Walking the dog in the dark: Beware of these dangers!
Walking the dog in the dark can be a challenge! Stay safe during the dark season with these simple rules and tips!
30 January 2018
As the daylight diminishes in the cold season, daily walks may often take place in the dark. Exercising is important for you and your four-legged friends, even during the winter time, so don’t leave the walks out. At the same time, you should not underestimate the risk of being overlooked by a car or cyclist when walking the dog in the dark. So how can you avoid possible dangers? We have the best tips for you to bring you safely through the dark season.
Dogs behaviour in the dark
It’s true: dogs are able to see better in the dark than humans. Despite their abilities, your furry friend’s behavior may be different at night. Objects that are perceived as normal during the day may seem scary in the dark. Especially warmly-dressed people, who usually also wear a hat and scarf, can scare your dog in the dark. In most cases, your four-legged friend reacts either with an attack on the strange faces or with a fearful back-pull. In such situations you also have little time to act, so be prepared when walking the dog in the dark.
“To prevent possible accidents, you should not let your dog run free in the dark.”
Most noteworthy, make sure that you’re prepared for the worse case scenario of losing your dog. A Tractive GPS Tracker will provide you extra safety and give you peace of mind.
Walking the dog in the dark: what can happen
In winter, your four-legged friend should be better equipped than in summer, because of the potential dangers that exist in the dark season. The main danger in the dark lies in the reduced visibility, so the most important rule in winter is visibility equals safety. A behavior that is normal during the day can be very dangerous at night. Therefore, the choice of clothing and equipment is essential.
“Very often cyclists, cars and dogs are involved in accidents that happen due to insufficient visibility.”
The right dog accessories for walking the dog in the dark
Which are the perfect clothing and equipment must-haves when walking the dog in the dark? Here we’ve summarized the most important ones for you:
- Glowing collars: ensure that the collar is also visible, as it can be partially covered by the fur of long-haired dogs. The collars for the dark season are equipped with special effects, such as light strips or flashing lights.
- Reflective collars: This special material throws back the accruing light and increases the visibility of your dog when going for a walk in the dark.
- Reflective dog jackets and harness: Compared to collars, dog jackets cover a larger body area and thus increase visibility in the dark even more. Rain or winter coats for dogs normally have some specific reflective elements included.
- Reflective scarves: these can also be attached to the collar and are very suitable for long-haired dogs.
- Reflective leashes: make the connection to your dog visible. This way, it is easily recognized by other road users that you and your dog are a team.
The right equipment for dog owners
Dog owners are just as responsible for taking extra measures to keep their safety in the dark.
“Bright clothing with reflective elements as well as reflective protective vests or bracelets are highly recommended.”
Pocket or headlamps are basic equipment gear for walking the dog in the dark, especially through forested areas. These visibility measures can also be supplemented by a liability insurance for your four-legged friend to increase your sense of security.
While we cannot always avoid possible dangers, but we can at least try to be prepared for what our dogs might experience. Read further tips to generally keep your dog safe and reduce the amount of possible dangerous situations!
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