Indianapolis Dog Care and Treatment Key Ordinance Information


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

During the winter months and when the temperature is below 40°F:

  • The shelter must be just large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around
  • The entrance must be covered by a flexible windproofing material or self- closing door
  • The shelter must contain clean, dry bedding which must consist of an insulating material that does not retain moisture, such as straw, and sufficient depth for your dog to burrow

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 PM & 6 AM
  • Your dog is not spayed or neutered, unless your dog is in an adult’s visual range or you are outside with your dog
  • The tether is less than 12 feet in length
  • The tether does not have working swivels on both ends
  • The tether is attached to a pinch, prong or choke collar, or wrapped directly around the dog’s neck

Extreme Weather

Your dog must be brought inside a temperature controlled building kept between 40°F and 80°F, 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 wind chill 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.


Your dog must have access to:

  • Continuous fresh drinking water
  • Food that is appropriate for dogs and in adequate amounts to maintain good health
  • A clean and sanitary environment with enough space to prevent the dog from standing, sitting or lying in it’s own excrement
  • Treatment for open lesions on the dog’s skin due to insect bites

Inside training crates or airline crates should never be used for shelter or containment outside

For more on Indy’s basic care and treatment requirements, go to, Article IV. Care and Treatment; Sec. 531­401.