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Are Dogs Allowed on Virginia Beach?

Are Dogs Allowed on Virginia Beach?

While Virginia Beach is a spectacular place, the question here is are dogs allowed on Virginia Beach? 

The fact we have to ask this question shows how difficult it can be in determining where you can and cannot venture with your dog.

People often think that a place such as a beach would have no such issues, but that’s not always the case.

In fact, a number of beaches all over the country come with various restrictions for dogs. So, it then makes sense to look at individual beaches or areas to see what rules exist for that particular area.

So, in this instance, we will focus purely on Virginia Beach. This area does attract a huge number of people throughout the year, so there’s a good chance that knowing their laws on dogs on the beach may apply to you.

So, what do they say regarding this particular matter?

The Answer

The answer here is slightly more complex than you may have initially hoped for. You see, your dog is allowed onto the beach and boardwalk in Virginia Beach, but only at certain times.

Also, you have limitations as to which parts provide access to you and your dog.

The fact that the picture is somewhat confusing does not help dog owners. Actually, the rules surrounding Virginia Beach tend to be more complex than in other areas.

So, what are the rules, and where do they apply? Yet again, the answer here comes with more complexity than it perhaps should.

The first thing you should know is that the rules change depending on the time of year. So, we can split it up into looking at the summer months, and then what happens at any other time of year. 

dog running in water

The Summer Months

First, let’s look at the time of year when most people want to head to the beach, and that’s the summer months. Now, this is the time when the beach is at its most popular.

That does mean authorities have decided that stricter rules apply during this time.

What you find is that no dogs are allowed on the Oceanfront Public Beach between the locations of Rudlee Inlet to 42nd Street.

This exclusion is pretty strict, and it applies from the Friday before Memorial Day, through to Labor Day.

But Oceanfront Public Beach is not the only part that comes with different restrictions. Actually, it’s pretty much the entire area that is affected by the different rules put into place.

If you look at the Oceanfront Boardwalk, then you can walk your dog there if they remain on their leash, and if it’s between 6 am to 10 am. You cannot walk them in this area outside that time.

Also, you can go down as far as the property lines, but that’s it. You cannot legally take your dog beyond this point. 

However, they have set aside a part of the beach where you can venture down with your dog during those summer months.

The main area is north of 42nd Street, Sandbridge, and other public beaches in the area.

But then, you do still have restrictions to follow.

During the summer months, you can go there with your dog if it is before 10am. Also, you can take them there after 6pm, but not the time in between.

This time restriction is enforced, so keep an eye on the time, or you may get caught out.

But even with this, you cannot allow your dog off its leash. Instead, they need to remain under control at all times, and that does typically mean a leash.

dog standing on sand

Outside of Summer

So here we clearly mean the likes of spring and fall, and this is where everything changes when it comes to your dog and the beach.

In fact, all those restrictions we listed above vanish during these months, so you only have to worry about them during the height of summer.

Outside of summer, you can take your dog onto not only the beach, but all over the boardwalk without having to stress about whether or not you have taken them too far. 

However, even when different restrictions are lifted, certain laws still exist for you to follow. But then, most of them come as no surprise as they tend to follow the same laws you expect anywhere. 

But the main reason why they change their approach is due to the significant drop in the number of people venturing down to the beach when it’s not summer.

At that point, authorities feel it’s safe to allow dogs to go there as it does mean fewer people are around to harass.

It’s All Local Laws

The restrictions exist due to local laws, in fact, it’s all connected to city codes 6-5. That is the code where it stipulates where you can and cannot go with your dog regarding the beach.

But this also covers additional laws and rules that apply throughout the year, and are not restricted to only certain seasons.

The main issue is connected to them making a mess. The laws do state that the owner must clean up after their dog. After that, you then dispose of the mess in the appropriate receptacle. 

This applies to not only the beach, but also the boardwalk and surrounding streets. Also, do note you have certain restrictions on various roads leading to the beach area itself. 

The main area to focus on here is Atlantic Avenue. You cannot have your dog in the parks or streets connecting to the beach area between Rudee Inlet and 42nd Street. 

The problem with that law is the number of people caught out by the street aspect. However, it’s an attempt to prevent people from venturing down with their dogs into busy areas.

Also, these rules do tend to exist only during the peak times of the year. So, you can walk along with your dog during the off-season without any problems.

dog sitting on beach

Service Dogs are Exempt

But we must also make a clear exemption, and that is a service dog. If you own a service dog, then you can go to the beach with them at any point, and you have no restrictions. 

This exemption exists for any dog that is trained to help people with certain disabilities. Also, dogs used by the police can also go to the beach. But even here, only when the dogs are there in a working capacity.

These exemptions are no different from what you find anywhere else. It would be deemed illegal for the local authorities to prevent access to these areas for people with certain disabilities.

So, for that version reason, service dogs can roam the beach at any time of the year. But aside from those couple of exemptions, all of the different rules do apply to every single dog.

But Why the Restrictions?

You may feel it’s somewhat unfair to find these laws exist with you prevented from taking your dog to the beach. However, there are a couple of good reasons.

The main issue focuses on how busy the beach becomes during summer. Authorities seek to reduce the chances of dogs becoming too excited and causing problems. 

Now, you may argue your dog is well-behaved and trained so it does not cause issues, but they do need to carry out a blanket ban in this instance. 

The problem is you may have a huge number of people descending on the beach area on a lovely summer day.

Not everyone loves dogs, and then there’s noise and dogs running all over the place to also be taken into consideration.

So, the only way the city can deal with preventing any issues is just to make sure no dogs. However, those that are exempt can access it at any point.

But then, they do not want to completely prevent dogs from having the ability to enjoy the beach.

However, this still happens during quieter times of the day, so the same problem about dogs upsetting people still applies.

Overall Conclusion

You can take your dog anywhere in Virginia Beach, but only outside of the summer months. When it’s summer, pretty much everything changes. 

At that point, you have different restrictions as to where you can take your dog. But then, you can completely rule out Oceanfront Public Beach. 

That aside, you can go to certain beaches during the summer, but only at designated times. Double-check the times before venturing out to stop you from running into problems. 

Taking your dog to the beach should mean you have a great time with your companion. The fact you need to deal with various restrictions does make that harder.

However, it’s not impossible to take them to the beach in this area. Pay attention to the time restrictions during summer.

It means both you and your dog can continue to have a wonderful time on the sand and also in the sea.

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