Safely Walking Your Dog at Night

Does your dog seem to require a walk before bedtime? Perhaps you work late and can only get your dog out after the sun has set. Whatever the reason, make sure you’re keeping your dog’s safety—and your own—in mind! Use these tips from a Southeast Denver vet.

Wear Reflective Clothing

Before you head out of the house, make sure the clothing you’re wearing is appropriate. If you’re decked out in all black, you’ll be nearly invisible to passing motorists! Wear light clothes, and put on a reflective vest, shoes, or hat. This way, motorists’ headlights and streetlamps will make you clearly visible.

Put Reflective Surfaces on Dog

Don’t forget to make your dog visible, too. Reflective collars, leashes, vests, and even leg bands are available today that will light your dog up when walking at night. These products are available at many pet supply stores.

Bring a Flashlight

Don’t forget to pack a flashlight. Even if you’re walking in a well-lit area, you never know when your dog might decide to explore a dark corner. Flashlights also alert passing motorists and other walkers of your presence. You might even try a flashlight that attaches in a headband, so you have both hands free to control your dog.

Watch for Distractions

Various nighttime distractions could cause your dog to dart off course. The most common culprits are other nighttime critters, such as raccoons, opossums, or outdoor cats. Make sure you keep a steady hand on your dog’s leash at all times. Even well-trained dogs may dart away in chase, possibly running into the street.

Avoid Hazardous Areas

If at all possible, walk in a quiet, low-traffic neighborhood. If sidewalks are available, use them. You’re reducing the risk of injury to yourself, your dog, and others around you by using common sense. If you have to walk in an area with more traffic, avoid roads with narrow shoulder zones, and walk against traffic to see what’s coming.

Keep your dog’s safety in mind before you head out for your next nighttime walk, and ask your Southeast Denver veterinarian for more helpful hints.

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