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Walking your dog safely in the dark

Walking your dog safely in the dark
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At this time of year, the majority of us are walking our dogs in the dark.

This isn’t a problem if you are walking in lit streets. But recently I let my dog off the lead in a dimly lit field and off he ran into the darkness. Black dog, pitch-black, with no response to his name. So, I waited. And waited. Then I began to worry, turned on my phone light and ventured into the woods, before hearing a rustle and his return (I swiftly put him on the lead may I add).

Here at Pennard Vets, we have written some tips to help your walks be as safe as possible;

 

Route

  • Pick a familiar route. Somewhere you and your dog know well. If you can walk along lit streets then do. Walk towards the traffic with your dog on the inside.

 

Routine

  • Unlike me, don’t let your dog off the lead unless you are in a well-lit area. My dog is great at re-call, normally. But you don’t know what could happen.
  • Don’t use retractable leads, they cannot be seen that well in the dark.

 

Accessories for your dog

  • There are heaps of reflective clothing out there to choose from, leads, collars and coats. They work really well and just mean your dog can be seen.
  • My dog now has a flashing light on his colour. One of our nurses has a range of colours – a different one for each dog.

 

Accessories for you

  • Make sure you wear something reflective too. It’s not a fashion parade, it’s about being safe.
  • Take a torch, some prefer a small LED head torch.
  • Don’t leave home without your phone.
  • Tell your family when you are walking, and where you will be.

 

Be Cautious

  • No headphones. Make sure you can hear around you and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Watch out for other animals too, including wildlife. We’ve seen an abundance hedgehogs and foxes on our recent early walks.

 

Should you have any questions please do call your local branch.