Dog Friendly Vacationing in the Outer Banks, North Carolina

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The Outer Banks region of North Carolina is one of the best places to check out the Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast of the USA.  It is a very vacation-oriented place, where people go to surf, fish, tan, swim and camp. Dogs are allowed on several of the beautiful beaches in this area, as well as in some of the parks and other attractions. Make sure to bring a lot of bug spray to this area, due to the abundance of mosquitoes and horse flies.

Attractions

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Corolla Wild Horses

Located in Corolla, this area hosts 12,000 acres dedicated to the wild horses who have survived rugged nature and hurricanes throughout the years. It was started in 1989 by a group of concerned citizens who sought to make more people aware of the collective horse presence and significance of the area.

In additional to the horse roaming area, there is an educational museum and store. Visiting hours are Monday to Friday, from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Leashed dogs can walk around and go in the museum, so well as they are well behaved and react well to horses.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

This is a touring company based in Corolla that lets visitors rent jeeps and drive them around the beautiful beaches to a guided tour. You will be able to see wild mustang ponies, and possibly some dolphins, wild pigs, fox and deer. Dogs can go on the tours so long as they are leashed, well behaved and cleaned up after.

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Beaches

Corolla Beaches

Leashed dogs can roam around the beaches in Corolla, so long as they are behaved and cleaned up after. The water is warm and clear, and there are many beautiful sand dunes, and dolphins jumping off in the distance.

Duck Beach

Dogs are allowed in Duck Beach, in Duck, North Carolina, so long as they are vaccinated, licensed and under control. You are allowed to let your dog run off-leash if it is under voice control.

Nags Head Beaches

Dogs are allowed in the beaches in Nags Head, North Carolina. They are required to be on a leash shorter than 10 feet, licensed, vaccinated and cleaned up after.

Parks

The Duck Trail

Located in Duck, this is a fun, scenic nature trail that humans and dogs can enjoy. Dogs are required to be on leash, as well as licensed, displaying current vaccination tags, and cleaned up after.

Shopping

Tanger Outlet

Located in Nags Head, this is an outdoor outlet shopping mall. Dogs are allowed on leash throughout the common areas, but you must ask the individual shop employees if they are allowed in the stores.

Outdoor Restaurants

Bacchus Wine and Cheese

This place is located in Corolla, and has a huge selection of international and domestic wine and cheeses. Of course there is also substantial dining, such as famous sandwiches, salads and desserts. Leashed dogs can eat with you at outer tables.

Duck’s Cottage Coffee and Books

This cafe is in Duck, and has an assortment of coffees, pastries, gifts and books. Dogs can accompany you on the porch and picnic tables, if you want to sit around and read.

Aqua S Restaurant

This fine restaurant is located in Duck, and most of its gourmet food comes from the local area. It is on the waterfront, and serves lunch and dinner. There is also an array of wines to choose from to compliment your meal. Leashed, well behaved dogs can sit with you at the outer tables.

Dog Parks in Panama City, Florida

Panama City, Florida, is located in Northern Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. It has a handful of great dog parks and a beach area you and your dog can enjoy during your visit.

You must follow certain rules to bring your dog to any of the Panama City Parks. Your dog is allowed within the specified areas. Your dog should have on its ID tags, and be properly vaccinated. Puppies under four months of age are prohibited. You should not bring over three dogs. Do not bring food in bowls or chew toys. If you or your dog are creating any problems, you must leave when asked to. If your dog has bitten someone else in another public park, you should bring it out with a muzzle. You must clean up after yourself and your dog, and enjoy Dog Beach and the other parks at your own risk. Don’t leave your dog unattended; if you bring children, they must be under your supervision.

Zollie Young Park

This dog park opened in 2008, within the greater 12-acre Zollie Young Park. It offers dog waste facilities. The greater park has sports fields, a picnic area, concession stand, restrooms, a playground and more.

Dog Beach

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Panama City inaugurated this Dog Beach in 2007. It is located within the Pier Park shopping center, which is also dog friendly, so this is a good spot to check out in general. The beach has white sand and clear waters. It is also free to use; there is no reason your dog shouldn’t enjoy the beach in Panama City!

Frank Brown Park Off-Leash Play Area

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Frank Park is a large park in Panama City, and it features many different sports fields and a freshwater pond. There is one fenced dog play area, and also pet-friendly walking trails for leashed dogs. The dog park area is located in the back left section of Frank Park.

Naju Dog Park

This is a private dog park located behind a dog grooming and boarding place. If you bring your dog there to be groomed, boarded or under doggie day care, they can use it. Other than that, it is a $10 daily fee, or $26 per month ($20 for each additional dog).

The park itself is double gated, has designated digging areas, agility equipment, two dog ponds for swimming, a designated small dog area, a do-it-yourself dog wash, soda machine, lounge chairs, picnic tables and an outhouse. Male dogs are required to be neutered, and females in heat are not permitted. People that work for this place supervise the dog play sessions if you leave your dog there.

Dog Parks in Tampa, Florida

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Tampa, Florida, has many great off-leash dog parks. It is a good place to be right now if you are a northerner facing the cold. However, do keep in mind that there is a danger of alligators, so have an eye on your dog at all times possible!

David Island Dog Park

This is a nice park on water, where dogs can be off leash and go for a swim. It has grass and sand to enjoy, as well as ample parking and some spots for humans to sit and enjoy the sun. The park is fenced on three sides, the fourth side being the bay. Dogs aren’t allowed on the greater public beach.

Mango Dog Park

This park has two fenced areas, one for big dogs and one for small dogs. There are also pavilions, picnic tables, a dog washing area, drinking fountains for humans and dogs, and waste bags. There is lots of room for dogs to roam.

Palma Ceia Park

This off-leash park is surrounded by a four foot link fence. There is a double gated entrance with a concrete slab, dog and human drinking fountains, shade trees, waste bags and waste containers. It is about ¾ of an acre in size.

Picnic Island Beach Park

This is an off-leash dog park that is partially fenced, on the water. The leash-free area is located close to the boat ramp. It has a water station with a hose, waste bags, shade, drinking fountains and benches. It is bigger and less crowded than David Island.

West Park Dog Park

This park is kind of hidden in some industrial parts, so you should check directions before you go there. Many locals consider it the best dog park in Tampa and drive far away from their homes to get here. It offers trees, water, patios and some equipment. It’s clean and has water buckets for dogs to rinse off from. It often holds events and is very crowded on weekends, so you and your dog must be social to enjoy the park. It is closed on Wednesdays until 3 for maintenance.

Giddens Dog Park

This dog park is located in the greater Giddens Park. Locals often bring their dogs here on a regular basis. It has benches, waste bags, a water fountain, trees for shade, and balls for dogs to play catch with. It gets busy on weekends.

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Going to the Beach and Swimming with Dogs

An end-of-summer vacation to the beach, river or lake is always a great idea. If you live in the Northern regions of the country, you can always head south for some warm-weather nostalgia. If you bring your dog along with you, make sure to take some proper safety precautions.

Bringing Your Dog to the Beach:doggie-beach

When you are heading to the beach, double check that they allow dogs. Some beaches have special designated areas for dogs, and others only allow them at certain times of the day. One obvious tip is to not let your dog drink the salt water, but make sure that you bring a supply of fresh water for your dog. Salt water can potentially make your dog sick, so be careful it doesn’t consume too much of it. Check to see beforehand if the beach has a faucet. Make sure to let your dog rest in a shady area. Dogs can in fact get sunburned, especially ones with short hair, or white hair with pink skin. Like humans, dogs shouldn’t be in ultra-strong sunlight for extended periods of time. Put sunblock on your dog’s nose and ears to prevent sunburn.

Before your dog goes into the water, check with the lifeguard about cautions of jellyfish or sea lice, as dogs are easy prey. Also be careful of riptides or if the water is too choppy that day. If your dog is old or out of shape, running on the sand may not be the best idea. A sandy surface is more difficult to run on than on grass or the street, so the over exercise could hurt its muscles. The materials of salt water can damage your dog’s coat, so make sure to rinse it off with fresh water after you take it to the beach.

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Swimming Dogs

dexter-waterIf you want to get your dog to start swimming, do not throw it in the water. You can stand in shallow water to start off, or show your dog to another dog that is already swimming to get the idea. If your dog starts to paddle with its front legs, you can assist him by elevating its hind legs and then letting him go. It will understand the motion. Don’t let your dog swim too far out, as it could over-exercise and strain its muscles. Be close to your dog when it is swimming, and be in a position where you could easily swim out to it. You can invest in a life jacket for your dog if you want to be extra cautious. A first aid kit can also come in handy, for your dog could potentially get scratched or damage its claws.

Click here for more advice about getting your dog to start swimming.