You can tell the weather has turned nice again as people of all ages — and often their pets — are out using our parks and walking the paths, soaking in the sun.

If your daily walk or run includes bringing your dog with you, don’t forget to also pack something to clean up after him or her. Not only is it against city codes to not pick up after your pet, it’s unsanitary and plain gross. Even if your dog does his business “off the beaten path,” remember that the next pup that walks by may not be able to resist the temptation to roll in it or — worse — taste it.

With the warmer days, it’s also important to remember to check the temperature of the pavement. The sidewalks and roads can heat up faster than you may think, and could cause burns to your pup’s feet. Pack a water bottle or frequent a city park that has water available for dogs to ensure they don’t get dehydrated.

Of course, remember your city’s leash laws. The only off-leash parks are designated dog parks in Dallas, Monmouth and Independence. Everywhere else, a leash is required.

More pedestrians and cyclists and people outdoors in general also means more care needed as drivers. Watch out for people crossing the roads and slow down through neighborhoods and near parks.

Let’s start this late spring-early summer out right.

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