What can best help against autumn and winter depression? For many dog owners, the answer is clear: long, extensive walks with their dog. This is not even a purely “subjective” feeling: Because scientists have found that a lot of exercise in the fresh air actually works like a natural mood enhancer.
In addition, the walks with the dog – despite wind and weather – increase the immune system. And this applies equally to dogs and dog owners. Going for a walk in autumn and winter is therefore a “win-win-win-win situation””. Particularly practical: While non-dog owners have to drag themselves to the gym to achieve their medically recommended minimum movement, dog owners practically “tear” off the kilometers – fun with the dog instead of prescribed fitness frustration in the “Muckibude”.
But the dark season also has clear disadvantages. On the one hand, dog owners should place special emphasis on protein-rich dog food due to the risk of illness associated with the lower temperatures. On the other hand, you should take into account that ticks are still in season in autumn and early winter. In addition, significantly more dogs are hit by cars during this time, which is mainly due to the poor visibility during the dark season.
Signal and light colors for the dog in autumn and winter
Of course, dogs with a dark fur are particularly at risk. But even dogs with very light fur are only noticed by drivers much later than in spring and summer due to the darkness and the weather. If one then takes into account the longer braking distance that the cars have on the roads covered with leaves during the cold, wet autumn days, it is not surprising that in the dark season car accidents involving dogs reach new record values every year.
There is now a real industry around the better visibility of the dog. Countless accessories are available from specialist retailers, using either reflectors or illuminants – or a combination of both. Many dog owners use luminous or flashing collars for practical reasons. For example with LED technology. Since hardly a dog leaves the house without a collar anyway, the additional effort is almost zero. Luminous collars are disadvantageous for breeds that have a longer coat. Often, the collar in long-haired dogs literally disappears into the fur and loses its luminosity.
Alternatively, there is of course also complete LED tableware, in which the leash also lights up. This way, dogs and dog owners can be seen from afar – of course only when the dog is actually on a leash. Many dog owners also equip their dogs with a so-called “flasher”, a pendant for the dog collar that either flashes or lights up. Some dog owners also swear by headlamps, but not all dogs like to wear them. The best thing is to try out a borrowed headlamp to see if your dog likes it at all.
If you want to be on the safe side, get a reflective dog coat or a reflective dog vest for your dog, which provides a much better visibility due to the large area. Particularly practical: Many dog coats are not only very light, but also windproof and waterproof, which is another good argument in the wet and cold season.
Last but not least, dog owners should also think of themselves. Even if fashionable dark tones are the order of the day, dog owners should at least wear a light hat or a light scarf in order to be seen better. It is even better, dog owners take their dog as a role model and also wear one or two reflectors. After all, safety comes first, especially in autumn and winter.