All dogs using Chicago Dog Parks and Beaches are required to have a DFA tag. DFA (Dog Friendly Area) Tags shows a dog is healthy and up to date on their vaccinations. When dogs are allowed to socialize it's important that they have their vaccinations to prevent an outbreak of potentially life threatening diseases like Parvo and Distemper. Having a tag also shows an owner is a responsible person, and understands the Dog Park rules.

Mondog strongly urges all beach users to be good citizens and get their DFA tags.

What Is Required

The owner or other responsible person bringing any dog into a DFA must have a 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:

1. 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.

2. 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:

  • a. Distemper
  • b. Hepatitis
  • c. Para influenza; and
  • d. Parvovirus
  • e. Boetella
  • f. Leptospirosis

(Current titers where applicable will also be acceptable)
After issuance of a permit, the dog owner is responsible for keeping immunizations thru e above current.

3. 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. A list of the participating veterinarians can be found on the Chicago Park District website at

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Here is a list of races and events that the Chicago Tribune has reported on that take place at Montrose Harbor and may effect entry to the dog beach. 


 8/17/19 & 8/18/19 All Day  Chicago Air & Water Show (not specifically at Montrose)


9/22/19 10:30 AM Chicago Lung Run


See also the Chicago Tribune


We are traditionally challenged by the cost of keeping dog waste bags available at the beach.  We generally spend $1500 or more per year.

The board has decided that if we could find and acknowledge sponsors for each month, we could cover this cost and have a little left over for projects.  A sponsor could deduct this sponsorship as either advertising or a charitable donation to Friends of the Park, which is a 501c3 that we are affiliated with.  Since usage and awareness of MONDOG varies by season, the sponsorship would also vary by season: $120 per month for winter, $160 per month for spring and fall, and $200 per month for summer. 

If you or your organization is interested, the sponsorship of individual months for the next year are available at our online store.  Just click on the Donation Store along the top of our website page or click here.

Access to the Montrose Dog Beach for people and dogs is ALWAYS FREE unless the Chicago Parks District has set up a special event. In the case of the Dog Friendly Areas (DFAs) this is seldom to never.  However, another nearby event may restrict access to the DFA; but, going to the DFA is FREE.

There have been reports on our Facebook Page that people are trying to get admission fees for the Dog Beach.  These are SCAMS!  DO NOT PAY THEM!

This is not to say that you shouldn't follow the rules and have a DFA Tag to enter the Dog Beach.  These cost $5 - $10 from your vet and are good for the entire year.

Montrose Dog Beach was founded on a simple premise: “There is enough beach for everyone.” While our community has grown tremendously over the years, we believe the sentiment still holds true. We all love our slice of shoreline, but what many may not know is that the beach to our southeastern border is equally treasured by many species of birds and a large community of birders and nature lovers.

Unfortunately, the birders and nature lovers frequently contend with dogs that are illegally on both the main portion of the beach and in the two natural areas, Montrose Beach Dunes and Montrose Point. Dogs are not allowed in any of those areas whether leashed or unleashed.

The result, as the photo from a local birder shows, can be fatal for migratory birds that use the beach to rest and feed after long and exhausting migrations. Dogs are also a danger to the 11 bird species that nest at Montrose Beach. We’re sharing the stark photo of a Stilt Sandpiper, a rare bird for Montrose that was killed this past month by a dog that was on the beach illegally, to emphasize the importance of being thoughtful neighbors by only allowing dogs where they are permitted and always keeping dogs on-leash outside Montrose Dog Beach.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely part of the majority of people who love setting their pup free inside the dog beach, and then considerately leashes them on your way in and out. So we’re asking for your help to spread the word - both digitally and in person.


Thanks for your continued help keeping the beach safe, clean and fun for everyone.


Sandpiper being attacked by a off-leash dog

While the County and Chicago Park District post a long set of rules for the Dog Friendly Areas, we would like to remind everyone who uses the DFA of these essential rules:

 1. Be sure to get a new DFA tag at a participating local vet.

2. No food on the beach.

3. No prong collars.

4. No more than 3 dogs per person.

5. Pick up after your dog.

6. When you leave the Dog Friendly Area, make sure your dog is on a leash. 

Those bags aren't free!


The Bag dispensers at the entrances have been a great help in keeping the beach clean, but they aren't free.  Mondog purchases bags and fills the bag dispensers on the Dog Beach.

Donating to Mondog is a great way to support the dog beach, and keep those dispensers full. Help us help you keep Montrose Dog Beach safe and clean by making a donation today. Your donations are tax deductible.



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