Chicago is a very dog friendly city but how many condo associations are dog friendly? How many condo buildings are dog friendly in Chicago?Here is a quick little guide about some things to watch out for if you are a dog owner and searching for a condo in the city of Chicago.
First off, if you’re new to the city it is important to note that Chicago is VERY dog friendly. Many shops and small restaurants will put dog bowls and dog treats outside in the summer time and some businesses have even started use “pet safe salt” to salt their sidewalks in the winter time. Many condo buildings are also dog friendly, however, one small “incident” can change the way a condo association views pets. With this being said the “dog friendly” environment in condo buildings can change quickly.
I don’t want to get into a debate here about what breeds are “aggressive.” Personally, I don’t agree with many people’s view points on “aggressive” breeds but lets skip the arguments for now. Insurance companies typically set the standard for aggressive breeds. Condo Associations have insurance not only for the building (fire/hazard) but also for liability. While many insurance companies may cover aggressive breeds they do so only at an increased cost. Therefore, we many condo associations have a “No Aggressive Breed” exception in their condo bylws.
Aggressive breeds contain the stereotypical Pit Bull, but may also include dogs such as Siberian Huskies, Chows, Rottweilers, Akitas, Great Danes, Staffordshire Terriors, and even German Shepherds. If you own one of these dogs it is important to check with the condo association as soon as possible to see if these dogs are allowed.
Some condo associations have weight restrictions on dogs. The most common limit I’ve seen in building is 35 to 40lbs. This is typical for buildings in the Gold Coast area. Some condo associations will simply have the rule in place and as long as you don’t walk in with a mastiff you’re fine. Other condo associations will want to see a letter from a vet verifying your dog’s weight.
Special Entrance / Exit
Don’t be surprised if your condo association asks you to use a special entrance or exit for your dog. This is done not because they don’t like your dog but because likely one or two irresponsible owners may have let their dogs leave a little surprise in the lobby or the main elevator and failed to clean it up. Don’t be made at your association, be made at your fellow neighbors for this one. Some buildings say you can use the common elevator but you need to carry your dog while in the elevator.
Pet Number Restrictions
Most buildings limit the number of dogs to two dogs per unit. Some buildings may have a combined weight total. For instance one building I know of in the west loop has a weight total of 80lbs. You can choose to have two 40lb dogs for instance or one 80lb dog.
Some Buildings are not dog friendly at all
Some buildings have adopted a no dog policy. These buildings are rare but you will see them here and there. Some co-ops ban dogs and even the John Hancock no longer allows dogs. These policies come about for many reasons. For instance, in the John Hancock there was an incident a while ago where a larger dog decided to….eat a small dog. Since that time no new dogs were allowed to be adopted by any owners.
While I be the minority if I own a dog in downtown Chicago?
Absolutely not! Many many condo owners have dogs. This is up to everyone’s personal preference. There are plenty of dog walking and dog sitting services to handle the most discerning and loving dog owner. Just remember to let your Realtor know what kind of dog you have or what kind of dog you are thinking about adopting so you can look for condos that will accept you and your four legged friend!