It's this time of year, when it gets dark so early, that those of us with dogs start thinking about blinky lights for their collars.
But the world of light-up dog products has gotten a lot more sophisticated than that.
These days, in addition to the collar lights, there are collars themselves that light, leashes, and even toys.
Among the best, Unleashed has decided, are those made by Nite Ize.
Karin and her ever-playful Border Collie Dean tried out one of the brand's collars, as well as their glowing ball and flying disc. They were a hit. And having seen the two playing in the park with the ball -- I have to say it's one of the best night toys I've ever seen. People -- not just dogs -- wanted that super-cool ball, with it's disco-like color changes.
Karin and Dean:
The Nite Ize products were definitely designed for durability and hours of play in poor lighting. With our winter dog walking schedule currently in full swing, where most of the walks occur before or after daylight, these products were perfect for keeping Dean safe and busy.
I felt Dean was safer when he wore the “Nite Dawg” orange LED collar on our evening walks. Instead of merely wearing a blinking light, this collar glowed orange, the entire way around his neck -- much easier to see. The collar kept him visible while crossing the busy streets of Baltimore and running around the park. Also, the collar is lightweight. At around $17.50, I’d definitely say this collar is a great buy for anyone who walks or plays with their dog at night.
The “Flashflight dog discuit” ($16) was a lot of fun and the LED light has lasted for over two months of repetitive play each night. The disc is easy to throw and dog-mouth friendly for catching and sometimes biting (especially for a Border Collie with an abnormally long tongue that tends to get bitten during Frisbee games!). The battery housing is also covered by durable rubber so I didn't have to worry about Dean biting through it and getting a mouthful of battery.
The Meteorlight K-9 led dog ball was by far my favorite (as it was Dean’s). After losing countless balls inthe dark, this one was almost impossible to lose! We tried the disco version that appears to glow in all the colors of the rainbow. The ball is also mouth friendly not like other hard plastic lighted balls that we’ve tried. The on/off button is a bit tricky but the LED light has never turned off after long throws and hard bounces. At $12, I would buy a dozen of the Meteorlights to use during the winter!
We also found, and confirmed it online after an adventure with the ball in a stream, that it’s water resistant.
The Verdict: I’d give the NIte Dawg and Meteorlight ball 5 paws. The Flashflight discuit was also fun but due to the price comparison with other discs and Dean’s love of the ball, he knocked the rating down to 3.5 paws.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun