Dog Walkers in Chicago

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Dog Areas in Chicago

23 Parks
3 Trails
3 Shops
107 Eateries
133 Groomers

Chi-Town is a hip destination for hounds and humans alike, boasting an abundance of dog-friendly beaches, parks, restaurants, shopping opportunities, and so much more. In the 19th century, Chicago adopted the motto "Urbs in horto," which translates to “City in a Garden.” The city’s parks now flourish under the Chicago Park District, which oversees more than 500 parks encompassing more than 8,000 acres.

Included in this vast number of recreational areas are dozens of dog-friendly parks, most of which have areas where pups can play off-leash. Jackson Park is a popular choice for active dogs, due in large part to its obstacles and agility equipment. With an array of toys, this park is guaranteed to keep any curious doggo entertained.

Montrose Dog Beach has a fenced-in stretch set up especially for canine beachgoers. This dog-friendly area is open during the usual Chicago Park District hours and offers a space where dogs can safely run and swim.

If hiking is more your speed, take your dog with you along the Lakefront Trail. This 18-mile-long path winds along Lake Michigan, offering a beautiful view of the water as you take in the sun and wind, and get some exercise with your furry friend. 

There are a few things you should know before setting out to romp at Chicago's dog parks. All dogs must have a permit and a tag from one of the veterinarians listed on the Chicago Park District website. To obtain a permit, you'll need to pay a small fee, fill out an application, and provide proof of vaccinations for rabies and parasites. Dog owners who don't abide by the rules could face a hefty fine, so play it safe and get a permit!

If you're setting out on an adventure that doesn't welcome woofers, why not book a dog sitter in Chicago to keep your pal occupied? Wag!'s on-demand dog walking services make it easy to find Chicago dog walkers to care for your canine while you're out and about.

The good news is this puptastic city has no shortage of dog-friendly destinations. Read on to discover the top five dog-friendly neighborhoods in Chicago.

Best Dog Neighborhoods in Chicago

  1. Dog Parks 0
    Population Density 29,770/sq mi

    Dubbed one of Chicago's most walkable neighborhoods, Near North Side is a must-see for four-legged foodies and fashionistas. The district is also one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chi-Town, making it the perfect spot for hound-dog history buffs. Once you've walked up an appetite, take your pick of dog-friendly restaurants serving up everything from coffee and donuts to five-star fare. Get some seafood at Juniper Spirits and Oysters inside the Claridge Hotel, or check out Barrio which features a dog menu in the summer. The aptly-named Magnificent Mile is a magnet for shopaholics, boasting dozens of dog-friendly stores, pet boutiques, and even hotels. For a truly unique experience, book a cruise with your canine to see Chicago from a different perspective.

    Dog neighborhood?
  2. Dog Parks 1
    Population Density 5,820/sq mi

    #2 River North

    The trendy River North neighborhood lures culture vultures and party people alike with an impressive array of art galleries, glitzy bars, and chic clubs. Sparky will surely be tugging on the leash the whole way to A. Montgomery Ward Park! Nestled on the banks of the Chicago River, the park features a dog-friendly area, called Larrabee Dog Park, which is a "pawpular" spot with locals and dog walkers in Chicago. On-site amenities include drinking water for doggos and a mess-free surface of pea gravel. Just don't forget to bring plenty of waste bags! After your buddy has sniffed out some new four-legged friends, treat yourself to a taco or craft brew at one of the neighborhood's dog-friendly restaurants and bars.
    Dog neighborhood?
  3. Dog Parks 3
    Population Density 27,300/sq mi

    #3 Wicker Park

    For those who bark, look no further than Wicker Park! This Chicago neighborhood has not one, not two, but three fenced-in, off-leash dog parks. How do you decide which one is best for you and your canine compadre? Walsh Playground Dog Park is the place to go if you want wide open spaces and shelter from the summer sun. Head on over to Churchill Field Dog Park for a game of fetch with Fido. The humans can also play ball on the baseball field. Last but definitely not least is Wicker Park Dog Park. This dog park is the only one of the three to feature real, live grass for all of your dog's rolling, sniffing, and running needs! Wicker Park Dog Park tends to get busy on weekends, so it may be easier to get into the other two parks on Saturdays and Sundays.
    Dog neighborhood?
  4. Dog Parks 2
    Population Density 11,930/sq mi

    Located just a bone's throw from the Loop and Lake Michigan, Near South Side is a "furrific" area for puppers that features museums and high-rise condos. What does Chicago's Near South Side have to offer our fuzziest family members? Two beautiful dog parks! The first of these is the renowned Fred Anderson Dog Park. This hot spot for Spot features separate enclosures for large and small pups. Things get fancy with a special performance area complete with a stage if your dog is the competitive type. Though smaller than Fred Anderson Dog Park, what Coliseum Dog Park lacks in space it more than makes up for in amenities. Water and waste baggies are provided, and you'll usually find plenty of other dogs playing here. If you and your dog travel with kiddos, this park is right up your alley. The surrounding community park features a fun playground, making it the "pawfect" place to take the kids — fur-babies included!

    Dog neighborhood?
  5. Dog Parks 2
    Population Density 24,300/sq mi

    #5 Uptown

    Most folks know Uptown for its Prohibition-era history. Many of the bars and snazzy jazz clubs you'll see today were pupular hangouts for world-famous gangsters like Al Capone back in the Roaring '20s. Modern-day Uptown is just as glamorous, home to live concerts, gourmet cuisine, and upscale entertainment venues. The star attraction for your woofer will be the Montrose Dog Beach. Puptown at Margate Park is another "grrreat" place to play off-leash. Maintained by volunteers, this park provides drinking water and waste baggies. In the summer, the sprinklers offer a fun way for your canine to stay cool. When you've explored all of Uptown's parks, settle in for a hearty meal complete with beautiful views of Lake Michigan.
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