Walking your dog in the dark: how to be safe when out and about with your dog

Walking your dog in the dark: how to be safe when out and about with your dog

Walking your dog in the dark: find out in our journal what surprises may await, how your dog's perception changes and how you can guide your dog safely through the dark.
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The same game every fall and winter: it's light late and dark early. But of course your furry friend still needs to go out. Safety is now the top priority when going for a walk. Both for the dog and for those who meet him on the path or in traffic. Some dogs perceive things differently in the dark and sometimes even as a threat, regardless of whether it's another pedestrian or a parked bike. We'll tell you why this is the case and how you can ensure maximum safety for your dog in the dark here and now in our journal.


Dogs behave differently in the dark than during the day - here's what's behind it

Have you ever wondered why another pedestrian or a garbage can left out in the dark suddenly seems to pose a threat to your dog? The answer is relatively simple: dogs change their perception in the dark and react more sensitively, especially to moving objects. Sometimes he recognizes things in the distance that are still hidden from you. So don't be surprised if he stops and seems to bark at the darkness because a hare is hopping far away.

Depending on their character, some dogs will back away rather fearfully in such a situation or even rush forward a little more aggressively. You should definitely be prepared for this. If you notice such insecurities and your dog is not on a lead in your immediate vicinity, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead in the dark. Please also bear in mind that even dog lovers can be frightened if a strange dog runs towards them in the dark. Encounters with other dogs can also suddenly turn out differently than during the day. Consideration is also the top priority here.

When visibility deteriorates, cars, cyclists, joggers, tree stumps and other obstructions on the path become an increased source of danger and accident risk.

Professional tip: A dog owner's liability insurance is a very sensible thing and is actually prescribed by law to cover all possible costs if an accident occurs despite all precautions.


Top tips: how to walk your dog in the dark

Tip 1 for walking your dog in the dark: get puppies used to it

If you have had your dog with you from puppyhood, make sure you get him used to the dark early on. Especially "summer puppy" owners are often surprised in winter that their dog reacts less confidently at dusk.

Tip 2 for walking your dog in the dark: Take a flashlight

A flashlight should definitely be in your jacket pocket, just in case your dog makes feeding movements or gets tangled up somewhere. You can also use it to quickly illuminate seemingly dangerous areas.

Tip 3 for walking your dog in the dark: take familiar routes

If possible, walk the route that your dog has already walked during the day. This will give you and your dog more confidence. You can extend this route bit by bit (first during the day, then in the dark). Also pay more attention to keeping a sufficient distance from oncoming people.

Tip 4 for walking your dog in the dark: radiate confidence

In the dark, dogs orientate themselves more towards you, their mistress and master, and react in a similar way to you. If you are frightened, your dog will be too. If you move carefully and uncertainly, so will your dog. If there is no other option, have someone else from the family walk you and your dog in the dark who radiates more confidence.

Tip 5 for walking your dog in the dark: your own clothes

Remember that you and your dog must also be clearly visible to other road users. Drivers in particular must be able to see you in good time. You should therefore also wear bright, reflective clothing. A high-visibility vest or headlamp is also recommended if you are walking your dog in the dark in rural areas.

Tip 6 for walking your dog in the dark: in traffic

Only cross the road with your dog in well-lit areas or preferably at designated crosswalks. On a street without a sidewalk, it is best to only walk against the direction of travel. Your dog should always be walked on the side facing away from the road. It is better to avoid cycling with your four-legged friend in the dark.


How a luminous harness offers your dog more safety without additional strain

We wouldn't be SABRO if we hadn't looked for and found a special manufacturer of illuminated harnesses. The result is the rainproof LIGHTHOUND illuminated harness. With retroreflective 3M Scotchlite™ and Cordura fluorescent fabric as well as ultra-bright 360-degree LED lighting, it ensures that your dog can be seen from any direction and, above all, cannot be overlooked. The harness lights up permanently in one of six different colors, a flashing mode is also integrated, but in our experience this can be rather irritating for dogs.

The LED light harness is powered by a rechargeable battery. One charge lasts for approx. 12 hours of operation. Weighing just 170 grams, the harness is made from breathable material and is so light that it is comfortable for your dog to wear. Two cams on the neck and chest allow it to adapt perfectly to your dog's body. We are convinced by this light harness and enjoy using it ourselves. Let us convince you too. And protect your dog on walks in the dark with style, sense and understanding.

What is your experience of walking your dog in the dark? Do you use luminous harnesses or tags? What situations have you experienced? Write us your comment, we look forward to hearing about your experiences with your dog in the dark.

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