With the nights drawing in and winter fast approaching, walking your dog during the hours of daylight will soon become tricky. Therefore, the time has come to start preparing for the colder, soggier and darker walks ahead. To keep safe, it’s important that you and your dog can be seen at all times and you are both kept warm.
There are tons of different products and gadgets on the market, all varying in price, but all effective in helping to keep you safe. So how do you prepare?
1. Be Seen
Making sure you and your dog are visible in the dark is vital. Many of the routes you took during the summer may not be lit by street lights so you may have to adapt your route accordingly and make sure both you and your dog are prepped so you can be seen at all times. It’s also important to keep your dog on a lead at this time of year and only let them off in well lit areas.
LED collars are one of our favourite ways to help keep your dog safe and visible as once they are on they will stay on for the duration of the walk. Simply pop around your dogs neck and away you go. Some you can use in addition to your dogs current collar/harness and some take their place. Here are some of our top picks;
Leuchtie Plus LED Red Dog Collar – £20.00 – £33.00
This has no switches or buckles to fiddle with – a unique sensor in the collar will switch it on – place the collar over your dog’s head before you go out for your walk and you’re good to go.
Illumiseen LED Dog Collar – £14.99
This comes in a variety of colours and sizes and you can change the light between steady mode, rapid flashing or slow flashing. The USB rechargeable battery provides 5 hours of illumination so you won’t be left in the dark in the middle of your walk. It’s also in the sale at the moment – so be quick!
Hunter LED Silicone Luminescent Dog Tube – £10.45
If you’re after something a little cheaper, this is a great alternative and it comes in a variety of colours. It’s worth mentioning the battery life isn’t as long as some of the others and will need recharging after 3 hours.
Flashing Leads & Collars/Harnesses
Flashing leads and harnesses work in a similar way to LED collars. They are super effective in helping you be seen and at distance. Having your light on something that you cannot leave the house without is also a great idea as there’s no chance of forgetting it.
Rosewood Walk-Time Premium Flashing Collar – £5.29
This flashing collar has 3 light modes, which include both static and flashing cycles. They are easy to adjust and they have a D ring for leads.
Dog Walk Flashing Dog Lead Extender – £8.00
This dog lead combines battery-powered lighting with reflective trim – great for making sure your dog is visible.
Attachable lights are a simple and cost effective way to make sure you and your dog are seen, however, they may not be as easy to remember for every walk! If you do choose an attachable light, then why not try leaving it in your jacket, or by the door so there’s less chance of leaving it behind. You could also try safely mounting it to your dogs lead, collar or harness and leaving it there throughout the winter.
Rosewood Silicon Dog Collar Light – £3.49 – £3.99
If you are on a budget then this could be an ideal product – perfect for attaching to your dogs lead, collar or harness. It is water resistant, visible for up to half a mile and includes two exchangeable batteries.
Extendable Dog Lead with LED Detachable Flashlight – £14.99
This extra long dog lead extends up to 8 metres and has a detachable flashlight that is powered by 3 AAA batteries (not included). The light is bright allowing you to see your pooch.
Rogz Roglite Safety Light – £5.75
This illuminated flasher can be clipped or hung onto any collar, lead or harness and will flash continuously in the dark.
If you are looking for an alternative to a light, then there are also reflective products on the market. There are a range of reflective jackets – some more expensive than others.
Dog Walk Reflective High-Vis Padded Dog Coat – £14.00 – £16.00
This reflective high-vis padded coat is ideal if your pooch feels the cold as it has some extra padding as well as the reflective strip to ensure your dog is visible and safe this winter.
Reflective Pet Vest – from £2.49
This lightweight pet vest has a reflective strip on the back and around the edges and is great if you are on a budget. It comes in 5 sizes and has an easy hook-and-loop closure around the stomach and chest.
Reflective accessories can also be effective, especially used alongside another product. You can pick up a reflective product from as little as £1.60.
Hurtta Dazzle Safety Scarf – £14.25
If you have a dog with a long or thick coat, then sometimes reflective collars and/or harnesses do not always have the desired effect. So why not try this reflective ‘shawl’ over their collar or harness, it comes in two sizes and also two colours (yellow and orange).
Dapper Dog – Wolter Round Nylon Reflective City Lead – £12.00
If you’re looking to splurge a little more then check out Dapper Dog – they offer a variety of reflective colour leads for the autumn and winter months, they also come in two sizes.
Dog Walk Light Up Stick Dog Toy – £6.00
This light up stick dog toy has an on/off button at the top of the product to enable the light up function. The toy will then light up on impact or with movement – perfect for those wintery walks.
Ancol Reflective Dog Tag – £1.60
This reflective ID tag is perfect if you’re on a budget. They are available in 2 styles: Bone and Waterdrop.
Torches are great to light your way and are very effective when used alongside another product. As with attachable lights, it’s important not to forget your torch, so it’s a good idea to leave it by the door, or next to the dog lead.
Handheld Torch with Personal Alarm – £7.49
This torch is perfect for those walking at night, it’s lightweight, bright and has an alarm that can be used if required. It also comes with a belt clip, it’s in the sale so be quick and purchase now.
Xtralite Nitesafe LED Torch and Night Light – £16.95
A simple and effective torch that easily slides in and out of it’s own charging base – great to make sure it always has battery. This torch also doubles up as the ideal night light.
2. Keep Warm
With colder days and nights now becoming the norm, it’s important to remember that our dogs get cold too. Some dogs have thick and warm fur, whilst others have very little. Dog coats are a very effective way to help them keep warm whilst out on their walks during the winter – there are a range of coats available from fleece coats to rain coats.
Fleece Dog Coats
Quilted Dog Jacket – £14.99
H&M isn’t for just us humans; they’ve launched a quilted jacket designed for a small dog. It has a fleece lining to keep your pooch warm, a soft faux fur collar, hook-and-loop fastening at the neck and reflective detail underneath to help keep them visible.
Rydale Fleece Dog Coat – £16.99
This coat is soft and warm and is designed and manufactured in Great Britain. The fastenings are adjustable with a velcro hook-and-loop mounted on a thick, secure belt. You can choose from a variety of colours and sizes to make sure your four-legged friend looks the part this winter!
Fetch & Follow Sherpa Dog Fleece – £55.00
If you’re looking to splurge on your beloved pooch then you may wish to take a look at this coat. It’s made using a fluffy Sherpa fleece, it’s lightweight yet extremely hardwearing and water resistant. You have the option to purchase it with or without sleeves and it comes in 4 sizes.
Hurtta Outdoor All in One Dog Suit – from £69.00
Hurtta offer a wide range of outdoor wear for dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages. This all-in-one suit is one of the more expensive products we have included, but this premium item is designed to protect the body and legs with its high performance waterproof material, it is light yet strong and comfortable for your dog to wear.
Dog Raincoat with Hood – £10.99
If you’re after something a little cheaper then check out this ideal raincoat with hood. It also has reflective strips to ensure your pooch can be seen. It comes in blue, red or yellow and in a variety of sizes.
Quick Drying Pet Towels
We think quick drying pet towels are great! They are perfect for helping to get your dog dry as quickly as possible and therefore warm up after a cold, wet walk. Some even wrap around your dog too – we like to think of them as a dog dressing-gown!
Ruff and Tumble Dog Coats – From £26.00
This drying coat will have your dog dry in minutes. It has two layers of absorbent towel so you can say goodbye to wet dog smells and endless rubbing down. Fasten the dog coat around the belly and neck with the easy-to-use velcro. You can choose from fabric or faux leather and a variety of colours – you can even personalise your doggie coat too!
Dog Robes – £18.95
Dog robes have no velcro or straps making them super easy to put on and take off. They also have a made to measure service and a huge variety of colours to choose from!
3. Wash Those Paws Off
When the possibility of ice and snow increases, lots of streets and sidewalks begin to be salted. It’s important to wash your dogs paws off after they have walked on the salt. Running a small bath and letting your dog walk around in the water for a while is an effective way to make sure they are clean.
We wish you a safe and great winter!