As a dog owner when the clocks go back managing your day and fitting in walks with your dog can become trickier. You may find that both your morning and evening walks are done in the dark. It is only at the weekends that you get to enjoy a walk-in full daylight.
Walks in the dark can be dangerous too.
Dangers of dog walking in the dark
Dogs don't stop sniffing just because it's dark and as we know a sniff of something interesting often leads to them eating something they shouldn’t!
For example, discarded chocolate wrappers with chocolate still in the pack. I know sounds crazy who drops chocolate right? but it happens. A friend’s dog recently picked up a discarded chocolate bar on a walk and ended up at the vet's. Chewing gum with xylitol (toxic to dogs) and cigarette buts are often discarded where our dogs walk.
If like me, you are in a more rural location you may find less litter but more wildlife.
There are still dangers. (find out about some of the common ones here) Slugs, toads, and other critters (sometimes dead) that your dog can come across can cause instant or long-term problems.
Exercise and the opportunity to sniff are still important activities for your dog and they still need to get out even when the clocks go back and the days are shorter.
So how do you keep them safe?
Well of course there is the trusty torch but there is a downside to carrying one.
Carrying one IS the downside!
Have you tried carrying a torch whilst managing a lead, or in multi-dog households, leads?
Then there is the ‘poo pick up’.
It can be tricky enough with dog lead/s in one hand trying to open a poo bag. Add to that a dog at the end of the lead keen to get on with their walk.
Then comes the actual ‘pick up’ and don't even start to think about the bag tie whilst holding the lead and torch!
Most of us head out with our phones and many have a torch function. But dark nights are often accompanied by a temperature drop. You guessed it, with cold numb fingers it’s easy to drop your phone.
The solution to keeping you and your dog safe.
A hands-free option is clearly the way to go. Check out the 'SkooGo cap'
The classic baseball cap in Beige and Navy is functional, stylish, and practical.
A discreet on/off button in the peak of the cap gives you the light you need when you need it.
Easily spot what your dog is sniffing at or eating! Keep them safe from ingesting anything toxic or poisonous.
Locate your dog’s deposits! This task gets trickier when autumn leaves start falling too.
Then quickly and easily perform the pickup without juggling a torch and lead.
The ‘SkooGo cap' also helps you be seen by other dog owners, and pedestrians making yours and their walks safer.
The cap is a great way to ‘ Light up your walk’ but you should still take every precaution you can to be visible at night keeping you and your dog safe from motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
The Highway Code says; ‘When it is dark, use reflective materials (e.g. armbands, sashes, waistcoats, jackets, footwear), which can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials’
What your dog can wear to stay safe
Of course, there are items that your dog can wear too. If they like a bandana think about adding in some reflective material, go for light colours rather than dark.
Many items of dog outerwear, coats, and raincoats have reflective materials as part of the trim or you can buy reflective tape and add your own.
You can also purchase flashing lights that can be added to collars and harnesses.
The 'SkooGo Cap' can be found in the SkooGo section of our website- click here for more practical stylish products for when you are out and about with your dog.