The Windy City not only tops tourists’ bucket lists, it ranks No. 4 for our four-legged friends, according to PetListed’s 2020 Best Cities for Dog Owners. With a massive brewing scene—it’s 167 breweries are the most of any metropolitan area in the United States—world-renowned architecture and 8,000 acres of green space, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to explore with your dog by your side.
Start downtown with a walk along the Magnificent Mile or Riverwalk, then head to one of the city’s 77 diverse neighborhoods to find your favorite deep dish pizza, explore local shops, take in a ball game with your pup or enjoy the gorgeous lakefront together.
From dog-friendly dining to epic dog beaches, plus spots to get your pup the care they need, here’s our dog-lovers guide to the Second City.
Dog-Friendly Bars and Restaurants
When the weather warms up (or you’re feeling brave in the wintertime), Chicago patio season is a sight to behold. Play games like bocce and bags at Park and Field or satisfy your fried chicken craving at Parson’s Chicken and Fish. And if you’re looking to put your dollars towards something good while you dine, the proceeds from Bandit’s doggy menu go to a local shelter.
Best Dog Parks in Chicago
City living includes finding your community, and there’s no better way to break the ice than making four (and two!)-legged friends at the dog park. Small spaces and places provide great opportunities to explore Chicago, so head outside your ’hood and hit the town. Montrose Dog Beach, an enormous swath of dedicated dog beach along Lake Michigan, is a favorite among locals all year long — especially in the summer, when it’s a friendly dog’s paradise.
Top Groomers in Chicago
Whether you prefer DIY dog grooming or want to leave it to the professionals, there are a wide range of options to get your pup cleaned up. Urban Pooch Canine Life Center offers quick clean-ups and full-service grooming services, while Pet Care Plus Resort and Spa provides patrons with grooming, daycare, and boarding.
The Best Veterinarians in Chicago
Finding the right veterinarian can be overwhelming, but Chicago has a wide range of expert providers in nearly every neighborhood. MedVet animal hospital is an American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care-certified trauma center for any emergency incidents, and for day-to-day care, Good Vets has four locations throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. Old Town Animal Care Center offers walk-in appointments, grooming, daycare and boarding services.
Chicago-Area Animal Shelters
The rescue community in Chicago is thriving, with long-standing organizations like The Anti-Cruelty Society and PAWS Chicago saving thousands of homeless animals every year. Slightly newer outfits, like One Tail at a Time, are dedicated to saving animals and giving back to the community by hosting biannual Community Days as well vaccine clinics in underserved communities to help pet parents in need keep their pets at home.