Walking Safely With Your Dog At Night

Posted in Connect on October 23, 2019.

With the time changing at the end of the month and evenings getting darker staying safe while out walking with your dog is very important for you both.

Here are some tips for staying safe and seen with your dog in the dark.

  • Always use a leash preferably reflective. Even if you live or walk in an area with light traffic dogs can get startled by noises and lights at night and can run off.
  • Don’t use Flexi leads. As visibility is reduced it is more likely that your dog can become tangled up in bushes or obstacles and this can cause injury to you or your dog.
  • Dress for the dark. Both you and your dog should wear Hi-Vis vests these are widely available.
  • Light up. Carry a small hand torch or head torch there are even lights you can put on your dog’s collar to help light your way.
  • No headphones. Taking calls or listening to music can be a distraction, Enjoy the time with your dog.
  • Walk against the traffic. So, you can be seen easily.
  • Stay on the footpath. If there aren’t any use grass verges or stay still until traffic has passed.
  • Carry your phone. And make sure it is charged.
  • Use familiar routes. As everything looks different when its dark.
  • Always carry poo bags. Dog fouling is a health hazard and ruins the environment for everyone. Pick up after your dog or face a fine of €150.
  • In case your dog does run off on you while out walking. Make sure it is wearing a collar and ID tag bearing your contact number, this is a legal requirement and you can be fined €100 on the spot for each of these.
  • Proof of ownership. If your dog runs off and is found proof of ownership will be required. It is a legal requirement that all dogs be Licenced and Microchipped in the owner’s name. You can be fined €100 on the spot for having no Dog Licence and up to €1500 for no Microchip. These are your proof of ownership, so make sure your dog is licence and microchipped with the microchip registered on an approved database. All found dogs are scanned for microchips by the Dog Warden, Vets and Animal Rescues to help reunite dogs with their owners but if your dog is not microchipped or registered properly this cannot happen. Get your vet to check your dog’s microchip details are up to date on your next visit.

If your dog goes missing or you find a dog contact the Dog Warden Service at Mayo County Council on 0949024444


or your local Garda Station giving them a description of the dog, where it went missing/found and your contact details.


Mayo County Council promoting responsible dog ownership.

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