Here are details and FAQs about how you can secure the dog park permit and tag, and some fundamentals about what to expect when you visit any of the Chicago Park District's dog-friendly areas.
Related Reading: Top 12 Chicago Dog Parks | Vet Advice on Chicago Dog Parks
Q. What Do I Need?
- Every dog must have a permit and a dog tag.
- The dogs must wear their tags at the parks, and the owners (or caregivers) must have their permits with them.
- Even if you're just visiting for the day, you are supposed to have the permit and tag. There are no visitor or day passes.
- The permit and the tag can be secured at any of the participating Chicago-area veterinary offices. (See here for the City's most up-to-date list.) Or, you can call your veterinarian to see if they offer the service or can recommend someone nearby who does.
- Current City of Chicago dog license or proof that the dog has a current rabies vaccination.
- Examined within the past year for communicable diseases, including a stool specimen check for internal parasites.
- Current vaccination or "titer" if possible for:
- Bordatella (Kennel Cough)
- In some instances, some of these can be waived with a veterinarian recommendation.
- The cost is $5 total for the permit and the tag if your dog is spayed/castrated. Unspayed or uncastrated dogs cost $50. There is a significant discount for senior citizens ages 65 and older.
- The permit and tag remain valid for a "single season." Each season runs from January 1st through December 31st of the same calendar year. So, you have to renew them annually.
- Unfortunately, you have to pay for a new one.
- In a nutshell, the Administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control issued a regulation requiring "all dog parks within Cook County" to develop a plan to operate safely. This is the City of Chicago's plan.
Well, you wouldn't be alone. A lot of people do. But, if you are at the park the same day as city officials, and you don't have the tag and permit, you may wish you did. Fines can range up to $500.
Q. Okay, I've got the Permit and Tag, What Else Do I Need to Know About Visiting Chicago's Dog Parks?
- Your dog can be off-leash within the dog-friendly areas, but he or she needs to be on leash elsewhere in the parks. So, bring a leash.
- Also, bring plastic bags to clean up after your pup.
- There's no rule against bringing younger children to the dog parks, but from my own experience, I recommend against it.
- You have to stay with your dog in the dog areas. You're not allowed to drop dogs off and come back and get them later.
- Each dog park should have its rules posted near the entrance. Take a moment to review them on your way in.
Source: The Chicago Park District's Site on Dog Friendly Areas