A moonlit walk with your dog could save you precious daytime hours. Read our tips for safe nighttime strolls with your best friend.
Winter’s on its way, which means shorter days and possibly a feeling that there ‘aren’t enough hours’! Scientists tell us that when it gets dark outside, our bodies are wired to ‘shut down’. But rather than race against time to take your dog for a walk, why not equip yourself with our nighttime dog-walking safety tips? Then you can choose to take a sunset stroll or ramble under a moonlit sky at your leisure. There’s something quite peaceful about watching the world get ready for bed. And going for a walk at the end of a busy day can be the perfect way to wind down.
1. Make sure you and your dog can be seen
Consider reflective vests (you can get them for dogs too) so drivers can see you. Light up collars and leads are also an excellent way to make your dog visible in the dark.
2. Take a light with you
A torch or head lamp will help you navigate uneven ground and see any potential trip hazards. Most smart phones come with a handy torch installed so you may find you’re all set.
3. Choose your route
Ideally you should choose a path you know and one that’s well-lit at night. Avoid uneven ground or places where there could be sudden drops, dips or barbed wire. Ultimately it’s important to consider the risks and minimise these.
4. Keep your dog on a lead
Keeping your dog on a lead will help to keep them safe. Most road traffic accidents involving animals happen at night when visibility is reduced. Dogs have much better night vision than us and your dog may spot a fox or a squirrel and disappear into the night as they chase them.
5. Tell someone where you are going and how long you’ll be
When possible, invite someone along with you for the walk, but if you do go alone, it’s always a good idea to let someone know what route you’re taking and at what time you plan to be back. If anything were to happen, help will arrive much faster if they know where to look for you.
6. Don’t forget your phone
You may like the idea of being phoneless during this therapeutic moment of the day, but if you’re dog-walking at night, it’s not the time to be without a phone. Make sure your phone is charged and on you. Most smart phones have a torch (see tip 2) so that’s always handy, and it’s very important you can call someone for help should you need to. We recommend you download the app ‘what3words’ onto your phone. This will help you identify and share precisely where you are in just three words, so help can find you if needed.