6. Make sure your dog is on a leash at all times—especially in the snow.
Animals get lost more often during the winter, for several reasons. Snow on the ground can be disorienting to dogs if they’re not accustomed to it. Snowfall can diminish a dog’s senses and visual cues, which makes it tougher for a dog to find his way home.
Road safety is especially important in winter. If your dog is walking on the road in bad weather, inclement weather, or even just at night, drivers will have a harder time seeing him.
“Your animals should be well-confined or on a leash at all times,” Verdino says. “If you’re walking your dog at night, I recommend a minimum of some kind of reflective gear.”
Luckily, there’s a lot of reflective gear for dogs on the market to help keep your dog visible—and it’s smart for your safety. Look for reflective collars, coats, and leashes, which can help locate your dog even if he’s running around your own (hopefully fenced-in) yard.
The fiber-optic NiteyLeash 5’ leash is illuminated from end to end, and has a blinking or steady light mode that can be seen a quarter-mile away in the dark ($24.99; NiteyLeash.com). (While using this light-up leash out and about, I felt safer on our walks and got quite a few “cool leash” comments.)
Furthermore, consider a reflective or lighted jacket to keep your dog warm and visible at the same time. The Neon Lime Spot-Lite Spotted Jacket from Healers Pet Care will make sure your pooch shines bright in car headlights when you turn on the battery pack ($43; Dogly.com). You can get the DogBrite light-up dog leash—it’s visible for up to 1,000′ ($24.99; Dogly.com). You could also wrap a Nite Dawg LED Collar cover that straps on over your dog’s collar ($12.99; Iheartdogs.com).Back to top