Top tips for walking your dog on miserable cold dark morning dog walks
- Try to walk on lit streets with plenty of houses and people. Make sure someone knows your route.
- Always carry a mobile phone in case of an emergency. However, don’t constantly check to see if you have received any new emails overnight. Make sure that your focus remains on your dog in the dark.
- Make sure you are highly visible – your dog, you or both of you should be wearing high visibility gear or light-coloured clothing to allow others, especially drivers, to see you. Many items are available to buy to improve your dog’s visibility, including reflective harnesses and collars, blinking collars and leash lights.
- Always carry a torch, not only to see where you are walking but also to locate any dog poop.
- Your dog should always have a detailed ID tag attached to his collar, never let him leave home without wearing it, and of course, he should be microchipped. Having some form of pet identification increases the chances of finding him should he be startled and run off. Of course, this factor is important whether you are walking in the dark or during daylight hours.
‘Just as humans, dogs can suffer from SAD. Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, scientists believe that dogs can also suffer symptoms. The reduction in natural daylight causes hormonal changes, putting us all in a bad mood. Your dog may display behavioural changes, become less energetic and not seem as happy as he usually is in the summertime.
Fresh air and daylight are just what your dog needs to improve his mood and lethargy. Take time to exercise your pet, and play ball games to vary his routines. A balanced diet is essential to sustain his immune system during the winter months and avoid overfeeding, as less exercise can bring about weight gain and physical strains.
It’s important that you wear appropriate clothing during the cold winter months; a padded, waterproof jacket, sturdy boots or footwear, a good pair of gloves, and a hat are bare essentials for winter dog walking. Keep moving – if you stand still, you will feel the chill. For more autumn dog walking tips visit our article