Get Ready for the Dog Days of Summer

As dog friendly activities are continuing to grow in popularity across the U.S., the same trend can be seen right here  in Hampton Roads. Over the past five years, the city of Norfolk has been ranked one of the top five cities in the nation for dog parks per capita. And, as of just recently, , the Norfolk city ordinance officially allows our four-legged friends to join us on restaurant patios. And, starting July 1st, the Virginia General Assembly proposed another new law allowing dogs in the tasting rooms of breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

Having the required proof of current rabies vaccination could help you avoid possible inconveniences, and it is important to note that city health codes can deviate between state and federal regulations. Business owners may also have varying guidelines, so make sure to double check and be respectful of individual policies.

Keeping that in mind, here are some dog-friendly places in the 757 where you and your pet can enjoy the summer together.

State Parks
Dogs are welcome in all Virginia State Parks as long as the dogs are supervised and on a leash no longer than 6 feet. This excludes public facilities and other possible areas where dogs are not allowed.

First Landing State Park – Beach is dog friendly year round for dogs on-leash.
False Cape State Park – Dogs are not permitted access through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Beach Public Beaches
Dogs are allowed on public beaches and the boardwalk area anytime before Memorial Day and after Labor Day weekend. Dogs can only be off-leash on the sand and only if they can be recalled reliably & quickly even with distractions.

Summer Season:
Boardwalk – Dogs are allowed only from 6am to 10am.
Beaches – Dogs are allowed before 10am and after 6pm north of 42nd Street or south of Rudee Inlet and in Sandbridge.

Ocean View Beach, Norfolk
Dogs are welcome on-leash during off-season months. No dogs or domestic animals are allowed on beaches from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. beginning the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.

More Dog-Friendly Areas:
City View Park, Virginia Beach
Stumpy Lake Natural Area, Virginia Beach – Dogs are welcome and must be leashed at all times
Elizabeth River Trail (Atlantic City Spur), Norfolk
Chesapeake Arboretum, Chesapeake
Grandview Nature Preserve, Hampton – Dogs permitted on-leash during the off-season but not permitted from May 15 to September 15.
Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Hampton – Leashed pets welcome at this nature park, which also includes an enclosed off-leash area. Registration required for use of off-leash space.
Newport News Park, Newport News – Dogs are welcome on leash
King-Lincoln Park, Newport News
Endview Plantation, Newport News – Pets are welcome to explore everywhere outside on-leash, but are not allowed inside.
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg – Leashed dogs are permitted throughout Colonial Williamsburg, with the exception of the buildings. Dogs are even permitted on the shuttle from the Visitor Center.
Historic Jamestowne, Williamsburg – Leashed dogs are welcome at the Historic Site and Island Loop Drive but not allowed in the Visitor Center/museums.
Colonial Ghosts Tour, Williamsburg – Leashed, friendly, quiet, and well-behaved pets are welcome.

Dog Parks
Dog parks are fenced-in areas where your dog can be off-leash and socialize with other dogs- and you can socialize with other dog-people! Some cities require registration, membership, or passes to access dog parks, so please be cognizant of each individual park’s rules and regulations.

Bayville Farms Park, Virginia Beach
Woodstock Community Dog Park, Virginia Beach
Red Wing Metro Dog Park, Virginia Beach
Bea Arthur Dog Park, Norfolk
Downtown Dog Park, Norfolk
Colonial Greenway Dog Park, Norfolk
Ballentine Bark Park, Norfolk
Maple Avenue Dog Park, Norfolk
Lafayette Dog Park, Norfolk
Ghent Dog Park, Norfolk
Gleneagles Dog Park, Norfolk
Hague Dog Park, Norfolk
Winona Dog Park, Norfolk
Cambridge Crescent Dog Park, Norfolk
Berkley Dog Park, Norfolk
Meadowbrook Dog Park, Norfolk
Chesapeake City Dog Park, Chesapeake
Western Branch Dog Park, Chesapeake
Lake Meade Dog Park, Suffolk
Ridgeway Bark Park, Hampton
Sandy Bottom Bark Park, Hampton
Fido Field Dog Park, Newport News
Waller Mill Dog Park, Williamsburg

Local shops
If you need to escape the heat, some local shops welcome dogs to browse with you. While not a complete list for the area, here are a few local stores that are dog friendly.

Jerry’s Artarama, Virginia Beach
Pups n Stuff, Virginia Beach
Mrs. Bones, Virginia Beach
Doggstuff, Virginia Beach
Muddy Paws Downtown, Norfolk
Life is Good* – 5102 Main Street Suite A, Williamsburg
Stick Stone & Bone, Williamsburg
Barnes & Noble* – 5101 Main Street, Williamsburg – Leashed dogs are welcome except in the cafe.
Marshalls* / TJ Maxx* / Ross* / Home Goods*
Lowes*/Home Depot*
Bass Pro Shops*
Bed, Bath & Beyond*
Petco/Petsmart (Obviously)

*Different store locations may have separate policies regarding dogs.

Upcoming Dog-Friendly Events
Save the date for these local events for you and your dog.

Hermitage Gardens Sunset on the River: The Hermitage is your spot for local music, food, and art this summer! Enjoy the outdoor concert series every other Thursday, May 10 through August 16. Relax on the shoreline and hear live music from several of the region’s most talented bands. Enjoy drinks from our bar featuring craft beer and wine and grab dinner from a variety of food vendors including our premier food truck, Bro’s Fish Tacos. Our summer exhibit, PROOF, will be on view during the concerts through July 22. Well behaved dogs are permitted on leashes.

Norfolk SPCA Pints for Pups | June 16th: Celebrate your love of beer and animals with the Norfolk SPCA! There will be a mini dog show where you and your pups can dress up and strut your stuff! For a donation of $5, you and your dog can be entered in any, or all, of the following categories: Owner and pet look-a-like; Most Fashionable Pup; and Celebrity look-a-like.

Yappy Hour at Blue Pete’s Restaurant in Virginia Beach | June 24th: Lookin’ for a place to bring your four-legged bestie? $5 Puppy Friendly Meals, Free Dog Treats for your fur-baby, Drink Specials  and $5 Finger Foods!

Virginia Beach SPCA Mutt Masquerade 5K & 1-Mile Walk | October 28th: Grab your leash and hit the beach for the Virginia Beach SPCA’s annual Mutt Masquerade.

Bark in the Park | October 21st: This dog friendly event will be held from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 21, 2018 at Chesapeake City Park in Chesapeake, VA, US. Admission is TBD.

If you want to enjoy some of these activities but feel your dog’s behavior could improve with a little more training, Happy Paws Humane Pet Training has classes that can help!  Try the Total Recall or Adventure Walk classes designed to get your pet prepared to be out in the community Please visit http://happypawstraining.org for more information.