects by breaking down their exoskeleton.
Carry A Flashlight
A flashlight allows you to see obstacles in particularly dark areas. You can also use it to spot and ward off wild animals. You may also need a flashlight to find your dog's poo so you can pick it up. Yes, you still have to pick up your dog's poo, even if nobody can see your dog dropping it off at night!