City of Chicago says dogs aren't allowed on beaches except Belmont Harbor, Montrose

Sat. June 5, 2021 8:04 PM by Gerald Farinas

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The City of Chicago is reminding patrons of the city's beaches that dogs are not allowed on the sand nor in the water—except at designated dog beaches at Belmont and Montrose.

And even there, dog owners must follow certain conditions.

With thermometers hitting the 90 degrees marker on Saturday, there were several reports on Facebook and Twitter complaining of city lifeguards “throwing out” dogs from Osterman Beach, 4600 N. Lake Shore Dr. in the Edgewater neighborhood.

Osterman is popularly known as 'Hollywood Beach' or 'The Gay Beach.' It is considered an LGBTQ hotspot according to—a place heavily trafficked by LGBTQ persons.

While there were comments of being treated unfairly, others stepped in to say that the lifeguards were correct.

“Hollywood is not a dog beach,” one Facebook commenter said.

“[I] definitely don't want to find hidden dog gifts in the sand when I go to the beach,” another said.

A Twitter user lamented, “We need a dog beach in Edgewater.”

Another Twitter user responded, “We need to tell the alderman that.”

The City of Chicago names only two designated dog beaches: Belmont Harbor Dog Beach, W. Belmont Ave. at N. Lake Shore Dr.; and Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore Dr.

And at those beaches, dogs must have a permit and tag to be off leash.

Obtaining one proves that a dog has received required vaccinations and has been examined against certain diseases.

These can be purchased at a veterinarian.

Not having a permit and tag could cost a dog owner up to $500.

At other Chicago Park District properties—like parks adjacent to beaches—dogs are allowed but must follow certain regulations.

First among them is that all dogs must be on a leash, or confined, when in public areas like city beaches, and parks, not designated as dog areas.

Letting dogs off a leash to walk or run free is illegal and may be met with a fine.

Also, dog owners must remove animal waste.

Always have pick-up bags available when walking a dog or visiting the dog beach.

Veterinarians suggest that the comfort of a dog is important in high heat. They suggest bringing bottled water and a drinking receptacle. Hydrate dogs as a human would need to be hydrated in hot weather.