Outer Banks Dog Friendly Rentals
The Outer Banks is the perfect place to bring your furry friends. Many Outer Banks vacation homes now welcome canine guests. While we make bringing your best friend a breeze, it is important to remember that there are pet rules specific to each town.
Seaside Vacations Pet Policy
A beach home is the perfect spot to enjoy a beach vacation with your pet. Outer Banks pet-friendly homes come in all shapes and all sizes. Some even have fenced exercise yards attached to the pool area. How cool would it be to swim in your own private pool and watch your pal romp in his play area? Now that’s a vacation the whole family will enjoy.
Before bringing your favorite four-legged friend to the Outer Banks, please review our pet policy.
Helpful Hints & Travel Tips
Don’t forget to pack a bag for the dog! You'll need a leash, water bowl, any medications (including flea/tick), his/her medical records, treats, and ‘doggie’ bags for waste clean-up. For more information, see our article about traveling with your pet to the OBX.
Bringing your dog’s favorite toy or bedding along can help your dog feel secure in an unfamiliar place.
Make sure you allow for rest stops and "bathroom breaks" along the way.
Don’t assume your love for your dog is shared by everyone. All dogs should be controlled by their owner at all times.
Be sure to pick up after your dog. Bags are absolutely necessary, without exception. Many beach access areas provide bags for you. Be sure to properly dispose of the bag.
If your pal has a barking problem, he might not be appreciated by the neighbors or the folks sharing the next beach blanket. Please respect the privacy of your neighbors.
Make sure your dog stays safe and has a great trip by reading our dog lovers Outer Banks trip planner.
Beach Safety for Your Pet
Whether you're playing catch, swimming in the ocean, or running along the shore, the beach can be fun and rewarding for both dogs and their owners. We recommend reading about the top OBX spots to bring your dog. You should also be aware that dogs face special risks in our giant sand box:
- Be sure to bring plenty of fresh water for your pets. Dogs can easily become dehydrated on the beach and will need lots of water.
- If you plan on sitting on the beach for a long period of time, make sure you have a shady spot for your dog to cool off.
- Hot sand, pavement, and asphalt can burn the pads on your dog’s feet. Be sure to check the temperature of these surfaces before letting your dog walk on them.
- Watch out for “prickers” or sand spurs. They will often lodge between the toes and are usually easy to remove - typically with no lasting effect.
- Don't let your dog drink the water while playing in the ocean or sound - if possible. Saltwater or brackish water may upset the canine digestive tract and leave your dog with a slightly upset stomach. The most common side effect of ingesting salt water is diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms should subside over the course of the day. If you are in doubt about the amount of salt water ingested, or if your pal doesn’t seem to be feeling better within 24 hours, we’d recommend a quick stop by one of our local Outer Banks vets.
- Remember, the sand can get VERY hot in the summer months, and your canine companion can burn his/her foot pads.
- Pay close attention to warnings issued due to rip currents or high surf. Dogs are just as susceptible to water hazards as you and your family, so always make sure to keep a close eye on them in the water.
- It's better to walk early in the morning or just before sunset when the sand is cool.
- Fleas and ticks can be found on the Outer Banks, so make sure to apply your pet's medication in plenty of time so it can take effect.
Outer Banks Leash Laws
Each Outer Banks town, and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, has different leash laws concerning the beaches. (All municipalities have ordinances to clean up after your pet and that the State of NC requires rabies tags to be worn at all times.) The fines can be expensive and there are regular beach police patrols; please respect the laws and the other people using the beach.
It's recommend that you carefully read the laws listed above and abide by them. If not, you could end up paying hefty fines issued by beach patrols. Please respect the laws and the other people using the beach and always remember, all pet owners are required clean up after their pets on the beach.
Year round pet-friendly beaches! Leashes are required, but there are no length requirements.
Dogs are allowed on the beach unleashed, but as a matter of public safety and courtesy, they should be under the watchful eye and contact of their owner.
Between May 15 and September 15 of each year, no dog, other than trained service dogs, shall be permitted on the ocean beaches of the Town between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. At all other times, no dogs shall be permitted on the ocean beaches of the town except upon a leash having a stretched length of no more than ten feet and held by a person who is physically capable of handling the dog. All pet waste must be collected immediately and deposited in appropriate containers. A collar or harness, with attached current year's rabies vaccination and identification tag, must be worn at all times except when the dog is confined on the owner's premises.
Dogs are allowed on beach. Owner handler must removed feces and possess a bag/container for waste removal at all times. From the Friday before Memorial Day until the day after Labor Day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., dogs must be on a leash not exceeding 6 feet. Dogs may be taken off the leash only if they will not disturb other people on the beach and must be controlled by the handler, who must remain within 30 feet of the dog at all times. Leash must be with owner/handler at all times.
Kill Devil Hills
Dogs are allowed on the beach from mid-September to mid-May. Dogs aiding the handicapped are allowed year-round. All pet waste must be gathered in appropriate containers. Year-round leash law.
Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round as long as they are restrained by a least not exceeding 10 feet.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round if they are restrained with a 6 feet leash or less at all times.
Outer Banks Pet Health Care & First Aid
Milepost 14, Nags Head
Hospital equipped for the finest health care for your pet.
Coastal Animal Hospital
Outer Banks' only AAHA accredited full service veterinary hospital. 15 years caring for pets. Climate controlled boarding.
Martins Point Veterinary Hospital
Complete care facility with small animal medicine, surgery & climate controlled indoor boarding.
Roanoke Island Animal Clinic
Full service veterinary hospital. Complete boarding & grooming centers.
Pet-Friendly Attractions on the Outer Banks
Currituck Heritage Park / The Whalehead Club
Dogs must be on a leash.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
Dogs must remain on a leash no longer than 6’ in length.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6’ long.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site - Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island Festival Park on Roanoke Island
Dogs are welcomed but must be leashed and are only permitted on walkways.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 6’ in length while in the park.