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Be Bright Be Seen As Dark Nights Come In

As winter quickly approaches and the dark nights draw in, it is important that we make changes to our daily routines to ensure your dog is safe and seen. This blog looks into how we can keep dogs safe this autumn and winter.

As the clocks go back (on the 31st October) and the evenings become darker, walking your dog whilst it’s dark becomes inevitable. Walking your dog in the dark can be daunting for some owners, here are our top tips for keeping your dogs safe.

Picking Your Route

Choosing the right route can help keep you and your dog stay safe on darker nights. We suggest sticking to regular routes, which both you and your dog are familiar with. If you do want to go on a new walking route, try to do it in daylight first. This way, you can be sure you know the surroundings, such as traffic and roads around the area, paths for runners or cyclists, potholes, open water, wildlife, fences, and how many other dogs visit this route.

We also advise staying clear of places that aren’t well lit, such as winds or fields, where there is more treacherous ground. Where possible, also avoid roads with lots of traffic and always keep your dog on the leash in areas you’re unsure of or nearby roads.

Dress Up

It’s no surprise that darker nights reduce your visibility and ability to be seen. When walking during the darker hours, we recommend wearing reflective clothing and using reflective accessories or coats for your dog. Car headlights bounce off reflective gear and can help keep you and your dog visible to drivers.

We suggest using:

  • Reflective Leads

  • Reflective Collars

  • Flashing Collar Clips

  • Hi-Vis Coats

Always ensure your pet is comfortable with their reflective gear and it fits them correctly to avoid them getting stressed. Whilst some dogs don’t mind jackets and coats, for others, it can make them feel constricted. If your dog shows signs of stress by a jacket, a reflective collar or light-up tag may be a better alternative.

Signs your dog doesn’t like their coat include:

  • A tucked tail

  • Hunching over

  • Folded down ears

  • Whining

  • Licking lips

Light & Sound

Carrying a torch whilst it’s dark is a must. Not only does it help you see your surroundings, but it can also make it easier for your dog to find you if they’re off the lead.

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, we suggest removing headphones, and avoiding answering calls so your full attention can be on your dog. This way if they are off the lead, you can communicate with them regularly. Having a whistle can also be helpful for communication as it will let them know where you are.

Lastly, always, ensure your dog is microchipped and your contact details are up to date so if for any reason, your pet goes missing the chances of being reunited are greater. To check your pet’s microchip details are up to date, contact our reception team on 020 8459 4729.

Dark nights aren’t all doom and gloom, using the right precautions can help keep your dogs safe throughout the night and increase bonding.


Order Dr Hannah Parkin's Amazing Guide To Caring For Your New Puppy.
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