Summer with dogs

One of my favorite things about living in Germany is how dog-friendly everything is. I take my Italian Greyhound just about everywhere I go. And now that the weather’s warm, I’m planning even more outdoor adventures together. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your four-legged friend during the warmer months.


Don’t let Fido dehydrate in the summer sun. Most restaurants are more than willing to provide you with a bowl and tap water. Simply ask, “Haben Sie Wasser für meinen Hund, bitte?”

Photo by Javier Brosch /


As I write, my small dog it sitting on my lap with her mouth swollen like a chipmunk after eating a bee. I wish I could say she learned a lesson from all of this. Seeing as this is the second time we’ve been through this, I doubt it.

One sting is generally not dangerous. But if you notice extreme swelling or trouble breathing, head to the vet ASAP. If your dog has had multiple stings or had a bee in its mouth, call your vet. Bee stings in the mouth can be life-threatening. It can cause swelling that can make it hard for the dog to breathe.


We love to take hikes in the many wooded trails in the area. Ticks also love grassy trails,  so it’s important to check your dog for them every day. You can buy inexpensive tick removal tools at the vet or online. One of our favorites is a tick removal pen.

We also chose to use an all-natural tick treatment for our dog because she’s sensitive and we try to avoid harsh chemicals in the home. I put a drop of rose geranium essential oil between her shoulder blades every morning. Below are the PROS and CONS of geranium.


  • No harsh chemicals
  • My husband and I use it too! Before a walk in any wooded, grassy or shady area, I apply a drop of the oil to each of my ankles.
  • We have never had a tick on the dog when we applied the oil. Before learning this trick, I removed up to 3 a day.
  • A small bottle lasts forever and only costs $20! You only use one to two drops (for larger dogs: one between the shoulder blades and one at the base of the tail).
  • It smells lovely! It smells like roses and geraniums (not stinky dog).


  • We have to remember to apply it every day.


There have been many reported cases of Giardia (a microscopic parasite that causes a diarrheal disease) in Ramstein and Vogelweh. Parasites are commonly spread through fecal matter. (Look, mom, I wrote about poop!) Signs that your dog may have a parasite are diarrhea (I did it again!), loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting. In small dogs especially, diarrhea and vomiting can be extremely dangerous. Don’t hesitate to call your vet.

Dining Out

You’ve probably noticed that when you see a dog at a restaurant, they are quietly sitting under the table seeming not to care about the food on the table or the other patrons. Remember that in Germany, your dog is expected to behave as well as any other patron.

Author’s Profile: Kelly is a DOD wife, devoted dog-mom, a mediocre cook, a whiskey aficionado and an avid traveler who’s exploring the Kaiserslautern area with dog and husband in tow.