Pet-friendly fun in the Windy City!

dog summer

There is nothing we love more than a midwestern summer – unless it’s a midwestern summer spent hanging out with our best pals. If you’re in Chicago, here are some of our favorite dog-friendly venues:

Mercury Cruises – Bring your camera and your pooch for a 90-minute cruise with Mercury! On Saturday and Sunday mornings through the end of September, you can enjoy a narrated historical and architectural tour, complete with dog-friendly highlights. These canine cruises feature safe outdoor seating, water bowls, and a special doggy restroom.

Fido to Go – Summer is a great time for food trucks, and now your dogs can enjoy mobile gourmutt (heh) specialties as well. Fido to Go serves handmade, gluten and allergen-free doggy ice creams, frozen yogurts, and cookies. Check out their next stop by following them on Twitter at @fidotogo.

The Shops at North Bridge – Want to shop with your pooch? Head on over to North Bridge, where the entire mall (except for food venues) is pet friendly. They even have comfort stations, treats, and water on the first and second floors. Bonus: so much lovely air conditioning.

Make sure your dog enjoys the outings as much as you do! For only $5, you can learn how to keep your pooch safe and happy during your summer adventures. Get your I Love Dogs badge here!

Bucktown Pub and Ten Cat Tavern  – There are tons of outdoor patios in Chicago where your pooch can hang while you enjoy brunch or a brew, but if you want your pup to watch the ball game with you inside a friendly neighborhood bar, check out the Ten Cat Tavern or Bucktown Pub (they also have outdoor beer gardens).

Prairie Wolf Dog Park – Chicago has lots of off leash parks inside the city limits, but if you’re willing to head out to Lake Forest you can romp to your heart’s content at the 44-acre Prairie Wolf Dog Park. If you have a dog that likes to run but needs his space, you can enjoy the freedom of trails, open fields, and a swimming hole without having to worry about too much interaction with other dogs.

What are some of your favorite pet-friendly hangouts? Let us know at!


ILDGet the I Love Dogs badge for only $5! We’ve hand-picked the 5 most important topics that will take your dog smarts to the next level. These fun, easily-digestible lessons cover the basics of body language and communication, how dogs learn, the top 10 most popular breeds and more.







Top tips for selling a home with a pet in the house


By Jason Feldman, Chicago Pet Friendly Real Estate

Selling a home can be complicated… and even more so when you have a pet. People have asked me questions like:

  • What should I do about the hairy mess my cat leaves on the sofa?
  • My dog usually urinates from being overly excited when there are strangers in the home. What do I do with my dog when there are showings?
  • My dog has a pee pad. Can I leave that in the closet?
  • My bird has a foul mouth. How do I keep him from cussing out visitors?

Here is our checklist for selling your home with a pet in the house:

Whenever possible, remove your pet from the house during showings and open houses. If they have to be there, then make sure they are in a secured, locked cage or room. Put a sign on the room door that alerts visitors to the presence of the pet so that nobody freaks out.

Clean and remove stains, giant tumbleweed cat hairballs, and unpleasant odors.

Remove dog and cat toys so nobody trips on a squeaky ball.

Move food and water bowls if they are a tripping hazard, they smell, or are just plain ugly.

Make sure your realtor highlights any special elements that incorporate a hidden dog feeding area or cat litter box. Other animal lovers will be attracted to these features.

Remember to remove excrement pads and clean the cat litter before all showings. No exceptions here! Walking into a kitchen with a cat *ahem* “gift” on the floor is not the prettiest element of a kitchen.

Repair or replace any damage like scratches on the back of doors (yes, you CAN see how your dog misses you while you are away). Consider refinishing the floors if there are visible scuff marks.

Make sure your realtor screens all buyers before they view your property (condos) to make sure their type of pet, size, and quantity will be allowed. This will help avoid wasting your time.

Lastly, make sure your realtor knows all of the pet-friendly features in your building and neighborhood, such as dog spas, dog runs, nearby parks, walking services, and more.

All of these should help make selling your home easier and faster, and make the experience better for your pet, too. Good luck!


jason-feldman-croppedJason Feldman is a Realtor specializing in helping people with pets buy and sell homes in the Chicago area. His website is Chicago Pet Friendly Real Estate, and be sure to check out his Facebook page for more great tips on buying and selling a home!