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Pet Ownership Chicago Life in the City – Chicago Pet Ownership Tips


Verify your apartment or building associations pet policy before committing.

Some landlords or condo associations will welcome dogs and cats with open arms, while others, will not. When looking for an apartment or condo, make sure you clearly understand what’s allowed and what isn’t. Many leases have specific, detailed bylaws about pets. Some Co-ops hold daily board meetings to argue for hours upon end about how long a dog’s toe nails can grow before they call animal control and say you’re housing a wild bear!



Puppy Bumpers for Small Breed Dogs

Here is our patient Valentino wearing his ‘Puppy Bumper’.

Balconies, Roof Decks and Windows ~ Can be Deadly to Your Pet!

Chicago probably has more balconies and roof decks than any other major city. We also have many unfortunate stories of animals who have fallen or jumped from them, often sustaining severe, if not life-threatening injuries. Please, please, PLEASE secure your pet when exposed to these potential hazards. Our pets don’t understand the hazard, only that they see a bird or squirrel just over the protective border. It may not be the ‘thrill of the chase’, but rather a scary noise that causes them to run, then jump. Lastly open windows, even when screened, can pose a hazard. We have seen countless beloved pets fall through screened windows. We must protect our pets.

Click here to learn about Puppy Bumpers for small breed dogs.


Vaccinate your dog against Leptospirosis.


If your dog is social, make the dog park your second home. It doubles as a great place to exercise your dog and socialize him or her to cope with constantly being surrounded by new people and pets.


Don’t hire a dog walker sight unseen. Check references and ask fellow pet owners for referrals.


Prepare for inconveniences, such as when a dog walker cancels.

  • Facilitate a relationship with a professional local kennel or doggie day care.


Acclimate your pet to inclement weather. A tasty treat will go a long way in training him to go potty, rain or shine.


Always keep your dog leashed unless you’re in a fenced-in dog run and the gate is secure. Purchase a short leash for tight neighborhood walks and a retractable leash for the city’s larger greenways.

  • Make sure you have control of your pet and that you are paying attention to traffic while approaching corners. Buses and cars driving close to the curb pose unforeseen dangers.


Adjust your dog’s feeding schedule to allow for transit delays after work.


Tag each of your dog’s collars with updated name, phone number and email.


Know the Chicago Dog Laws: Click here for further information.


Register your dog with the city of Chicago:



Depending on your lifestyle, apartment size, and what you want slobbering on your face every morning at 6am, here’s a great tool for deciding which breed of dog might best suit your city life