Temps Are Rising; Keep Your Pets Cool & Safe!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Keep your pets safe! Temperatures have been rising and will reach 90 degrees or above the next few days in Middle Tennessee.

Metro Animal Care and Control wanted to remind everyone to take the appropriate steps for pet safety.

Here are their tips during hot weather:

  • Never leave your pet (or child) unattended in a parked car. It can take a matter of minutes for temperatures to rise and cause heat stroke or death. It is best to leave your pet at home on days when temps are high.
  • Outside pets should have access to fresh water.
  • Tethering is prohibited during a period of extreme weather, including without limitation a heat index of ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit (95° F) or above as determined by the National Weather Service, freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, or tornados.
  • Avoid using metal food and water bowls because both can become very hot when temps rise.
  • Make sure your pet has access to a shaded area of your yard and not on pavement.
  • Please keep your pet’s paws in mind. Surfaces like asphalt or metal can become dangerously hot. Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. Place your hand on the pavement for five to ten seconds. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them.
  • Dogs are unable to sweat, so they pant to dispel heat. Short-nosed breeds are more prone to over-heating due to shorter nasal passages.

MACC also gave a reminder for another Metro Ordinance that addresses extreme weather, including heat:

8.12.030 - Cruelty to animals prohibited.

No person shall allow pregnant animals, nursing females, or animals less than six months old to remain outdoors during periods of inclement weather unless such animal is accompanied by a custodian, keeper or handler. For purposes of this subsection, inclement weather conditions shall mean freezing temperatures, a heat index of ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit (95° F) or above as determined by the National Weather Service, thunderstorms, or tornados. Metro Ordinance requires puppies less than six months old and pregnant or nursing dogs must be brought inside.

Pet tethering. For purposes of this subsection, "tether" means a cable, cord, or similar device used to attach an animal to a stationary device, but does not include chains. No person shall allow any animal to remain confined in such a manner as to unreasonably restrict the animal's ability to move. No person shall allow any dog to remain tethered unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:

1. The tether is not unreasonably heavy in proportion to the weight of the animal.

2. A swivel is located at both ends of the tether and the tether is free of tangles.
3. The collar or harness on the animal to which the swivel is attached is properly fitted and is a collar or harness that is commonly recognized as a pet collar or harness (choke and pinch collars are not permitted).
4. The tether is not less than fifteen feet in length.
5. Chains shall be prohibited for use as a tethering device.
6. The animal is not outside during a period of extreme weather, including without limitation a heat index of ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit (95° F) or above as determined by the National Weather Service, freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, or tornados.

If you are concerned about heat stress and heat stroke, remember these facts and check for the signs and symptoms:

  • Initial signs are panting, hypersalivating, weakness, collapse, bright red mucous membranes, and vomiting/diarrhea.
  • Heat stroke can cause organ damage, seizures, and even death.
  • If you encounter a pet suffering from heat stroke, hose them down with tepid water or apply towels soaked in tepid (not cold) water. Put them in air-conditioning and transport them to an emergency veterinarian immediately.
  • Please be considerate of your pets and bring them inside when temperatures reach dangerously high levels.

This information was provided by MACC. Learn more by visiting their website.

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