Dogs are allowed on the beach along the Maryland portion of Assateague National Seashore, but are not permitted on the nature trails or anywhere within the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. Dogs must be on a six-foot leash at all times.


BringFido Traveler Rating

Assateague National Seashore has received a rating of 4.6 out of 5 bones by 12 dog owners on BringFido.

  • Feb. 09, 2018
    Not too many dogs around but fun

    We were camping at the national park and just hopped over the dunes to the beach. Okay, confession here: when the beach was empty of both people and wildlife, we let them off leash. Just to let them run off some energy, it's hard to get them enough exercise when you are traveling. We also walked them on leash and they enjoyed that too. We saw a seal sunning himself but not very many other dogs. which is okay with us since we have two. Then we moved to the bay side and let them swim. We kept them inside when there were horses around, no point in looking for trouble.

  • Aug. 02, 2017
    Awesome day on the beach with kids and Moose!

    We were a bit nervous taking our 1 year old Vizsla to the beach for various reasons: what if he pooped in front of everyone, what if he was too hot, what if I hooked his leach to my beach chair-he spots a bird, flips me and my cold beverage out of our seats, etc. To our surprise, none of that happened! Tips: Drive into the North beach area all the way to the booth where you pay $20 (totally worth the money to explore this beautiful island and it's good for the week!) immediately park in lot and walk across boardwalk. It can be hot for little paws so be mindful of the temp that day. Once on the sand, turn left and walk to set up anywhere in that area (no dogs allowed near lifeguarded areas). We where here Aug 1st and there was no crowds. Moose hung out on a towel under the umbrella for 4 hours taking in the sights, sounds, and amazing breeze. We also walked him a bit and let him run in the ocean and chase birds. Anyone who doesn't like this beach is probably not an animal lover like we are!

  • More than one year ago.
    $20 to get in!!!

    Why is it so expensive to get into this park? It's nice but VERY crowded and there's horse poop everywhere. I guess the horses belong to the park but they are aloud to roam freely - in front of cars, whatever. This is very dangerous for the horses as well as the drivers. Seriously, as crowded as it is at $20 a pop, this place is makin' a killing! You'd think they could build some fences to keep the horses out of the road!

  • More than one year ago.
    Try the state park

    From Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day, dogs are allowed in the "day use" areas (beaches) of the state park. They're even allowed off-leash, if they're going to swim.
    Prices are substantially cheaper than the national park - $3.00/car for Maryland residents or $5/car for non-residents.
    The park has a decent restroom/shower/changing facility. Unfortunately, the camp store/gift shop and grill only "officially" operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but when I was there in mid-September they were still open every day.

  • More than one year ago.
    Great beach year-round for dogs

    We go here a lot and we love it. There are some restrictions for where you can bring the dog but if you just want to lay on the beach or play in the water with the dog there's no place better. Unlike Ocean City or Bethany there are no seasonal restrictions

  • More than one year ago.
    Not worth it

    Yes, it's a beautiful beach. Yes, dogs are allowed. But it cost $20 and there wasn't a single dog around for my dog to play with! I drove 30 min each way from where I was staying in OC so that my dog could romp in the surf and have a morning of fun. Honestly, he had more fun in the sand dunes in the early morning hours right next to my condo (dogs aren't allowed on the beach, so we go out to the dunes early in the morning or late at night to not disturb anyone.) Waste of gas, waste of money, waste of time. And we were here on a Friday morning, which should've been a prime time before the heat of the day! I was disappointed, especially because I couldn't even maximize that admission fee with a hike.

  • More than one year ago.
    Great Beach for Dogs

    Assateague National Park is a great beach to visit with your dog. It's $15 to get into the park (we happened to go on a "fee free" weekend but it would have been well worth it to pay the fee. Everyone is super dog friendly and those who don't have dogs with them are extremely dog accepting. There are two parks, the National Park and the State Park. Dogs are not allowed on the State Park side so just be careful to watch for the signs. It wasn't overcrowded like Ocean City (although we did go the last weekend in September so I'm not sure how it is in peak summer season). It is polite (and the rules) to keep your dog on a leash. There is a 6' leash rule but we had a retractable leash and other people had longer leashes to allow their dogs a little more room to run and play. Be a responsible dog parent, clean up after them (there are trash cans in the parking lots) and use common sense. The facilities are very nice and clean and there are dog level water fountains (which is much needed if your dog likes to try to drink sea water like ours). We will definitely be going again in the future and spending more time.

  • More than one year ago.
    Better Beach than Ocean City!

    We had our dog with us in Ocean City and decided to take him to Assateague so he could get some beach time. It's about 20 minutes south of OC and the beaches are beautiful - wide and clean, without all of the hassle and clutter in the City. In the national park, dogs are allowed on the beach everywhere but the few hundred yard-long stretch with lifeguards. Our pup turned-out to be afraid of the waves, but loved going after the sea gulls, romping in the sand and sniffing all of the sea debris. Highly recommended as a day trip from OC, or as your primary destination if you're willing to camp.

  • More than one year ago.
    Great Time

    Great day at the beach. Parking was a little crowded and we had to walk a little, but it was well worth it. We went on Sunday and arrived at noon. Clean beach and people were friendly. There is a 6ft. leash law. We brought a 30 ft leash and did not get a ticket. 2 out of 6 dogs there did not have a leash but were exceptionally well behaved. Nobody seemed to mind. We would recommend to anyone to get out and give your dog some exercise. (also-watch out for the wild horses! drive slowly)

  • More than one year ago.
    Lovely day

    This is one of the best beaches in MD. Clean and friendly, our whole family including our two dogs enjoyed the beach. People give you enough space as to not crowd your dogs, no trash, and the water is clear. We loved it and were so happy we could bring the dogs with us. GREAT BEACH!

  • More than one year ago.
    If you have common sense, it's perfect!

    Ocean City won't let dogs on the beach until after October, so this is a great place to bring your dog -- as long as you use a little common sense!! First, don't let him/her near the ponies. They bite and kick and don't want to play. In spite of what some folks may say, LEASHES ARE REQUIRED WHETHER YOUR DOG IS "WELL-BEHAVED" OR NOT. And of course, clean up after them. Only the ponies are allowed to go "wherever" without getting in trouble, but that's easy to spot.

    Dogs must also be licensed and have current rabies vaccines. They will check this (bring tags) at the front kiosk on the National side, and there is a fee to enter but the pass is good for 7 days.

    If your dog loves the water, the bay is a great place for a swim! Boat rentals are also available (though my own dog wouldn't sit still enough for a boat).

  • More than one year ago.
    best ocean beach

    Dogs are allowed on the National Park side of Assateague Md. Park at the ranger station and enter beach at walkways. Almost always, the ponies are roaming freely in the parking lot and beach. Clean beach with bathhouse. There is also a bayside park with a beach that allows dogs. They are not allowed in the state park area or any nature trails. Must be leashed and clean up required.

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