Some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to walk their dog in daylight. I want to let my dog have freedom to run around the park, but how can you see the little blighter in the dark? After a trying a few different flashing things, I have found the best light up dog collar that is also reflective.
The problem of the disappearing dog in the dark
I am not afraid of the dark, but the unexpected tree branch in the face or hole in the grass can be somewhat annoying. You get to hear some colourful language from me when that happens. The problem I find about the dark is having to take the dog for a walk.
We like to give our dog the freedom to explore, sniff, and run about in a safe environment where he cannot get to a road. He isn’t one for having any road sense. There are some great country parks and country walks where I live, but the woods tend not to have street lights for some reason. Something to do with it being the country and the cost of lighting up nature at night isn’t the done thing. The main thing with the countryside nearby is that it is away from roads.
Once you let your dog go free at night, they tend to magically disappear in the dark. I have learned to discern the slightly different grey speckled pattern that moves in the dark and listen for the jangling of his collar, but it is far better to be able to tell where the little blighter is without having to call him all the time or shine my LED Lenser P7 pocket torch that will pick him out at up to 200m.
Flashing LED dog tags for dog collars
I found that the high power pocket torch is great at finding him, but then wrecks your night vision for a while. To be kinder to my eyes, I bought a little flashing LED dog tag that clips onto the dog collar. These look really cool when they light up at night in the dark. It flashes red white and blue. However, the battery life was poor. The three button batteries it needed would last only three nights. Not good. Time to look for something else.
Reflective dog collars
Reflective dog collars are only good for seeing your dog when you shine a light directly onto it. If your dog is facing you or running away from you, your torch will not shine on the reflective dog collar. So, reflective dog collars were out for walking him at night. They are useful when walking him on the lead near roads though. Cars can easily see you and your dog when you are crossing the road.
Light Up Flashing Dog Collars
The best collar for a dog to wear at night is one that is reflective and also lights up. I found the best collar that everyone recommends is the Super Bright USB Rechargeable LED Dog Safety Collar - Great Visibility & Improved Safety - 4 Colours, 3 Sizes (Blue, Medium) that has a long strip that runs the length of the dog collar. Underneath the strip there is a reflective strip that reflects torches and car headlamps in the dark. When you turn the light up dog collar on, it can be set to shine a steady bright blue, flash slowly, or flash quickly. You can see the collar from hundreds of metres away in the dark. I can track my dog when he is haring around the park at night chasing the scent of foxes.
This Led dog collar works by shining the blue light down the length of the strip that runs the length of the flashing dog collar. It used to have one big button battery that lasts for months. I put in a new battery each Autumn, and it lasts all the way through Winter as well. These are now available as USB rechargeable light up dog collars.
Where to buy a Light up dog collar
You can no longer get the button battery Firefly dog collar, but it has been upgraded and replaced with the Super Bright Flashing dog collar from Amazon in various colours for only £9.95. The construction is the same as mine, which has lasted for over six years now and is still used every night. The collar can be used to attach the dog lead to, but because I am constantly taking the collar off after use, I wouldn’t trust the clip if my dog decided to pull on the lead. So, I put the collar on as well as his normal one.
You will be for ever grateful the moment you put this light up dog collar onto your dog. No more losing sit of your dog when you let them off the leash in the dark. I can’t guarantee that it will improve recall, but at least you will be able to see where they are running off to!
A lot of my nocturnal dog walking friends also get the Animal Chuckit! Max Glow Ball, Large, 7.3 cm for their dogs. This glow in the dark ball for dogs comes in three sizes and means no more searching around in the dark for lost tennis balls.
If you want to find some great ways to have fun outdoors with your dog, read how to make walking your dog extra fun for you.