Advanced Search

Leash Laws

For each town on the Outer Banks, there are different regulations for bringing your dog to the beach. Due to the high number of people that visit the Outer Banks very year, there are certainly some safety concerns for both pets and people.

There are risks to allowing a dog to run at large. Of course, there's the obvious danger that the dog will be hit by a car. Owners are also letting themselves in for financial liability if the dog causes trouble - bites someone or makes a bicyclist fall, for example.

Please respect these laws, and be sure to pick up and properly dispose of your beloved pet's waste no matter where you are.


Unleashed dogs are allowed on the beach with owner supervision for public safety. Dogs must be leashed when in town.

Southern Shores

Between May 15 and September 15 dogs are allowed on the beach before 9:00 AM and after 6:00 PM. Dogs must be on a leash having a stretched length of no more than 10 feet and held by a person who is physically capable of handling the dog. Further, the person accompanying the dog must have on his person a scooping device with which to remove feces in accordance with section 4-27. There is a year-round leash requirement throughout the town. Service animals are permitted on the beach year-round.

Kitty Hawk

Dogs are allowed on the beach. From the Friday before Memorial Day until the day after Labor day between the hours of 10 a.m-6 p.m, dogs must be leashed not exceeding 6 ft. If your pet doesn't bother others, you may unleash them, but the owner must remain within 30 feet at all times. A leash must be with the owner at all times.

Kill Devil Hills

From mid-September to mid-May, Dogs are allowed on the beach. Dogs aiding handicapped are allowed on the beach year-round. Year-round leash law.

Nags Head

Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round, but must be leashed without exceeding 10 feet.