It’s that time of year again; you wake up, and it’s dark. You get home from work, and it’s dark. The odds are you’re taking the dog for a walk in the dark too. If this is the case you want to ensure that you and your dog are nice and visible when crossing roads as decreased night time visibility and icy roads are not a good combination.
There are a variety of products out there that can help you shine brightly at night. Let’s start small and work our way up to the big stuff.
There are a wide variety of LED lights that clip to your dog’s collar. Some are single coloured, multi-coloured and some even flash. If your dog is a little low rider or maybe super fluffy you might need a little more light, and you’re in luck, there are also collars with lights build right into them. And if that’s not enough light there are also harnesses and leashes with LED lights built into them as well. If you’re using these items often and are worried about replacing batteries, many of them are USB rechargeable and come with the charging cords. No hassle replacing tiny hard to find batteries with tiny little screwdrivers. For the humans of the family flashing or LED light up arm bands can be worn over top of your jacket to keep yourself visible. Nighttime bikers and joggers most commonly use the arm band light. If your dog spots a squirrel or a cat you might just be night time jogging too!
If lights are a little too flashy for you, reflective products may be a better option. Collars, leashes harnesses, jackets and even booties for those extra cold days come in reflective varieties. If you already have the perfect jacket/bootie combo for your pup, you can always get crafty and add some reflective leg bands or strips around the neck or chest that Velcro in place. Then you can add them on whenever you’re walking at night and remove them during the day if you so choose. You don’t always have to compromise fashion for safety! There are also pre-made reflective arm bands for humans and reflective jackets, vests and even toques.
The best option may be a combination of a light up product or two with some reflectiveness mixed in. A small flashlight may also come in handy for those night time walks. Find one that can easily attach to your dog’s leash with your poop bags or small enough to easily pop into your pocket. If your dog loves to play ball in the field, you don’t have to stop just because it’s dark outside. There are light up and glow in the dark balls and Frisbees. So go have some fun while you’re being safe. And of course, no matter how light or dark it is outside, don’t forget the treats.
Written by Nicki Payne, RAHT