When the days are short and the nights are long, there is sometimes just no way to get your dog the exercise it needs without walking it after dark. But it’s no secret that walks at night are a lot less safe than daytime walks, and you need all the help you can get to make them a fun and safe experience.
Challenges of Walking Dogs at Night
Dog walks at night can be pretty challenging for a number of reasons. Some common challenges of walking dogs at night are:
1. Reduced visibility
One of the biggest dangers of walking at night is the highly reduced visibility. This not only limits how far you can see but also affects your depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision. And while dogs can see much better than humans in the dark, this too can be a problem if your dog tries to run off after something you can’t see.
2. Increased chance of accidents
There is a significantly increased risk of accidents at night due to the reduced visibility. This means that if you lose sight of your dog when it’s dark and it accidentally walks in front of a moving vehicle, there is a great chance the driver may not see it until it’s too late.
3. Predatory animals
Depending on where you live, there might be plenty of predatory animals that come out at night, like bears, coyotes, and lions. The night is also home to skunks, raccoons, and opossums, who are often considered to be docile and non-aggressive but can be quite dangerous to walking dogs at night if provoked.
4. Novel stimuli
Animals that are exclusive to the dark and can’t be seen during the day may serve as novel stimuli for your dog and excite it to the point that it becomes difficult to control. This may then lead to your dog trying to run after the thing that caught its fancy, causing disastrous consequences.
5. Higher risk of getting lost
When you walk dog at night, it is at a much higher risk of getting lost if it runs off due to the low visibility. That’s why even dogs trained to walk off the leash should wear a reflective or light-up leash (or at least a reflective vest) when walking at night.
How Late is Too Late to Walk Your Dog?
There is no definite answer to this question, as dogs are in fact social sleepers for whom the concept of too late or too early doesn’t exist. Most dogs will be perfectly happy to wake up and walk at night if you wake up and decide it’s time for a walk.
While walking your dog ‘too late’ may not have any negative consequences for your dog, it is generally not advised to walk your dog after a certain time because a dog barking or triggering other dogs to bark tends to adversely affect the sleep of any neighbors.
How to Safely Walk Your Dog at Night?
Here’s how to stay safe while walking your dog at night:
· Use reflective & led gear
An essential dog walking safety gear is reflective gear designed to reflect most of the light that hits it back toward its source. There is plenty of specialized reflective gear for dog walkers available in the market, including harnesses, vests, bands, jackets, etc.
When you take your dog night running, Kuoser recommend you to use the dog collar with LED.