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Dog-Friendly Beach Vacations in the Northeast

Dog on a beach

My dog’s absolute favorite place to go in the summer and fall is the beach.

If you’re looking for a romp on the beach with your favorite furry pal, exploring the Northeast coastline is a must-do. Cape Cod, Long Island and Maine offer some great places to play.

Cape Cod

Parts of the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts allow dogs, provided they’re on a 6-foot-long leash (for specific regulations, visit click here). Some other area beaches are dog-friendly before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the summer months. A long leash (not a retractable leash) is a great option to let your dog explore the water without wandering in too far. Cotton long leashes range in size from 10 to 100 feet and can be found at most pet stores.

Long Island

If you’re heading to Long Island, there are more pet-friendly beaches than even the locals know about. Many areas of the Fire Island National Seashore are dog-friendly; for details, click here. Each town has its own rules for dogs on the beach. Again, some are dog-friendly before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m., some are just for residents or require a permit. Or maybe you’ll be adventurous and find a beach along the way. In my opinion, finding a hidden gem – locally or while traveling – is the best part.


In Maine, Biddeford Pool and Hills beaches are dog-friendly before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m., while Mackworth Island is great for hiking and exploring the beach with your pup. Other beaches in Maine have summer hours and many require dogs to be leashed. Most beaches will tell you if dogs are welcome on entrance-area signs. Some even have baggie dispensers, a telltale sign the beach is dog-friendly (but check the signs just in case).

Wherever you decide to go, you’re sure to have fun with your dog while exploring.

Nancy Hassel is the president of American Pet Professionals.

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