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Are You Being Safe? Walking Your Dog at Night

Days are starting to shorten as we head toward autumn. When visibility is low, you have to take your dog’s safety, and your own, into a little more consideration. Here are some recommendations to ensure everyone’s safety.

Reflection
One of the most important things is to make sure you and your dog are visible to passing traffic.

  • Wear lighter coloured clothing.
  • Reflective fabrics or trim.
  • Well fitted jacket, sweater collar or leash for your dog with visible reflective features.

Light the way
A flashlight or headlamp will make you even more visible. There are LED collars, harnesses and leashes available for the pet when walking at dusk or night.

Dress for the weather
Daytime temperature is often too hot for outdoor activities, and evening temperatures can get quite chilly. Dress accordingly to warm or chilly weather; pets can get cold too.

Wearing a light jacket/sweater is also a safe way to protect you and your pet against mosquitoes. Caution when using any pet-friendly bug repellents, they might still cause skin or nose irritation for your pets.

Always on a leash
It’s very important to keep your dog on a leash when walking at night. Here are just a few possibilities of what could happen if your dog is not on a leash.

  • Wander out of your sight
  • Run into traffic
  • Chase a rabbit in the woods, or in traffic
  • Get into someone’s garbage
  • And we could go on…

Danger of wildlife
Coyotes, raccoons, skunks and other critters are often most active at night, another great reason to keep your dog leashed. If you do happen to spot any wildlife while out for a walk, slowly walk away and alter your route, so you and your dog doesn’t come into contact with it.

It’s also important to avoid dark paths/wooded areas, and stay in busier, well-lit areas. Not only do you have fewer chances of meeting wildlife, but it’s less common to have human predators in a public place.

Phone on hold
It’s a great idea to bring your phone with you on a night walk in case of an emergency, although it leaves the tunes on silent. When it’s hard to see, you need to rely more on your hearing to know what’s going on around you.

Stick to what you know
Nighttime isn’t the right time for exploring new trails and streets.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 506.857.4271.

Written by: Monica Blanchard, RVT

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