The 15th – 21st November is Road Safety Week and the biggest road safety event in the UK. Every year, organisations, charities, schools, and communities come together to promote safer journeys in our day to day lives.
During lockdown, our roads were very quiet with less traffic due to thousands of individuals working from home and not travelling in to work. However, as we embark on a new normal, many are heading back out in their cars and using public transport to go to work, resulting in our roads getting busier.
Now that the nights are darker and the roads are busier, many pet organisations such as the PDSA, are raising awareness to ensure you keep your pets safe around dangerous roads.
Here are some of our top tips to ensure both you and your dog are safe on your evening explorations:
Check the information on your collar, tag, microchip
Sadly, accidents can happen. In case they do, make sure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag that has up to date contact details. Check your dog’s microchip information is up to date too – many people move house and forget to change their details.
Cross the road safely:
As the owner of your dog and as an adult, YOU have the responsibility to make sure you are being safe when crossing roads. Your dog will be controlled and disciplined by you, so it is only right that you should take care and follow certain rules when near busy roads. Always wear bright clothing, and try to cross at pedestrian or zebra crossings where drivers expect you to cross rather than dashing out in front of cars in darker, less safe areas.
Keep your dog on a short lead when walking near busy roads, this will give you extra control. If you dog wants to run off the lead and explore, make sure it is well away from roads or busy areas such as in a local field.
Another important thing that many dog owners forget to check or renew. Check your pet insurance is valid in case the worst happens.
Be seen, be safe:
Make sure both you and your dog are wearing bright or reflective clothing and accessories. Yellow and white tend to be highly visible at night-time. Wearing bright or reflective clothing and accessories allows you to be seen by others and lights from cars will reflect what you are wearing.
Know your commands:
Make sure your dog understands simple commands such as ‘stop’, ‘sit’, ‘heel’ and ‘stay’ to keep them safe near busy roads.
Praise well behaved dogs:
If your dogs have been well behaved on their evening walk, praise them with a treat either on their adventure or when they get back home. Walking without pulling on the lead, no barking, not running off and sitting when waiting to cross the road are all examples of good behaviour. Treats such as a snack, cuddle, fuss, or doggy treat always go down well with our four-legged friends!