Moving to Chicago with a pet? Get ready to have the time of your life with your furry friend. Chicago is an incredibly pet-friendly city, with plenty of dog parks and outdoor cafes where you can spend warm summer days. There are also tons of pet-friendly apartments in Chicago, and some even have extra pet amenities.
Pet-friendly apartments in Chicago are easy to find through most apartment websites. Platforms typically include a search function to filter out apartments that won’t accept your pet. However, you should still read each listing carefully. Some landlords may have rules about what types of animals are accepted, and some might prefer cats over dogs, or vice versa. In Chicago, it’s also common for buildings to impose limits on the weight, breed, and/or quantity of animals. Not all apartment listings include information on whether or not pets are accepted. Some might vaguely state that pets are accepted on a case-by-case basis. In this scenario, you’ll have to reach out to ask. Here are a few pieces of information you can include to improve the chances of your pet being accepted:
With a surge in new construction, Chicago has seen an oversupply of apartments in recent years, meaning that apartment buildings are forced to compete for renters. Many buildings try to attract tenants with luxury amenities packages: gyms, spas, fire pits, rooftop pools, and even amenities geared towards pampering your pet.
Here are a few Chicago apartment buildings with exceptional pet amenities:
Depending on your housing needs, you might be searching for furnished accommodations. Finding a furnished apartment in Chicago that accepts pets can be tricky. Landlords are hesitant to risk damaging their furniture or getting stuck with hefty cleaning bills due to pet hair and odor. Blueground rents out fully furnished apartments, many of which accept pets. Just select the “Pets Allowed” filter when searching for apartments.
Moving to a city like Chicago with a pet can be a challenge. Dogs need plenty of exercise, especially when they’re confined to an apartment all day! You might need to adjust your routine to ensure that your pet’s needs are met.
Not all pet-friendly apartments in Chicago have a designated dog area, but that’s not an issue. The Chicago Park District maintains about two dozen dog-friendly areas around the city. These dog parks are fenced in, meaning you can let your pup run around off-leash, and they provide unlimited fresh water and poop bags. You’re also guaranteed to run into other Chicago dog owners with their own pets, creating an opportunity for both you and your dog to socialize and make new friends.
Dog-friendly areas are free to enter, although you’ll need a permit. Permits cost $5 annually per pet and can only be obtained at a veterinarian’s office. Call your Chicago veterinarian to ask about how to get a park permit. Don’t skip this step; getting caught in a Chicago dog-friendly area without one will cost you a hefty fine.
These days, hiring a dog walker in Chicago is as simple as downloading an app to your smartphone. It’s easy to schedule regular midday walks or last-minute potty breaks on nights when you need to stay late at the office.
There are two main players when it comes to Chicago dog walking apps. Wag! promises to have a dog walker at your door within half an hour, and a 30-minute walk reportedly costs about $20. Rover is an app that offers both walks and pet sitting services, and caregivers set their own prices; you can expect to pay somewhere between $15 and $25 for a 30-minute walk.
If you’re disabled and rely on an emotional support animal (ESA) or service animal, you don’t need to lose sleep over finding a pet-friendly apartment in Chicago. The Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from rejecting you as a tenant because of your animal, even if they have a no pet policy. The only exception is if the building has four or fewer units and the landlord is also a resident.
Finding an apartment in Chicago that accepts pets shouldn’t be a challenge as long as you know where to look. Just remember to always be upfront about the fact that you’re planning to move in with a pet. It’s important to start your relationship with your new landlord off on the right foot.