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Walking Your Dog

Nighttime Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again: The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and we’re all waiting for the snow to fly. But you don’t have to let the early evenings and cold weather put a damper on your daily walks with your dog. We’ve talked about winter safety tips in the past, but now we’re back with pointers to keep you and your dog safe walking in the dark.

Leash Up

It’s tempting to let your dog run free to burn off excess energy after a long day, but this can be risky at night. Dogs don’t see much better than humans do in the dark, so it’s easy for them to become startled and run off, increasing their chances of getting lost or hit by a car. Play it safe and leash up before heading out. You’ll avoid accidents, and you won’t have to try to find your dog in the dark!

Dress for Success

This rule is a must, and it goes for you AND your dog. Before you head out after hours, don’t forget to put on high visibility gear and bright colors to make sure you and your dog can be seen at all times. In addition to reflective items, consider getting rechargeable LED leashes, collars, and vests to amp up your visibility even more. And don’t forget to make sure they fit over winter coats and dog sweaters.

Cue the Lights

Don’t leave home without your flashlight! Or, go for a better hands-free solution with a headlamp. Not only do lights make you more visible, but they ensure your path is always illuminated, so you’re less likely to trip or fall. An added bonus? Having a flashlight makes it easier to pick up after your dog in the dark.

Walk the Right Way

No, we’re not saying there’s a right and wrong way to walk. And, no, your dog doesn’t have to walk in a perfect heel either. But, making smart choices and using good common sense can keep you and your dog safer in the dark.

These steps include:

  • Leaving your headphones at home so you can hear your surroundings
  • Avoiding dark alleys or empty areas
  • Staying in well-lit areas whenever possible
  • Walking against traffic so that you’re constantly aware of oncoming cars

And, even if your daily walk is your opportunity to “unplug,” always carry your cellphone in case of emergency.

If the shorter days and colder weather are keeping you and your dog indoors, we can help. Keep your dog happy and exercised with doggy daycare “Playday” sessions and outdoor walks at our Eagan and Bloomington locations.

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