Remember, caring for pets in freezing weather is a legal obligation for Metro residents

Jan 29, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  You may be surprised to learn that Nashville resident have a legal obligation to provide outdoor pets with extra care during winter cold snaps.


Daytime highs across Middle Tennessee will stay below freezing through Friday morning. Overnight lows will be in the twenties and teens.

Taking special care of your four legged friends on cold days isn’t just the right thing to do, but is also required by city ordinance.

For example, any pet less than 6 months old and any pregnant pet must be brought indoors if the temperature falls below freezing.

Lauren Bluestone directs Metro Animal Care and Control. She suggests you consider bringing every pet inside during cold weather, but if that isn’t possible…

“Any shelter that is outside, and it is required for the animal to have shelter, has extra insulation such as straw… We do not recommend anything like blankets or towels or anything that can absorb moisture.”

Bluestone cautions pet owners to keep an eye on that water bowl to make sure it doesn’t freeze, and extra food is a good idea because pets burn calories faster in the cold.

She lists some warning signs that indicate your pet may be in serious trouble.

“Lethargic, not really moving, the energy is down, shivering; all of those are really good indications that this pet is extremely cold and get this pet inside ASAP.”

If you notice a pet that you feel isn’t be cared for, Bluestone asks that you get in touch with Animal Control. After hours, you can call the Metro Police non-emergency number (615-862-8600) to make that report.