Chicagoans love pets and more particularly dogs. The city is very dog-friendly: they have their own parks, their own beaches, their own bakeries and their own section (food, clothes and accessories) in department stores. During the winter, you do not see many dogs but out and about, but as soon as spring is arrives, dogs are a common site in the streets and parks with their owners.
It is common to see dogs and their owners in restaurants during summer time, especially those with terraces and patios. Most of the time, however, you do not see them inside restaurants and shops. When dogs are not allowed, it is clearly written on a sign on the door stand of the stores or supermarkets.
The main rules that dogs’ owners have to follow are:
- Always keep your dog leashed in the streets, parks and areas where there is a leash law. There are specific spots where dogs can be unleashed: for example, dog-friendly areas managed by the Chicago Park District, beaches for dogs (cf. in the next sub-section).
- Always clean up after your dog by using a poop bag or pooper scooper. You can get a ticket if you do not do it.
A myriad of services are available throughout the city for dogs and cats. There is daily dog walking, cat care, pet sitting, pet stores, grooming salons, veterinaries, hotels for pets, and even pet therapists. Please see the section “Facilities for pets” for more information.