The 'How-to' Dog Blog

Keep Your Dog Safe In The Dark

Whether it’s a long summer evening or a brisk winter walk after work, you and your dog like to spend time outside when it’s dark out.

You want to make sure you and your dog are visible to drivers when you’re out and about, so the following are a couple of safety tips to keep in mind, no matter the season.

Keep your dog close

Last October I was driving home in the dark, and a neighbor’s Australian shepherd darted in front of my car as I turned a corner in the parking lot. The owner was trailing behind on a retractable leash, totally unaware of what almost happened. Thankfully, I was driving slowly and saw the dog in time.

I recommend ditching the retractable leash or at least keeping it locked to a shorter length. A 6-foot leash is a much safer option when walking in the dark so you can keep your dog closer, especially around blind intersections.

Don’t assume drivers will stop in crosswalks

If you’re waiting to cross a street in the dark and a car seems to be yielding, don’t cross unless the driver actually makes eye contact and waves you across.

Use a reflective collar

Unfortunately, we can’t do a whole lot to control drivers if they’re distracted, but we can make ourselves and our pets more visible.

You probably don’t have plans to take your dog along for trick-or-treating, but maybe you’ll need to take him out for a short walk. If you do, a reflective collar will help keep him safe on Halloween or any other evening.

One of the benefits to a reflective product is they don’t need any batteries, so no replacing or recharging is necessary.

dogIDs carries a variety of reflective collars for dogs such as:

There are also reflective leashes available.

Carry a flashlight

When I take my dog for an evening walk, I carry a small flashlight in my pocket, which I can easily switch on to make myself more visible to drivers approaching from any direction. This is especially important if there are no sidewalks or shoulders to walk on.

Use a light-up dog collar

A light-up collar will help your dog remain visible to drivers, pedestrians and even to you if you allow your dog off leash. I especially like light-up collars for dark-colored dogs that are harder to see in the evenings, especially smaller dogs.

Even if you just let your dog outside into your own fenced yard at night, a light-up color will still make it easier to spot him.

The Nite Dawg light-up LED collar available through dogIDs has two modes – the flash mode or the steady glow mode. You can also order the 5-foot, light-up leash.

What are some other ways you keep you and your dog safe in the dark?

About Lindsay Stordahl

Lindsay Stordahl is a blogger for She has a black Lab mix named Ace and two naughty cats named Beamer and Scout. Lindsay owns a pet sitting business called Run That Mutt and also maintains the blog ... Add Lindsay to your Google+ circles at . You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @ThatMutt.