Dog on a leash

Do's and Don'ts of Dog Tethering in Hillsborough County

Strict rules are in place to protect man's best friend when tethered

Did you know that in Hillsborough County it is illegal to tether your dog outside and leave the pet unattended? Unattended tethering of dogs is banned and violations that can result in fines up to $1,000 are enforced by Hillsborough County's Pet Resources.

Though tethering is not common these days, there are still strict rules on what you can and can't do if you decide to tether your dog.

Tethering is not allowed unless:

  • The owner of the dog remains outside with the dog while it is tethered
  • The owner keeps the dog within sight while tethered
  • The tether is of a size and weight that is necessary to safely restrain the dog and is connected to a buckle-type collar or body harness made of nylon or leather

Besides large fines, there are other risk factors to tethering your dog:

  • Dogs tethered for a long period of time could get severe wounds around their necks with the constant weight of the tether, and are the most at risk for insect bites and parasites, all of which could lead to infections and diseases with expensive vet bills.
  • Dogs tethered or chained up for a long period of time tend to become unhappy and anxious, which may lead to severe aggression due to being kept in a small area all the time and becoming territorial.
  • Because dogs that are tethered are secured to one place, they are not able to move away from dangerous situations, like an attack by a human or another animal, or protect themselves from extreme weather, like the Florida heat. Situations like this can result in severe injuries or even death. More ways to protect your pet in Florida heat: 9 Ways to Protect Your Pets this Summer.

A good tip to remember from Pet Resource Center: If it's too extreme for you to be outside, your dog should not be tethered outside either. Learn more about dog tethering and other commonly cited pet-related ordinances in Hillsborough County.


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