Having Fun and Staying Safe with Your Dog After the Sun Goes Down

Late afternoon visits to the dog park, evening games of fetch in the front yard, nighttime jogs.

Having outdoor fun with your dog isn't limited to daylight hours. But staying safe once the sun goes down requires a little preparation, like outfitting your dog with highly-visible accessories.

Here are a few ways to enjoy time with your dog after the sun sets, along with products we recommend to help keep them safe.

Hit the Dog Park

After a long day cooped up inside, a late afternoon or evening visit to the dog park is a great way to escape the house, stretch the legs and socialize. For you and your dog. Especially in the evenings, you and your pup will be able to mix and mingle with lots of other dog owners and their dogs.

Depending on where you live and the time of year, these mid p.m. visits may occur as or after the sun sets, so being able to spot your off-leash dog is important.

We recommend taking a USB Light-Up Neck Ring along and clipping it on when you get to the dog park. The ring provides 360 degrees of neon brightness for maximum visibility. It's also got three light settings that'll have everyone else at the dog park talking… though we'd advise saving the flashing settings for the walk home.

Go for a Jog/Take a Walk

Hitting the road for a jog or walk after the sun sets, particularly during the dog days of summer when daytime is too hot, is an excellent way to give you and your dog exercise.

But unless your path is off-road, you'll need to ensure drivers can see you and your furry buddy.

We're big fans of reflective collars and leashes. You'll find reflective options with our K9 Explorer, Life is Good, Li'l Pals, Pro and Remington brands. But we especially love the lineup of LazerBrite collars and leashes. They come in lots of fun colors and patterns. And, more importantly, they're constructed of the same 3M reflective material used by safety professionals and can be seen up to 600 feet away.

For the most visibility, pair a reflective collar and leash.

Play a Game of Fetch

A nighttime game of fetch is a great way to expel some of your dog's excess energy before bedtime. This is particularly true if you've got a puppy or a high-energy breed. And, as with all play, it's a wonderful way to spend time bonding with your canine buddy.

But unless you've got a movement-based or porch light in your yard, you might need some help keeping an eye on your dog in the dark.

The USB Light-Up Neck Ring is one option. Another is a blinker light like Coastal Pet's Silicone Blinker or USB Blinker. Both easily attach to your dog's collar (or harness) and, despite their small size, give off lots of light.

Camp Out

For adventure-minded dog owners, a night (or more) camping out under the stars is a great way to spend time bonding with their four-legged bestie.

But if you'll be hitting the campground, you'll want to ensure you can keep an easy eye on your pup. The last thing anybody needs is a lost dog in the middle of a forest.

We recommend a reflective harness, like the K9 Explorer Brights Reflective Front-Connect or Pro Reflective Mesh for after-dark hikes, early morning hunts, or just hanging around the campsite before hitting the sleeping bag.

Just remember, dogs shouldn't sleep in their harnesses, so you'll need to make sure your pup is safely leashed or zipped up inside the tent overnight.