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

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog at the beach

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

Virginia Beach is a coastal city with 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 and 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 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 and are permitted on any part of the beach and boardwalk at any time.


The 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 many visitors on the boardwalk and visiting the city’s beaches, which is why there are some restrictions placed on dogs and where they can visit.

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


Conversely, the off-season, also called 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 anytime 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 includes 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, and 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


Virginia Beach is considered dog-friendly. Numerous hotels, restaurants, and other venues allow visitors and their dogs, but most 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, but they need to be on a leash on the boardwalk and well-behaved on the beach.

However, During the on-season, there are rules regarding which beaches dogs can visit and when 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.

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Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

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