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Home > Dogs > Is Virginia Beach Dog Friendly? On & Off-Seasons Policies

Is Virginia Beach Dog Friendly? On & Off-Seasons Policies

dog at the beach

Virginia Beach is a coastal city that includes 3 miles of boardwalk alongside the city’s sandy beaches. Rules for dogs in the city and on the streets are the same as in most cities: dogs should be kept on a leash, kept under the control of their owner, and owners should clear up any mess that the dogs leave behind. Rules for the boardwalk and the beach itself differ according to the specific area of the beach, as well as the time of year, and time of day.

Virginia Beach is generally considered dog friendly, and dogs are allowed at least at some time every day, throughout the year. Service dogs are exempt from all restrictions, which means that they are permitted on any part of the beach and boardwalk, at any time.

divider-paw On-Season

Season in Virginia Beach runs from Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, to Labor Day, the first Monday in September. The season can get very busy, with a lot of visitors on the boardwalk and visiting the city’s beaches, hence why there are some restrictions placed on dogs and where they can visit.

  • No dogs are permitted on the beach between Rudee Loop and 42nd Street during the season.
  • Dogs are allowed on beaches to the north of 42nd Street before 10:00 and after 18:00. Dogs can be off-leash but must be under the control of their owner, or they must be leashed.
  • Dogs are allowed on the boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue but only between the hours of 06:00 and 10:00 and they must be on a leash.
shiba inu puppy dog with collar tracker lying on the beach
Image By: Julija Kumpinovica, Shutterstock


Conversely, off-season, also referred to as shoulder season, runs from Labor Day, the first Monday in September, to Memorial Day, the last Monday in May. Because there are fewer visitors and fewer people in Virginia Beach, dogs are granted more freedom.

  • Dogs are allowed on the boardwalk at any time during the off-season but must be on a leash.
  • Dogs are permitted on the beach at any time, and they can be off-leash.

Under the Control of the Dog’s Owner

Throughout the season, dog owners must clear up any mess their dog leaves behind. This means picking up poop, placing it in an appropriate bag or container, and either taking it with you or depositing it in an appropriate bin. Dogs should also be well-behaved, which means that they shouldn’t charge at people or otherwise cause a nuisance. This is especially true of dogs that are off their leash.

person sitting on the beach with their dogs
Image By: Kampus Production, Pexels

divider-paw Conclusion

Virginia Beach is considered dog-friendly. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, and other venues that allow visitors and their dogs, although most of these venues require that the dog be on a leash at all times. During the off-season, dogs are effectively free to go wherever they want on the boardwalk and beaches, although they need to be on a leash on the boardwalk and well-behaved on the beach.

During the on-season, however, there are rules regarding which beaches dogs can visit and the times that they can walk on the boardwalk. The rules may be subject to change in the future and visitors are always advised to check for the latest rules before they travel to the area.

Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

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