Night Time Safety for Your Dog
For many people nighttime is the best time to do any kind of outdoor activity whether it be due to the heat of the summer or the short days of the winter. If you are just playing in the backyard there isn’t much to do, unless you have no outdoor lighting. Though your dog can see just fine, you should have lighting for your own safety.
If you are planning on doing agility with your dog, then you definitely need lighting and, if possible, light contrasting equipment. Keep in mind where you lighting is when you design your course, too. Running into a floodlight’s glare isn’t safe for you or your dog.
Now, if you are exercising your dog off your property where cars travel, you will need more protection. Lights are the best option as well as reflective vests. They make a wide range of “head” and “tail” lights for bicycles, runners, and even dogs. Take advantage of them to help ensure you are well seen by motorists. This goes double for dark/black dogs. Also, remember the rules of the road and travel in the opposite direction of the traffic. If that is not possible, make certain you are clearly illuminated from the rear. If you are heading out at sunset or dusk, keep in mind that you are harder to see by oncoming traffic when you are back lit. Your safety is your responsibility, so keep your eye on the traffic at all times.
Keep yourself between the traffic and your dog. This way your dog will be less likely to dodge into the traffic and it will be easier for you to keep him under control should he try. If you live in an area that gets over 100 degrees F, be sure to check the ground temperature before heading out. Just because the sun is down doesn’t mean the ground is cool.
If you are around traffic, don’t let your dog off leash. It just isn’t worth the risk. If you are not around traffic, but in an open area the light on your dog will make them easier to track and keep track of. Before heading out the door, be sure to check all your reflective gear including batteries. You don’t want to lose power while you are out in the dark.
Enjoy the evening and enjoy your dog, just be smart and safe.