It’s now that time of year where if you are busy during the day it can be really tough to get a good dog walk in Surrey during the daylight hours. Many of our dog walks are now taking place around the streets or in parks just before it gets fully dark, but we have found there are many more dangers involved with this, with our dog being close to the road, and difficult to see by other walkers and pedestrians.
We have brought together a few tips below on walking your dog in the dark in Surrey which hopefully will help you get kitted out and find a dog walk in Surrey which you enjoy doing even though it is dark.
Places to walk with your dog in Surrey at night
Of course, you can stick to the local streets around you and resign yourself to on lead walks. However, you might feel that your dog isn’t really getting a good run around or enough exercise if you have to do this. Have you looked at whether any of your local parks are lit at night? Often sports parks have lighting and also other people around which might make you feel a bit safer if you are own your own when walking your dog in Surrey when it is dark.
If you live close to Woking, you could try a night time dog walk at Woking Park. This connects to the leisure centre so there are people walking through early morning and late evening, and it also has lighting, although some corners are still a bit gloomy. There are many friendly dog walkers with dogs who like to play with others, and you will often see a collection of people chatting while their dogs enjoy a good run around together.
Another option is to walk your dog in Guildford around Cardwells Keep, and let your dog have a run on the green in the centre here. Although this isn’t lit, it is surrounded by houses and gets some light from the street lighting. It is also used as a cut through so there is usually quite a few people walking through the park. The park is fenced so you could close the gates and let your dog run off lead, however the gate closest to the main road doesn’t meet the ground so your dog could escape if he wanted to, so be careful of this if your dog doesn’t have a good recall. Also, you cannot rely on other walkers to close the gates behind them, and they will be difficult to see in the dark, so do take care to make sure your dog is safe.
What to take to on your night-time dog walk
If you are walking your dog in Surrey in the dark you need to make sure that others can see your dog so they can avoid tripping over or stepping on him. There are a number of items your dog can wear to make it safer to walk your dog in Surrey at night and we have suggested some items below:
Light up dog collar
Light up dog collars are great for getting your dog noticed, and other walkers really appreciate them as it makes it much easier to see where your dog is. They are also great around the festive period and people find it really cute when dogs are wearing them. There are a few types of collar you can get, ones which are a tube and you can put around your dogs neck as well as your normal collar, and ones which are adjustable and replace your dogs collar. We found that the tube ones didn’t fit very well and would slide over our spaniels head, leaving us able to see the collar but not the dog!! For that reason we prefer the adjustable collars – they are still a bit loose so we use ours as well as her normal collar, but wearing two collars doesn’t bother her and means that she is still well lit at nighttime. Due to all the rainy day walks that we do, we recommend getting a waterproof one and then you don’t need to worry when splashing through any puddles. We went for one in red as we bought it close to Christmas, but there are lots of choices of colours in these dog collars so you can make sure it suits you and your dog.
Light up dog lead
Another option is to get a light up dog lead. This is especially useful for walking your dogs at night in Surrey around dark streets as sometimes people struggle to see your dogs light up collar if they are walking towards you. This will also give them some idea of where your dog is if it suddenly darts in front of them and hopefully will help to avoid your dog tripping anyone up by accident. Again you can find light up leads in many colours, like the green one here, so you can match it to your dog collar and other dog accessories.
Clip-On Dog Collar Light
If you have a really hairy dog then you might find a light up collar just gets lost in all of your dog’s fur. If that is the case, you might find a clip on light a bit better to use. These clip on to your dogs collar, harness or coat, and light up so that you can spot where your dog is when walking your dog in the dark in Surrey. Ones like those here are quite light so suitable even for small dogs, and again come in many different colours. If your dog wears a harness or coat for its walk, we recommend clipping these dog collar lights onto your dogs back for best visibility. Perhaps you could also buy a high visibility jacket for your dog to wear which you can then clip the light onto?
Hi-Vis Reflective Waterproof Dog Coat
Our final recommendation for items that your dog can wear so you can see him when walking your dog at night in Surrey is a reflective high visibility dog coat (or hi-vis for short), like the one here. You can buy these in a number of different varieties to suit your dog, so if they feel the cold you could get a padded one, and if they are usually too hot you can get a thin light one. Some have holes which you can slip the lead through to attach to a collar or harness, however we put our harness over the top of the coat which also helps to keep it in place. The one shown is also waterproof so will help to keep your dog dry during those wet dog walks in Surrey in winter.
Handling your dog on a night walk in Surrey
Of course, as it is dark on your dog walk in Surrey at night, it is harder for you as well as other people to spot your dog. You need to be careful to avoid anyone tripping over your dog, and that he doesn’t get stepped on by accident. This is a good time to teach your dog to walk at your side, and training him not to pull or jerk on the lead when he sees other dogs or something exciting that he would like to explore. There are some good websites giving information on how to do this, such as this one by Battersea Dogs Home. There are also workshops ran by dog trainers in Surrey, such as this one by CK9 Training in Banstead, Surrey.
Try to keep your dog on the side furthest away from the road, and don’t use a lead that is too long where your dog could veer out into the road.
We hope you enjoy your winter dog walks in Surrey. If you have any suggestions on great dog walks in Surrey during dark evenings please do let us know using the comments below.