Did you know there are 21 designated Dog Friendly Areas in Chicago? For city dwellers with tight quarters and square-foot green patches, these areas are gifts from the 'Big Dogs' where pups can run, play, and explore off-leash.
Click here for a full list of DFA -- search by neighborhood or zip code to find the closest one.
Now that we have your tail wagging in anticipation, there are some rules and regulations to keep in mind:
- Dogs must be leashed prior to and upon leaving the DFA.
- Owners must immediately clean up after their dogs.
- No Food (human or dog food) is allowed inside the DFA.
Most of these rules are no-brainers, and there is plenty of expert advice online surrounding appropriate and safe dog park etiquette. But what all owners might not realize is that a permit and tag are required for every dog entering (and enjoying!) Dog Friendly Areas.
Participating veterinarians throughout the City issue the permit and tag for a $5 fee which lasts from January 1st of any year through December 31st of the same year. You must have a current dog license issued by the City of Chicago, or proof that the dog has a current rabies vaccination. There is also an application for owners to complete showing proof that a licensed veterinarian (or other authorized person) has performed a fecal test for parasites and vaccinated any dog entering a DFA for the following diseases:
- Para influenza; and
Now that we have all the technicalities out of the way, go get vaccinated, get licensed, and enjoy the Chicago summer the best way we know how: on the beach with our furry companions! And if you are driving to a DFA, remember to buckle in your dog no matter how long (or short) the ride may be.