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A Walk in the Dark Should Be a “Walk in the Park”

5 STEPS TO SEE AND BE SEEN

As the clocks fall back an hour, it gets dark much earlier, meaning that quite possibly both your morning and evening walks with your canine companion are going to be in the dark. Walking is excellent exercise so you don’t want to cut these walks short, but you do want to be safe. Make sure that you are both clearly visible to others, especially drivers, during these walks. Here are some ideas to help ensure that you and your dog are both safe and highly visible. After all, walking your dog should be an enjoyable experience, not a stressful one.   

  1. Live colourfully – there is nothing more hazardous than wearing all black when going for a walk, but you may be surprised how many people still do it! We’ve all been guilty of grabbing the first jacket we see, throwing it on and heading out the door. Pedestrians do have the right-of-way, but that only matters so long as a car can see you. Wear bright colours so you’re clearly visible.

 

  1. Dress (Fido) for the occasion – one major downfall to an evening walk in the rain is that your dog comes home soaking wet smelling like a wet dog, and nobody wants to go to bed with that! Avoid this smelly mess by dressing your dog for the weather. A colourful rain poncho or jacket becomes multi-purposeful; it keeps dogs warm, dry and visible. Plus, it keeps everyone’s beds a lot drier as well.

 

  1. Switch it up – there are collars and leashes made specifically for nighttime. Swap your regular accessories for ones that have reflective designs or piping. Many are designed to be seen from as far away as 25 meters.

 

  1. Be reflective – if your dog has long hair that covers his or her collar, try sliding a reflective cuff overtop; they are wide and designed to show on any breed of dog.

 

  1. Light up the night – If you don’t want to invest in night-time accessories, nothing beats the tried-and-true method of carrying a flashlight to ensure that you’re seen by everyone.

Living in Canada, it pays to be prepared and always dress for the weather, which can be hard to do since our weather changes constantly. We have long, cool (ok, really cold!) winters, but as long as we dress accordingly, we can still go and play outside. The same is true for our canine companions. They are often forgotten because they ‘have fur coats’ but dogs can still get cold, especially short-haired breeds, and they all get wet. Remember this the next time you’re getting dressed for your walk so both you and your dog are warm, dry, and clearly visible.

Kathryn Anderson is a health enthusiast, fitness instructor, avid traveller and animal-lover who loves inspiring others to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Find her online at http://coffeeandmascara.org.