RUMOR: The City Changed the Rules to Ban Dogs From the Oceanfront Beaches and Boardwalk This Year

FICTION: The City ordinance has not been changed this year. Dogs, leashed or otherwise, have always been prohibited from being on the sand at the Oceanfront between Rudee Loop and 42nd Street, and restricted along the Boardwalk.​
​​​​​​​​​​We welcome all residents and visitors to Virginia Beach, including four-legged ones. Still, just as there are rules for people, there are rules for dogs. The rules are meant to ensure everyone’s safety.

The VB411 staff researched the ordinance and confirmed that dogs have never been allowed on the Oceanfront beaches since Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach merged in 1963. If you’d like to see the evolution of the ordinance since then, we have copies of all the revisions to the right in the sidebar.

The particular section of the City code was last amended on March 25, 2014 to allow dogs on the Boardwalk and grassy area beside it, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Prior to that, dogs weren’t even allowed in those areas at all during the summer season. No other changes were made as it relates to dogs on the beach itself.

In summary, between Memorial Day and Labor Day:
  • No dogs on the beach or between Rudee Loop and 42nd Street
  • Unleashed dogs are permitted on beaches north of 42nd Street before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m., provided they’re under the control of their owner or leashed
  • Leashed dogs are allowed on the boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.
  • Finally, please note that service animals are exempt from these prohibitions under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

During the shoulder season - after Labor Day and before Memorial Day - dogs are welcome to enjoy the public beaches and Boardwalk at any time. Leashed pets are allowed on the Boardwalk and may be off-leash on the beach. For more information about the policy, and Animal Control’s frequently asked questions on the topic, please visit VBGov.com/animalcontrol​.