Although walking your dog at night can seem like a hassle, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
Nighttime walks come with many benefits, from improved digestion to better sleep and mental health. For both you and your dog.
So if you’re contemplating taking your dog out at night and need a bit more convincing, let these benefits of walking your pooch at night speak for themselves.
Many new dog owners are unaware of the benefits of walking their puppies at night. Late-night walks can help puppies get used to going outside to pee and can help them avoid having accidents in the house.
If you have a puppy, be sure to take it for a walk late at night to have it relieve itself and work off some excess energy. To further up your chances of a pee-free night, make sure to take your puppy’s bowl away 2 hours before sleep.
Reduced risk of bladder infection
Every pet owner has heard and feared bladder infections befalling their furry friend.
When a dog doesn’t get the chance to relieve itself before bed, the urine sits in its bladder through the night which might cause an infection. Regular walks later in the evening can prevent this from happening, allowing you and your pup to peacefully sleep through the night without stress.
Pent-up energy release
“Hyperactive” is a pretty common descriptor for dogs that brim with unspent energy. They tend to be inattentive, poorly respond to training, and overall make their owner’s life a bit too exciting.
There are many causes that can lead to hyperactivity in dogs and just as many ways for dog owners to get a handle on it. But what it all comes down to is that your dog’s energy needs to be properly spent before the pup can calm down.
You can do this by going beyond morning walks and starting taking your pup out at night. Regular exercise before bed can help dogs work off this excess energy, preventing them from becoming restless and disruptive during the night.
Fewer triggers (with a caveat)
If you’re the proud owner of a high-strung dog, you know that walks can often be more stressful than relaxing. This is especially true for combative dogs who’d like nothing more than to show the passing car or the toy terrier on the other side of the street who’s the boss.
Fortunately, there is one time of day when the world is usually calm and quiet: night. With fewer people, cars, and other dogs out and about, your temperamental dog can have a much calmer walk.
Fair warning, some dogs have a natural fear of the dark due to their lack of vision. Nighttime is when all the strange and spooky noises come out, which makes it hard for them to tell what’s friend or foe.
If your dog displays signs of anxiety during nighttime walks there are a few things you can do:
- stay in well-lit areas
- bring treats or use commands to distract your dog if it gets spooked
- bring a flashlight to shine light at the stressors and triggers in the distance
- check your dog’s eyesight to make sure he sees well at night
- get yourself and your dog reflective gear or, at least, a reflective leash to stay safe
Training with fewer “enemies” around
If your dog is overly aggressive toward other dogs, you can take a number of steps to ease this behavior.
However, you’ll need a quiet place for both you and your dog to get into this routine. A nighttime walk can provide you with the privacy you need as well as allow you to train your dog with fewer triggers, aka other dogs, around.
Once you’re on the same page with your dog, you can start walking your dog during the daytime more confident in how to handle your canine companion in confrontational situations.
Better during hot seasons
It’s important to be mindful of the dangers that hot weather can pose to your dog. Pavement can easily reach dangerously high temperatures during summer, which can burn your dog’s paws.
Additionally, long-haired or brachycephalic breeds can be at the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke due to hot temperatures and the latter’s inability to pant efficiently.
So during summer, nighttime is your best friend – you can avoid walking on hot pavement and let your dog breathe easily. Spending time on long walks at night may even feel safer for you and your dog since the sun stays up longer.
Better & faster sleep
Apart from being a great daily exercise, spending some walking time with your dog at night can also help both of you sleep better at night.
It’s true! Sleep is induced when your body temperature starts dropping after a moderate exercise. So you and your dog can fall asleep faster after a nice dog walking session.
Plus, the fresh air and relaxation of being outdoors can help to ease any stress or anxiety that might be keeping you up at night. So next time you can’t seem to drift off to sleep, grab a leash and go for a peaceful stroll under the moonlight.
No time constraints
Want to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and type-2 diabetes? According to experts, all you need to do is walk for 30 minutes a day.
And with obesity evident in 50% of dogs in the USA, you can walk your dog at night to take care of both your canine and human health.
Why at night, you ask? Since you’re not dealing with the hustle and bustle of daytime obligations and errands, you can walk for as long as you want with your exercise partner without having to worry about fitting it into your day. Reap the health benefits of regular exercise and the social benefits of bonding with your dog without any pressure of time.
Establishing evening routine
Let’s face it, we all need our beauty sleep. But when your pooch is up all night prowling around the house, it can be tough to get a full eight hours.
That’s why walking your dog at night can be such a helpful addition to your dog’s daily routine. Not only does it allow them to relieve themselves before bed, but it also helps to burn off any extra energy that might keep them up all night.
And of course, spending some quality time with their dog owner is always a good way to wind down before bed.
So if you’re looking for a way to help your dog (and yourself) get a good night’s sleep, consider taking them for a walk before you turn in for the night.
Let’s face it, we all know that feeling of bloating and discomfort after a big meal. And just like humans, many dogs can also suffer from digestive issues. But luckily, there’s an easy solution: a nighttime walk.
Walking helps to stimulate the muscles and get the digestive tract moving things along. That is, once again, also true for humans – many owners have found that daily walks attribute to better digestion and weight loss.
Extra dog-walking tips for nighttime
If you’re still apprehensive about walking your dog at night, follow these tips when it’s time to walk.
Increase your visibility
Walking your dog at night can be a peaceful and enjoyable experience – as long as you take the necessary precautions.
To increase your visibility, make sure to wear reflective gear. You may look like a glam disco ball, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Your dog should also be outfitted with reflective gear so that you can keep an eye on them in the dark.
In addition to reflective gear (and plastic bags), consider carrying a flashlight. Not only will it help you navigate through dark areas, but it can also be used to calm your dog if they get spooked by smells or noises coming from harmless wildlife.
Investigate your route
Walking your dog at night can be a bit daunting. But don’t worry, there are ways to make nighttime walks less intimidating.
First, take a solo stroll to scope out the area. Pay attention to the amount of traffic, other dog walkers, and anything that doesn’t sit right with you. If the sidewalk is too narrow or there’s too much street traffic for your comfort, find another route.
You should also be aware of any potential hazards like wildlife or things that might trigger your dog.
Once you’ve done a recon mission, you’ll be better prepared to hit the pavement with your pup after dark.
First, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to the people and cars around you, try to stick to well-lit areas, and don’t let your dog rush too much ahead of you.
Second, consider bringing along a friend. Not only will you have someone to talk to, but you’ll also have an extra set of eyes to watch out for potential hazards. If you can’t, contact someone before going for the walk so they know where you are.
Finally, invest in some self-defense gadgets if you feel so inclined. Pepper spray, a personal alarm, or even a basic flashlight can help you deter attackers and feel make you feel safer.
Forego retractable leashes
To help keep your dog safe, avoid using retractable leashes or keep the leash locked at all times. This will help you to better control your dog’s movements and prevent them from running into danger.
In addition, it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on your dog when they are outdoors, especially if they have a tendency to wander off. By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure that your furry friend enjoys a safe and happy life.