Rules & Regulations
- 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 dog visiting the DFA.
- DFA permits are valid from January 1 through December 31 each year.
- Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult; younger children must 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.
Permits and Tags
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:
- 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.
- 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:
- Para influenza; and
(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.
- 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 (see link to list below). 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.
View the List of Veterinarians (pdf)
Establishing a Dog Friendly Area
To learn about the process involved in establishing a new dog friendly area, view Procedures for Establishing a DFA in your Community .