With bitter cold moving in for the weekend, and a freeze warning in effect overnight, Metro Animal Care and Control is reminding residents all across middle Tennessee to protect their furry friends and bring them in from the outside air.
A Metro Nashville ordinance prohibits tethering a dog when temperatures drop below 32 degrees. Puppies less than six months old as well as pregnant and nursing dogs must also be brought inside.
If pets are left outside, they need to be provided with a warm, solid shelter like a dog house to protect against wind and elements and insulate their body against the cold.
In addition, cold weather can make health issues such as arthritis worse. A veterinary check-up is recommended even if a pet is healthy.
Make sure your pets have proper micro-chipping or identification tags in case they get separated from you. Make sure your family's emergency plans include your pets and keep food and water on hand in case you are unable to make it to the store.
A pet's tolerance to cold weather can vary. Very young, elderly, and pets with chronic diseases are more sensitive to cold weather.
Check your pet's paws for cold weather injury, as ice can accumulate between toes and can cause injury. Clean their paws, legs, and belly after returning from a walk as they may accumulate de-icing materials on their fur.
Speak with your veterinarian about your pet's dietary and medical needs. It's highly encouraged that outside pets be brought indoors at night.
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Joey is an award-winning multimedia producer from Augusta, GA and alumnus of the University of South Carolina-Aiken. He's happy to be Working 4 You and telling the stories of middle Tennessee on WSMV.com!
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