Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a coastal haven that warmly embraces travelers with dogs, making it a pet-friendly paradise. With its pristine sandy shores, the city offers several dog-friendly beaches, including the famous Chesapeake Bay Beach and the North End Beach, where furry friends can romp in the waves and enjoy the ocean breeze. Furthermore, Virginia Beach boasts a plethora of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and parks, ensuring that both you and your four-legged companion have a memorable and inclusive vacation.
In addition to its stunning beaches, Virginia Beach offers a wide array of dog-friendly activities, including scenic walking trails in First Landing State Park and the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The city’s charming boardwalk welcomes leashed dogs for leisurely strolls, while the Oceanfront’s pet-friendly dining establishments offer a chance to savor local cuisine with your pup by your side. With its welcoming atmosphere and pet-centric amenities, Virginia Beach beckons pet owners to explore its coastal beauty with their canine pals in tow.
Should You Travel with Your Dog?
Whether or not you should travel with your dog depends on your dog’s personality and health. If your dog gets anxious easily, bringing them on a trip isn’t ideal. However, some dogs are great at adapting to new situations and love exploring different places, so those dogs would probably do well on the go.
Regardless of your dog’s temperament, there may be times when they need to travel with you, such as if you’re moving to a new location. If that’s the case, you may need to take extra precautions to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. That could include stopping more frequently during a long drive or asking your vet about whether or not medications could help.
What to Pack When Traveling with Your Dog
Your dog may not need as much stuff as you do for a trip, but they still need the essentials. Plus, bringing items that look and smell familiar to your furry friend can help them feel more comfortable.
Here’s a list of supplies you should bring for your dog:
This list is just a general guide of things you may need. Your packing list may vary based on where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what activities you have planned. If you have space to spare, it can’t hurt to pack extra pet supplies out of caution.
What to Include in a Dog First Aid Kit
A dog first aid kit should include essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, a thermometer, and a muzzle for safety. It’s also important to have saline solution for eye washing and a blanket for shock or cold. For a complete list of everything you need, see a comprehensive dog first aid guide here!
Finding a Dog-Friendly Hotel
While planning your trip, make sure you find a dog-friendly place to stay. Many lodging options, whether they’re a large hotel chain or a small local property, are willing to allow pets with some restrictions. The best way to know if your dog is welcome is to call the property before booking.
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Other Lodging Options
Even though most popular hotel chains allow pets to some extent, they still might not be the right choice for you. Many prevent large dogs or more than two dogs at a time. Some may also prevent you from leaving your dog alone in the hotel, which can be difficult if you have some plans that aren’t pet-friendly. In this case, consider finding your pup a pet sitter who can take care of your dog while you’re enjoying a quiet dinner, seeing the sights or even taking in a show.
So, if you’re struggling to find a good hotel, you may want to check other types of lodging, such as campgrounds or booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. Those options are often more flexible with pet restrictions because they don’t need to follow the policies of big chain hotels. Like with hotels, you should always contact the property to get the most detailed information on their pet restrictions.
Dog-Friendly Transportation Options
For most dogs, the scariest part of going on a trip is getting there. Dogs who aren’t used to riding in a car are likely to be anxious during a road trip and even more so on an airplane. So, here are some tips for how to keep your dog safe and comfortable when heading to your destination.
Driving with Your Dog
If possible, driving long distances with your dog will usually be easier and more comfortable than flying, especially if you have a large breed. However, you should make sure your dog is okay with riding in the car before you bring them on a road trip. If they don’t ride in the car much on a regular basis, start by taking them for short drives in preparation for the trip.
Here are some tips for taking a road trip with your dog:
- Get your dog’s energy out before the long drive (take them for a walk, play fetch, etc.)
- Make sure your dog is secure and comfortable (use a crate or dog seat belt, and make sure they have a cozy bed)
- Stop more often than you need to so your dog can stretch their legs and do their business
- Offer your dog fresh water every time you stop
- Never leave your dog alone in the car on a warm/hot day
Flying with Your Dog
Most dogs have ridden in the car at one point or another, but flying with your dog is a much different experience. If your dog is under 20 pounds, they can ride in the cabin on most airlines, but if your dog is larger than that, they may have to fly in the cargo hold. Not being able to see your dog during the flight can be stressful, which is why families with larger dogs typically prefer to drive when possible.
Almost every airline allows dogs, but some have stricter rules than others. Always check an airline’s pet policy before planning to fly on it with your pup.
How to Travel with an Anxious Dog
If you have an anxious dog, driving and flying might both seem tricky. Luckily, there are things you can do to help a stressed-out dog feel more at ease while on the go.
- Get your dog familiar with travel – take them to places they enjoy, such as the park, instead of only the vet.
- Bring familiar items, such as their favorite beds and toys.
- Keep their feeding times and bathroom breaks as close to their normal routine as possible.
- Give them lots of exercise before getting in the car or entering the airport.
- Stay calm – your dog may pick up on if you’re stressed and become more worried as a result.
- Try anti-anxiety products, such as ThunderShirts and heartbeat toys.
While the above tips may reduce your dog’s anxiety, extremely anxious dogs will likely still show some fear in unfamiliar situations. Pet CBD Products, such as those made by Cannanine, can help calm down nervous pups during travel. Cannanine offers CBD oil and soft chews, both of which effectively calm dogs while being THC-free. Plus, every Cannanine product purchased donates meals to shelter dogs.
Top Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a vibrant coastal destination with a wide range of popular tourist attractions and events that draw visitors year-round. Here are some of the most sought-after:
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk: Stretching for three miles along the oceanfront, this iconic boardwalk is perfect for leisurely strolls, cycling, and enjoying ocean views. It’s lined with shops, restaurants, and attractions.
- Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: A top-notch facility featuring marine life exhibits, a touch pool, and an IMAX theater. It’s both educational and entertaining for all ages.
- First Landing State Park: Known for its natural beauty and history, this park offers hiking trails, a beach, and opportunities for birdwatching and kayaking.
- Cape Henry Lighthouse: Located at Fort Story Military Base, this historic lighthouse offers stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
- Military Aviation Museum: Home to an impressive collection of vintage aircraft, this museum provides a fascinating glimpse into aviation history.
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: A serene natural area for wildlife observation, birdwatching, hiking, and kayaking in a coastal marsh habitat.
- Ocean Breeze Waterpark: A family-friendly waterpark featuring slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, perfect for a day of splashing and fun.
- Neptune Festival: This popular festival in September includes sand sculpting competitions, a grand parade, live music, and arts and crafts vendors along the boardwalk.
- Pungo Strawberry Festival: Held in May, this event celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage with strawberries, live entertainment, a parade, and a carnival.
- American Music Festival: Over Labor Day weekend, this music festival brings renowned artists to the oceanfront stages for a weekend of live music and festivities.
- East Coast Surfing Championship: One of the longest-running surf competitions in the country, held in late August, featuring professional and amateur surfers from around the world.
- Beach Street USA: Throughout the summer, Beach Street USA offers nightly entertainment along the boardwalk, including concerts, magicians, and street performers.
- Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival: Held in October, this festival showcases craft beers from local and regional breweries, along with live music and food.
With its stunning coastline, cultural attractions, and a variety of annual events, Virginia Beach offers something for every type of traveler, whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply enjoying the beautiful beaches.
Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Virginia Beach, Virginia
If you’re traveling with your dog for vacation, you should make sure they can join you for most, if not all, of your activities. Since dogs aren’t allowed indoors in many places, you should travel when the weather is nice to ensure you can spend time outside with your furry friend.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a pet-friendly city with numerous activities for dogs and their owners to enjoy together. Here are some dog-friendly activities in Virginia Beach:
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk: Leash up your dog and take a stroll along the three-mile-long boardwalk, enjoying the ocean views, street performers, and outdoor dining opportunities.
- Chesapeake Bay Beach: Dogs are allowed on Chesapeake Bay Beach from Labor Day through Memorial Day. It’s a great place for your furry friend to play in the sand and water.
- First Landing State Park: Explore the pet-friendly trails of First Landing State Park with your leashed dog. The park offers scenic hiking paths through diverse ecosystems.
- Bayville Farms Park: This park features a designated off-leash dog park where your pup can run and play with other dogs. There are separate areas for small and large dogs.
- Pleasure House Point Natural Area: Enjoy a nature walk with your leashed dog through this picturesque coastal preserve, offering scenic views of the water and wildlife.
- Red Wing Lake Golf Course: Play a round of golf with your dog at Red Wing Lake Golf Course, where dogs are allowed on the course with their owners.
- Beach Dog Park: Located at Bayville Farms Park, this off-leash beach area is perfect for dogs who love to frolic in the sand and surf.
- Pet-Friendly Dining: Many restaurants in Virginia Beach with outdoor seating areas are dog-friendly. Check out spots like Waterman’s Surfside Grille or Citrus Breakfast & Lunch for pet-welcoming options.
- Kayaking or Paddleboarding: Rent a kayak or paddleboard and bring your dog along for a water adventure in the calmer waters of the Chesapeake Bay or the Back Bay.
- Pet-Friendly Tours: Some boat tour operators offer pet-friendly excursions, allowing your dog to join you for scenic cruises or dolphin-watching trips.
Remember to follow local leash laws, bring essentials like water and waste bags, and be respectful of other visitors when enjoying these dog-friendly activities in Virginia Beach. With its welcoming atmosphere and outdoor recreational options, Virginia Beach is an excellent destination for travelers looking to explore the city with their four-legged companions. This is just a list to get you started because the dog-friendly activities will vary based on where you’re visiting. While most outdoor events welcome pets as long as they’re well-behaved and you clean up after them, it’s always a good idea to check the event’s details to be sure. With enough planning and good weather, you can hang out with your dog the entire vacation!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are dogs allowed on Virginia Beach’s public beaches?
Yes, dogs are allowed on Virginia Beach’s public beaches during the off-season, typically from Labor Day to Memorial Day. During the summer season, dogs are allowed on the north end of the beach before 10 AM and after 6 PM.
2. Are there any dog-friendly hotels in Virginia Beach?
Yes, Virginia Beach offers a variety of dog-friendly hotels and accommodations. It’s advisable to check with the hotel for their specific pet policies and any associated fees.
3. Can I take my dog on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk? Answer: Yes, leashed dogs are allowed on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll with your furry friend.
4. What are the leash laws in Virginia Beach?
Dogs in Virginia Beach are required to be on a leash when in public areas. There are designated off-leash dog parks where dogs can play freely.
5. Are there any dog-friendly restaurants in Virginia Beach?
Many restaurants in Virginia Beach with outdoor seating areas are dog-friendly. Explore dining options on the boardwalk and throughout the city.
6. Where can I find dog-friendly parks in Virginia Beach?
Virginia Beach has several dog-friendly parks, including Bayville Farms Park with an off-leash dog park area and First Landing State Park with pet-friendly trails.
7. What should I do if my dog needs emergency veterinary care in Virginia Beach?
Virginia Beach has several veterinary clinics and pet hospitals, including emergency services. Research their locations and contact information in advance.
8. Are there any dog-friendly boat tours in Virginia Beach?
Some boat tour operators offer pet-friendly excursions in Virginia Beach. Check with specific companies for their pet policies.
9. Can I take my dog on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel?
Yes, dogs are allowed on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, but they must remain inside the vehicle during the crossing.
10. Are there any pet supply stores in Virginia Beach?
Yes, Virginia Beach has numerous pet supply stores where you can find everything you need for your dog, from food and toys to grooming supplies.
Traveling with your dog to Virginia Beach, Virginia, can be a wonderful adventure, provided you plan ahead and prioritize your pet’s comfort and well-being. Here are some final thoughts and tips for a successful trip:
- Check Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Virginia Beach’s pet regulations, including leash laws and seasonal restrictions on public beaches. Adhering to these rules ensures a positive experience for everyone.
- Pet-Friendly Accommodations: Book accommodations that explicitly welcome pets and confirm their pet policies, including any additional fees or restrictions.
- Essentials: Pack your dog’s essentials, including a leash, collar with ID tags, water and food bowls, enough food and treats for the trip, waste bags, medications, and vaccination records.
- Health and Safety: Prioritize your dog’s health and safety. Be mindful of hot pavement during walks, ensure access to clean water, and watch for signs of overheating in warm weather.
- Socialization: If your dog enjoys socializing, visit dog-friendly parks and beaches for playtime and interaction with other dogs.
- Pet-Friendly Activities: Plan dog-friendly activities and outings to explore the city together. Virginia Beach offers many options for outdoor adventures and relaxation.
- Emergency Preparedness: Research nearby veterinary clinics and pet hospitals in case of emergencies. Carry a pet first-aid kit and your dog’s necessary medications.
- Respect Others: Be considerate of fellow travelers and locals by keeping your dog well-behaved, cleaning up after them, and respecting “no dogs allowed” signs.
- Enjoy the Journey: Traveling with your dog can create lasting memories and strengthen your bond. Take time to savor the moments and explore the coastal beauty of Virginia Beach together.
- Flexibility: Be prepared for unexpected changes in your plans. Your dog’s comfort and needs should always come first.
Virginia Beach’s welcoming attitude toward pets and its many dog-friendly amenities make it an excellent destination for pet owners. With careful preparation and attention to your dog’s needs, you can have a fantastic and memorable trip to Virginia Beach with your four-legged companion.