Many pet owners enjoy outdoor adventures with their furry companions. For how exciting it is to explore new paths and areas, get some fresh air, and socialize with people around the neighborhood, it’s no wonder that daily walks outdoors are both dogs’ and dog parents’ favorite time of the day.
But going outdoors with your dog also exposes them to different risks. For one, you need to be mindful of each car, bike rider, and pedestrian that passes you—and they need to be able to see you and your dog if the two of you want to avoid accidents. Venturing outdoors with your dog at night also means that there’s an added risk of losing them or getting into an unfortunate situation because your dog is less visible in the dark. This applies even to dogs with light-colored coats.
That said, ensuring your dog’s safety in these situations is paramount. No matter where you’re taking your dog and no matter what time of day it is, you’ll need to keep them safe by making them easy to spot when you’re outdoors. Below are a few tips for making sure that your dog is never out of your line of sight when it’s time for their daily walk or other outdoor excursion:
Choose the Right Gear for Enhanced Visibility
One of the quickest ways to instantly maximize your dog’s visibility is to equip them with high-visibility pet gear. Consider investing in brightly colored martingale collars, harnesses, and leashes, for example, as these vivid hues will easily catch the eye and make your dog stand out. You should also consider using pet gear that glows in the dark to enhance your dog’s visibility at night.
You’ll also want to look for pet items that incorporate reflective materials, such as dog-specific safety vests or jackets with reflective strips. These types of apparel catch the light of passing vehicles, which will ensure that your dog remains visible even in low-light conditions.
During the colder months, on the other hand, you can make your dog wear reflective booties or paw pads. On top of adding an extra element of visibility, they’ll protect your dog’s paws from the cold, snow, and sharp objects on the ground.
Attach Distinguishable Accessories on Your Dog’s Collar or Harness
Aside from making your pet wear colorful and reflective pet gear, you can also use various attachable accessories that are designed specifically to enhance your dog’s visibility when outdoors. For instance, attachable beacons and clip-on lights can be easily affixed to your dog’s collar or harness. These will also provide an additional source of illumination during dawn or dusk walks.
Create Contrast with Your Dog’s Coat
Does your dog have a dark or camouflaged coat? You can make them easier to spot by creating a contrast between their coat and what else they have on them. Dress them in brightly colored dog accessories, such as vests or bandanas, which will provide a noticeable pop of color against their fur.
Utilize Identification Tags and Accessories
While they may not make your pet more visible from a distance, identification tags can make your dog easier to distinguish from others upon a closer look. They’ll play a crucial role in keeping your dog safe, especially if they happen to wander off or become separated from you.
That said, ensure that your dog’s tags display accurate contact information. For added security, consider using GPS trackers or smart collars that provide real-time location updates. You should also consider putting visible identification on harnesses or vests, which can help others quickly identify your dog and contact you in case of an emergency.
Be Aware of Your Environment
Aside from preparing your dog for their outdoor adventure, you yourself should also be mindful of the environment you’re exploring. For example, if you plan to take your dog out for a walk in an urban area, plan your routes carefully. Opt for well-lit areas and avoid roads with heavy traffic to reduce the risk of sudden and uncontrollable accidents.
When walking through forest trails and wooded areas, on the other hand, make sure to survey the area first and take note of the terrain. Remember that your dog may be harder to spot in the middle of a thicket or on a sandy or rocky path that’s similar to their coat color. Choose the easiest, most visible, and most well-marked trails when you’re with your dog so that it won’t be hard to keep an eye on them—and so that you won’t risk getting lost yourself.
Again, safety should always be a top priority when embarking on outdoor adventures with your beloved pooch. Consider these tips to enhance your dog’s visibility during walks and outings, and make sure that you’re always alert and have presence of mind when you’re in your dog’s company. Your attention to their visibility and safety is what will guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you.