Dog Friendly Areas

Dog friendly areas are designated sections within Chicago parks or beaches, where dogs are allowed to run and play off -leash, the only areas in the city where this is allowed.  Until the creation of these areas, dogs were only allowed in the city’s parks on a leash. Many of these sites provide features such as doggie drinking fountains, separate areas for shy dogs, dog owner bulletin boards, trash receptacles and extra doggie bags.

The owner or other responsible person bringing any dog into a dog friendly area must have a permit and tag issued by a participating Veterinarian for each dog. Please be responsible when using these areas by following the policies and procedures for Chicago Park District Dog Friendly Areas.

We hope your dog enjoys running, playing and socializing with other dogs in a Chicago Park District dog friendly area. Remember to be safe, obey the rules, and respect the park and others. For further information on dog friendly areas: Procedures for Establishing a DFA in your Community 

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Total of 23 facilities.

Walsh Dog Friendly Area

Walsh Dog Friendly Area

Location Notes: 1722 N. Ashland Ave.

Park: Walsh Playground Park

Park: (312) 742-4644

Notes: .10 acres, located west of Ashland and adjacent to train tracks. Doggie drinking fountain.

Ward Dog Friendly Area

Ward Dog Friendly Area

Location Notes: 630 N. Kingsbury St.

Park: Ward (Aaron Montgomery) Park

Park: (312) 742-2410

Notes: .16 acres, located on west side of Kingsbury south of Erie.

Wicker Dog Friendly Area

Wicker Dog Friendly Area

Location Notes: 1425 N. Damen Avenue Chicago IL 60622

Park: Wicker Park

Park: (312) 742-7553

Notes: .14 acres, located at intersection of Wicker Park and Evergreen. Doggie drinking fountain.

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Rules & Regulations of a Dog Friendly Area

  • Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by their dogs.
  • Owners must remain with and watch their dogs at all times.
  • Dogs must be leashed prior to and upon leaving the DFA. Gates to the DFAs must remain closed except upon entering and exiting the DFA.
  • Owners must immediately clean up after their dogs. Owners who fail to clean up after their dogs are subject to a fine of up to $500.00 (City of Chicago Ordinance 7-12-420).
  • Dogs with a known history of, or who exhibit, dangerous behaviors are prohibited.
  • Dogs must be healthy, fully immunized, dewormed, licensed and comply with the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control Regulation for Chicago Park District DFAs.
  • No dog will be allowed in a DFA unless it has a current rabies vaccination.
  • Dog owners are responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of the DFA.
  • No Food (human or dog food) is allowed inside the DFA
  • Owners or other responsible persons must have a DFA permit with them for each dogvisiting the DFA.
  • DFA permits are valid from January 1 through December 31 each year.
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult; younger childrenmust be closely supervised.
  • Only three dogs per person allowed.
  • Puppies under four months old and female dogs in heat are prohibited.
  • Failure to comply with the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control Regulation for Chicago Park District DFAs can result in a fine of up to $500.00.

Notice Valid From: 4/1/2014 - 4/1/2024

Download List of Veterinarians (pdf)

Notice Valid From: 4/1/2014 - 4/1/2024

The Administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control mandated that the Park District issue permits for all off-leash dogs using Dog Friendly Areas. This regulation will be enforced by Deputies of the Department of Animal and Rabies Control. Any patron using a DFA without a permit is subject to a $500 fine.

The owner or other responsible person bringing any dog into a DFA must have a permit and tag issued by a participating Veterinarian for each dog. The veterinarian will issue a permit for any dog when the dog’s owner or other person responsible for the dog shows the following:

  1. The owner or other responsible person produces a current dog license issued by the City of Chicago, or proof that the dog has a current rabies vaccination.
  2. The owner must complete a Chicago Park District Dog Friendly Area Permit Application for each dog. The owner shall provide written proof acceptable to the Park District showing 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:
    1. Distemper
    2. Hepatitis
    3. Para influenza; and
    4. Parvovirus
    5. Bordetella
    6. Leptospirosis

    (Current titers where applicable will also be acceptable) After issuance of a permit, the dog owner is responsible for keeping immunizations a thru f above current.

  3. The owner must agree to abide by the Chicago Park District Rules and Regulations of a Dog Friendly Area.

Where to Get a Permit In Chicago

Dog Friendly Area Permit Applications are available at participating veterinarian offices. The Chicago Park District, with the cooperation of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, developed a process for distributing permits for our Dog Friendly Areas (DFAs). Permits are available at the offices of participating veterinarians for a cost of $10 per dog.

Notice Valid From: 4/1/2014 - 4/1/2024