Ginger at Montrose Beach
your dog to the beach can be lots of fun, if you're prepared.
Things to Bring
is a list of
things we suggest you bring for a day at the beach. Things in bold are
important items, others are extras/less essential.
- A towel for drying that wet dog
- A bottle of water and a bowl
dog first aid kit
- Pick-up bags
long line if your dog is not off-leash trained (see reliable recall)
floating fetch toy (tennis balls work well and are inexpensive in
case they float away!)
life jacket, if the water is rough or your dog is not an expert
for dogs with light skin/short fur (look for baby-safe, PABA
free, hypoallergenic types)
What to Expect
to see plenty of people, including children, and other dogs. If you
plan to have your dog off leash, make sure s/he has a solid recall
(most beaches are not fenced.) Many beaches are near bike paths, so
joggers, inline skaters and bicyclers may be nearby.
beach can present many hazards for your dog. Things to watch out for
include boats, fishhooks, dead fish, garbage, and broken glass. We
suggest you check out the area with your dog on a short leash or
without your dog before letting him/her play. If you find any of the
hazards above, look for a better area. If swimming in the Lake
(Michigan) check the height of the waves before
you allow your dog to get in the water. Even excellent swimmers can get
into trouble when the waves are too high.
I suggest using a long line if you're not sure of your dogs
swimming skills, or if you think your dog may swim too far. I don't
recommend Flexis for the beach, mainly because sand will get into the
housing, which would probably ruin them (we have firsthand experience!)
I recommend tennis balls for water retrieving, because they're easy to
spot and inexpensive- if
your dog decides not to fetch the ball from the water, it's no big
If you do decide to use a 'fancy' retrieving toy, make sure that a) it
floats and b) your dog will actually retrieve it, before you throw it
into the water!
Where to Go
There are two official beaches within the
Chicago city limits which
currently allow dogs. Dogs are officially not allowed on other beaches
in Chicago. However,
many people take their dog to other beaches during
off-season and off-hours.
The Chicago dog beach/dog friendly area at Montrose Beach is a fenced
off area at
the north end of the beach. The second dog friendly beach is a smaller
area north of this at Foster Beach.
If you do visit the
beach, please be sure to keep your dog within the fenced area and do
not allow your dog off-leash until you are on the sand. People have
been ticketed for letting their dogs off the leash on the sidewalks or
rocks before they were actually on the beach.
You can find some information on Montrose Dog Beach at MonDog.
The City of Chicago has
recently enacted a new law which requires all dogs at "Dog Friendly
Areas" including dog beaches to have a special permit. The
permits are $5 and can be purchased
There is also an "unofficial" dog beach at Belmont
Harbor. It's not
officially a beach, so there are no rules about whether dogs are
allowed. This beach is small, but it is completely fenced in. One
warning, though- if you do visit and allow your dog off leash, you can
get ticketed as it is not an official dog friendly area.
Evanston does have an official Dog Beach which requires a season
token. For info
on Evanston's dog beach, click
here or call 847-866-2900.
You can get more dog beach information from the book
Doggone Chicago by Steve Dale or (more up-to-date) The Dog Lover's Companion
to Chicago by Margaret Littman.
Here's a tip!
your dog in
the water, soak her fur with a
diluted with water.
Be sure this is a product that is meant to be left on the fur!
I use Lambert
Kay's Fresh n' Clean.
When your dog
dries off, she will smell
and feel like
she just had a bath!
Ginger in Wisconsin