A walk with the family dog can be a healthy, relaxing activity. But when it happens after dark, it’s essential to keep an eye on safety. Not only is it important to make sure that you can see and be seen in the dark, but it is doubly important to make sure your dog is highly visible.
When possible, stick to brightly lit streets with sidewalks so you’re not in the path of oncoming traffic. If your preferred route doesn’t feature sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic, rather than with your back to it, so you can be sure to see oncoming vehicles and react appropriately. If your walk leads you off-road through fields or forests, carry a strong flashlight to help you find your footing.
These days, there are also a plethora of products available to make strolls safer — especially if your dog slips her lead and disappears into the dark. Here are a few items that can help you see and be seen:
- Head lamps and collar lights help light the way for you and your pooch, and, as an added bonus, you’ll be able to keep a better grip on the leash!
- Wear reflective clothing and provide the same for your dog. Jackets with plenty of reflective tape are perfect in the winter, and reflective halters and leashes are a bright idea in any season.
- Collars equipped with LED lights can be easily seen from distances. The lights are small, but they pack quite a punch, so your best friend will stay visible.
- Don’t forget the accessories! Lighted Frisbees® and balls ensure that your dog will still get play time, even in the dark. Even pooper scoopers have lights these days, making thorough cleanup bright and breezy!