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6 Important Fall Dog Walking Safety Tips

The days are already getting shorter (can you believe it?!) but that doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t still need to be walked!

Walking your dog in the fall presents all sorts of hazards for both of you. Whether you walk in the morning or evening, it’s now dark. There can be fog, rain, wind, and even hail, which limits sight distances for you as well as traffic. The roads are often slippery with water or even ice and snow.

To make sure you and your dog have fun and safe walks this fall, Follow these safety tips:

#1 – Wear Bright Clothing

Reflective materials, neon colors, and flashing lights are the “must have” fashion accessories for your fall walks. And not just for you, but your dog too!

Check out some of these great choices for your dog’s fall walk fashions:

NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace – this is great because you don’t have to buy a whole new collar and switch your tags for your fall walks. Just slip this necklace over your dog prior to your walk – instant visibility. I tried it out on my long-haired Shelties and it was still visible beneath the fur. Niteize.com 

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Push Pushi Saftey Orange Raincoat. I love these coats because of the see-through, detachable hood! They also come in bright orange and yellow “safety colors” with 3M Scotchlite reflective tape. Made in the USA! PushPushi.com 

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Dog-e-Glow Leash. I have collars made by this company and they have lasted two seasons so far – and I can see them through my sheltie’s long coats. I haven’t tried the leashes, but they are nice and flexible, which I like. DogEGlow.com 

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#2 – Carry a Light

Since visibility will not be as great, make sure you can see where you are going and that others can see you by carrying a light. If your hands are full, trying a headlamp or a leash with a flashlight. (Note: I am not a fan of retractable dog leashes, but the flashlight on this is handy and if you keep your dog at 6’ for safety, it will be fine). Kohls.com

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#3 – Walk in Well Lit Areas

Even if it means you have to drive a bit, it’s safer to walk in your local park, with lighted paths, or down the sidewalk of your town, than down a side road that pitch-black.

Image source: @BillieWard via Flickr
Image source: @BillieWard via Flickr

#4 – Dog Booties

Since the ground may start to get slick with water and even ice, dog booties can help protect your dog’s paws as well as provide traction. Get your dog used to them by having him wear them for short periods of time in the house, and reward him with treats or play time so he associates them with good things.

Image source: BHPetgear.com
Image source: BHPetgear.com

#5 –  Have A Walking Buddy

Walking with someone or in a group is not only more fun, but it’s safer. Especially if you are planning on walking well after dark. See if your neighbors want to come along or meet a friend at a nearby park. They don’t even need a dog! Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan on being back, just in case something happens.

Image source: @DanNguyen via Flickr
Image source: @DanNguyen via Flickr

#6 – Avoid Busy Streets

Rain makes it hard for cars to see you. Rain also makes it hard for cars to stop suddenly. Also, no one wants to be splashed by a speeding car. These are all good reasons to not walk on a busy street when it’s dark and rainy.

Image source: @DavidPrasad via Flickr
Image source: @DavidPrasad via Flickr

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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