5 Ways to Get Out on the Water With Your Dog in Chicago

Avast ye, landfluffers! It’s the perfect time to get out on the water with your pup. We chased down five splashtastic ways to boogie down with your doggy paddler (and DANG are they cute).

@catahoula_dex at Montrose Dog Beach

Hit the Beach

Everypuppy who’s any puppy knows that the dog beach is THE place to sniff and be sniffed. At 3.8 acres and equipped with its own wash station and toy bar, Montrose Dog Beach is top dog. And okay, we get it–it’s nice beach by human standards, too. But don’t be *that* owner (the dog park is not the place to work on your tan!). The beach is a lot of fun, but it can also just be a LOT. Make sure you brush up on how to be a good dog park citizen cause your dog’ll need your help navigating all the complex interpupsonal situations they find themselves in. Woof to the wise: pups who need a little more chill may prefer Belmont Harbor.

@neverenoughjuice enjoyin’ a Mercury Canine Cruise

Take a Cruise

Your pup is so, so good. Don’t you think she deserves to be on a boat? See the sights with Mercury Canine Cruises, where she’ll enjoy an incredible 90-minutes that features flexible seating, tons of water bowls, a narrated tour, and a newspaper-lined little dog’s room. Set sail on summer Saturdays and Sundays at 10:15 a.m. and get ready to bask in all the puppy smiles.

@adognamedswag at Puppy Paddle


Little known fact: dogs ruv kayaking. Well, some dogs…and how will you ever know if yours does if you never let him try? Enjoy paddling through all the sights together at Urban Kayaks’ Puppy Paddle, which ships outta Monroe Harbor Saturdays at noon. Pup and parent teams can choose between recreational kayaks (single or tandem), sit-on-top kayaks, or paddleboards, and ticket sales benefit our frens at Chicago Canine Rescue.

@epicyogaflow’s Pupper-In-Chief doin’ a balance

Stand-up Paddle Board

We could learn a lot from dogs about how to keep our lives in balance, adopt a more zen mindset, and just breathe. So it stands to reason that in all likelihood, they are probably better than us at stand-up paddle boarding. SUP is a great way to chill together and just float for a while. Try your paw at SUP with your pup at Chicago SUP Yoga, and just wait for the Instagram likes to start rollin’ in.

Making splashos @doggypaddlechicago

Learn to Swim

After all the complaining we do about the cold months, it’s tough to admit that sometimes, it’s just too hot to be outside. While the mercury is climbing, why not take it inside and help your puppo learn to swim at Doggy Paddle. An instructor helps your doggo feel confident in the water; a life vest helps her feel cute as heck. After your dog knows the ropes (typically in 1-3 lessons), she can attend pool playgroups with buddies who match her vibe. Ready to take it outside? Get outta town and hit up Lake County’s Independence Grove or Prairie Wolf, off-leash forest preserves complete with swimming ponds (with FISHOS) to show off those new skills.

(Photo by Mia Anderson on Unsplash)

What is your pup’s pawferred mode of water recreation? Woof at us in the comments! Don’t fur-get to take lots of pics while you’re out doin’ swimmies and tag #SidewalkDog so we can give you ALLL the heart eyes.

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Chicago Facebook Group.

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