Dogs & Laws

It’s the Law! Indianapolis Dogs Must Come Inside When Temps Reach 90-Degrees

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As Indiana residents brace for heat waves bringing scorching summer temperatures and heat indexes over 100-degree Fahrenheit, pet parents are being warned to take extra precautions to keep their furriest family members cool and comfortable.

While bringing pets inside when temperatures soar is basic common sense, lawmakers have put ordinances into place to make sure pets are safe. Under Indianapolis city law, pet owners are required to provide pets with shelter when the temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and bring dogs inside when it’s warmer than 90.


Fox59 detailed the specifics of the ordinance that’s meant to protect pets from extreme outside temperatures:


Your dog must have access to:

  • A shelter constructed of solid wood or other weather resistant materials consisting of solid walls on all sides
  • A dry floor raised above the ground
  • A roof sloped away from the entrance to protect your dog from weather and extreme cold
  • Fresh water

Pen or Fenced Enclosure

  • Your dog must have adequate space for exercise when confined to a kennel, enclosure or pen which must be at least 100 square feet (for example: 10ft. x 10ft.)
  • Any dog over 80 pounds must be provided with a space of 150 square feet
  • For each additional dog inside the enclosure, an extra 50 square feet must be provided


It is against the law to tether (chain) your dog if any of the following is true:

  • Your dog is less than 6 months old
  •  Your dog is sick or injured
  • It is between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Your dog is not spayed or neutered, unless you are an adult, your dog is in your visual range, and you are outside with your dog

Extreme Weather

Your dog must be brought inside a temperature controlled building, such as your house when:

  • The temperature outside is 20°F & below
  • The temperature outside is 90°F & above
  • There’s a heat advisory
  • There’s a windchill warning
  • A tornado warning has been issued


  • On any day where the temperature is at or above 80°F, your dog’s shelter must be shaded by either trees or a tarp.

Officials and animal advocates also urge pet owners to be aware of the signs of heat stroke and know what to do in the event your dog is overheated. They also remind pet parents to be careful of hot pavement that can burn paws during walks and to never leaves dogs in parked cars where they can quickly succumb to heat exhaustion and death.

Additionally, Indianapolis citizens should be on the lookout for residents not following the laws and report any incidents immediately by calling the Mayor’s Action Line at 317-327-4622.

Would you support a similar ordinance in your own city? Weigh in with a comment below!

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  1. Avatar Of Irena



    Yes, this literally should be a federal law!! And animal cruelty laws should be much stricter in our country. The abuse and the cruelty that happens every day, unpunished, is a disgrace for the country that’s supposed to lead the free world.

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