Five ways to make the most of dog walks in the dark
The clocks have gone back and the nights have drawn in, meaning that evening dog walks are often in the dark. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of dog walks in the dark.
1. Stay safe
The most important thing on any walk is the safety of yourself and your dog. Choose your route wisely and don't head anywhere where the lack of visibility could get you into difficulty, such as near rivers or canals. Wear clothes that will help you be seen — you could even get your dog a hi-vis collar — and always keep your mobile phone with you.
2. Still go for a walk
You've had a long day at work, it's cold and damp outside, and you've got comfortable in front of the fire. So who could blame you for being tempted to skip your evening dog walk? However, avoid the temptation. The walk is for your dog and he will not want to miss it! It's one of the highlights of his day and you'll feel better for getting out for the walk yourself. Once his exercise needs have been satisfied, he'll probably come and snuggle up in front of the fire with you — bliss!
3. Make it interactive
Just because it's dark, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy games with your dog while out on your walk. You may not be able to throw a ball far for a game of fetch but there are plenty of other things you can do. Work on your dog's training, interact with a tug toy, or play some scent games. Try using some of his meal and scattering it on a patch of grass so he can sniff it out.
4. Go in a group
Why not ask a friend to come along with you? If your friend has a dog too, you could make it a group walk. You will enjoy the company and feel safer, while if your dog has a canine friend, it will add to his walk.
5. Choose a different route
Walks may be restricted to well-lit routes and streets but don't stick to the same walk every night. Even subtle changes or walking your normal route in a different direction can make it interesting and novel for your dog. Why not chat to friends about where they head out on their evening dog walk and take a short drive out to walk somewhere new? There will be thousands of new sights and smells for your dog to discover.