Now that the long nights are upon us here are a few tips to keep you and your pet safe at night.

Always keep your dog on a leash. Even if your dog is perfect off leash you will want to maintain control in case an emergency arises and you need to move your dog quickly.

You and your dog need to be visible. Wear light colored clothing. A reflective safety vest or a headlamp adds extra visibility. For your dog you can try a reflective safety vest as well or a light that attaches to their collar.  You could also try a lighted collar and leash or a reflective collar and leash.

When walking, if possible, stay on the sidewalk of a well-lit road and avoid dark lots or alleyways. If you can’t walk on the sidewalk, walk against traffic so you can see the cars coming at you. Be prepared to move quickly if the cars don’t see you.

Since visibility may be limited at night you need to be able to hear what is going on. Leave the headphones home when walking your dog at night.

Carry your phone, many phones have a flashlight feature and it’s always good to be prepared in case you run into trouble.

If your phone does not have a light you may want to bring a flashlight to help see when cleaning up after your dog.

Be aware of wild animals at night. Raccoons and skunks usually come out after dark. While most animals won’t come after you or your dog, it’s still a good idea to keep your distance. Be especially aware if it is trash night and there a garbage pails on the street. The garbage will attract the animals and they may be concentrating on the garbage making them easier to startle.