Walking your dog at night, while great, provides a host of problems. First off, lighting may not be that good but that largely depends on where you live. The change of the seasons also brings something of its own: chillier nights. Then there’s also the problem of finding your dog’s poop in dim conditions. However, deterrents shouldn’t stop you from taking your pooch out for a walk at night, especially if that’s the only free time you have. Instead, here are some things you can do:
Make sure you and your dog are visible
Anyone who exercises when the days turn dark earlier can tell you that wearing clothing that makes you visible to drivers, cyclists and even your fellow walkers is important. The same thing should be applied to your dog, most especially if their color is one that’s difficult to see at night. No, this doesn’t mean you should dress up your dog in bright, flashy colors (although there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this).
If you’re not the type who likes to dress up your four-legged friend, then you can opt for accessories. A reflective collar or a reflective dog tag is a good idea but there are more effective choices like a nylon LED dog harness or a glowing Shih Tzu leash. Yes, they will attract attention, but isn’t that entirely the point?
Ensure that your dog is weather proof
Weather proofing your best friend mostly applies to when the sun sets early and the night becomes cooler. While a Shih Tzu is blessed to sport a double coat, you shouldn’t rely on this completely to keep them warm and comfortable. Keep in mind that there are other areas of your dog’s body that need protection too.
The paw of your dog is a very good example of what you need to keep protected. Shih Tzus have long top coats and you can make sure it’s trimmed so it doesn’t touch the ground. This allows you to save time on making sure they are dry after a romp in the snow. You can also keep fur away from your dog’s pads so they won’t walk with snow that has frozen on their feet.
While you can put on booties on your dog for winter walks, not every pooch responds well to them. There’s an alternative in applying wax to their paws and if that’s not available, organic cooking oil will do.
Beware of night creatures
Some animals prefer coming out at night and that can be a distraction for your pooch. It’s even more annoying when they can sense something there but can’t see it. The good thing is this problem can be solved by sticking to well-lit paths or paths you know (it’s best to save the exploration for sunny days). You can bring a whistle along with you as well to ward off potential threats.
There may be lots of disadvantages to walking your furry friend at night, but those shouldn’t stop you from doing so. With the tips presented here, you have an idea of what you can do to make sure night walks go smoothly.