Traffic Safety Tips When Walking With Your Dog

For many dog owners throughout the world, the only time to walk the dog is either before or after work.  This means that for a lot of the year they will be walking in dark or nearly dark conditions.  Dog owners often forget that their dog needs to be just as visible as they are. 

You can buy a reflective safety vest and reflective bands for dogs which use Velcro to attach them to the dog’s body.  There are also collars and leads with reflective strips.  So when you put on your reflective gear for your daily dog walk, don’t forget make your dog light up in motorists’ headlights as well.


1. Always keep your dog on a lead, unless you are in a park where dogs are allowed off the lead.

2. Walk on the pavement with your dog on your inside, so he is furthest away from the traffic. 

3. Make sure the length of the dog’s lead is short enough so that he can’t run in the road.

4. If you are crossing a road, keep your dog’s lead short so he is only able to walk by your side.  There have been many incidences where motorists have run over a dog, as they are only concentrating on the person crossing the road and not thinking to look down to see if the runner/walker has a dog with them.  As soon as the runner/walker has crossed, they drive off and hit the dog who is trailing behind.  With the advent of retractable leads, this is unfortunately a common problem.

5. Do not walk with your I-pod playing in your ear.  You need to hear what is going on around you, especially as you have your dog with you.  It is essential that you hear that pit bull barking around the corner, so you can quickly change your route!

6. Do not use a cell phone when walking or running with your dog.  It may be sensible to have one in your pocket in case of an emergency, but don’t use it unless it is necessary.

7. Train your dog.  It is really important that a dog knows who’s boss and is able to walk properly on a lead before you start taking him out on the road.  Your dog needs to know that he can’t decide to run off after a cat or squirrel and that he mustn’t challenge other dogs he meets. 

8. Don’t forget to take the pooper scooper!