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  • Writer's pictureBetsy Yaros

Tips for Moving to Chicago with Dogs

I knew wherever I was going to optometry school, my dogs Zeb(3) and Tulip(2) were coming along for the ride. So, I took them into consideration when deciding where to apply. Luckily, Chicago is a very dog-friendly city. Below are three tips I learned from planning my move.

Zeb + Tulip

1. Transporting them to Chicago: My parents' first question when I told them I was going to ICO was, “How are you moving your dogs?” My first plan was to rent a U-Box through U-Haul and drive my dogs up separately in a rental car. I found out that U-Haul (and every other shipping container-type company, like PODs,) could not guarantee the time of arrival at my apartment in Chicago. This would not work since I needed to schedule a time with my apartment's management to use the loading dock and for movers to help unload the container.

Next, I tried to rent a cargo van through all of the major car rental places. Unfortunately, cargo vans are generally not allowed for cross-country, one-way trips. I ended up going with a 12ft truck. After price comparing with Budget, U-Haul, and Penske, I found the cheapest option was for $400.00 through Penske.

My plan is to have my dogs occupy the front seat while keeping them restrained with these sturdy leashes I found on Amazon. For the truck, I found several discount codes online which helped drop the price of the rental significantly. Keep in mind I am moving from Tampa Bay to Chicago, so it is a shorter or further distance than some of you maybe traveling.

Breakdown of Truck Rental Fee

2. Living off campus: The campus dorms do not allow pets, so I am renting a studio apartment in the South Loop. It has a heated dog run, dog wash station, and all the facilities that I need in the building. This is more expensive, but for safety and time, having the dog run and wash station in the building is a good investment, in my eyes. I can take the dogs out to run before and after I get home from school throughout the many months of winter.

Many of the other apartments that I looked at did not have a heated dog run, or I read reviews online that, in the winter, the runs load up with ice, snow, and dog waste. My apartment is also a newer building, so they offered two months free when I signed my lease. This brought the overall yearly expense of the apartment down significantly. The downside is, when I go to re-sign, I will probably not receive the same incentive. So, I may be moving again.

3. Dog registration: According to the Chicago City Clerk's website, all dogs 4 months+ must be registered per Municipal Code 07-12-140. Why, you may ask? Registering your dog may help if your dog gets lost or if you want to take them to a dog park or daycare facility. At $5 a pup per year, if your dog is spayed or neutered, it's a steal.

Dog license prices as of July 2019

Once I move to Chicago and start to explore the city with my pups, I will share more dog-friendly tips with you.

Until then,



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