How to Keep Your Dog Safe on Nighttime Walks

1. Use Reflective or Light-Up Gear

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your dog during night walks is to invest in some reflective/light-up gear. Many companies make vests, collars, and even leashes that "glow" when light is shined upon them.

2. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

As a safety precaution, it's always a good idea to map out your walking route before leaving the house. This way, you won't get lost in the darkness and will always know where you are.

3. Keep Your Dog on a Leash

Fenced backyards and leash-free dog parks allow dogs to run wild and let out their inner racehorses. However, on the street and other public places, keeping them on a leash is safer, especially when you're going on an evening walk.

4. Make Sure Your Phone Is Fully Charged

Make sure to fully charge your phone before leaving the house, and always have it in close reach during your walk.

5. Bring a Flashlight or Headlamp

While they may not be entirely fashion-friendly, headlamps are one of my most valuable devices in the dark, especially when you need to be hands-free to hold the leash.

6. Watch Out for Wildlife

Another great tip is to educate yourself about the wildlife in your area and learn ways to either avoid them entirely or how to remove yourself and your dog from an encounter safely.

7. Avoid Distractions

Along with having your phone with you, try to refrain from using it for phone calls, social networking, or texting while you are walking. When you're not paying close attention to yourself and your dog, accidents can happen.

8. Bring a Friend!

As the saying goes, there is safety in numbers. Walks are more fun with friends anyways! Bonus points if they also have their own dog to bring along on the walk.