Owners urged to bring animal indoors during cold weather

Xavier Smith • Jan 5, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Local officials urged pet owners to bring their outdoor animals indoors or provide adequate shelter during freezing weather.

In Mt. Juliet, residents are required to provide animals with “proper shelter” and “protection from weather.” The city code said enclosures must be at least 50 square feet for the first dog and 30 additional square feet for each additional dog.

The shelter for any dog kept outside must be moisture proof and windproof and a suitable size to accommodate the dog and allow retention of body heat. The shelter must also contain enough bedding to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness.

Josh Greer with Lebanon Animal Control said the department is working to craft formal language regarding shelter and housing of outdoor pets, but remains vigilant in its efforts to combat neglect.

“We recommend bringing in animals when the temperature drops below 32 degrees,” said Greer, who said some dogs, such as huskies, would be fine in freezing weather.

He said the department responds to several calls daily about possible neglect when it comes to cold weather.

“It’s usually just neighbors concerned about the animals when they can’t see the shelter,” Greer said.

He said owners must provide proper shelter for animals if they are left outside during cold weather.

New Leash on Life executive director Angela Chapman also offered some advice for owners on how to protect their pets from wintery elements:

• adjust nutrition intake for pets. Dogs that spend more time outdoors may need more nutrition intake, while animals that move indoors may need less.

• limit outdoor activity. Only take dogs outdoors long enough for them to relieve themselves, while keeping cats indoors at all times.

• similar to extremely warm weather, never leave pets inside of vehicles.

For more information on animal care in winter, including information about frostbite and hypothermia, visit humanesociety.org. 

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