A Walk in the Dark - Nighttime Safety for Pets and Their People

When you live in the Northern part of the United States, winter brings more than just snow and ice, it brings up to 14 hours and 30 minutes worth of darkness per day. So, if you're a working girl like me, that means that your pup's morning and evening walks are all taking place in the dark.

The good news is, walking in the dark doesn't have to be intimidating. Sure, the nocturnal hours get a bad reputation of their increased crime rates and low visibility; however, if you're prepared you can flip the switch and turn your shady walks into the best parts of your day! In this post, we're sharing a few of our best tips to help keep you and your pup safe on your darkened jaunts.

Plan Your Route
Do a little SUV recon and take a lap in the car around your neighborhood to scout out a good walk route. Areas with low road speeds, wide sidewalks, ample street lighting, and high-visibility crosswalks are of course preferable, and areas with more pedestrians also help you feel a little more secure. Don't forget to also check for grassy areas along the route so your pup has plenty of room to sniff and relieve themselves! Also, be sure to check the closing times of any parks that you hope to visit on your walk, as some may only be open during daylight hours.

Bring The Essentials
When taking on the darkness it's always best to make sure you have the proper gear. I always make sure I have a mini LED flashlight, my cell phone, and pepper spray in case of emergencies! Of course you should also bring poo bags and your pup, but those two are a given!

Leash Up
Though your pets may have sharper senses than you in the dark, but that doesn't always mean they know how to keep themselves safe. You should ALWAYS leash your pets when you take them outside at night. Even the most well trained dog can be startled by a loud truck and dart out into the road, so keep your pup safe by keeping them on leash and under voice control throughout your excursion.

Dress For Success
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to stay safe on your after-hours adventures is to wear high visibility clothing. Sure, dark colored jackets and coats may be fashionable, however they are extremely difficult for motorists to spot against the blacktop. In order to increase your visibility consider investing in reflective clothing to wear on your walks. While reflective vests present a good option, we LOVE our matching "Mommy and Me" cowls from the stylish, high-vis knitwear line produced by Bright & Pip! The handmade cowls come in a variety of trendy colors and are made with the coziest yarn that has a reflective filament spun right into it. My favorite part is they are completely customizable and you can swap out the flowers and bows to suit your own style and mood, all for under $30 set! You can snag one of these adorable sets to keep you and your best pup warm and seen at Bright & Pip's Etsy Shop.

So don't be afraid of the dark! Grab your furry friends and get outside to enjoy the night, just remember to stay safe and stay seen!
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How do you stay safe during your after-dark outings?
What are your favorite pet safety products?
Drop us a line in the comments or on social media, @RubyOnAlki!

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