For many, walking your dog in autumn or winter means one thing: walking in the dark.
We have collected our best tips on safely walking your dog in the dark in this guide!
Stay safe walking your dog in the dark through the right behavior
Dog safety in the dark depends in large part on being properly prepared and acting the right way. Our tips for proper behavior when walking in the dark:
Walk on the correct side of the road, that is, facing traffic. This way, you and your dog will not only be seen in time, but sooner.
Do not use headphones or distract yourself in other ways, because especially in the dark you can perceive dangers too late.
Choose routes that you and your dog know well and on which you feel safe. It is recommended to choose routes with good lighting, without heavy traffic and especially for dogs with hunting instinct without game crossing.
Always keep your dog on a leash, because even well trained dogs or dogs with good recall can behave differently in the dark. Poorer visibility, different lighting conditions, and possibly tense behavior on your part can cause your dog to become fearful or even aggressive toward passerbys or other dogs. On the other hand, dogs still see better in the dark than you do. Therefore, you do not see possible prey or even poison lures in time!
Safety for dogs in the dark: With the right equipment!
Just by choosing the right dog gear, you can make your dog visible in the dark. Consider the following equipment to help:
Reflective vests or coats
Luminous tags or reflective pendants
Luminous velcro straps and attachable reflectors
The rule here is: A lot helps a lot!
Therefore, it is best to use more than one of these products.
Reflective collars can be worn daily and at any time of day just like a "normal" collar. Due to the incorporated reflective material, they use the light of oncoming cars, bikes or pedestrians to make your dog visible in the dark. The advantage: unlike luminous dog gear, reflective collars don't bother your dog themselves, they don't need to be accustomed to them and there's no battery to run down at an inopportune time.
Our tip: When choosing a collar, you should consider how long your dog's coat is and how visible the reflective collar will be among the coat.
As an alternative to built-in reflective material, collars with reflective elements or tags can also help make your dog more visible when walking in the dark.
Reflective SPRENGER Collars
Reflector harnesses or reflective harnesses fundamentally work in the same way as reflective collars, but they have one big advantage: they make a larger area on the dog visible and give other road users a better sense of how big the dog is. Besides, we recommend such harnesses for dogs with longer fur.
Reflective SPRENGER dog harnesses
Reflective dog leashes
Reflective leashes not only help you secure your dog, but also make it easier for other road users to see if your dog is leashed and where the leash goes - so neither short nor long leashes become a tripping hazard!
Another advantage: If you use a reflective drag leash to give your dog a little more room to run at dusk, you can also see it more easily yourself and track where your dog is.
Reflective SPRENGER dog leashes
When walking in the dark: Humans also need the right equipment
The same applies to you: Make yourself visible!
You can make yourself visible in the same way as you make your dog visible - by using reflectors or lights. In addition, you should preferably wear light-colored clothing, so that you are much less likely to be blurred for other road users when walking in the dark.
Our tip: When walking your dog in autumn and winter, darkness is not the only problem. The cold and wet weather can also affect your safety. Therefore, in addition to the use of leashes with grip, we also advise the use of gloves with grip.
Stay safe walking your dog in the dark: Our summary
Walking your dog in the dark is unavoidable for most dog owners during fall and winter. Although it may be a bit uncomfortable or scary at first, you can make your dog and yourself optimally visible with the right equipment and minimize most risks with proper planning and behavior.
That way, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful parts of fall and winter - or at least tide you over until summer!