Thompson Law Group, P.C.

How to have safe walks with your dog in the fall

Autumn is a season where going outside might start to feel more challenging for dog owners in Pennsylvania. It’s slowly getting colder and you’ll start spending less time in the sun during your evening strolls.

As the season continues to change, you’ll start to encounter different hazards during your walks than you would in the summer. Your pet may no longer have to worry about burning their feet on the concrete, but both of you need to get ready for the cooler nights and potential distracted drivers. Here are some tips that can keep you and your little buddy safe as the leaves start changing colors:

Prepare for colder and rainy days

It’s time to get your coats and sweaters ready for you and your furry friend. Before you head out, check to see how the temperatures will look like around the time you both go outside so you can dress you and your dog appropriately for your stroll.

To keep your dog’s feet warm from the cold ground and stable against the slippery streets during or after a rainstorm, provide their paws with miniature dog booties so they aren’t constantly falling down on the sidewalk. You should start making your pet wear these shoes in the early days of the fall so they can grow accustomed to wearing them by the time you go out on a wet day. Walking a dog that lacks traction could put your life at risk as well.

If it is raining or foggy outside, take precautions before you cross the streets. Make sure you and your canine companion don’t step too close to the edge of the sidewalk before stopping to look both directions. Impatient drivers can have a hard time seeing you under these conditions, and given Pennsylvania’s recent track record on pedestrian fatalities, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Stay visible at night

Residents who walk at night must wear bright and reflective clothing to make it easier for drivers to spot them. Dogs can be difficult to make visible because they are smaller than you. While giving them a similar reflective coat to what you have can help, you may also want to consider a necklace or leash that lights up. It does a better job of alerting drivers that you have a pet walking a couple of feet in front of you.

You should also keep you and your dog on well-lit sidewalks at night. Not only will motorists have a better chance of seeing you, but you can also see if there are any puddles or broken pavement in front of you that you need to avoid.

As you start looking through your closet to find everything you need for a safe and peaceful fall walk, you should also prepare yourself in the event of an emergency. If you were hurt by a reckless motorist during your stroll, contact a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to see what options you have available that can help you recover.

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