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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– As Indianapolis prepares for a heat surge with heat indices over 100 degrees, pet owners are being warned to take additional precautions.

According to an Indianapolis city ordinance, it is required by law to provide your dog with shelter when the temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you must bring your dog inside when it’s warmer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside (FIDO) says domesticated pets are at risk of heat stroke or sun burn when outside in extreme temperatures.

Here are tips to make sure you’re complying with the ordinance and protecting your pet:


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.

Symptoms of a heat stroke for a dog include excessive panting and agitation, drooling, glazed eyes, weakness, staggering, and rapid pulse. To treat a heat stroke, apply cold, wet towels to your dog’s head, neck and chest or have dog lie on cool towels. Offer the dog water or ice cubes but do not force them to drink.

You should not leave a pet unattended in a vehicle during hot weather for even a few minutes. Hot pavement can also hurt a dog’s paws during a walk.

If you need to report an animal in danger, call the Mayor’s Action Line at 317-327-4622.

Anyone who needs help providing for their own dog can call FIDO at 317-221-1314 for training crates and flea treatment.