Here’s how to be safe when you’re pounding the pavement with your dog at night.
There are many people who’d rather jog at night with their dog than in the morning or during the day. They find that there’s not as much traffic on the roads or sidewalks. In the summer, the temperatures cool down, which means it’s easier to breathe. And perhaps the most compelling reason of all for jogging in the evening is that it lets both you and your dog blow off some steam after a tough day at the office.
But during the fall and winter seasons, the shorter days mean it gets darker sooner; there’s not as much daylight for your morning or evening jog with your dog. But that doesn’t mean you should slack off for a couple of months. You just need to take a few extra precautions.
Same Old Routes
It’s good to stick to a routine, especially when it comes to jogging with your dog. Stick to routes you know because you’ll be less likely to bump into objects concealed by the darkness. And if you’re running slow, your family will know where you are or where to look for you.
Time to Reflect
Black may go with everything, but it’s also camouflaged by the darkness. If you’re planning on running with a dog at night, be sure to wear clothing that can be seen in the dark, and attach illuminated strips to your dog’s collar. It may not be the style you’re into, but we’re guessing you’d rather be safe. Remember: the more visible you and your dog are, the safer you’ll be. There are plenty of dog accessories available that are perfect for running at night, like reflective collars, leashes and vests.
Awareness of Surroundings
Keep on your toes and be aware of everything around you. You can see that car coming your way, but that doesn’t mean the driver can see you. Keep alert at intersections, stop signs and driveways, and never assume that a car will stop for the two of you (even though you have the right of way). As well, keep your head up so you can see obstacles that are coming your way, whether they are cracks in the sidewalk, uneven ground or other people and animals out for a stroll.
Going Against the Flow
If there’s no sidewalk for you and your pooch and you have to run on the road, always run against traffic. It may also help to wear a wide-brimmed hat (like a ball cap) to protect your eyes from oncoming lights. Keep your dog on a shorter leash, but make sure it’s not short enough for you to trip over.
Turn the Music Off
A soundtrack may make the jog go quicker, but turn off the music and leave the ear buds at home. Not only does it distract you from hidden dangers and traffic, it’s rude to your jogging buddy. This is your dog’s time to have you all to himself. Keep up a positive flow of chatter, encourage your dog and let him know that you like this one-on-one time to catch up.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.