If you’re a dog owner, you already know how much your pooches love being taken for a walk. This is especially true if you’re away from home most of the day due to work or other circumstances. In those cases, walking your dog at night might be your only option. So, let’s take a look at the many options for keeping you and your furry friends safe on your nighttime walks, including:
- High Visibility Clothing For You
- Reflective Dog Collars
- Reflective Dog Vests
- Reflective Dog Harnesses
- Reflective Dog Leashes
If you and Fido are ready to go get some much-needed exercise – even if it’s already dark out – let’s get started looking at all of the things that can keep your dog (and you!) safe during your nighttime excursions!
High Visibility Clothing For You
As much as they might like to appear to be independent, your dog (or, if you’re lucky, dogs!) depend on you for many things, including food, shelter, health care, and – yes – walks. That means that your primary concern when walking your dog at night should be making sure you yourself are safe and visible to hazards like cars that you may encounter on your evening stroll.
The best way to protect yourself when you’re out and about at night is to wear some kind of reflective and highly visible clothing. So, let’s start with you before we get into doggy clothes like collars and vests.
WildSpark apparel offers great options when it comes to making sure you’re visible even after the sun has set. Reflective running shirts like this one ensure that the most prominent part of your body – your torso – remains highly visible in the dark, especially to any vehicle traffic you may encounter. If you want to go the extra mile, consider wearing a head covering like one of these digicamo rhi-vis hats!
Reflective Dog Collars
Now, let’s get to the pooches. It makes sense to start with the thing that every responsible dog owner puts on their pets: collars. During the day, any old collar that accommodates identifying information will usually do. At night, however, you may want to go the extra mile and get your dog a collar that will help keep him or her visible. Thankfully, reflective collars are a thing and they’re widely available.
Ruffware is a company that believes “Every dog has an inner explorer just waiting to get out there with their human.” And since making sure your adventures with your pets are both fun and safe is critical, they offer a line of reflective collars that can help do just that. The collars come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find one that matches your pooch’s personality.
Another pet-wear company with strong options (and a great name) is if it barks. They specialize in customizable dog collars, so you can cover both your reflectivity and identification bases at once. One smart option is this reflective quick-release collar that makes coming and going from home a literal snap! Glow-in-the-dark collars are another strong option if you want to keep your dog visible even when there’s no light source around to reflect. GLOROPE offers this handsome adjustable collar that requires no batteries and is safe to wash. The best thing is that it gets its glow-in-the-dark charge in one minute of direct sunlight or in 10 seconds or less with the light from a flashlight, meaning you can be ready to glow and go in no time!
If you really want your dog to shine, consider LED as an option. HaloLights sells a product called the Halo Nebula. While it’s not a collar per se, it does complement your dog’s existing one with a ring of bright light that will make her shine. It comes with an integrated USB battery that charges in just 15-20 minutes and will stay illuminated for 4-6 hours on a charge. It offers 14 light modes, including red, green, blue, pink, and multi-colored rainbow, so you can match it with your dog’s personality – or mood.
Reflective Dog Vests
As with humans, the most prominent part of a dog is its torso. If you want the very best visibility for your dog, consider getting him a reflective vest. If you want to make sure your pet truly stands when out for a walk at night – especially if you’re going to be in an area where there are cars – a good-fitting reflective vest is key. In addition, reflective vests are not only suitable for nighttime walks but can also be used during the day, since they are often brightly colored, making your dog stand out even in daylight.
When shopping for a reflective vest for your doggo, the key thing you want to look for – other than reflectivity – is comfort. Being visible but uncomfortable will take much of the joy out of a walk for your pet. Thankfully, reflective vests for dogs come in various sizes and styles to suit different breeds and preferences. Many vests are also adjustable, allowing for a comfortable and secure fit. Additionally, the best reflective vests are made from lightweight and breathable materials, ensuring that your dog remains happy and safe during your walks. Hurtta dog gear and apparel offers several vests that check all of the boxes. The Ranger Vest model in particular gets high marks. Available in sizes for dogs from XXS to XXL, the Ranger sports reflective prints and 3M reflective piping for extra-high visibility. This vest is made with a breathable and flexible knitted fabric and covered with a weatherproof layer. Even better, the part of the vest that your leash attaches to is designed to break away if your dog gets tangled up on something so as to avoid choking.
Another great option is the Spot The Dog reflective vest This vest is made from a lightweight chew-proof polyester material and has two adjustable hook and loop closures to provide a custom fit. Spot The Dog even donates a portion of the proceeds from each sale to a rescue organization, so you can help dogs in need in addition to protecting your own pet.
As with collars, LED versions of safety-conscious dog vests are available. One that really stands out (so to speak) is DC’s LED’s remote-controlled model. It, too, comes with a rechargeable USB battery – and this one can be removed for those times when you don’t really need it. Additionally, the remote-control capability means you can make adjustments to the LED – turning it on and off, if necessary – even if your dog is off-leash.
Reflective Dog Harnesses
Another product that greatly enhances the safety and security of your nighttime dog walks is a reflective dog harness. Reflective harnesses not only improve visibility but can also offer greater control over your dog. They distribute the pressure more evenly across your dog’s body as it pulls on a leash, reducing strain on the neck and minimizing the risk of injury. Harnesses allow you to guide your dog more effectively, ensuring their safety in unfamiliar or potentially hazardous environments – and reflective harnesses add another layer of peace of mind to your walkabouts.
The American Kennel Club gives its highest reflective harness rating to the Domi LED harness, which is not only reflective but features embedded strips of LED lights. It also comes with a rechargeable USB battery and offers two different flashing patterns – fast-flashing and steady glowing – to suit your preferences. The LED lights charge in two hours and will give you eight hours of flashing or three hours of glow. The adjustable straps at the chest and neck means you can always find the perfect fit for your pet.
The ACK’s highest rated non-LED harness is the No-Pull Reflective Adjustable model from COPATCHY. This harness is made with a breathable mesh material to keep your dog cool, and a sponge-filled fabric designed to help even out the pressure that your dog experiences if he tries to pull away. The reflective material is designed to keep your best friend safe even in low-light situations.
Reflective Dog Leashes
Finally, even the most well-trained of canines needs a leash every now and then to ensure safety. If you’re going to be walking in the dark, a reflective dog leash adds one more layer of protection from danger. There are a few things that you want to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a reflective leash. One is the length and width of the leash. You should choose one that’s appropriate for your dog’s size and walking habits. Another is the handle properties. You want to make sure that the leash you choose not only helps you maintain control of your dog, but also ensures that the walk is comfortable for you. Some other features to keep an eye out for are things like shock absorption, extra attachment points for accessories, and the option to add additional handles.
According to Rover.com, the best reflective leash is the Nylon Reflective Padded model from Pawtitas. Available in two sizes to accommodate different breeds, this leash features neoprene padding on the handle for added comfort. The leash’s single piece of rip-stop nylon is folded over and reinforced for strength and durability, and the reflective strip is designed to reflect ambient light in extreme low light conditions for maximum visibility.
As you might have guessed by now, there are LED options available for leashes, as well. Illumiseen makes a variety of LED products for both people and pets, and their USB rechargeable leash is extremely well-reviewed. Available in six different colors, this leash features an easy-to-use metal clip that fastens to your dog’s collar in seconds. You can control the light pattern to accommodate the surrounding conditions, choosing between slow, rapid, and steady glow mode. Available in four- or six-foot lengths, the leash features a battery that can last up to five hours on a one-hour charge. As you can see there are many ways to add reflectivity to help ensure the safety of both you and your dog during your nighttime walks. The use of reflective products – from high visibility clothing for yourself to reflective collars, vests, harnesses, and leashes for your furry friends – can greatly enhance everyone’s visibility and minimize potential hazards. Even within each of those categories, there are a number of options that are sure to meet your style, comfort and budget preferences. You know that your dog is your best friend. Make sure that other people can see that, too – literally!