As we head into Autumn, many owners are enjoying taking their dogs for walks in the evenings or early mornings when it is quieter, cooler, and darker. However, when visibility is low, it is always important for an owner and their dog to be safe. Here are five tips to ensure your evening or early morning dog walks remain safe and enjoyable for you and your four-legged friend.
If you are walking your dog at night-time or in the early morning, it is crucial for you both to be visible to any passing traffic. Wearing reflective fabrics or lighter coloured clothing will help you both become more visible to drivers or cyclists. Try and avoid darker coloured clothing like grey or black colours as these are very hard to spot when visibility is poor. Likewise, consider fitting your pet with a reflective jacket, fluorescent dog collar or leash that will enable them to stand out and be seen on your dog walk.
A great way of making yourself even more visible on a dog walk is by taking along a flashlight or by wearing a headlamp. Both are great although some dog walkers may prefer a headlamp to a flashlight as it leaves their hands free to hold their dog leash and other accessories. If neither of these are suitable, then you may want to consider wearing an LED belt which flashes. For your dog, you may want to also consider fitting them with an LED dog collar, an LED harness and flashing leash designed specifically for nocturnal dog walks.
3. Disconnect the Headphones
When visibility is poor on a dog walk, we need to rely more on our hearing to understand what is happening around us. Try and avoid wearing headphones when walking your dog when visibility is poor, so that you can sense auditory signals, such as a speeding car, cyclist or electric scooter fast approaching.
4. Carry your Phone but Don’t Talk on it
There are many pros and cons to using a mobile phone on a dog walk. Your mobile phone can be a great device to use if you need to call for help or if you need to use it to navigate back home using an app such as Google Maps. Likewise, many smart phones now have built in flashlights which are useful if street lighting is poor or if your torch or flashlight battery runs out. However, try and avoid speaking on the phone as this can distract your attention away from focusing on any potential dangers and from also connecting with your dog. Take the opportunity on your dog walk to reconnect with your body, your dog, and your natural surroundings.
5. Stick to Known Routes
Walking your dog in the early hours and evening is not always the best times to explore new footpaths and routes. Try and save this type of exploration for when visibility is better during the daylight hours. Stick to dog walking routes that you are familiar with and avoid any areas you are more likely to get lost in.
Did you find this article helpful? Hopefully you can incorporate these safety tips the next time you take your dog out for a walk in the morning or at night this Autumn. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we have many years of experience providing a friendly and professional dog walking service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire regions. Our friendly dog walking team will even collect in and around Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston. Call 01462 742658 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org for dog walking in Hertfordshire.