Walks are often one of the most fun parts of your dog’s day. But now that fall has settled in, dog walkers of New England are noticing that it’s a bit darker when they go for their evening stroll. Here are a few tips that will keep your dog safe as you begin walking in the autumn and winter months.
1. If there are sidewalks – use them! If not, walk on the left-hand side of the street, facing oncoming traffic with your dog on your left. This way you can see traffic coming and your pup will be safe.
2. Make sure you’re dog can be seen. Blinking lights that attach to his collar or collars that light up are a great way to make sure your pup isn’t overlooked by drivers. You also may consider a reflective harness or coat.
3. Make sure you can be seen too! Carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp, and wear light colored clothing. You might also want to consider a reflective vest if you are walking in the road or on twisty turny streets. If a driver sees you, they are more likely to see your dog too!
4. Plan for the weather. If it’s cold or rainy, consider a jacket or vest designed for dogs to keep them warm and dry. (And remember! Ones with reflective elements will help your dog be seen!) Protect paws against the elements and chemically treated roads with boots and make sure not to over do it when the temps hit extremes.
5. Don’t let your dog wander. Keep your dog on a leash so you can prevent him from running into traffic or chasing neighbor’s cats. Be sure your dog has identification on as well – rabies tags, license and an id are the most important. If your dog should happen to get away from you, this will help to bring him home.
Stay safe out there and enjoy your walk!