So, in this instance, we will focus on just one beach and its immediate surrounding area. That brings us to the question, are dogs allowed on Cocoa Beach. So what should you expect if you plan on going there with your dog?
So you would love to watch your dog run around on the sand and jump in the sea. Who wouldn’t like that? There’s no doubt that dogs love sand and water. If you thought you had full access to the beach with your dog, then think again.
You see, different beaches around the country have various restrictions for your dog. Knowing where you may fall foul of the law makes sense.
But there’s often a problem. The laws may not always come across as being as clear-cut as we would like them to be.
Cocoa Beach sees itself as more dog-friendly than so many other beaches in the area. It does have a number of rules and regulations for you to follow. However, nothing they state as a law is something that is actually out of the ordinary.
You see, the local authorities governing Cocoa Beach decided to create what is effectively a dog beach. That means you have a set area where you can go with your dog. However, that does also mean other areas exist where you cannot venture into when you have your dog with you.
But they have made it quite easy to know where this dog beach begins and ends. Yet it’s not simply a case of stating you have a set area, and then go and have fun.
Instead, it’s a bit more complicated than that with factors such as the time of year. Even just the time of day to take into consideration. Yep, you need to pay close attention to your watch. Or the time on your cell phone to avoid getting into trouble.
So, let’s delve deeper into what is going on. Let’s tell you all you need to know about taking your dog to Cocoa Beach. After all, there’s no way that we want you to end up getting into trouble just because you wanted to let your dog explore the sand.
The Dog Beach Area
So, according to the actual city website, there is a dog-friendly section of the beach, but they make it clear as to where it both begins and ends.
Here, the stretch of beach you can check out extends from 4th Street South to the north side of Murkshe Park. This area is very specific, and you should not stray from either side of those boundaries.
However, even going to this section of the beach involves sticking to a number of different regulations.
First, there’s the issue of the leash. Your dog must remain on its leash at all times, and there’s a maximum length it may extend to.
In this instance, they do allow the leash to extend up to a maximum of 10 feet, and that’s longer than most places.
It does mean your dog can experience just that bit more freedom when it comes to exploring on the beach.
Also, you cannot walk through other parts of the beach to then access the dog beach. That is just not allowed.
Instead, you must avoid the rest of the beach, and the first steps you take on the sand is within these designated boundaries. Nothing else is allowed.
Access Times for the Dog Beach
But here is another issue, you cannot simply go to the dog beach at any time you like. Instead, the city has established different times of the day when you can indeed go there.
Now, that does limit you somewhat, and the times are quite distinct.
For example, you can go to the beach with your dog any day you like, but one time is between 6:00 am until 10:00 am. Then, you have to be off the beach during the busy part of the day before you can then reappear when things are somewhat quieter.
That means you can be back on the beach from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm during Standard Time while it then changes to 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm during Daylight Savings Time. So, you also need to check the time of year to hopefully then avoid getting into trouble.
Aside from the location and time, you do have a couple of other rules to follow when you take your dog to the beach.
First, you must clean up after them. This rule is not exactly new, and it’s something you should do automatically anyway.
You will find disposal stations at a couple of locations, but don’t always expect to find poop bags that you can use to pick up after your dog.
So, in that respect, it’s best to take your own bags with you just in case they do make a mess.
The other main rule is to keep your dog away from the dunes and any turtle nests. That is also partly why they insist on your dog remaining on their leash.
You see, they do tend to have a number of turtle nests in the area, and they don’t want dogs finding them and potentially destroying the nests.
Also, the dunes are protected, so the idea of having dogs running all over them does not exactly lead to preserving the dunes.
But apart from those couple of rules, your trip to the beach with your dog should go off without incident.
Where Your Dog is Not Allowed
Knowing where you cannot go with your dog is easy since it involves every other part of the beach apart from the area mentioned earlier.
This way it does make things very easy to understand and follow, and it’s difficult to then make a mess and end up in the wrong area.
The city authorities do remain very clear as to where you can and cannot go, and the areas that are a no-go remain so throughout the entire year.
You do not have times where suddenly the entire beach is opened up, even though that does happen at other beaches.
The quick answer here, as to where you cannot go, is any part of the beach that lies out with the designated dog beach area. Also, do remember that you cannot go to those parts of the beach during the actual day.
That does mean you will find moments where the entire beach is off-limits to dog owners.
But we must also stress the earlier point regarding getting to and from the dog beach area. You must walk along the actual streets to get to the dog beach section.
You can never cut through the other parts of the beach in order to save time.
This does apply no matter the time of day, so don’t think just because it’s 7:00 am that it doesn’t matter. According to the city, it really does.
As always, there is an exception to the rules, and the exception focuses on service dogs. As you would expect, the rules do not apply when a service dog is involved.
Instead, an individual with a service dog can venture onto any part of the beach no matter the time of day, or even the time of year.
This happens thanks to the way in which your rights are protected when you have a disability.
This rule exception does apply to any service dog, so if you have a disability, then you can go to the beach whenever you want.
The rules also give exceptions to dogs with the police force. However, they do not exactly venture to the beach just for some rest and relaxation, so this particular point is not a big deal.
But apart from those two exceptions, you will find no other time where a dog and its owner can venture onto any part of the beach outside of the designated area. It is just not allowed.
What Happens If You Break The Rules?
The city does make it clear as to what may happen if you break the rules and go onto either the wrong part of the beach with your dog or go to the beach at the wrong time.
The result could be a $50 fine, but that’s not to say you will automatically receive this fine. At times, they may allow for genuine mistakes, and they won’t penalize you if you stray slightly over the cut-off times when you should leave the beach.
However, for clear flouting of the laws, then you should expect to receive a fine. It may not sound like much, but $50 just for taking your dog to the wrong part of the beach is something you should find easy to avoid.
So you can indeed venture onto parts of Cocoa Beach with your dog, but it does come with a number of rules and regulations to follow.
However, there’s no reason why you cannot take your dog to experience the sand from time to time.