Taking your dog for a night walk is one of the primary responsibilities of pet parenting, especially during the winter. It can be a fun venture out under the beautiful stars. Walking with your furry friend at night can also be an enjoyable experience for you and your dog to get some exercise. However, there are a few extra precautions to ensure your dog’s safety.
There is usually less visibility during the night, making it difficult to walk for you or other pedestrians and drivers. This may cause a risk of injury from sidewalk hazards, potholes, or car accidents. You should know some common things to keep your dog’s walking routine safe at night.
Tips to follow while walking at night with your dog
Here are some common and beneficial tips for you to follow to keep your dog’s walk safe at night:
1. Use visible collars
One of the major problems while walking your dog at night is a lack of visibility. The best way to make visibility clear is to use LED collars or leashes that help your dog be visible to cars, pedestrians, etc.
You can also avoid wearing dark-colored clothes and choose reflective vests and shoes to make yourself visible to traffic and other pedestrians.
2. Don’t unleash your dog
Keeping your dog on a leash is the most important thing to do while walking your dog at night. It helps you to have a complete grip and control over your dog when you are not aware of your surroundings.
For instance, you cannot predict when they’ll try to run from something they’re afraid of or try to chase a squirrel. A leash can keep them redirected from danger and prevent them from wandering off into the darkness. Moreover, it keeps your dog away from the road and doubles safety.
3. Stay on paths you know
Exploring new routes with your dog can be amusing, but try to do it during the day. You may attempt to stick with familiar paths at night that are easy to navigate in the dark. It not only keeps your pup from getting lost but also avoids potentially dangerous wildlife and helps your dog reach home safely if it gets lost.
4. Leave distractions aside
You have to be alert while walking your dog at night. So it is suggested that you keep distractions aside. For instance, don’t use your headphones to listen to your favorite podcast or playlist, as it distracts you from potential dangers.
It can make your night walks safe and enjoyable with your dog. You can also note your dog’s body language and listen for sounds of distress if your dog does any.
5. Keep your phone charged
In today’s technology era, cell phones work as a great safety precaution device that provides a way for you to call authorities in emergencies.
However, they also have some additional features that are helpful for night walks. Always keep your phone charged during the walk with your dog at night. Try to carry a portable charger and use the phone only for emergencies to avoid distractions.
6. ID on the collar
Taking your dog out for a walk at night contains various things to consider, but the most important thing to consider has a proper ID. Your dog should have proper identification mentioned on the collar so that it can be identified if lost.
Proper identification of your dog should contain the following important information:
- A collar ID tag with its name and your phone number or address
- A microchip implanted by a veterinary professional that contains updated contact details
7. Consider the needs
You should consider your dog’s unique needs when walking in the dark. If it is cold outside, or you have a small dog that may get cold easily, consider carrying a warm jacket or vest.
You may also carry dog boots if you’re walking in a wet, muddy, or rocky area to keep them warm, dry, and safe. If your dog has shorter legs or if you have a senior dog with a health condition, you should consider a short walk or run.
8. Carry a Flashlight
You can also carry a flashlight or use your phone’s flashlight on your nighttime walks to ensure visibility and avoid accidents. In addition, you should preferably carry a headlamp to ensure a full grip on the leash.
Read Also: The Ultimate Guide to Training Your Dog to Walk with A Harness
9. Be aware of wild animals
It’s important to remember to keep an eye on other pets or wild animals at night. You may see or be attacked by wild animals like raccoons, possums, skunks, coyotes, wildcats, and other predatory species.
You may follow the below tips to protect your dog from wild animals:
- Bring a flashlight to increase visibility.
- Bring a whistle to scare off animals.
- Bear spray may also be helpful (if walking in mountain areas).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it good to walk your dog at night?
Night walks are usually more peaceful and relaxing than daytime walks due to less traffic and pedestrians. But, always use caution, like wearing reflective gear, bringing a flashlight, etc., when walking at night.
Do dogs like to walk at night?
Every dog has a different personality. Some may enjoy walking at night, while others may fear being out of their comfort zone. If your dog appears uncomfortable when you walk them at night, you should not force them to exercise.
Should you walk your dog alone at night?
Usually, you may walk your dog at night with your friend or companion, so you are not alone, if feasible. Otherwise, always make sure to have a cell phone for emergencies.
Do dogs really need daily walks?
Dogs often need a walk at least once a day, but if you have an active dog, it may require more. It depends on the breed, fitness level, and age to determine how long your walk should be, making it enjoyable.
How many hours a day should you walk your dog?
A dog with good health and body shape can enjoy almost a 15- to 30-minute walk daily, or even more than one walk per day. A healthy dog can normally enjoy a walk for up to two hours.
Read Also: How To Walk Two Dogs At The Same Time?
As a pet owner, you must know that your dog needs plenty of exercises daily to be healthy. Therefore, you must add an average daily walk of 30 minutes to your dog’s daily routine. But if you have a busy schedule during the day, you can take your dog for a walk at night.
However, while taking your dog out, you may follow all the above tips to keep it safe. In addition, you should keep your dog hydrated and be on well-maintained paths for a safe and enjoyable walk.