Dog walks in the dark aren't ideal; but as the winter nights start to draw in, it's a necessity for most of us!
There is no doubt that taking your dogs walking in the night can be a little unnerving, whether you're visiting the local dog park or going for a ramble in the deepest (darkest!) woods.
Safety is always essential, so the AllPetSolutions team has drawn up our top recommendations for walking dogs safely, no matter the hour.
How Can I Stay Visible on Nighttime Dog Walks?
In British winters, it is vital to make yourself seen. Traffic can't always spot pedestrians, a lot of pathways and walkways aren't well lit, and you need to factor in cyclists using parks and footpaths too.
- Light-up or reflective leads and collars are a great way to be seen, and also to be able to keep an eye on your pooch if they wander away. The Fauna Harness Set comes complete with a bag holder and reflective lead.
- Reflective vests - for you and your pup - and a great idea. You can also buy reflective wristbands, jackets and badges if you'd like extra glow power. For example, our adjustable Dog Harness with a reflective strip comes in sizes Small to XL.
- Use a headlamp. This is essential when walking in woods or unpaved roads since stumbling into a pothole, or badger den can be very serious. You'll also find picking up the mess a whole lot easier when you can see your way!
What Safety Precautions Should I Take for Walking Dogs in the Dark?
As well as being able to see, and be seen, it's also wise to consider your safety.
Always take your keys, have your mobile to hand in case you need it, and stick to paths and parks that you know.
Some dogs do get nervy in the dark, so if your pup isn't keen, but you need to get their walk in before work, make sure to keep them on a lead so you can keep them close by.
Extender leads or training leads are an excellent option for allowing them space to roam and sniff, without getting startled by sudden noises or lights if they're a little timid in the dark. Try out the AllPetSolutions Retractable Dog Lead in Orange with three different length options!
Does My Dog Get Enough Exercise on Winter Dog Walks?
Some dogs wind down a bit in the winter - and this usually applies to older pups that find themselves a little stiffer in the cold.
There are lots of things you can do to make them more comfortable, and ensure you get just as much valuable playtime on wintery dog walks as you do the rest of the winter.
Winter coats and jackets are ideal for short haired dogs and those who suffer from the cold. Make sure to give them a good rub down when you get home if it's been raining, too! Have a look at our Waterproof Warm Jacket in bright yellow as a great option.
You can also use a light-up ball or throw toy, so they get a decent amount of exercise in. Visit our newly expanded Chuckit! range of Max Glow Balls for ultimate playtime visibility.
Remember: dogs are rarely bothered about pouring rain, so most won't be perturbed by going out for darker dog walks in the winter!
If you feel unsafe when walking dogs alone at night, make sure to invest in some decent lights and hi-vis clothing - or you could join some local networking groups and find someone to buddy up with so you have a little company on your nighttime rambles!