Just like people, dogs need a place to go and have some fun. A dog beach is the perfect spot for your pup to get some exercise, meet other dogs, and just soak up the sun. If you’re looking for a beach where your furry friend can run free, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best dog beaches in Virginia!

Dogs at Virginia State Parks

Dogs are allowed in Virginia state parks, however dogs must be kept on a leash at all times while in the park. This includes swim beaches, and dogs are not allowed to swim at swim beaches. You may be able to find locations that are not designated as swimming beaches where you can let your dog off leash, such as along a sparsly populated lake, river, or stretch of the ocean. Many people do this, however it’s important to be aware that you are supposed to be keeping your dog on leash at all times, so it’s best to only do this if you have full voice-command of your dog.

Virginia Dog Beach Tips

Going to a dog beach for the first time can be very intimidating. When you aren’t really sure what to expect, it is easy to feel out of place. This is especially the case if you are not used to dogs who are off-leash. If you follow these simple dog beach tips, you should be able to feel confident and safe at any dog beach you visit.

1) Bring a Toy

It’s a good idea to bring a toy such as a ball or Frisbee to play with your dogs at the beach. Just be aware that your dog could become possessive of the toy – especially if it is one that they play with at home fairly often. Every dog is different and have different personalities, including other dogs who are off-leash at the beach.

2) Bring an Extra Leash

Since dogs are allowed off leash, there is always a chance that your dogs will get separated from you. If you are going to the beach with another person, bring an extra collar and/or leash in the event that you both are far away from each other and one of you needs to quickly gain control of your dog.

3) Bring a First Aid Kit

You should consider bringing a first aid kit that’s meant for dogs. Dogs can get cuts on their paws, legs, and face from shells, sticks, and sharp rocks on the beach and in the water.

4) Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Always be aware of your surroundings when at the dog beach. Many dog beaches have designated areas where they can be off-leash, but these may border private beaches, sidewalks, or public beaches that require dogs to be leashed.

5) Bring Dog Waste Bags

And always clean up after your dogs. This is especially important if you are at the public area of the beach. The last thing you want is to litter around other dogs playing in the sand or water.

6) Have Fun!

Yes, this may seem obvious but it’s always best to go to a dog beach with dogs you know and dogs who get along well. If you meet other dogs at the beach who are either new dogs or dogs you don’t see very often, be patient and let them take things at their own pace. If you just go in with the mindset of having fun and taking it easy, you’ll enjoy your time with your dogs at the dog beach.