Can I bring food to the dog BEACH?
No. Food on the beach can lead to aggressive dog behavior.
I’M FROM OUT OF TOWN, DO I NEED PERMIT TO VISIT THE DOG BEACH?
Yes. You don’t have to be a resident of Chicago to use the Dog Beach, but you do have to follow the same rules as everyone, including getting a DFA tag. You need to contact one of the vets on the Participating Veterinarian list and ask what they require to issue a tag. Most vets will want you to make an appointment to review your vaccination records, and insure your dog is healthy. You can use the rabies tag and town registration from your town instead of getting a Chicago Dog license. There are no special visitor or day passes.
WHY DOESN’T THE FENCE ALWAYS KEEP THE DOGS INSIDE THE DFA?
The beach is a natural area. The level of the lake and the sandy beach are affected by every storm and other acts of nature.
IS MONTROSE DOG BEACH THE ONLY LEGAL DOG BEACH IN THE CITY?
No, there are also Beach DFAs at Belmont, Foster, and soon on the Southside. Mondog is not associated with any of the other DFAs.
WHAT’S ALL THAT GREEN STUFF ON THE BEACH?
That green stuff is algae. It comes in with the tide. During the summer months the big beach sweepers may clear the algae away but in the off season it’s allowed to build up along the beach front. It full of nutritional food for birds, making Montrose Beach an important rest stop for migrating birds.
IS THE BEACH FULLY FENCED IN?
No. The Dog Beach is fenced in on three sides with the lake making the fourth, but it is not impenetrable. There are gaps in fences and gates that enterprising dogs can get through. Additionally sometimes the fence doesn’t run all the way into the lake or may be damaged by storms and waves. Depending on water levels and sand build up, there may be a gap of a couple feet or more between the water’s edge and the end of the fence. That’s why it’s important that your dog is trained before he comes to the beach, and that you keep your eyes on your dog at all times.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO USE THE DOG BEACH?
There is no fee to use the Dog Beach. However you are required to have a DFA tag that is good at any of Chicago’s Dog Parks. The tag itself will cost you $10-15, plus a vet visit.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
The easiest thing you can do to help is to be a good and responsible member of the beach community. Take the initiative to clean up messes and trash that aren’t yours. Appraise new beach users of the rules, and the ways of the beach. Lend a hand, or an extra bag, when someone is in need. Most importantly set a good example for others by following the rules, and being responsible for your dogs. And of course, we always need donations. By donating your time or funds, you help keep Montrose Dog Beach clean, safe, and legal!
IS THERE PARKING AT THE DOG BEACH
Yes. There is a very small paid parking lot at the entrance to the ramp. It’s divided up between handicapped and regular parking, and it’s hard to get a spot there. There is ample paid street parking. During the busy summer weekends it can be difficult to find parking during peak hours, so come early, or come late. Nearby street parking is still free, for now.
WHAT IS A SWIM BAN?
A red flag means there is a swim ban in effect, and swimming is prohibited. A swim ban may occur if weather conditions are dangerous or there may be a risk of illness based on monitoring for bacteria in the water. Typically a swim ban will be in effect for an entire day. The Park District monitors the water quality for people, not dogs. Typically during a swim ban your dog will be allowed in the water, but you may not be allowed in the water to your knees, or not at all. Keep in mind just because your dog is allowed in the water, it doesn’t mean it’s safe for him/her. Raised levels of bacteria can also affect your dog.
WHEN IS THE DOG BEACH OPEN?
The beach is open 365 days a year from 6:00 AM until 11:00 PM.
WHOM DO I CONTACT IF I WANT TO HAVE AN EVENT AT THE DOG BEACH?
The Chicago Park District.
CAN I WALK MY DOG ON THE PEOPLE SIDE OF THE BEACH?
No. Dogs are not allowed on the people side of Montrose Beach or any other beach, on or off leash. You can get ticketed for it.