6 Tips for Summer Dog Walks in Columbus, Ohio

A dog resting on the grass beside a water bowl.

Dogs love the summer weather. It allows them to spend more time outdoors, bask in the sunshine, and explore new sights and smells. The warmer weather also provides opportunities for swimming and other water activities, which many dogs enjoy. Additionally, summer is a wonderful time to enjoy lots of dog walking!

Here’s our top 5 safety tips for summer dog walking in Columbus, Ohio.

1. Time Your Walks Appropriately

Timing your walks appropriately is crucial for keeping your dog safe and comfortable during summer weather. If you take your dog out for a walk during the hottest parts of the day (typically between 10 am and 4 pm), they are at risk of overheating, dehydration, and heatstroke. This is especially true for dogs with thick fur or short snouts, such as Bulldogs or Pugs, as they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion.

To prevent this, try to plan your walks for early morning or late evening, when the temperature is cooler. Not only will this keep your dog cooler, but it will also reduce the risk of hot pavement burning their paws. If you must walk during the day, stick to shaded or grassy areas and avoid direct sunlight. Many of our dog walkers in Columbus, Ohio are scheduled for afternoon/midday walks. So, we’re always seeking shady and grassy areas to walk in!

You might also consider checking the pavement before setting out on walks. Especially if it’s black asphalt, heat can easily absorb into paved surfaces and create a hazard for your dog’s paws. Place your hand on the pavement for 10 seconds – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Walk on grass or shaded paths instead.

In addition to timing your walks appropriately, it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior during walks. Signs of heat exhaustion in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, find a shaded area and offer your dog water immediately. If the symptoms persist, contact a veterinarian for further advice. By taking these necessary precautions, you can help ensure that your dog stays safe and comfortable during summer walks.

2. Protect Your Dog from the Sun

Protecting your dog from the sun is an important aspect of summer safety. Dogs with short or light-colored hair, thin fur, or pink skin are particularly vulnerable to sunburn. When taking your dog for a walk, it’s important to protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Using a dog-friendly sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 can help prevent sunburn on areas with less hair, such as their nose and ears. Make sure to apply the sunscreen before heading outside and reapply it every few hours or after your dog has been in the water.

NOTE: Our qualified dog walkers in Columbus, Ohio always consult with pet parents first before using any sunscreen on pups they’re walking.

In addition to sunscreen, a cooling vest or bandana can help regulate your dog’s body temperature during walks. These products work by absorbing water and then slowly releasing it, which can help keep your dog cool and comfortable. You can also use a damp towel or cooling pad for your dog to lie on during breaks or after the walk.

It’s important to remember that dogs can overheat quickly, so it’s important to monitor their behavior and take appropriate precautions. Signs of overheating in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. If your dog shows any of these signs, stop the walk immediately, move them to a cool and shady area, and give them water to drink. If their symptoms persist, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

3. Be Mindful of Breeds, Sizes, and Individual Temperaments

It’s worth noting that comfortability on summer weather walks can also be specific to the breed, size, and groom of your pup.

Some breeds and sizes are more susceptible to heat stroke than others. For example, short-nosed breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boxers have a harder time regulating their body temperature and are more likely to overheat. Overweight or elderly dogs are also at higher risk for heat stroke.

It’s important to take extra precautions for these dogs when walking in the heat. Keep walks shorter and avoid the hottest parts of the day. A good rule of thumb is to keep walks under 20 minutes for short-nosed breeds or overweight/elderly dogs. It’s also important to bring plenty of water and take frequent breaks in shaded areas.

On the other hand, larger breeds with thicker coats like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes may actually enjoy cooler weather more and may be more comfortable during walks in the early morning or late evening. However, it’s still important to monitor them for signs of overheating and to take necessary precautions.

Overall, understanding your dog’s breed and individual needs is key to keeping them safe and comfortable during hot weather walks. Be mindful of signs of discomfort and limitations, and adjust your walk accordingly. Using a combination of breed, size, and temperament can be a very reliable way to determine how comfortable your dog is on summer walks.

4. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for both you and your fur baby during hot weather walks. Dogs can easily become dehydrated, which can lead to serious health issues such as heat stroke. It’s essential to bring enough water for both you and your dog and offer it frequently, especially during longer walks.

Portable water bowls are a great option for walks, and you can find many that are collapsible and easy to carry. You can also invest in a water bottle with a built-in bowl or a hydration pack designed specifically for dogs. Keep in mind that dogs tend to drink more water after exercising, so make sure to provide enough water to meet their needs.

It’s important to be aware of the signs of dehydration in dogs, including panting, lethargy, dry gums, and sunken eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek shade or air conditioning immediately and offer water. If your dog doesn’t drink water or seems to be getting worse, contact your veterinarian right away.

5. Watch for Signs of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious condition that can occur when a dog’s body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and collapse. If you notice any of these symptoms, move your dog to a shaded or air-conditioned area immediately and provide water. Seek veterinary attention if the symptoms persist or worsen.

You can also act quickly yourself if you notice signs of overheating or heat stroke in your dog. Here’s a step-by-step protocol to follow:

  1. Move your dog to a cool area: If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, move them to a cooler area immediately. Get them out of direct sunlight and into a shaded or air-conditioned space.
  2. Provide water: Offer your dog water to drink. It’s important to make sure they are drinking, but do not force them to drink as it can cause further health issues.
  3. Cool them down: Use cool water to wet down your dog’s fur, especially around their neck, underbelly, and between their hind legs. You can also use cool, damp towels on their body. Do not use ice water or ice as it can cause the blood vessels to constrict and prevent proper cooling.
  4. Monitor their condition: Continue to monitor your dog’s condition and behavior closely. Look for any improvement in their symptoms, such as reduced panting or increased energy.
  5. Seek veterinary attention: If your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Heat stroke can cause serious health complications such as organ failure, seizures, and even death if left untreated.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to overheating and heat stroke. By following the tips outlined in this blog article and being mindful of your dog’s individual needs and limitations, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for both you and your fur kid.

6. Be Mindful of Extra Foot Traffic

During the summer months, there tends to be more foot traffic in parks, on sidewalks, and other popular outdoor areas. This means there are more dogs and people out and about, which can increase the chances of accidents or confrontations. To keep your pup safe during walks, it’s important to take extra precautions.

Firstly, make sure your dog is always on a leash when in public areas. Even the most well-behaved dog can become distracted or agitated and wander off or cause trouble, which could lead to injury or damage. Additionally, be sure to carry a whistle or other deterrent such as mace or pepper spray in case you need to defend yourself or your dog from an aggressive animal.

It’s also a good idea to ensure your dog has proper identification, such as an ID tag on their collar or microchip, in case they do get loose. This will help ensure that they are returned to you safely.

Summer Dog Walking Checklist
Feel free to download and save for future reference!

Checklist: Essential Items for Summer Dog Walks in Columbus, Ohio

To ensure the safety and well-being of your dog during summer walks, make sure to bring the following items with you:

  • A portable water bottle and bowl. You’ll need plenty of water for both you and your dog.
  • Dog-friendly sunscreen to protect your pup’s nose, ears, and other areas with less hair from harmful UV rays.
  • A cooling vest or bandana to help regulate your dog’s body temperature.
  • Poop bags to clean up after your dog.
  • A leash to keep your dog under control and prevent them from running off.
  • A whistle or mace for self-defense, in case of any emergencies.
  • Your dog’s ID tag, just in case they get loose and need to be returned to you.

You might also consider purchasing a dog walking fanny pack to help you easily carry the items listed above!

Keep Your Pup Safe and Happy on Summer Walks!

By following these top 6 safety tips for summer dog walks in Columbus, Ohio, and being mindful of your dog’s individual needs, you can ensure that your fur baby stays safe, healthy, and happy during summer walks. The key is to make sure your dog is prepared for the warmer weather. Remember to keep them hydrated, watch for signs of heat stroke, and time your walks appropriately. And, don’t forget to bring the essential items listed in the checklist above for a safe and enjoyable summer walk with your dog. Above all, in case of emergencies, be sure to have the number of a local emergency vet on hand.



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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at https://www.ohiobar.org/public-resources. Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


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While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at www.myhandsnpaws.com.


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at www.myhandsnpaws.com. Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

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Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


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Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

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