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Are Dogs Allowed on Hampton Beach?

Are Dogs Allowed on Hampton Beach?

So, what’s the answer? Are dogs allowed on Hampton Beach, NH? Can you take your dog without worrying about breaking the law?

What happens in the area of Hampton Beach. Should you want to take your dog down and allow them to experience sand on their paws?

Well, we are about to take you through all of this while explaining where you can, and cannot take your dog in this area.

People fall into the trap of mistakenly believing their dog will be welcome almost anywhere when it comes to the outdoors.

Sadly, that is really not the case at all. In fact, you will find so many restrictions. It can become difficult to know where you are allowed to go, and where you are forbidden.

But that’s why we are here to help, and this time we will focus entirely on Hampton Beach.

two small dogs on beach

The Answer

When it comes to Hampton Beach, the answer here is a resounding no. You just cannot take your dog to the beach at any time, and this is something that they do enforce as much as possible.

However, this is not a blanket ban. Instead, you do have areas you can visit with your dog, but even here you need to know you cannot simply go there whenever you feel like it.

Add in the fact that they do allow people to go onto the beach at certain times of the year, and it does open up some possibilities. 

So, it’s kind of a mixture of news for dog owners when it comes to beaches in this area. But then, that does mean a more in-depth explanation is required.

The Non Dog-Friendly Beaches

With Hampton Beach, you do have several beaches that are not deemed as dog friendly. In fact, these beaches simply do not allow you to go there with your dog. This applies no matter the time of day, so you need to steer clear as much as possible.

These beaches include Hampton Beach, North Beach, and Hampton Beach State Park. 

But it then does go one additional step when you discover that town laws also state dogs cannot go into other locations in the area. These locations include Sun Valley Beach and Plaice Cove Beach.

When you then add in that local authorities are not too keen on dogs going into parks or entering the water, then it does feel as if the entire area is actually against dogs.

person walking dogs on beach

But There’s a Problem

Even though it’s against the law, if you venture down to any of those beaches, you will find people walking their dogs.

However, this is something that will be enforced, although they tend to offer a friendly reminder that you cannot go to the beach with your dog.

Also, some people feel that dog owners self-police themselves. They seek to keep their dogs under control, and also clean up after them. This does mean they come across as less of a nuisance. 

The idea of people self-policing themselves even comes from the Hampton Animal Control Officer who admits that people actually do this. As a result, it does make you wonder how strict they are when it comes to reality.

However, if you go to any of the main beaches complete with lifeguards, then you should expect them to let you know that you should not be on the beach with your dog. They will do this respectfully and simply advise you on what the local bylaws state, so don’t expect people to shout at you.

Why There is a Ban

There is one major reason why they have decided to go with pretty much a blanket ban on going to the beach with your dog, and it’s the mess that’s left behind.

Yes, even in a world of people generally understanding they need to clean up after their dog does their business, people still don’t do it.

According to the local authority department that cares for the beach, their staff need to clean up dog feces on a daily basis. It comes across as people thinking that it doesn’t really count with having to clean things up just because they are on the beach.

Trust us, it really does still count. You should still clean up after your dog no matter where you are when they go to the bathroom.

dogs running on sand

Any Exceptions to the Rule?

So even though there is this complete ban, you will find an exception to the rule, and you can probably guess what that exception will be.

The main focus is on service dogs. If you have a service dog, then nothing stops you from going to the beach at any time of day, and on any day of the week. 

This is all due to different national legislation in place to prevent people with a disability from encountering discrimination. That does mean you can go to the beach whenever you want, and nobody has any right to stop you.

However, you should understand that it’s best when they can easily identify your dog as a service dog to prevent any confusion.

There have been reports of situations where this was not the case leading to some rather uncomfortable confrontations.

Aside from a service dog, you may find police dogs on the beach. This in itself is quite rare, and it only happens when they are there in some official capacity.

But apart from those two exceptions, there should never be any dog on any of the beaches listed above. However, that is not stopping people in the area according to reports.

The Times When You Can Take Your Dog to the Beach

But we did say earlier on that it’s not all doom and gloom regarding taking your dog to the beach. You see, everything mentioned above relates to what they often regard as the ‘peak’ season.

That basically means you cannot take your dog anywhere near the beach at any point between May 1 and September 30.

So, on the flip side, it also means the beach becomes available outwith those peak times.

While this is not exactly perfect, since you miss out on the best weather, it does at least mean your dog can experience the joy of feeling sand on its paws.

But even with this, you face some restrictions.

Additional Restrictions

First, you need to observe the times the beach opens and closes. This is obvious, but people lose track of the different times and find themselves caught out.

Next, your dog must remain on its leash at all times. They do allow retractable leashes, but that does come with its own stipulations.

With a retractable leash, it cannot extend beyond 6 feet in length, and while that may sound short, the law is there for a reason.

You see, it’s all about their desire to ensure that every single dog is under absolute control at all times. 

This applies to every single dog. It does not matter how you think your dog is the best-behaved dog in the world. You need to keep them on their leash and never take them off it.

However, this is also another bylaw that people appear to simply ignore. 


Finally, we did mention that they hand out fines to people that break these local bylaws, and even though this does not always happen, it certainly does occur.

Fines, according to the law you broke, can start at around $100 and increase to over $250. They can fine you for taking your dog onto the beach, for not having them on their leash, and also not cleaning up after them.

Out of the different laws, it is the failure to clean up their mess that does end up as the one-handed out most often. 

Overall Conclusion

If you own a dog and live close to Hampton Beach, then avoid taking your dog to any state beaches.

They just do not allow your dog there at any point, and this is something that they do enforce as much as possible.

But it’s not all bad news. They do allow you to venture onto the beach with your dog at other times of the year. However, pay close attention to your location to prevent running into problems. 

The Hampton Beach area is not the friendliest when it comes to dogs. They do introduce different restrictions for you to follow, but we have shown that they do come across as slightly lazy in enforcing the different laws.

That being said, we do recommend you just stick to the rules and avoid getting into any sort of problem. There’s no point in trying to just feel lucky at managing to take your dog to the beach and then facing a fine as a result.

All you need to do is to wait for the quieter times of the year and make sure you take your dog to the beach as often as possible at those times. You do have months at your disposal where your dog can experience the feeling of sand even though it might not have any sun included.

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