Virginia Beach is a very pet-friendly town, which is why with a little forethought and planning it makes a great destination of choice for vacationing with the K-9 members of your family. However, like any good dog town, it has rules of conduct meant to make your stay, as well as those you share the beach with, as fun and enjoyable as possible.

Keep reading for the three rules for Dogs at Virginia Beach! 

1. Enforceable Leash Laws

First and foremost, as with most recreation and resort areas these days, Virginia Beach has enforceable leash laws. Even the most well-behaved pups can do something naughty a time or two by running away from their owner to go greet another person or fellow furball. Not everyone is a dog person, and some dogs are not friendly towards others. So keep this in mind while bringing your fur baby to the beach, and remember to always keep a leash handy and ready to use in case of these incidents.

Dogs may be off-leash while enjoying the beach. Dogs must be on a leash while on the boardwalk, streets, sidewalks, etc. 

2. Scoop the Poop

The second most common reason that the pooch people find themselves banned from parks and beaches is the puppy poo. It’s not cool to let someone else deal with it (or step in it), so just do it! All you have to do is fit a couple of plastic grocery bags into your back pocket when you hit the beach. Shove your hand into the dog poop bag like a glove, grab the waste, flip the bag inside out, tie a knot into it and make a deposit in the nearest trash receptacle. It’s just that easy.

3. Times and Dates

Last but not least, understand the rules and regulations of where you are.

The Dog Policy of Virginia Beach specifies dogs are permitted on the beach and boardwalk before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.

“During the summer months, (Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend) pets are limited to frolicking on the beach at the north end above 42nd Street or the south end in the Sandbridge area and only at certain times – before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. During the summer season, dogs are also allowed on the boardwalk from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. only. They must don a leash and owners are required to pick up any feces. This time of year, dogs are prohibited on the resort beach at all times (south of 42nd Street and north of Sandbridge).” This excerpt came from

There’s nothing like the “dog days of summer”, and having your furry family on vacation with you should be a no-brainer.

Other Words of Wisdom

We highly recommend bringing your dog to the beach in the morning or in the evening. Virginia’s weather can get too hot for the dogs to enjoy the beach. Things to watch out for when bringing your pet to the beach is heat exhaustion and consumption of saltwater. 

Please bring a large water for your dog, just as you do for yourself! This saves you and your dog of unpleasantries after the beach. Excess salt water consumption in dogs can lead to dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, coma, or in serious cases, death.

Heat exhaustion is something to watch out for as well. Just because they can frolic in the water doesn’t mean it’s enough to save them from becoming overheated. If it’s too hot to bring your pup, realize it’s ok and there are plenty of other days to bring him or her to the beach! Your dog will understand. 

Pet Friendly Hotels

If you plan ahead to find lodging that caters to your pet pals, adhere to local leash laws and exercise good judgment as a responsible pet owner, vacation days will be dog days too! If you are bringing your fur baby to Virginia Beach on vacation, be sure to check out our list of Virginia Beach Pet Friendly Hotels.

Hey dog parents, do you know where to take your dogs while in VA Beach for grooming, obedience training, or parks to run around in? You’ll find it all in our Pet Friendly Guide.