Imagine that you are driving home and it’s night-time. You have just spent a fun evening with your friends and you are still smiling to yourself when you think about it. Then, all of a sudden, you notice a person walking his dog by the side of the road – but by the time you see them, they are already right by your vehicle.
You manage to avoid a catastrophe but your heart is racing and you can feel that you are starting to sweat. That was close.
There was nothing you could have done differently, though. You did not see the person or the dog because they were immersed by the darkness. It was not your fault.
But what if it was you walking your dog? Wouldn’t you want the driver to see you well before it was too late? That’s what I’m here to help you out with.
I live in Finland, northern Europe, and while our summers here are full of light our winters are dark and gloomy. Days are short and there is nothing but darkness all around. That is why we have become experts in reflective gear for both our dogs and ourselves.
I will now share my favorite gear with you and you can then decide if they are what you want, too. Just remember, this is about our safety. Our life insurance, really.
The best gear to protect you and your dog in the dark
The first one on my list is a reflective vest. Take a look at the picture above. Those are my German Spitzes and they are both wearing a reflective vest. It is by far the best way to make sure your dog is visible. This way, not only will others see your dog in time, but you see him, too. Imagine if you are walking your dog without a leash. You need to be aware at all times where your dog is walking.
A quick note: this one that you can find on Amazon is great because it’s waterproof so you can put it on your dog when it’s dark and raining, but also because it is short enough so that male dogs (like mine!) can pee while they are wearing it.
The second on my top gear list is a reflective leash. Yes, there are collars and harnesses that are reflective, but while they are good (highly recommended!) German Spitzes have such profuse double coats that a collar especially can hardly be seen among the hairs. This is why a good, reflective leash is an excellent buy.
I personally like a leash that is built for slightly bigger dogs, even though I have German Spitz Mittels. Take a look at this one on Amazon. Do you like it?
However, if you like a lighter leash and especially if you have a Pomeranian or a German Spitz Klein I would recommend getting something like this one.
I have two separate leashes: a regular one for day-time walking and a reflective one for dark nights. That might be a good idea for you, too.
So, now we have made walking safe for your dog, but how about you? What would you need to be seen in the dark?
I’m old enough to remember the eighties. Back in the day we only had small reflectors and really good ones didn’t even exist. Today there is no excuse. There are all kinds of reflective vests for humans, too. I highly recommend wearing a vest because it will definitely make you more visible than a simple small reflector on your hand would.
These days you don’t need to wear those awful-looking vests, either, but you can stay safe and still look good while enjoying outdoors. Take a look at this one, it is waterproof, too, which makes it very practical for dog walkies.
In case you like something more sporty looking, you might check out this one. It has inside pockets, which are always useful while walking a dog (poop bags, keys, etc.)
Do you go walking in an area where there are no streetlamps? Then you need a headlamp without question. In the area where I live the lights go off at 11 o’clock at night and they remain off till 5 o’clock in the morning. If I need to take my dogs out during the off-hours I am always wearing a headlamp. It is the most convenient option and walking remains a pleasant thing to do when you have your hands free.
This one I found on Amazon is great because it is rechargeable and the USB charging cable is included.
The main thing is that you wear some kind of reflectors and you make your dog were them, too. This is not for fun, but for the safety of you both.
There are all kinds of gear available these days, but these are my picks. I hope you found them useful. I have had dogs for 20 years and living in Finland I have learned my lessons about this topic.
There are all kinds of flashing lights for dogs, too, and collars that blink, etc. but I wouldn’t recommend those for a German Spitz. With my picks, I believe you will do much better.
It is not always fun to take a dog out when it’s dark or especially if it is raining, too. These items are there to help you and to make it a little more tolerable, maybe even fun.
Enjoy outdoors and stay safe!