ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?
NIGHTTIME SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKING YOUR DOG.
It’s been a long summer of lazy days, outdoor adventures and getting to stretch your legs far into the evening with plenty of light. Now the days are getting shorter and both you and your dog are feeling those late evening walks coming to an end. That doesn’t have to happen yet! Until the cold weather chases you indoors, walking after sundown can still be a great experience. You simply need to do it safely! We recommend you follow these tips:
1. Improve visibility with the Right Gear:
Our motto is “to be safe you have to be seen”. Make sure both you and your dog wear either reflective or lighted apparel to be sure you are seen by cars, motorists, cyclists and other pedestrians. Even if you live in a secluded area, you should take precautions. Wildlife, hikers or campers could startle or cause you to be startled by unintended encounters.
- Reflective collars and leashes make you easier to spot from a distance.
- Light up blinkers can be fastened to collars, leashes or your clothing to let others see you coming.
- Reflective vests for your dog add more coverage.
- For humans, try a lightweight reflective vest or jacket.
- A headlamp will help you navigate the night while your hands stay free for holding the leash.
- Collar tags with a reflective coating are also an option.
2. Use Caution:
Even though you’re doing your part to be seen, others may not be doing the same. Insulate yourself from dangers like other pedestrians or even distracted drivers by staying alert and exercising caution.
- Leave your headphones at home, so you will be able to hear what's going on around you.
- Preferably, walk against traffic so you can see cars approaching you.
- If possible, stay on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, move to the shoulder of the road with your pet walking on the inside.
- Avoid allowing your leashed pet to extend into the roadway where drivers can't see it.
- Although you may have the right of way, let cars go first at intersections that are poorly lit or when there isn’t a walk/don’t walk light present.
3. Be on the Defense:
Even if you have reflective attachments or lights, pay close attention, and be smart about where you choose to explore.
- Only walk or hike on established, well-lit paths or trails.
- Avoid shortcuts through dark allies or abandoned neighborhood lots.
- Don’t venture into remote areas with which you are unfamiliar. If an accident does happen, you want to be easily accessible to anyone coming to help.
4. Carry Your Cell Phone.
That is not for texting or calling your friends. It will give you extra security if you need anything. Also, you can use the cellphone's flashlight when walking.
- Make sure your battery is fully charged!
- Know how to quickly use the emergency functions on your phone
- Stay in areas where you know you have service
Once you've taken all the right precautions to keep you and your dog safe, you can go on enjoying those evening walks well into Autumn! Have fun!!