Now the clocks have gone back we are all getting used to darker nights coming in earlier.

I always find it a bit of a shock to the system and takes a while to adjust to. It also means that we will be walking our dogs in the dark not just in the morning but in the afternoon/evening now.

I have just put a new set of batteries in my headtorch for the early mornings and late afternoon walks.

With the clock change, its important to look at how we keep ourselves and our dogs safe and also seen when out walking in the dark.

Even in towns where there is street lighting, it is still sometimes difficult to see someone, especially in dark clothing walking their dog or crossing the road.

The worst time is probably around dusk as it gets tricky to see things properly until its completely dark, so with that in mind, lets look at ways we can keep ourselves and our dogs more visual to car drivers, cyclists, lorry drivers and pedestrians.

1/ Use of a head torch is a great idea, not only does it light up the way in front of you, but it gives a bright visual reference for traffic passing by.

2/ Wear a high vis Jacket or tabard. The fluorescent strips will get caught in the headlights, so alerting a driver to your presence. You will need to get a jacket that has strips all around for the best visibility.

3/ Florescent strips are good too as you can put them on an existing coat. If you have children with you while you are walking, make sure that they are really visible for pedestrians, car drivers, bus drivers etc.

Again, reflective jackets are good, or you can stick reflective strips to school bags.

Make sure the children hold your hand by roads. There are also, lots of reflective fun stickers that children can wear on their clothes as well as reflective bands that can fasten quickly and easily or wrists or ankles.

4/ Your dog will need to be visible too, so there are lots of ways you can help them to be seen and safe.

The most obvious would be to walk the in a place that is well lit when it is getting dark.

Make sure their lead/collar and harness are safe and secure.

Keep them on a lead in the dark, so that there is no danger of them running off.

You can get reflective leads and collars now as well as LED collars which are a great help. The LED collars are great for your dog to be seen.

5/ If your dog is comfortable, they can wear a reflective jacket too.

Again, this makes them really visible to pedestrians and traffic.

There are also flashing LED lights you can attach to your dog’s collar or harness.

Its important to remember that sometimes you may think a car has seen that you are about to cross the road, but car drivers can find it difficult to see in dimpsy light or the dark, so always wait until it is safe before crossing.

And finally, as the dark nights will be around for a few months, try giving your dog lots of enrichment activities indoors to keep them busy and help calm them too.

Stay safe and be visible!