​Dog Friendly Parks and Beaches


 Dog Parks

​​Dog chasing ball
Virginia Beach boasts three dog parks featuring approximately one acre of fenced area where your pet can run free off leash and socialize with other dogs. 
Children are required to be at least 8 years old to enter the park.


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.

 Rules and Guidelines

For more information on dog park guidelines, amenities and hours of op​eration, visit the official Parks & Recreation Dog Park page.
Woman with dog on beach
Dogs are welcome to enjoy the public beaches and boardwalk any time during the spring, fall and winter months (before Memorial Day and after Labor Day weekend). Leashed pets are allowed on the boardwalk and may be off-leash on the beach as long as they are under their human's control so as not to disturb other people or dogs.

However, during the summer months (Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend), pets can only be on the beach at the north end above 42nd Street or the south end (the Sandbridge area) and only at certain times - before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Also during the summer season, dogs are only allowed on the boardwalk from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. They must be on a leash and owners are required to pick up any feces from their animal.

 Visiting City Parks

Dogs are welcome at all city parks as well, however, owners are required to adhere to the City of Virginia Beach’s leash law outside the dog park. Owners must also maintain control of the animal at all times and properly dispose of pet waste.

​​Virginia Beach Leash Law

The "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.​

 Dangers at the Beach

Effects of Salt Water

If excess salt water 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 salt water can also 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, due to swelling in the brain.
To limit the amount of water being swallowed, bring your dog in the shade every 15 minutes and provide fresh water.

Effects of Sun ExposureMan walking dog near 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.

Effects of Swimming

Swimming is also quite 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 salt water may irritate your pet's skin and because your dog is an easy target for sea lice and jelly fish, be sure to rinse your dog thoroughly after a dip in the ocean.

Effects of Heat

Dogs can develop heat exhaustion if exposed to the heat for too long without shade. Be aware that running in the sand is tiring and can lead to exhaustion and leg sprains. Some dogs tend t​o over do it, especially when they have residual pent up energy. Keep in mind that dogs may over heat even when in the water.

Other Hidden Threats

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 upset stomach.​​