The Ultimate Guide To Dog-Friendly Apartments In Chicago

Dogs. If you have one, you know how they can worm their way right into your heart and become family. You wouldn’t give your kid up because finding a kid-friendly apartment was challenging. For many of us, the same is true of our fur babies. If you’re looking for an apartment in Chicago for you and your dog, you’ve come to the right spot. 

At Hotspot Apartment Rentals, we don’t just claim to love dogs, we’re passionate about our pooches. In fact, many of our agents actually live in downtown Chicago with their four-legged friends. 

Take Shannon and KJ, for example. They’re a married couple and both are agents on our team living in the South Loop, two blocks from Grant Park. They are pet parents to Frankenstein, a two-year-old male pug. “He’s an explorer, very curious, loves any type of food, and has the cutest sense of humor,” Shannon says. 

Then, there’s Stephanie, a long-time Hotspot agent who lives in the Lakeshore East neighborhood of downtown Chicago. Like Shannon and KJ, she’s a resident at one of our properties, recently adding a new addition to her family, a rescue dog named Nigel. He’s a one-year-old adorable Beagle/Miniature Pinscher Mix.

Finally, there’s Rachel and Apollo, another married couple who have lived in Chicago for four years with their six-year-old Border Collie, Domino. In talking with Rachel, “People love dogs here and just about everyone has one, it seems.”

All of them are passionate about dogs…and apartments, so we brought the team together to share some super suggestions on apartment living with your dog – straight from the heart of downtown Chicago.

Wait. Can I REALLY Live in Downtown Chicago with my Dog?

You may be fully on board with the ideology of owning a dog in the Windy City, but still be wondering about the reality of it. Can you really live in downtown Chicago with your dog? Our dog-loving agents will tell you the answer is: Absolutely!

Dog-Friendly Apartment Living

There’s a myriad of dog-friendly apartments in Chicago, including luxury and high-rise apartments. You just have to know where to look. And that’s where we can help. 

We conducted a survey of 207 properties we personally work with. Out of those, 186 (a whopping 90%) accepted dogs. An astounding 100% of the new properties built between 2015 and 2019 proudly welcome canines. Dog-friendly apartments in Chicago are definitely trending.

“People love dogs here and just about everyone has one, it seems.”

Rachel, Hotspot Agent

Pup-Friendly Green Space

You’ll need space for your dog to run and play, right? In the neighborhoods in and around downtown Chicago, there are 29 dog-friendly areas. 

You’ll find plenty of dog parks – like the brand new 1.2 acre Fred Anderson Dog Park on South Wabash in the Near South Side neighborhood, and the popular off-leash 1.4 acre Mary Bartelme Dog Park on Sangamon Street in the West Loop. 

Locations of 29 Dog-Friendly Areas in Downtown Chicago

“South Loop, where we live, has three enclosed dog parks within a 7-minute walk from our building. Frankenstein loves meeting other small dogs at Fred Anderson Dog Park!” said Shannon. 

If your fur-buddy loves the water like Rachel’s pooch Domino – Montrose, Belmont Harbor, Foster Beach, and Lakeshore Beach Dog areas are always splashing with fun.

“Montrose Dog Beach and Foster Beach are Domino’s favorites,” Rachel divulged. “He loves the water and I love that he can get some energy out!” 

Dog-Approved Socializing

Dining and drinking are always more fun with your pooch by your side. You’ll find plenty of Yappy Hours at downtown Chicago establishments. Dog-friendly restaurant, 312 Chicago (in The Loop), hosts Waggin’ Weekends. Bring your dog and let them feast in the lap of luxury with entrees like Beefcicles and Peanut Butter Biscuits.  

A lot of apartments host a private social time for pups and their parents. Amli Lofts, in the Prairie District of South Loop, even has a Yappy Hour so residents and their dogs can mix and mingle.  

“Frank loves a great doggie ice cream on a hot day at the beach,” says Shannon. “Chicago is a dog-friendly city. Most restaurants have patios that allow dogs. Some shops are dog-friendly too. Multiple events for dogs and their owners are common!”

Dog-Focused Amenities

Luxury apartment buildings aren’t just allowing dogs, they’re catering to them. You’ll be floored by some of the dog-friendly amenities many buildings offer. Some even pamper pooches with dog bathing stations, doggie daycare services, and dog contests.

Over half of the dog-friendly buildings in our survey have an on-site dog run or similar designated space on-site. For those dog-friendly properties built prior to 2015, 40% have dog runs or equivalent, while 75% (60 out of 80) of the newer dog-friendly buildings offer them. 

“805 N LaSalle, in my opinion, has perfected the dog run,” says Stephanie. “It doesn’t matter what time of day you’re there, it’s the cleanest dog run with no smell at all.”

Which Chicago Neighborhoods are Most Dog-Friendly?

Chicago is full of dog-friendly neighborhoods, but some are better than others. 

Our hands-down favorites are: 

“South Loop is definitely dog-friendly!” Said Shannon. “Fulton River, West Loop, and Uptown are as well.  All of these areas have good green space, dog-friendly parks, and activities, and a lot of people with dogs.”

Shannon adds, “I’ve also lived with dogs in Lakeshore East and Lakeview East. Personally, I think these are two of the best neighborhoods to be in because of the amount of real grass available to the dogs. Access to the lakefront has always been great for long walks, vets are within walking distance, and there are a lot of other dog owners.”

Rachel and her pup Domino are partial to the grassy-lined sidewalks of Northside. “It’s weird watching dogs ‘go’ on the sidewalk, so I like South Loop, Fulton, West Loop and areas where there are less congestion and more green space.”

“I’ve also lived with dogs in Lakeshore East and Lakeview East. Personally, I think these are two of the best neighborhoods to be in because of the amount of real grass available to the dogs” 

Shannon, HotSpot Rentals Leasing Agent 

Stephanie loves Lakeshore East for its dog-friendly spirit and green space but also says, “South Loop is great too because of the amount of green space and because they have an off-leash dog park, access to the lakefront, and the Fido-to-Go truck stops outside of Burnham Point.” 

Stephanie adds, “West Loop, especially down Madison Avenue and around the Fulton River area is a great space with a lot of different boutique pet stores, fenced-in dog parks, and a good number of vet offices to choose from.”  

Renting with Your Dog: Breed, Weight, and Quantity Restrictions

Breed Restrictions

Although you can live in a luxury downtown Chicago apartment with your dog, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into rules and restrictions.   

Every building we work with has a breed restriction of some type and some have weight limits. Most properties enforce rules regulating the number of dogs/pets you can have in your apartment as well.

Typical breed restrictions include: 

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds  

Some buildings are ultra-strict and go on to prohibit breeds like Mastiffs, American Pit Bull Terriers, Miniature Pinscher, Chows, St. Bernards, Akitas, Giant Schnauzers, Old English Sheep Dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Alaskan Malamutes, Bull Huskies, American Staffordshire Terriers, and a slew of others you might not expect to find on the list.

Thankfully, there are buildings that make exceptions for some restricted dog breeds.  We’ve gathered a list for you:

Buildings that take German Shepherds

  • AMLI 900
  • AMLI Lofts
  • 1401 S State
  • 1407 on Michigan
  • 1140 S Wabash
  • Arrive Lex
  • Arrive South Loop
  • Xavier

Buildings that take Huskies

  • 1407 on Michigan
  • Xavier
  • Luxe on Madison

Weight Restrictions

Yes, some buildings have weight restrictions on dogs. But surprisingly, there are more dog-friendly apartments in Chicago that accept large dogs than we expected.  

One hundred and twenty-four of the 186 dog-friendly apartments we work with impose no weight limits. Older buildings tend to have more weight-related restrictions than newer properties with 42% enforcing some type of limit. Just 22% of new buildings having any weight restrictions at all. 

It’s important to note that the weight limits that are typically enforced range between 25 to over 100 pounds. Some properties combine the weight of multiple dogs to determine the total weight, so keep that in mind.

“75% of all the managed apartments built since 2015 offer some form of on-site dog run or similar designated space.” 

2019 survey of 207 managed apartments in downtown Chicago

Shannon and KJ have found weight restrictions to be fairly easy to work around in general. “There are restrictions, but buildings do want to work with future tenants to find the best solution,” they explained.

Do Numbers Matter?

Devoted dog lovers can’t get enough of wagging tails and wet noses, but the majority of buildings do have a two pet limit on the number of dogs allowed in one unit. Less than 3% had a one-pet restriction. 

If you have three furry family members, you’re in luck. We have one property, Milwood Falls in Wicker Park, that accepts three dogs. The determination is done on a case-by-case basis. 

Keep in mind, buildings are willing to work with dog owners and bend their rules. “Yes, there are often restrictions,” says KJ, “but buildings do want to work with future tenants to find the best solution.” 

The Cost of Renting with Your Dog

New properties in downtown Chicago are more accepting of dogs than ever before. They’re more lenient on weight and are even providing many more amenities. But, the Fido features aren’t exactly free.  

We found that 60% of our properties charge additional rent if you have a dog. Broken down – only 43% of the older buildings required extra rent for pets, while 83% of newer ones do. Rental fees are generally $25 to $35 per month, per pet.

Pet fees are standard for the majority of buildings. They range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $650 per dog. 

Our Favorite Spots for Spot

As you can probably tell, we’re kind of passionate about our little guys. So, here are some pup places we’re partial to…and a little about what each has to offer.

Pet-Friendly Properties We Love

Large private dog run at K2

1. 777 South State

The 77 Dog Run at 777 South State rivals some of the serious upscale people amenities. They spoil four-legged friends with features like a dog park, in-house walking service, doggie wash station, and dog daycare. They definitely go the extra mile for pooches.

2. K2 Apartments

K2 Apartments in Fulton River has the largest dog run of all our properties. The gated run is a generous half-acre that runs alongside the parking garage. It’s also open to the public.

3. Eight O Five

River North’s Eight O Five apartments sport a heated dog run for furry ones which is handy in the colder months. Their spacious floor plans allow for plenty of room for your dog to stretch out and the floor-to-ceiling windows provide all the light one could need for sunbathing! 

4. 1000 S Clark

1000 South Clark takes great pride in their pet perks. Located in the South Loop, 1000 South Clark has full-service grooming, on-site dog run, dog sitting services, group training classes, and exclusive resident rates.

5. Burnham Pointe

Burnham Pointe, also in the South Loop, has truckloads of treats for dogs…literally. The dog food truck comes by every Friday. They also have an in-house bark park.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask a Building about Renting with a Dog

Now that you’re armed with all of this dog-friendly goodness, it’s time to check it all out. Of course, you’ll want to begin by asking the standard questions about weight, breed, rent, and fees. We also suggest inquiring about the following:

  1. How close are the nearest veterinary clinics and are there any with 24-hour care in the event of an emergency?
  2. Do you have any recommendations for nearby doggy daycare or boarding services? Are there any in-house sitting services?
  3. Is there a dog-walker in the building (or nearby) that currently walks any of the resident dogs?
  4. Is there a local pet shop in the vicinity that has quality food and treats?
  5. Is there a good area dog groomer nearby that residents recommend?   

Give Us a Whistle

For those who feel that home is where the dog is, we understand that finding a place in downtown Chicago for you and your pup can feel overwhelming. Being dog lovers and pet parents ourselves, we’re all about helping you find a fur-friendly luxury apartment in downtown Chicago. 

Reach out to us today, and let’s find you a perfect new home for you and your dog.