Pet-Friendly Flights, Hotels, Activities and More

Indianapolis, Indiana welcomes dog-loving tourists with open arms. Known as the “Crossroads of America,” this vibrant city offers a host of pet-friendly attractions and amenities. The city’s expansive network of parks, including Eagle Creek Park and Fort Harrison State Park, provides ample space for furry friends to stretch their legs. Many restaurants and cafes offer pet-friendly outdoor seating, while downtown’s Canal Walk offers a scenic stroll for both humans and their canine companions. Additionally, the city hosts various dog-friendly events and festivals throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for travelers with pets.

For those seeking dog-friendly accommodations, Indianapolis has a variety of pet-welcoming hotels and vacation rentals. The city’s pet services, including grooming salons and veterinary clinics, ensure your four-legged friend is well taken care of during your stay. With its warm hospitality and numerous dog-friendly offerings, Indianapolis is a fantastic destination for pet owners looking to explore the heart of the Midwest.

Indianapolis Dog Friendly

Should You Travel with Your Dog?

Whether or not you should travel with your dog depends on your dog’s personality and health. If your dog gets anxious easily, bringing them on a trip isn’t ideal. However, some dogs are great at adapting to new situations and love exploring different places, so those dogs would probably do well on the go.

Regardless of your dog’s temperament, there may be times when they need to travel with you, such as if you’re moving to a new location. If that’s the case, you may need to take extra precautions to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. That could include stopping more frequently during a long drive or asking your vet about whether or not medications could help.

What to Pack When Traveling with Your Dog

Your dog may not need as much stuff as you do for a trip, but they still need the essentials. Plus, bringing items that look and smell familiar to your furry friend can help them feel more comfortable.

Here’s a list of supplies you should bring for your dog:

This list is just a general guide of things you may need. Your packing list may vary based on where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what activities you have planned. If you have space to spare, it can’t hurt to pack extra pet supplies out of caution.

Dog going for road trip

What to Include in a Dog First Aid Kit

A dog first aid kit should include essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, a thermometer, and a muzzle for safety. It’s also important to have saline solution for eye washing and a blanket for shock or cold. For a complete list of everything you need, see a comprehensive dog first aid guide here!

Finding a Dog-Friendly Hotel

While planning your trip, make sure you find a dog-friendly place to stay. Many lodging options, whether they’re a large hotel chain or a small local property, are willing to allow pets with some restrictions. The best way to know if your dog is welcome is to call the property before booking.

Looking for a pet-friendly Hotel so you can share your vacation with your four-legged friend? We’ve partnered with top travel sites to find you the best possible deals around. Just enter your travel plans below, and you’ll find pet-friendly hotels wherever you’re traveling. 

Dog sleeping at hotel

Other Lodging Options

Even though most popular hotel chains allow pets to some extent, they still might not be the right choice for you. Many prevent large dogs or more than two dogs at a time. Some may also prevent you from leaving your dog alone in the hotel, which can be difficult if you have some plans that aren’t pet-friendly. In this case, consider finding your pup a pet sitter who can take care of your dog while you’re enjoying a quiet dinner, seeing the sights or even taking in a show.

Book a Rover dog sitter and give your dog the best day ever!

So, if you’re struggling to find a good hotel, you may want to check other types of lodging, such as campgrounds or booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. Those options are often more flexible with pet restrictions because they don’t need to follow the policies of big chain hotels. Like with hotels, you should always contact the property to get the most detailed information on their pet restrictions.

Dog-Friendly Transportation Options

For most dogs, the scariest part of going on a trip is getting there. Dogs who aren’t used to riding in a car are likely to be anxious during a road trip and even more so on an airplane. So, here are some tips for how to keep your dog safe and comfortable when heading to your destination.

Driving with Your Dog

If possible, driving long distances with your dog will usually be easier and more comfortable than flying, especially if you have a large breed. However, you should make sure your dog is okay with riding in the car before you bring them on a road trip. If they don’t ride in the car much on a regular basis, start by taking them for short drives in preparation for the trip.

Here are some tips for taking a road trip with your dog:

  • Get your dog’s energy out before the long drive (take them for a walk, play fetch, etc.)
  • Make sure your dog is secure and comfortable (use a crate or dog seat belt, and make sure they have a cozy bed)
  • Stop more often than you need to so your dog can stretch their legs and do their business
  • Offer your dog fresh water every time you stop
  • Never leave your dog alone in the car on a warm/hot day

Buckling dog into car

Flying with Your Dog

Most dogs have ridden in the car at one point or another, but flying with your dog is a much different experience. If your dog is under 20 pounds, they can ride in the cabin on most airlines, but if your dog is larger than that, they may have to fly in the cargo hold. Not being able to see your dog during the flight can be stressful, which is why families with larger dogs typically prefer to drive when possible.

Almost every airline allows dogs, but some have stricter rules than others. Always check an airline’s pet policy before planning to fly on it with your pup.

Dog in airplane carrier

How to Travel with an Anxious Dog

If you have an anxious dog, driving and flying might both seem tricky. Luckily, there are things you can do to help a stressed-out dog feel more at ease while on the go.

  • Get your dog familiar with travel – take them to places they enjoy, such as the park, instead of only the vet.
  • Bring familiar items, such as their favorite beds and toys.
  • Keep their feeding times and bathroom breaks as close to their normal routine as possible.
  • Give them lots of exercise before getting in the car or entering the airport.
  • Stay calm – your dog may pick up on if you’re stressed and become more worried as a result.
  • Try anti-anxiety products, such as ThunderShirts and heartbeat toys.

While the above tips may reduce your dog’s anxiety, extremely anxious dogs will likely still show some fear in unfamiliar situations. Pet CBD Products, such as those made by Cannanine, can help calm down nervous pups during travel. Cannanine offers CBD oil and soft chews, both of which effectively calm dogs while being THC-free. Plus, every Cannanine product purchased donates meals to shelter dogs.

Top Tourist Attractions in Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, boasts a wealth of popular tourist attractions and events that cater to a wide range of interests:

  1. Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Home to the iconic Indianapolis 500, this racing circuit offers visitors the chance to witness high-speed action and explore the IMS Museum.
  2. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: The largest children’s museum in the world, it offers interactive exhibits and educational fun for families.
  3. White River State Park: This urban park features the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Indiana State Museum, and beautiful green spaces for picnics and relaxation.
  4. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields: A renowned art museum with extensive collections, lush gardens, and outdoor installations, making it a cultural and natural retreat.
  5. Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument: Located at the heart of downtown Indy, this historic monument honors veterans and offers stunning views from its observation deck.
  6. Massachusetts Avenue (Mass Ave): A vibrant cultural district with eclectic shops, art galleries, theaters, and an array of dining options.
  7. Broad Ripple Village: Known for its artsy vibe, it’s a lively neighborhood with boutique shops, restaurants, and a bustling nightlife scene.
  8. Indy 500 Festival: Beyond the famous race, this event includes a parade, concerts, and various festivities leading up to the Indianapolis 500.
  9. Gen Con: One of the largest gaming conventions in the world, attracting tabletop gamers, cosplayers, and enthusiasts from all over.
  10. Indianapolis International Film Festival: Showcasing independent films, this event draws cinephiles and filmmakers alike.
  11. Indy Jazz Fest: A celebration of jazz music featuring world-class musicians at various venues across the city.
  12. IndyFringe Theatre Festival: A showcase of cutting-edge and offbeat performances in the theater arts.

These attractions and events make Indianapolis a dynamic and engaging destination for tourists year-round. Whether you’re interested in sports, culture, or entertainment, Indy has something to offer every visitor.

Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you’re traveling with your dog for vacation, you should make sure they can join you for most, if not all, of your activities. Since dogs aren’t allowed indoors in many places, you should travel when the weather is nice to ensure you can spend time outside with your furry friend.

Indianapolis offers a variety of dog-friendly activities for pet owners to enjoy with their furry companions:

  1. Eagle Creek Park: This expansive park boasts hiking trails, a dog park, and a reservoir where you can go boating or kayaking with your dog.
  2. Fort Harrison State Park: Another great spot for hiking, picnicking, and exploring nature trails with your pup.
  3. Broad Ripple Park: Located in a dog-friendly neighborhood, this park has a dedicated area for off-leash play and a scenic canal walk.
  4. Monon Trail: A popular urban trail that stretches for miles, providing a scenic route for dog walkers, joggers, and bikers.
  5. Canal Walk: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the downtown canal, where dogs are welcome on a leash. You can even rent a paddleboat and take your pup along.
  6. Holliday Park: This park offers beautiful gardens, wooded trails, and a designated dog park section for off-leash play.
  7. White River State Park: Dogs are welcome in certain areas of this downtown park, making it a great spot for a city walk.
  8. Dining at Dog-Friendly Restaurants: Many restaurants in Indianapolis have pet-friendly outdoor seating areas. Check out spots like Metazoa Brewing Company, Patachou, or Flatwater Restaurant for a meal with your pup.
  9. Dog-Friendly Events: Keep an eye out for dog-friendly events like Bark in the Park at a minor league baseball game or Yappy Hour at local bars and breweries.
  10. Pet-Friendly Accommodations: Numerous hotels and vacation rentals in the city welcome pets, making it easy to find a comfortable place to stay with your dog.
  11. Pet Boutiques and Bakeries: Explore local pet boutiques and bakeries, such as Three Dog Bakery, where you can pamper your furry friend with treats and toys.
  12. Outdoor Markets: Some outdoor markets, like the Broad Ripple Farmers Market, allow leashed dogs to join you as you shop for fresh produce and artisanal goods.

Remember to always adhere to local leash laws, clean up after your dog, and ensure they are well-behaved and comfortable in public settings. Indianapolis provides plenty of opportunities for memorable experiences with your canine companion. This is just a list to get you started because the dog-friendly activities will vary based on where you’re visiting. While most outdoor events welcome pets as long as they’re well-behaved and you clean up after them, it’s always a good idea to check the event’s details to be sure. With enough planning and good weather, you can hang out with your dog the entire vacation!

Dog Friendly Indianapolis

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are dogs allowed on public transportation in Indianapolis?

Travelers often want to know if they can bring their dog on buses or the city’s public transportation system.

2. Where can I find dog-friendly accommodations in Indianapolis?

Visitors seek recommendations for hotels, motels, or vacation rentals that welcome pets.

3. Are there any off-leash dog parks in the city?

Travelers with energetic dogs may want to know about local off-leash parks for play and exercise.

4. What are the pet-friendly dining options in Indianapolis?

Tourists often inquire about restaurants or cafes with outdoor seating that accommodate dogs.

5. What are the leash laws in Indianapolis?

Understanding local regulations regarding leash requirements in public spaces is essential for pet owners.

6. Where can I find pet supply stores in Indianapolis?

Travelers might need to purchase pet food, toys, or other supplies during their stay.

7. Are there any dog-friendly hiking trails near Indianapolis?

Those seeking outdoor adventures may want information about dog-friendly hiking options in the area.

8. Is there a nearby emergency veterinarian or 24-hour pet clinic?

Pet owners want to be prepared in case of any unexpected health issues with their dogs.

9. Are there doggy daycare facilities or pet-sitting services available in Indianapolis?

Some tourists may require pet care services while they explore the city.

10. Can I take my dog to any local attractions or events?

Visitors often inquire about pet policies at popular tourist spots, museums, or events in the city.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a dog to Indianapolis, Indiana can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. Here are some final thoughts and tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research dog-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities in advance. Make reservations when necessary, and check for any pet policies or fees.
  2. Pack Essentials: Bring your dog’s food, water, leash, collar with identification tags, poop bags, and any medications they may need. A portable water bowl can also come in handy during outdoor adventures.
  3. Observe Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Indianapolis’ leash laws and pet ordinances to ensure you follow the rules while exploring the city.
  4. Safety First: Ensure your dog is secure and comfortable during car rides. Use a seatbelt harness or a pet carrier to keep them safe while driving.
  5. Health Considerations: Schedule a visit to your veterinarian before the trip to ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and in good health. Carry a copy of their medical records and contact information for local vets.
  6. Exercise and Play: Indianapolis offers numerous parks and trails for outdoor activities. Allow your dog to get plenty of exercise to keep them happy and reduce any travel-related anxiety.
  7. Respect Others: Always clean up after your dog and be mindful of other travelers and residents. Not everyone may be comfortable around dogs, so practice good pet etiquette.
  8. Weather Awareness: Depending on the season, be prepared for varying weather conditions. Ensure your dog is comfortable in the climate and consider their safety during extreme heat or cold.
  9. Emergency Preparedness: Know the location of the nearest 24-hour vet clinic in case of emergencies and have a basic pet first-aid kit on hand.
  10. Enjoy the Journey: Traveling with a dog can add an extra layer of adventure and companionship to your trip. Embrace the opportunity to explore Indianapolis together and create lasting memories.

Remember that Indianapolis offers a warm welcome to travelers with dogs, with plenty of pet-friendly options and activities to enjoy. With proper planning and consideration for your pet’s needs, your trip to this vibrant city can be a fantastic experience for both you and your furry companion.

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