Skip to Content

Are Dogs Allowed on Fort Lauderdale Beach? Full Details

Are Dogs Allowed on Fort Lauderdale Beach? Full Details

If you live near Fort Lauderdale beach, can you go ahead and take your dog onto the beach for a walk? With that in mind, let’s check out if dogs are indeed allowed on Fort Lauderdale beach.

Initially, you may feel that there should be no issues when it comes to taking your dog there, but that’s not always the case.

It turns out that a number of beaches are strongly against the idea of dogs being on there, and that’s often a problem. Part of the issue is that some beaches allow dogs, but only at certain times or in particular areas.

However, as rules and regulations vary, it makes a lot of sense to examine individual beaches, or areas, to determine what the rules are in those areas.

So, that’s what we are going to do right here, and this time it’s Fort Lauderdale beach that is the focus of our attention.

fort lauderdale beach

The Answer

The answer is good for dog owners in that Fort Lauderdale beach is open to the idea of dogs being there, but there are a number of limitations. You see, these answers never end up being as straightforward as they perhaps could be, and this is no different.

Instead, what we have is that dogs can be taken onto the beach, but it comes with rules and regulations that need to be followed.

So, while it is good news, what will quickly become clear is that you are unable to simply take your dog to any old part of the beach. With that in mind, let’s delve deeper into the rules and regulations.

The Canine Beach

The main area you can take your dog to is the Fort Lauderdale canine beach, and this is a section of the main beach in Fort Lauderdale that is marked off. This is the perfect space for you to go to with your dog and allow them to explore the sand.

However, it does still remain an area where they need to remain on their leash at all times. You cannot go ahead and let them run free. It’s just not allowed as all dogs must remain under control at all times.

But there is a slight issue when it comes to you being able to go to the canine beach, it’s not always open.

Instead, the Fort Lauderdale authorities have sought to open this stretch of beach at only selected times. If you try to go there outwith these times, then you will find that you will break one of the local laws, and it’s always possible you end up with a fine.

The Opening Times

So the canine beach is only open on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays. Also, it only opens during certain hours on those days. 

Between April to October, the beach opens to dogs from 3 pm to 9 pm. On all other months, the opening times shorten from 3 pm to 7 pm. 

Also, in order to take your dog there, you will need a permit. You can purchase a weekend-only permit, and that’s going to cost you in the region of $7 per dog.

Are Dogs Allowed on Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Dog Beach

But there is also a second option for you, and it’s the Fort Lauderdale dog beach. This 100-yard strip of beach is now open 7 days a week and from 6 am to 9 am and then 5 pm to 7 pm. 

This does give you ample time to take your dog onto the sand and allow them to have some fun. However, you do have rules and regulations to follow at all times.

The Rules and Regulations

For example, your dog must stay on their leash, and the leash cannot extend more than 6ft in length. That does mean you need to keep them under complete control at all times, and there are no exceptions to this rule.

Also, all dogs that use the dog beach must have their vaccinations. Once again, there can be no exceptions to this rule at any point.

Your dog must also not make a nuisance of itself or create too much noise. Any dog deemed as unruly must leave the dog beach. Repeatedly asking you to leave may result in you not being allowed back, and your permit for the beach may end up needing revoking.

Do also note that you cannot walk along other parts of the beach to then get to the area designated as a dog beach. You can never do this.

Instead, you must drop down into the designated area without venturing onto any other part of the beach. Once there, you will be expected to clean up after your dog and cannot leave any feces there. If you do, then you may land a fine as a result.

The Rest of the Beach

Aside from the designated areas, no dog can ever venture on any other part of the beach. This is a rule that is very clearly stated, and the rules apply every single day, and not only during peak times.

As we said, you cannot use another part of the beach to then get to where you want to be in the dog beach area. City officers do operate in the area to ensure they can answer questions if confused, and also to enforce the rules in place.

What Happens If You Break the Rules?

Thanks to those city officers working in the area, there’s every chance they would catch you should you go ahead and circumvent the rules. Basically, there’s little chance of you doing so without someone wanting to tell you that this is the case.

But what happens if you do break the rules? 

The first thing is you may receive a warning and be told what the rules are and how you should follow them. This is often the preferred approach, but that’s not always going to happen.

At other times, you may find they ask you to leave the area. This will often happen when your dog is clearly not under control and is making too much noise. At that moment, they have little choice but to get you to leave.

But it doesn’t always end there.

Depending on what happens, or how often an individual is warned about breaking the rules, then it may result in a suspension and being unable to venture onto the dog beach. This is generally viewed as a last resort, but it is an action that the city officers will take if they deem it to be necessary.

Are Dogs Allowed on Fort Lauderdale Beach

Exceptions to the Rules

As always, you find an exception to the rules where dogs cannot venture onto parts of the beach out with the dog beach. That exception is clearly service dogs.

However, a service dog needs to wear its harness to allow individuals to correctly identify them at all times. It does mean you can go to the beach whenever you want. There are no issues in you doing so.

Why the Rules?

The rules exist for a simple reason. They do not want dogs to cause trouble and run between people trying to enjoy themselves on the beach. That is also why they have designated a certain area for dogs to make sure both don’t mix.

There’s also the issue of feces. Sadly not everyone will pick up after their dog. They certainly do not want this to spoil the enjoyment of people on the beach. Finally, there’s the issue of dog control. That is why your dog must remain on their leash even in the dog beach area.

You may feel your dog has no issues when it comes to training. Also, behaving, but that’s not always the case.

Let’s face it, some dogs just get excited when having fun, and their training doesn’t really kick in. With that in mind, they just made sure dogs could only be in certain areas to avoid any potential problems.

But at least Fort Lauderdale beaches do allow dogs at certain times. Other beaches in the area do not come across as welcoming to dogs as this part of Florida. In other areas, you just cannot go to the beach at any point with your dog no matter the time of year.

Overall Summary

Fort Lauderdale beach is indeed dog-friendly, but only in a certain area and at selected times. However, the times you can go to the dog beach section have been extended to every single day rather than on the weekend only.

Do keep in mind the other rules in place regarding the use of the dog beach, and avoiding other parts. Your dog must remain on a leash at all times and keep it under control. They do not take kindly to dogs roaming free. They prefer to have a blanket ban on this rather than it comes down to the individual owner.

But at least you have the ability to take your dog to the beach and allow them to have some fun. However, keep an eye on those times, and do consider asking a city officer for any advice if you feel unsure about any aspect.

Sharing is caring!