Local Dog Parks Near The South Loop

three dogs at a dog parkChicago offers a number of local dog parks  where dogs can burn off energy and socialize. Learn more about some of these parks, so you can plan your next outing with your pup.

Grant Bark Park

Located on Columbus Drive and 11th Street, this 18,000 square foot park is fully enclosed and features drinking fountains for pets and people.

Fred Anderson Park

This dog park on S. Wabash Ave. also provides dogs with 18,000 square feet of space to play. There’s also a separate area for small dogs, as well as water features and fountains.

Logan Square Dog Park

This newer dog park is located on N. Western Ave. near the Kennedy Expressway. The park features drinking fountains for dogs and separate play areas for large and small dogs, as well as benches for dog owners who need a rest.

Ohio Place Dog Park

Ohio Place Dog Park is the place to go if you have a larger breed. This park provides bigger dogs with a lot of space to roam around and stay active. Since there aren’t any water fountains at this park, you should bring water with you.

Ohio Street Dog Park

This is a triangular-shaped park that gives dogs plenty of room to run around or play with other dogs. Located on Kingsbury St., this park doesn’t have water fountains, so you’ll need to bring water for your pup.

Skinner Bark Park

Located on W. Monroe, this former parking lot now offers over 17,000 square feet of space for dogs to run around in. Skinner Bark Park includes water for dogs, but keep in mind that you’ll have to bring your own bags for cleaning up after them.

The Park at Lakeshore East

This is a smaller and somewhat more secluded dog park that offers over 6,000 square feet of space. This dog park uses specially designed K9 grass to provide a safe and comfortable surface for dogs.

Wiggly Field

Wiggly Field, located on W. National St. in Reed-Keppler Park, is a park that includes a separate area for smaller dogs to play. The park also has dog agility equipment.

Dog parks are great fun for everyone. However, sometimes, it’s rainy, muddy, cold and can be generally miserable for the humans. So on days when you can’t take the dog to playgroup, but still want them to have fun and get their energy out, consider bringing them to dog daycare for ½ or full days.

This was originally posted at https://www.dogonefunchicago.com/owning-a-dog/south-loop-chicago-dog-parks/

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Getting your Dog ready for the Chicago winter

chicago winter.jpg
Chicago winters can be brutal when temperatures drop well below freezing and snow storms hit. This kind of weather can make it difficult for dogs to spend time outdoors, even when it’s just a quick dog walk so they can do their business. Take the following steps now to prepare your dog for winter weather.
Cover Your Dog to Keep Out the Cold
Bringing dogs outside in winter when they’re used to milder weather is hard for them to adjust to, especially if they have a thinner coat. Put a doggy coat or jacket on your pup when you head outdoors for walks. Having this kind of covering on helps keep their body warm and protected from wind and cold. If it’s snowing and their coat or jacket gets wet, take it off right away when you get back home. Wearing cold and wet apparel can raise their risk of dangerous health issues, such as hypothermia.
Protect Your Dog’s Paws
A coat or jacket helps keep a dog’s body warmer overall, but don’t forget about their paws. Having to walk on freezing concrete can be uncomfortable and lead to injuries. Dogs that have to walk over rock salt on sidewalks can end up with burnt paw pads. The pads on their paws can also become cracked from exposure to the cold, and freezing temperatures can increase their risk of having frostbitten feet. Have your dog wear a pair of dog booties when you go out for walks. These booties protect your dog’s paws and lower the risk of injuries. Make sure you take them off as soon as you get home, so your dog won’t spread salt around your home. Licking this rock salt can be dangerous for dogs.
Look Into Indoor Fun
When it’s too cold for playtime outdoors, consider putting your dog in doggy daycare. This gives your dog a warm and safe place to stay physically active and spend time with other pups. With doggy daycare, you won’t have to worry about frostbite and other winter woes, and your dog won’t get bored being cooped up at home.

Options for your dog while you’re away for the holidays

Carefree restful little pug dog lying on blue bedclothes, embracThe holiday season is often a busy time thanks to family gatherings, work parties and other festive activities. If you plan on driving or flying elsewhere to see your family for the holidays or if you have a packed social schedule during this season, you’ll have to figure out how to make sure that your dog is cared for and has some company. These are just a few different options that are available for pet owners during the holidays.
Consider a Dog Walker
If you’re not going out of town, but you have several holiday festivities going on, look into hiring a dog walker. Professional dog walkers can stop by your home as often as needed to take your dog for walks. This allows your dog to eliminate regularly, get some physical activity and have plenty of attention when you’re not home. This can provide you with peace of mind as you go about your holiday activities.
Hire a Pet Sitter
Hiring a pet sitter to come to your home and care for your dog is another option to consider. Pet sitters can take dogs for walks, play with them, feed them, give them medicine if needed, and perform other tasks. However, keep in mind that some pet sitters only stop by a few times a day or less, which means your dog won’t have as much company overall. If you hire an in-home sitter, you would have to be comfortable letting someone you don’t know stay in your home while you’re away.
Find a Pet Boarding Facility
Boarding your dog is a better option if you’ll be away for the holidays and want to make sure that he has a lot of attention. Find a pet boarding facility that provides a clean and safe place for dogs and has friendly and experienced staff available to supervise them. You can also find pet boarding places that offer other services such as spa services, gourmet treats, and training sessions. If you choose this option for your dog, check the facility’s requirements for boarding, which usually include certain vaccinations and a temperament assessment.

Manage that dog hair with a Grooming Service designed for unruly shedding

groomed dog with lots of furDuring spring and fall, your clothes and furniture can easily end up covered in a coat of dog hair. It’s not just dogs with long, thick coats that shed. You also have to deal with dog hair everywhere when you have a dog with a shorter coat. While you can’t do anything to stop shedding from happening, you can do something about minimizing the amount of hair that gets all over.
Shed Management Program
At DoGone Fun, we offer a special grooming program that’s designed to address shedding and eliminate it as much as possible. In fact, this 8 to 10 step program can reduce shedding by 60 to 80 percent. This means you’ll have a lot less dog hair to deal with on your clothes and in your home. Since this program also reduces the amount of pet dander overall, friends or family with allergies might be able to visit you without sneezing and sniffling.
Keep in mind that this program works best when you have grooming done about every 4 to 6 weeks while your dog is shedding. How often your dog will need to be groomed depends on the type of coat and its length. Dogs with heavier coats or ones that shed more will need to come in more often. The grooming techniques we use for this Shed Management Program can effectively reduce shedding without damaging your dog’s skin or living hair. Your dog will still shed naturally, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy coat, but the amount of hair and dander in your home will be less.
If your dog isn’t used to being groomed, we recommend starting as early as possible. This can help ease any anxiety your dog might have about being handled. Getting your dog used to grooming at an early age makes it easier to stick to a regular grooming schedule, especially during shedding season. At DogGone Fun, we understand how nervous some dogs can be, and we take steps to make them feel as calm as possible. Our trained staff know how to provide grooming services while also keeping dogs comfortable.

Keeping your dog calm during the holidays

cute dog with gift sitting with happy girl in santa hat on backgThe holiday season is hectic enough for humans. Imagine what it’s like for dogs who don’t really understand what all the commotion is about. When you have a busy schedule during the holidays and gatherings to attend, your dog could act up out of anxiety or boredom. You can help your dog remain happy and calm throughout the holidays with these simple tips.
Go Through Training
Even if your dog already knows basic obedience commands, it doesn’t hurt to go over them again and make sure that she knows what to do. If your dog hasn’t had any obedience training so far, it’s important to teach her a few basic commands, such as “down” or “stay.” This can help you have more control over your dog’s behavior when you have holiday guests over, especially if she’s the type that tends to get excited and jump on people. Remember that you should never reward jumping or other unacceptable behavior with attention.
Keep Pet Toys Handy
If your dog will be spending a lot of time without you, make sure that you have plenty of toys available to keep her occupied. Give her safe chew toys, so she can gnaw away her frustration. You can also give her puzzle toys to figure out, since these challenging toys are ideal for preventing boredom. Keep in mind that dogs who are bored, anxious or frustrated can end up having behavioral issues, such as eliminating in the house or barking too much.
Look Into Doggy Daycare
Putting your dog in a daycare setting is a great idea when you’ll be busier than usual with holiday preparations or other activities. Doggie daycare provides opportunities for your dog to stay active and have fun playing with other dogs. This helps keep her brain and body busy, which lowers the risk of behavioral problems. If you’ll be traveling for the holidays, consider boarding your dog at a facility where she can spend time with other dogs. Instead of being cooped up and bored at home, she’ll have plenty of company and many chances to be physically active.

Grooming Through The Winter Months

Bathing a dog Golden RetrieverDogs usually don’t spend as much time outside running around in winter as they do in summer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need grooming. Your dog won’t end up covered in dirt or mud when it’s snowy out, but regular grooming is still essential. Find out more about how you should groom your dog during winter.
Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly
Dogs can get matted or tangled coats in winter. When you don’t remove mats, your dog might need to get a haircut. With a shorter coat, your dog will have a more difficult time keeping warm outdoors in winter. You should brush your dog’s coat on a regular basis throughout winter. Keep in mind that the brush you’ll need and how often you should brush depend on the type of coat your dog has. Dogs with longer coats are more prone to getting mats and tangles than dogs with shorter coats.
Use a Moisturizing Shampoo
Some dogs develop dryness or skin irritation when it’s cold out. Regular dog shampoos can be too harsh on their skin during this time. If you have a dog who gets skin problems in winter, switch to a dog shampoo that has moisturizing or soothing ingredients, such as oatmeal. This can help your dog’s skin stay in good condition all season long. Make sure that you don’t bathe your dog too often in winter, since this can increase the risk of dry and irritated skin. Most dogs will only need a bath every few weeks or even every other month in winter.
Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Many dogs go on shorter walks during winter due to the cold and snow, which means they’re not spending as much time walking on concrete. When dogs walk around on sidewalks, this helps keep their nails from getting too long. With shorter walks, your dog could end up with longer nails that can be uncomfortable to walk on. Longer nails can also get snagged on rugs or furniture and tear off. Check your dog’s nails frequently in winter, and keep them trimmed to prevent this from happening.

How Can I Keep My Dog Sociable In The Winter

dog playing in the snowDogs need regular social interaction in order to prevent boredom and keep them feeling happy. When it’s cold outside, making sure that your dog stays social can be difficult. If you would rather avoid local dog parks when it’s freezing out, there are other ways for your dog to socialize with other dogs.
Importance of Socialization for Dogs
Dogs are social animals who thrive on being around others. Without regular social interaction, dogs might have trouble interacting with other dogs in a healthy manner. They might be scared or even become aggressive if they haven’t learned how to act properly with other dogs. Socialization allows them to learn the right ways to behave when they are around others.
Social interaction on a regular basis also provides dogs with another important benefit. Spending time with other dogs gives them a chance to keep their brain and body busy, which helps lower the risk of behavioral issues that stem from boredom. With regular socialization, you’ll have a happy and well-behaved dog.
Ideas for Socialization When It’s Cold Out
Freezing weather, snowstorms and other winter woes can make it challenging to make sure that your dog has time to be with other dogs. When you can’t meet up with other dog owners outside for some playtime, there are other options available, such as doggy daycare.
At DoGone Fun, we provide a warm, safe and stimulating environment where your dog can interact with other dogs all winter long. You can drop your dog off in the morning before work and come back in the evening, or choose a shorter doggy daycare schedule if that works better for you. Either way, your dog will have plenty of time for playing and socializing with other dogs while staying warm and comfortable.
Keep in mind that there are options available if you want to arrange any playtime with fellow dog owners during the winter. DoGone Fun has a spacious indoor playroom for you pooch available to rent on Sunday afternoons from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. This is a great way for your dog to see their usual friends this winter.