The clocks have just gone back an hour, and with them the last of the lighter evenings. The shorter days mean that our pets will often be out and about in the dark. Whether you’re walking the dogs after work or letting the cats out after dinner, chances are it’s going to be that little bit darker outside. We’ve put together a few tips for keeping us and our pets safe and happy after sunset.

Dogs

It’s worth making sure your dog is confident going out at this time of year, and that you are both easily seen. Here are some tips for your winter walks:

  • Carry a good torch as it will help you keep an eye on what your dogs are sniffing (or trying to eat) during a walk. Some dogs can get spooked in the dark so keep them calm by shining a bit of light on the situation!
  • You’ve heard the phrase “Lit up like a Christmas tree”, and that can often be the best way to stay visible with your dog. Clip on flashing collar lights are inexpensive and come in a range of colours! They’ll make your dog more easily seen by drivers and other road users.

It’s surprising how many people risk walking in the dark without any lights or fluorescent clothing. We know it’s not glamorous, but it does keep you and your pets safe!

Cats

We all know that many cats like to go out on the prowl after dark, but some people prefer to keep them in at night during the winter months. So long as your cat is litter trained, he or she should be able to adapt to winter evenings spent in the warm rather than out in the dark and cold.

For cats that do venture outside, it can be worth getting them a reflective collar to help them be seen when they’re out and about. Remember to buy “breakaway” or “safety” collars which are designed to break if they get caught on something.

Small furries

Small furries like rabbits and guinea pigs might need a bit of extra care this time of year too. Hutches should be covered up to reduce drafts and dampness or if you have a garage or shed they may prefer to be moved there during colder weather.

Be safe, be seen this winter (and keep any small ferries warm and dry)!!