We live in a tropical paradise and lucky for us, there are several places we can take our dogs with us to experience the beautiful weather and scenery (PHOTO: Cottonbro).

Our state falls in the Top 20 when it comes to being pet-friendly and Tampa ranked as No. 7 most pet friendly city in the U.S.

Throughout our state there are several beaches where you and your furry friend can bask in the sun together and toss a frisbee. In addition, we are blessed with a large number of dog parks and pet-friendly outdoor festivals, restaurants and hotels.

Of course, all these places come with their own sets of rules. Here’s some advice on how to enjoy outings with your dog.

– Each dog-friendly place has its own set of rules and special hours, so be sure to check online before you head there.

-Scout the location alone before you come with your pet. That way you are more informed, which will make for a better visit.

– If you have any questions or concerns, call ahead. Your dog was so excited getting in the car for adventure, you don’t want to disappoint him and have to head back home, and you don’t want to be surprised by extra fees you weren’t prepared for.

– If it’s your pup’s first time at a dog park, start with a fenced in location. You don’t want your dog to get startled and run off.

– Prepare for hot weather. We all know how hot it gets here. Make sure you and Fido are prepared for the heat. Make sure to take a portable water dish and make sure there is shade. Check to make sure the ground isn’t too hot for their paws and if it is going to be very hot outside, leave your pup at home. Better to be safe.

– Keep your pet’s personality in mind. If you have a nervous pet who doesn’t like noise or is scared around new people, it is a bad idea to take him with you – no matter how much you want to show him off. Make sure the venue matches the pup’s temperament.

– Make sure Fido always has his collar on and always have a leash with you – no matter how trained you think your pup is.

-Make sure you can give your full attention to your pet. You will be with other dogs and humans and need to be on alert for emergencies.

-Don’t forget poop bags!