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Dog Days Are Here: Virginia Beach lifting restrictions for furry friends; tips to keep them safe

The City of Virginia Beach states that both public beach and boardwalk access for dogs will be open from September 6, 2021, through May 29, 2022.

Author's note: The above video is on file from July 12, 2021.

With Tuesday marking the beginning of shoulder season for Virginia Beach tourism, both visitors and residents with furry friends can enjoy a relaxation of restrictions.

The City of Virginia Beach states that both public beach and boardwalk access for dogs will be open from September 6, 2021, through May 29, 2022. 

Dogs must be leashed on the boardwalk, but they can be off-leash on the beach. Owners must maintain control of their dogs, avoid littering and bring the proper supplies for feces removal. 

During peak season, owners were able to have their dogs on the beach and boardwalk before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. with restrictions that limited areas and off-leash abilities. 

For more information on rules for animals and beach and boardwalk access during peak season, click here. 

Animal experts from the American Kennel Club also provide tips to keep your dog safe and healthy when you want to enjoy time on the beach together:

  • Make sure your dog responds well to your obedience calls, especially when you want them to come back to you if you let them off leash to play. 
  • Make sure your dog is able to function well around other dogs and people, especially if the beach is crowded and other dogs may want to play or people may ask you if they can pet your dog. 
  • Beat the Heat: Make sure your dog has fresh water, shade from the sun and hot sand, and consider purchasing a pet-safe sunscreen, as dogs can burn on areas of their body with minimal to no fur. 
  • Always keep your eyes on your animal: You want to ensure that your dog is staying safe if they are in the water and that they aren't consuming anything they shouldn't, such as sand or shells. 

If you are at a different beach, make sure to check their rules and regulations for pets before you head out for your fun day. 

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