Nighttime Walking with Your Dog

Walking your dog at night is perfectly plausible and can be a lot of fun—if you take care to do so safely. Follow these tips from your Grandview veterinarian to make a nighttime walk safe for all involved.

Make Your Dog Visible

The first thing to do is increase the visibility of your dog. Purchase a collar that has a reflective strip or lights built in. Reflective vests and leg bands are also made that can attach directly onto your dog’s body and make him visible to any passing motorist or jogger. Ask your veterinary professional about more ways to increase the visibility of your dog in the dark.

Make Yourself Visible

Don’t forget about your own appearance. If you wear all black during a nighttime walk, you’re essentially invisible to motorists or passerby. It’s best to try and wear light colors. In addition, it’s even wiser to wear a reflective jacket, sneakers, or other clothing. If you have a reflective vest, wear it on night walks. Any clothing you have that will increase your visibility to others will help.

Also bring along a flashlight so you can see where you’re going. You might consider one that attaches to your head via a headband—that way your hands are free to control your dog’s leash and pick up any of your dog’s waste.

Walk Against Traffic

If at all possible, remain on the sidewalk. If you have to walk in the road, walk so that traffic is coming toward you—you always want to be able to see what’s coming. If you need to get out of the way quickly, you’ll have a much better chance by seeing what’s coming in advance. Take special care to keep your dog out of the road, especially if it is extra narrow or a high-traffic area.

Beware of Distractions

Remember that nighttime animals like raccoons, stray cats, or opossums might be around and distract your dog—you don’t want your pup to dart off suddenly after a raccoon. Always remain aware, and keep a firm grip on your dog’s leash. Contact your Grandview veterinarian for advice on properly holding the leash and controlling your dog.

By using common sense, remaining aware, and increasing you and your dog’s visibility, nighttime walks can be a fun and safe change of pace!