Reflections on Walking My Dog at Night

March 3, 2021 | We Care | Tips from Max Willner

I take my dog for a lot of walks.  We’re both the type to get restless easily (which is why I identify as a dog person more than a cat person), so a walk around the neighborhood is the quickest and most accessible remedy. But with shorter days in the winter months, our evening walks occasionally take place once the sun’s gone down.

We’re no stranger to night walks, but the road I live on is narrow, hilly, and poorly lit. Despite doing our best efforts to remain visible and avoid any hazards, some cars have still gotten too close. As a pedestrian, I am not a fan of that gut-wrenching, “I hope that driver is paying attention” feeling. 

After a couple close calls in the span of a year, I decided to up my visibility game. At night, I’d usually have my phone or flashlight and I’d be sure to wave it around to any cars approaching directly or from behind, so they would know someone was there.  Didn’t seem to be good enough. 

I searched for “reflective jacket” online and boldly bought this wild thing. Long story short, it ended up working too well. I was such a reflective anomaly that most cars even flipped on their high beams just to get a better idea of what the heck they were looking at. I ended up donating it (good luck and have fun, whoever ends up with it!) and did some more research.

“Despite doing our best efforts to remain visible and avoid any hazards, some cars have still gotten too close.

My next and more well thought-out choice was a reflective leash, a jacket for the dog, and one for myself. I decided to get the reflective leash from Mighty Paw and a reflective vest from Safety Pup XD. For myself, I went ahead and got myself one of those DOT safety vests that are highly visible at night. 

The Mighty Paw leash is great because it’s shellproof, waterproof, and easy to clean. I’ve had it for a couple of years now, and not only is it great for night walks, but it’s also excellent for beach trips. On top of its vibrant orange color, it also has a reflective stripe running the length of it. The leash is also six feet long, so you can give your dog plenty of slack. It’s a pretty sturdy product, and I expect to have it for a long time. 

The SafetyPup XD vest really shines in low-light conditions. If my dog ever ended up off-leash, she’d be quite easy to spot with the neon yellow vest.  I was actually pretty surprised she agreed to wear anything of the sort in the first place, but she barely seemed to notice. The fabric itself sheds rainwater, too. 

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with these products. They’ve held up for a couple of years now, and the price point wasn’t bad at all. It may look a little silly, but I feel a lot better about walking around the neighborhood at night. We might draw a couple of looks, but at least that means people can see us!

keep your dog safe at night

Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

If you enjoyed this post, you should read Tips to Help Your Dog Weather the Cold here.

Do you and your dog enjoy a nighttime stroll?

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