It’s Lovely and Less Crowded, but Walking Your Dog at Night May Be Risky

There’s nothing quite like embarking on an after-dinner neighborhood stroll. Certainly, the exercise might be more enjoyable in every other season except winter, but that’s purely subjective… 

The good news is, most dogs don’t care what time it is; they’re simply happy to be outside, smelling all the smells. Without a doubt, walking your dog at night is a worthwhile activity (and sometimes cannot be avoided), but to ensure everyone returns home safely there are some considerations.

Be a Gear Hound

If walking your dog at night is something that you prefer, or is simply part of your routine, be sure to acquire the proper gear. 

Your pup should always be on leash at night, preferably not attached to a retractable or flexible lead. This will reduce injury or separation if something catches your dogs eye and they run after it. 

A Word on Surroundings

Speaking of things that might catch your dog’s eye, it’s critical to watch for any signs of wildlife. Certainly, in rural areas, walking your dog at night comes with this risk. But even suburban and metropolitan areas attract animals like coyotes. Skunks, racoons, opossums and more are likely to be out and about.

Lighting the Way

To alert drivers to your presence and exact location, we recommend that both owners and their leashed dogs wear either reflective or lighted items. Always bring a flashlight or headlamp. Attach a light to their collar or dress them in a reflective vest (many are also equally great for colder weather). This is especially important for dogs with dark fur, but all dogs should be outfitted for the dark. There are lots of light up leashes to choose from.

Also, please do not wear dark clothing and try to stick with lighted pathways or thoroughfares. Remember, there is safety in numbers. If you can, find a human buddy to walk with.

Walking Your Dog at Night

Keeping to a familiar route is an excellent strategy when walking your dog at night. Always bring your phone with you, but try not to wear headphones in order to keep all of your senses attuned to possible danger. 

Also, walking toward oncoming traffic helps drivers see you better than when they come up behind you. Try to steer clear of alleyways, shortcuts, and dim pathways.

As with anything related to your dog’s health and happiness, we hope you’ll contact us with any questions or concerns. Good luck and be safe while walking your dog at night.