The city of Chicago is home to many great walking and biking paths that therefore attract many dog walkers. Chicago paths are filled with dogs during the summer months, and even during cold, snowy winters, one can find many dogs running alongside their owners.
Dog-friendly paths should include:
- Paved surfaces
- Ample shade
- Conveniently located water fountains
- Access to ample green space
While dogs are innately wild creatures, finding a paved path may be better than rough terrain for your dog’s paws. If you and your dog are walking or running near loose gravel or a construction area, it’s more likely that they will get something caught between the pads of their paws.
Also, depending on the time of day you take your dog for a walk, you’ll want to find a path that provides ample shading. In general, it is not great to walk your dog at high noon as dogs, like people, can get dehydrated from intense sun. If, however, that is the only time you can go dog walking in Chicago, be sure you’re taking your dog on a path that’s shaded from direct sunlight. Large trees and bushes will usually do the trick!
With that said, it’s also important that the path on which you’re walking or running has water fountains spread conveniently along it. Constant exercise and exposure to the elements can leave dogs parched and dehydrated. Prevent any medical emergencies your dog may have from being dehydrated by giving them frequent drink breaks and keeping them in tip-top shape.
Paths in the city are great for dog walkers in Chicago who need to quickly get their dogs exercise, however sometimes it’s nice to take time to play fetch with your dog. With that said, try locating a path that opens into a wider green space so your dog can roam freely. Chicago has many parks and even ones that are fenced in so dogs can run without a leash. A path that has access to a great green space will allow your pup to play and run around with his or her doggie friends. When dogs run freely, they expend more energy than they would on just an ordinary walk. This will keep your dog healthy and active longer.
As always, be respectful to fellow Chicago dog walkers and their pups by carrying a plastic bag and cleaning up after your dog. There’s nothing worse than having to traverse a path that has been soiled by other dogs.
So take advantage of the many parks and paths Chicago has to offer dog owners. It will not only keep your dog, but you as well, healthy and in shape.