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Indianapolis Skyline at sunset

Indiana’s capital city is an attractive place for dog parents. With an array of well-maintained public parks, a beautiful river running through the city, and a plethora of restaurant patios, there’s no shortage of dog-friendly activities and amenities in Indy.

Planning the day with your dog

There are tons of ways to fill a day with your pup in the buzzing city of Indianapolis, whether you’re into the great outdoors, the culinary scene, or just want to do some shopping. Here are some of the best stops for a fun-filled day with your dog.

Where to stay with your dog

 You’ve got options for dog-friendly stays in Indy, whether you’re looking for lodging in the heart of downtown, seeking a riverfront view, or need to be a quick ride from the airport. Here are our top picks, along with their pet fees and restrictions. 

Conrad Indianapolis

Right in the center of the downtown action is this luxury, art-forward property by Hilton. When you’re not skipping around town with your pup, relax at the spa, visit the art gallery, or grab a bite at Conrad’s on-site restaurants.

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Ironworks Hotel Indy

What’s better than a hotel that allows dogs? A four-star hotel that allows dogs and provides water bowls and a special treat for your furry friend upon check-in. Plus, the fee is a modest $20 per day. If you’re looking for a stay on the north side of town, this is it.

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The Alexander, A Dolce by Wyndham

Another solid option in the downtown area is The Alexander, a four-star hotel that welcomes dogs up to 75 pounds for a one-time fee of $50.

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Where to get coffee with your dog

Your pup may wake up with endless energy, but we humans need some liquid assistance at times. Here are the best places to grab a cup of Joe with your dog, whether you’re in the mood to grab and go or relax for a bit. 

Bovaconti Coffee

Located in historic Fountain Square, Bovaconti is the perfect place to stop in for a cup of joe if you’re in the downtown area.  All of Bovaconti’s coffee is sourced from Indiana roasters, and it’s locally owned. Plus, pup cups are on the menu, so your dog will be happy, too.

Visit their site.

Mansion Society

Another great place to stop in for a pup cup (and a human cup, of course) is Mansion Society in the Near Westside neighborhood. As the name suggests, it’s located in the lobby of Central State Mansion apartments. Expect a retro vibe and comfy couches to spread out on.

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Java House

With two locations in Indianapolis proper (and more in surrounding areas), Java House is tried and true. Both the downtown and the Broad Ripple shops have lots of space to spread out inside as well as patio areas.

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Where to walk with your dog

Indy residents are lucky to have both: a thriving, urban landscape and plenty of green spaces to enjoy. From quick loops to meandering, forested trails, you have options.

Monon Trail, White River State Park

Southwestway Park Loop

 For a scenic, waterfront loop you can get done in under an hour, it’s hard to do better than the Southwestway Park Loop. Head south of downtown to the gorgeous Southwestway Park and enjoy this popular dirt trail with all the nature smells for Fido.

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Marott Woods Nature Preserve

This local gem is a protected area where you can see tons of Indiana’s native flora and fauna. Enjoy a walk through the 102-acre wooded park for a relaxing day with your dog.

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Schoen Creek Trail

Located in Fort Harrison State Park, this 3.1-mile loop is moderately challenging and just outside the 465 loop. If you go during peak months, you’re sure to see lots of native wildflowers on this partially shaded trail.

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Where to play fetch with your dog

If you need more proof that Indianapolis is dog-friendly, consider the “Pooch Pass,” a government-run membership program that allows dogs to play in a network of safe parks throughout the city. See below for two Pooch Pass parks, plus several free options.

🚨 Off-leash play is great for relieving the zoomies, but Indianapolis currently has leash laws in place. When a dog is not confined, the owner must have it on a leash and be under their control at all times. Be sure to check any location you take your pup before letting them run free!

Fort Harrison State Park Dog Park

After you’re done walking the Schoen Creek Trail mentioned above, be sure to head to the dog park that’s also within Harrison State Park. The dog park is on the north side of the park and has three separate fenced play areas, one of them with a pond and a “dog beach.”

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Broad Ripple Bark Park

This fenced dog park along White River on the north side of Indianapolis has shaded areas, agility toys, and a rinse station so your pup can play hard and go home clean. This space is part of a network of four Indy Parks dog parks that require a Pooch Pass for entry, which starts at $75 for one year for one park (or $125 for all four parks)

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Paul Ruster Dog Park

In east Indianapolis, one of the best places to let the zoomies take over is Paul Ruster Dog Park. Part of a larger park, this fenced green space offers lots of room to roam and play with other pups. It’s also part of the Pooch Pass network, meaning you have to purchase your entry ahead of time.

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Where to eat lunch with your dog

When it’s time for your kibble, it pays to have a roster of places with pet-friendly patios, and it’s even better if they have great views and attractions like live music. Here are our top picks.

Fire by the Monon

This is the spot when you’re in the mood for casual American fare and a relaxed vibe. Plus, it’s right around the corner from the Broad Ripple Bark Park — a perfect stop on the way home. Grab a craft beer and a seat on the patio for a guaranteed good time.

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Flatwater Restaurant

With a view you and your dog can enjoy, Flatwater is the perfect riverfront joint for a relaxing afternoon with your pup. It’s also conveniently located in Broad Ripple, and you can usually expect live music on weekend evenings.

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Ralston’s DraftHouse

Located along Mass. Ave in downtown Indianapolis, Ralston’s is the perfect spot to catch a game or enjoy some nice weather on the weekend. They’re certified dog lovers, with a special brew named “A Tail of Two Pitties.”

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Other honorable mentions

Where to shop with your dog

A dog in a retail store can feel like a bull in a china shop — but these spots don’t mind well-behaved pups. Here are a few shops where you don’t have to worry about leaving your dog behind.

Black Sheep Gifts

Just five miles east of downtown Irvington is this eclectic, woman-owned gift shop with something for everyone on your list. Even if you’re just killing time, it’s a great place to get lost looking at knickknacks.

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Rusted Moon Outfitters

Planning a camping or hiking trip with your dog? Browse all kinds of gear, from tents to footwear, at Rusted Moon, serving Indianapolis for over 20 years.

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Tractor Supply Co Store

Anything from pet supplies to power equipment to workwear, you’ll find at Tractor Supply. Even better, their in-house experts are ready to offer advice to you and a belly rub for Fido.

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Other honorable mentions

Where to enjoy the outdoors with your dog

From sprawling, wooded getaways to urban oases, Indy has lots of options for connecting with nature. Keep in mind that even in more remote areas, it’s always safe to keep your dog leashed.

White River State Park

Eagle Creek Park

There’s no better place to grab a breath of fresh air and stretch your legs than the largest park in Indianapolis — that goes for humans and dogs. Spanning 1,400 acres, it’s also one of the largest municipal parks in the U.S. Admission is $5 for a day pass. Enjoy the off-leash time at the dog park (must have a “Pooch Pass”), walk the trails, or even get adventurous with watersports.

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White River State Park

As the name suggests, this gorgeous urban park sits along White River. It’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in the state, drawing in over 3 million people annually. Walk along the canal, the river promenade, or the urban wilderness trail — or all three — and enjoy the many works of public art within the park.

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Southeastway Regional Park

Just off I-74 on the southeast side of the city is this nearly 200-acre park. Take a stroll on the paved trail, or go off the beaten path along a forest trail.

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Where to grab a drink with your dog

Just as dogs are man’s best friend, breweries are a dog owner’s best friend. Indy has you covered with lots of places to grab a buzz with your dog in tow.

Metazoa Brewing Company

When animal love is in the business’s mission statement, you know you’ve found the right brewery for you and your pup. Metazoa donates 5% of its profits to animal welfare organizations, and well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome inside the taproom, on the patio, and in the dog park.

Visit their site.

Blind Owl Brewery

This Binford neighborhood gem has a full bar with 26 taps, seasonal cocktails, and live music every Saturday evening. You and your dog are welcome to hang out on the patio any time of year, enjoying warm air in the summer and fire pits in the colder months.

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Triton Brewing Company and Bistro

Right outside of Fort Harrison State Park is this eatery and diverse brewery, the perfect stop after an afternoon exploring the great outdoors. Grab a spot on the patio and enjoy a craft beer and classic American cuisine.

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Other essentials for your dog

As much fun as leisure activities are, keeping a roster of recommendations for more administrative tasks like grooming and veterinary care is key. Here are some to keep in mind in Indianapolis.

Where to take your dog to the vet

When looking for a veterinarian, you want a provider that’s stood the test of time. Here are some of Indy’s most beloved veterinarians, with years of service to put you at ease.

Broad Ripple Animal Clinic

Broad Ripple Animal Clinic

Voted one of the best veterinarians by IndyStar in 2021, this locally-owned animal hospital has been serving Indianapolis for over 40 years. This AAHA-accredited facility offers a full spectrum of vet services, comprehensive pain management, and regenerative therapies.

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The Paw Patch

Near Eagle Creek Park in northwest Indianapolis is this top-trusted veterinarian, offering everything from vaccinations to urgent care to dentistry. The practice attributes its 40-year success record to a philosophy that’s based on customer service.

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Indy Paws Veterinary Hospital

For over 20 years, Indy Paws has served Indianapolis pet parents from its East Indy location. Indy Paws welcomes pups for a range of services, from preventative wellness care to emergency care.

Visit their site.

Where to get your dog groomed

Some people just want a wash station with all the bells and whistles, while others want to outsource the scrub-a-dubbing and nail trimming completely. Here are a few options for all levels of grooming.

Circle City Pet Care

Affordable pricing, experienced staff, a clean facility, and an individualized approach: You want all four when looking for a groomer, and Circle City in North Indianapolis checks all the boxes.

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The Fluffy Puppy

Fluffy Puppy customers come out looking and feeling their best — just look at the salon’s glowing Google reviews. If you’re in the Irvington area, Fluffy Puppy should definitely be on your list.

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Bow Wow Meow Boutique

This locally-owned salon in Fountain Square offers full-service grooming and bathing, as well as self-service bathing options. For the full royal treatment, snag a treat or toy on your way out.

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Other honorable mentions

Where to find training for your dog

Positive reinforcement is key, whether you’re working on basic obedience practices or training them to be the next AKC Thanksgiving Day Dog Show champion. Here are our top trainer picks that you can feel comfortable entrusting your furry friend to.

Pawsitive Partners Dog Training Center

Looking for help with obedience? Nosework? Agility? Pawsitive Partners can help. This trainer is located near the Beech Grove area right off 465.

Visit their site.

Alpha K9 University

This top-rated training facility in northeast Indianapolis offers all kinds of standard-issue obedience training, but its unique aquatic programs set them apart. If you have a pup who gets anxious in or near water, the water work service can help them build the skills to feel secure. It’s also a great way to recover from injuries in a low-impact environment.

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Purpose-Driven K9 Dog Training

Maybe your dog needs intensive, board and train services, or maybe they could just benefit from safe social time with other pups. Purpose-Driven K9 in South Indianapolis delivers custom results, and graduates get free perks like access to community events for life.

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Where to board your dog or find doggy daycare

Saying goodbye, even for a weekend, is tough for a lot of pet parents. It’s easier when you know you’re leaving your dog in a clean, comfortable, and fun environment. These boarding facilities are top-notch.

Uptown Pup

When you board at this luxury Broad Ripple facility, you can rest easy knowing your pup is enjoying a private suite with attention from a staff of experts, four private walks per day, an elevated bed, and more. Rates start at $35 per night for boarding and $38 for daycare. 

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Downtown Doggie

As you might guess, Downtown Doggie is in the heart of Indianapolis. A day in the life at Downtown Doggie’s daycare consists of indoor and outdoor free play, water play, and plenty of socialization. Daycare is $35, with discounts when you buy multi-day bundles.

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Camp Bow Wow

In Indianapolis and beyond, Camp Bow Wow is a trusted boarding facility. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that their staff is extensively trained in dog behavior, CPR, and pet first aid. Overnight stays start at $50, and an interview is required prior to first-time stays. Daycare is $29 per day.

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Where to buy dog supplies

Even if you have your dog’s food automatically delivered each month, you need to know where around town to drop in for treats, toys, and other supplies. Plus, it’s great to support local pet shops. 

Three Dog Bakery

If you love to spoil your pooch with treats they probably don’t fully appreciate, you’re in good company. Three Dog Bakery sells cakes that look good enough for human consumption, custom-decorated treats, and much more. 

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Hollywood Feed

When you need the trusted name of a big brand and the convenience of a large inventory, head to Hollywood Feed in southeast Indianapolis to find the best pet food, treats, and supplies. Plus, they deliver.

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Paws Stop Specialty Pet Foods & Supplies

Near Lawrence on the east side of Indianapolis is this highly-rated one-stop shop for pet parents. Even better, it’s locally owned and has been serving Indianapolis for more than 30 years.

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Other honorable mentions

Experiencing Indianapolis as a dog owner

Many of Indianapolis’ attractions are just as appealing to humans as they are to pups. Enjoy nature in one of the many public parks, grab food at a brewery or riverfront restaurant, or enjoy a stroll around the buzzing downtown. There are lots of ways to make memories with your pooch in Indy.