Of all the U.S.’s major cities, Chicago is known for being more dog-friendly than most. At any time of day, it’s hard to walk down a residential or commercial street without seeing at least one happy dog, tugging its owner along by the leash. Why is Chicago so much more dog-friendly than other cities? I’m not sure, but the evidence is everywhere. From local businesses catering exclusively to dogs to bowls of water and treats outside restaurants, Chicago’s canine population has it pretty good.
Chicago’s Dog-Friendly Stores
Although most stores don’t allow dogs to accompany their owners inside, Chicago’s stores have gone out of their way to be dog-friendly. Many stores set out bowls of water in the summer for thirsty dogs, and many also have strategically placed treat jars outside their doors. For owners who want to duck inside a café for a mid-walk ice cream cone, many stores and restaurants also feature outside wall hardware that lets you tie your dog’s leash securely.
Chicago’s Many Dog Boutiques
Dogs in Chicago are just as fashionable as their owners. In addition to the usual array of decorative collars and bandanas available to your dog, Chicago has many dog boutiques full of cute outfits for Spot. As if dressing your dog as well as yourself wasn’t enough, these boutiques also have accessories like designer food bowls that say “Stud” or “Bitch.” I just wish they made a people-sized version of the dog T-shirt that says, “I was raised by wolves.” Or maybe that wouldn’t be so funny on a human.
Chicago’s Dog Parks
Many of Chicago’s parks do not allow dogs, leashed or otherwise (including the new Millennium Park). To make up for this, there are several conveniently located dog parks throughout the city where Fido can play to his heart’s content.
Chicago’s Many Dog Service Companies
From dog spas to daycare, Chicago’s got it all. There are even a number of pet chauffeuring services that will pick up you and your pooch for a safe ride to the vet or obedience school. Going out of town? You’ll have your choice of dozens of licensed, insured, and bonded dog-walkers and pet sitters if boarding is the right choice for your dog.
Chicago’s Dog-Friendly Property Owners
As evidenced by the sheer numbers of dogs you’ll see walking their owners down the street, it’s clear that Chicago’s landlords are more dog-friendly than most big-city landlords. Whether you’ve got a Great Dane or a Teacup Terrier, you shouldn’t have a problem renting in your neighborhood of choice. Chicago apartment finding services are skilled in helping you locate dog-friendly rental properties, and the magazine Chicagoland Tails also has a directory of pet-friendly landlords they’re more than happy to make available to you.