man walks dog at sunset, dog is pulling away

Tips for Walking Your Dog at Night

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There are tons of benefits to you and your dog getting exercise by walking at night. Especially during the summer and fall months, the temperature is much cooler, and the concrete is bearable for your dog’s sensitive paws without the sun blazing down. There is typically less traffic, making for a more peaceful and safer walk. And your dog adds a level of security to your exercises at night if you are alone. There are drawbacks to walking your dog at night, mainly the decreased visibility. Read on to learn about a couple of tools and tips for ensuring you and your dog’s safety on late night strolls.

Use the Proper Leash

While retractable leashes can come in handy, they’re not recommended for use at night. If the retractable leash isn’t locked and your dog is able to dart into the road, oncoming traffic won’t be able to see your dog in time to react and swerve. Also, you can’t see as well at night as your dog. If your dog is all the way out on a 15-foot retractable leash, he might encounter another animal you weren’t able to spot. It’s best to keep your dog close with a standard 4 – 6-foot nylon leash. That way you maintain control and minimize any risks of accidents.

Don’t Walk Your Dog Off Leash at Night

Same safety issues with the retractable leash apply to walking your dog off leash at night, plus more. No matter how well your dog listens to you, if he smells a raccoon rummaging through the neighbor’s garbage, it is highly likely he will give chase. The risks of your dog running off or getting injured outweigh the fun of off leash walking, so skip that on your nightly walks.

Dog Reflective Gear

A woman hiking with her dog in a cave wearing a light for visibility.

Not only should you wear some sort of reflective gear on your nightly walks, your dog should too. There are tons of convenient products to help make your dog more visible at night. During warm weather, you could use a reflective leash or a reflective harness. Add a safety light for good measure. The light clips easily onto your dog’s collar and helps your dog stand out in the dark. The Beacon is rechargeable, so no need to worry about replacing batteries.

For colder months, combine a safety light with a jacket to keep your dog warm and safe during your nightly strolls. 

Use Extra Precaution When Out at Night

Seems like a no-brainer but be sure to keep your phone with you as you and your dog walk in the evening. Also, stick to walking in areas that are well lit and that you’re familiar with. That way you’ll be more inclined to notice if anything is out of the ordinary. Follow these tips and you and your pup will have fun and be safe exercising at night.

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