Walking alone at night can be dangerous depending on where you are walking, the lighting, terrain, etc. Adding your dog into the mix can at times increase the danger for both you and your dog. The following are some helpful tips to prepare yourself ahead of time before walking your dog at night.
There are many dangers that may present themselves to you when walking your dog at night such as: 1) a stranger coming up behind you, 2) animals crossing your path such as raccoons, possums or snakes 3) a cyclist, 4) passing cars that may not see you, 5) trip hazards, sharp objects and the like.
Safety tips for walking your dog at night in order to minimize these and other dangers, consider the following:
- Carry Your Cell Phone so you can call someone or the police in case of an emergency.
- Carry a Flashlight or use the one on your smartphone-this is useful in dark areas of the walk so you can see and is also beneficial to clean up after your dog.
- Consider an Air Horn: Great replacement to pepper spray to ward off intrusive animals or strangers.
- Use your Bluetooth or headphones this way you have your handsfree for your leash and to react to potential hazards.
Both You and Your Dog Should Dress the Part
If it’s winter it’s very vital to dress accordingly to the weather. That includes a sweater for both you and your dog. Some people are against dog sweaters but it’s very important to keep your dog warm when it’s cold out. Depending on the breed, they can get too cold.
Other items to wear to dress the part for your night time walk:
- Reflective leash/collar: Putting a reflective collar on your dog will let cyclists and cars know where your dog is, even when on the sidewalk.,
- ID Tags: Make sure that your dog is wearing an ID tag on their collar when taking them for a walk. It’s better to be safe than sorry in case your dog is startled and breaks off leash. At times, dogs can slip out of their collars if they really wanted to.
- Wear light colored clothes so you can be easily be seen
- Wear closed toe shoes or sneakers so you can run from danger or chase your dogs if necessary.
Plan Your Route
Planning your walk is important no matter how safe of a neighborhood you live in. Plan the route then tell someone the direction you’re going and approximately how long the walk is going to take. This helps others know where to start in the event that something happens.
The more light the better. Pick a common route. If you have your dog with you chances are you live in a dog friendly neighborhood. Pick a well-known path that other dog owners in your neighborhood choose. Pick a well-lit path and avoid walking in the street as much as possible.
Making these preparations a habit you will ensure that your nightly walking is safe for both you and your dog.