Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Outer Banks Leash Laws

photo by Seaside Photography

Each area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina has a different dog leash law.

The following is a list from North to South of leash laws in the Towns, Villages, and Islands of the Outer Banks. 

Currituck Beaches welcome dogs on the beach year-round. However, please be mindful of the heat in the hot summer months, bring plenty of water, and be aware of the ground temperature when walking dogs on hot sand and hot pavement. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for dogs to enjoy the outdoors.




Carova, NC
Beaches of Currituck Beaches (252) 435-8555

Dogs are required to be on a leash in this 4x4 access-only Currituck Beach Village and beach. There is no length requirement, but please remember that the Carova Beach area is famous for The Wild Horses of Corolla. 
You will see "Wild Horse Laws" signs posted throughout the area. In addition, please see "Corolla Wild Horse Fund Incorporated," which is listed as one of the "Currituck County Animal Welfare Heroes."

Corolla, NC
Beaches of Currituck Beaches (252) 435-8555

Dogs are required to be on a leash in Historic Corolla, NC. However, there is no length requirement. In addition to the beaches of Currituck, Historic Corolla Park is pet-friendly and offers an expansive lawn, shaded areas, pet-friendly events, and area attractions.

Duck, NC
Town of Duck (252) 255-1234

The Town of Duck Welcomes Dogs Year-round. Dogs are allowed to play on the pet-friendly oceanfront off-leash under the close supervision of owners. In town, dogs must be on a leash, including the Park, Duck Trail, and Boardwalk.
See Outer Banks Veterinarian Advice: "Tips for Beach Dogs"

Southern Shores, NC
Town of Southern Shores (252) 261-2394

The Town of Southern Shores requires dogs to be leashed year-round, including on the beach. In addition, dogs are only allowed on the beach before 9 am and after 6 pm from May 15th to September 16th. See Outer Banks Veterinarian Advice: "Heat Prostration."

Kitty Hawk, NC
Town of Kitty Hawk (252) 261-3552

With summertime restrictions in the Town of Kitty Hawk, NC, dogs are allowed on the beach year-round. However, starting Friday, before Memorial Day, and lasting until the day after Labor Day, dogs are only allowed on the beach before 10 am and after 6 pm on a 6-foot leash. At all other times of the year, you can extend your dog's leash to 12 feet. In addition, well-trained dogs can play off-leash under the owner's close supervision, not exceeding 30 feet in distance. Dog owners must have a leash at all times. See Outer Banks Veterinarian Advice article: "Rip Current Dangers & Your Dog!"

Kill Devil Hills, NC
Town of Kill Devil Hills (252) 480-4047 - Animal Control

The Town of Kill Devil Hills welcomes dogs year-round, and there is no length requirement, as long as your dog is on a leash. However, dogs are not allowed on the beach between the hours of 9 am to 6 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day, except for those aiding a disabled person. See Outer Banks Veterinarian Advice article: "Surfdogs: Beach Pet Care."

Nags Head, NC
Town of Nags Head (252) 441-5508

The Town of Nags Head, NC, has year-round pet-friendly beaches. However, please be mindful of the heat during the hot summer months. Bring plenty of water and know the ground temperatures to protect your dog's paws. Dogs must be on a leash not to exceed 10 feet in the Town of Nags Head. Please clean up after your pet.

N.E.S.T. (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles) is headquartered in the Town of Nags Head, NC. To learn more about Endangered Sea Turtles on the Outer Banks, please see: "Dare County Animal Welfare Heroes."

Manteo, NC
Town of Manteo (252) 473-2133

The Town of Manteo is pet-friendly year-round. Dogs must be on a leash not to exceed 6 feet in length. Dogs are allowed on the Manteo waterfront year-round. Please see Outer Banks Veterinarian Article: "Outer Banks Dog Care."

Hatteras Island & Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras National Seashore (National Park Service) (252) 473-2111

Both Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island have large portions of the property owned by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. "Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge - Fun for the Whole Family, Fido 2!" is also located on Hatteras Island.

Leash Laws at National Parks require dogs to be on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length. In addition, dogs are not allowed on designated swim beaches or inside buildings.

The National Park Service released the following statement:

"Your pets are welcome at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Do keep them leashed and under control at all times. Pets are not allowed on designated swim beaches or in buildings. Please for your pets sake, do not leave them unattended. And for other visitors sake, clean up after your pet."

North Carolina Law requires that all dogs have an up-to-date rabies vaccination tag attached to a harness or collar. Also, please clean up after your pet—a mandatory feces removal ordinance is in effect on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.


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