Top tips for walking your dog on miserable cold dark morning dog walks
- Try to walk on lit streets where there are 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. There are many items available to buy for improving 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 micro-chipped. Having some form of pet identification increases the chances of finding him should he be startled and runoff. This factor is, of course, important no matter if you are walking in the dark or 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 into 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 during the cold winter months that you wear appropriate clothing; 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