Cruisin' Canines logo of a white dog with an orange background

Cruisin' Canines

Enjoy a walk and the weather at dog friendly beachesChicago dog owners have to suffer through winter every year – between doggie boots/socks to protect their pets’ precious paws, unrelentingly cold temperatures, and icicles forming on their pets’ fur, it’s no wonder dog parents welcome summer with open arms every year. Chicago pet owners also love taking their dogs along with them to various places, and we thought it’d be beneficial to everyone—dogs and humans alike—to compile a not-quite comprehensive list of some fun activities that both you and your pooch can enjoy.

The Dog Beach

More of a destination than an event, bringing your dog beach can be a lot of fun. Chicago has many beaches, but three have designated dog-friendly areas – Montrose Dog Beach, Belmont Harbor’s Dog Beach, and Foster Avenue’s Dog Beach.  Dogs need a DFA (dog-friendly area) tag, which costs $5 and requires proof of a current rabies vaccination.

Pug Party

While any human is allowed to attend this event, the organizers request only that the only dogs brought are pugs. This event takes place June 7th, 2014, at Chicago Party Animals in the West Loop, and draws hundreds of pugs and pug owners. Some vendors and artists attend, and food and drink are offered. If you’re a pug owner or a pug lover, this is the place to be.

PAWS 8k/4k

PAWS Run for Their Lives is an 8k run/4k walk that is dog friendly. This year, a special event will be held in order to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “most dogs in costumed attire in one location.” A fundraiser—participants can either run or walk without pledging, or pledge $86, which goes toward spaying or neutering one animal. Run the 8k race by yourself, or bring your pooch along for the 4k walk.

Windy City Pet Expo

Held on July 19 at the Odeum Expo Center, the Windy City Pet Expo encourages bringing your (vaccinated, leashed) dog. The Expo features exhibitors of all kinds – trainers, rescues, photographers, and so much more.


A fun-filled event perfect for your entire family, this event includes a pet fashion show, silent auction, shopping, raffle prizes, dog shelters, a Q&A session with a veterinarian, a pet yearbook, a class for new dog owners, a cooking class that teaches how to make both human and canine treats, and lots, lots more. Admission is $30 for each dog + owner, and each additional person is $5. All dogs must be leashed and vaccinated, and tickets are available at

Gimme Shelter! Walk for the Animals

Held on Sunday, June 8, this event draws over 300 animal lovers who will participate in a walk that benefits the Red Door Animal Shelter. Registration costs $20 and includes a walk t-shirt, a goodie bag, and a bandana for your dog. The event is open to everyone—if you don’t have a dog, you can still come along for the fun!

Are you going to something special this summer with your dog? Let us know about it!


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Cruisin' Canines logo of a white dog with an orange background