Dog Friendly Parks & Beaches

Keep these rules and guidelines in mind when enjoying the outdoors with your pet.

Virginia Beach Leash Law

City Code 5-531, states that when a dog is being walked in a city park or on any city sidewalk, city street, or public right-of-way, it has to be on a leash or lead at all times. Violation of this law is a class 4 misdemeanor and an animal control officer or police officer may issue a summons to pet owners who are not adhering to the law. Dogs being walked on a leash must also be wearing a city pet license.​ Learn more about other city parks and trails.​

Dog ParksBeaches

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Dog parks are open from sunrise to sunset.


  • Bayville Farms Park | 4132 First Court Road - Separate fenced areas for small and large dogs
  • Red Wing Park | 1398 General Booth Blvd. - 1-acre fenced area for both small and large dogs to play together
  • Salem Woods Park | 1525 Salem Road - 1.72-acre dog park divided into two sections to accommodate both small and large dogs on both sides to play together
  • Woodstock Park | 5709 Providence Road - 1-acre fenced area for both small and large dogs to play together
  • Marshview Park | 120 Marshview Drive - 4 separate fenced areas that include trees for cover

Guidelines & Rules

​When dog owners follow the guidelines, everyone’s enjoyment of the dog parks is enhanced. Let's work together to preserve space for both our dogs and our citizens.


  • Scoop the poop and keep the area clean.
  • License and immunize your dogs. A collar with proper identification should be worn at all times.
  • Keep an eye on your dog.
  • Avoid dog fights. If a fight breaks out, pull the dogs apart from the back.
  • Remove barking or uncontrollable dogs.
  • Remove your dogs immediately at the first sign of aggressive behavior toward people or other dogs.
  • Do put a leash on your dog if outside the park.
  • Do report all dog bites to Police Animal Control at (757) 385-5000.


  • Don't bring puppies under 4 months old into the park.
  • Don't bring dogs that are sick or female dogs in heat.
  • Don't let your dogs dig holes. If your dog does dig, fill the holes immediately.
  • Don't leave your dogs unattended.
  • Don't bring children under 8 years old.
  • Don't feed your dogs or bring any food into the dog park.
  • Don't remove the leash until you have entered the park.

The dog parks operate under the following ordinances:​

Summer: Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend

  • Dogs are allowed on the Boardwalk between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Pets must be on a leash at all times
  • Human companions are required to clean-up after their pet
  • Dogs are still prohibited on the sandy beach and in the water in the Resort Area (between Rudee Loop and 42nd Street)
  • Dogs are permitted on the sandy beaches north of 42nd Street and south of Rudee Loop (Croatan and Sandbridge) before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m., provided they are leashed or under the control of their owner if unleashed
  • Service animals are exempt from these prohibitions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Fall, Winter Spring: After Labor Day and before Memorial Day weekend

  • Pets are welcome to enjoy the public beaches and Boardwalk at any time
  • Pets must be on a leash on the Boardwalk
  • Dogs may be off leash on the beach
  • For the safety of all beachgoers, canine and human alike, please supervise your pet carefully when off leash and only unleash on the sand with reliable voice command and recall


  • If excess saltwater accumulates in your dog’s intestines, it can cause “beach diarrhea.” Symptoms include drooling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (sometimes severe). There may also be blood or mucous in your dog’s feces.
  • Ingesting high concentrations of saltwater can raise the sodium levels in your dog’s bloodstream to unsafe levels. This is known as “hypernatremia.” It is a serious condition that may result in seizures, coma, and sometimes even death.
  • To limit the amount of saltwater being swallowed, bring your dog in the shade every 15 minutes and provide fresh water.
  • Dogs with short hair, white fur, and pink skin are most vulnerable to sun exposure. Just like people, dogs can burn, but human sunscreen can be toxic. It is best to use sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs or use a child-safe sun lotion approved by your vet.
  • Swimming is tiring, so be sure your dog doesn't overdo it. Don't allow your dog in the water if there are strong tides or rip currents. Because saltwater may irritate your pet's skin and because your dog is an easy target for sea lice and jellyfish, be sure to rinse your dog thoroughly after a dip in the ocean.
  • Dogs can develop heat exhaustion if exposed to the heat for too long without shade. Running in the sand is tiring and can lead to exhaustion and leg sprains. Some dogs tend to overdo it, especially when they have residual pent-up energy. Keep in mind that dogs may overheat even when in the water.
  • Sand granules in the eyes may cause irritation, eye pain, and redness. Should this occur, flush the eye with fresh water. If the eye does not get better, consult your vet, it may be a corneal ulcer. Also be sure to prevent your dog from eating sand, shells, starfish, or stones. They can cause serious intestinal obstructions or an upset stomach.
Page Last Updated: August 25, 2023
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