Even though nighttime walks are necessary and fun, they can be dangerous. You will not only be unable to see the hazards and obstacles at ground level (such as sharp rocks or glass), but you may also become less visible to other pedestrians such as joggers and bikers who could unintentionally intrude on your dog’s space. Nighttime animals can also be a distraction for your dog. Raccoons and opossums are common. Even neighborhood cats prowl around at night.
We will only list a few of the many products that are available and useful for night walks. The cheapest and easiest solution to use is reflective tape. Attach it to the collar, harness, and leash of your dog. There are many products that have been designed to make you and your pet visible at night, whether the light shines directly on them or not.
These collar lights are as simple as they come. They can last for a long time and have a range that is comparable to a flashlight. You should look for products with easy-to-replace batteries to ensure that you have the right product at hand.
- Reflective strips are added to collars and leashes, which will light up your dog even in darkness.
- Attach blinking clip-on lights to clothing or your dog’s lead
- Reflective collar tags
- Reflective vests in bright colors for your dogs and yourself
- Reflective leg bands for your dog
- Attach a flashlight to the collar of your dog or your head. (Climbers, miners, mushers and others use this type).
- Combination flashlight and waste bag dispenser or lighted pooper scooper
- High pitched whistle
It is best to have your own flashlight, even if your dog has the most reflective and brightest lights. This will allow you to control your field of view. A headlight is recommended, similar to the type worn by miners and mushers, as it allows you to clean up and hold your dog while your hands remain free.
If you have to cross the street at night, walk in the opposite direction of the traffic (as opposed to walking on the sidewalk). Walking in the direction of traffic may seem like a counter-intuitive idea, but it allows you to be able to quickly get out of harm’s way if necessary. Be alert to sounds and movement around you and move fast if necessary.
This is not an advice of fear but rather of being aware. In some areas, there may be loose animals such as wild cats and dogs. There are also people who can cause trouble. Bicyclists or joggers may be unaware and suddenly come upon you and your pet, causing your dog to become startled. Always keep your dog leashed and hold the leash firmly. It is especially dangerous to let your dog out at night.
Remember what you’re wearing. You will be virtually invisible in darkness if you wear dark clothes. You should at least have a jacket that is light in color to wear during the night. It is better to wear reflective clothing on your evening walks. Reflective sneakers and jackets will make you more visible. If you add a blinking headlight and clip-on flashing lights to the ensemble, it’ll be even better. You can make reflective clothing yourself using reflective tape. Make sure your phone is tucked safely into your pocket.