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Cape Cod's Dog Friendly Beaches
Seaside Playtime for You & Your Pet 

Dogs playing at a Cape Cod beachPups Love to Play in the Surf, Too!

A visitor recently asked me about dog friendly beaches on Cape Cod. She wondered:

  • Are dogs allowed off leash on public beaches?

  • Are they allowed off leash on your own private beach if you're renting a beach front home?"

Great questions, Audrey. Thanks for asking!

I'm sure lots of vacation-loving dogs and "their people" are curious about Cape Cod's pet friendly beach rules, too.

Taking Your Dog to The Beach

During the summer months, the rule is "No Dogs on the Beach" in most Cape Cod towns. In the off season, the rules are relaxed.

To leash or not to leash?  Unless I've noted otherwise below, assume that leashing is required at all times.

Before you take your dog to the beach, make sure you know whether the beach is managed by the town, by the National Seashore, or by the Massachusetts State Parks system. The rules are different, depending on which entity is in charge. (See below)


Lady jogging with her dog on a Cape Cod Bay beachIt's a Beautiful Day for a Run by the Bay!


COVID-19 STATUS: June 2020

COVID-19 guidelines are in effect. Social distancing is required. Beach services and facilities may be limited at this time.

Town Rules About Pets at The Beach


Dogs are not allowed at any time, in any beach/recreation area, from May 15 to September 15.

All about Barnstable/Hyannis beaches


Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1 to October 15.

All about Bourne MA beaches


Dogs are not allowed on town beaches between May 1 and October 1.

All about Brewster MA beaches


Dogs are not allowed in beach areas from May 1 to September 15.

All about Chatham MA beaches


No pets are permitted on the beaches, in the parking areas, or in unattended vehicles in the parking areas at any time from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

All about Dennis MA beaches


No pets are allowed on the beaches, in the parking areas, or in vehicles in the parking areas at any time from June 15th through Labor Day.

All about Eastham MA beaches


Dogs are not allowed on public beaches between May 1st and October 1st.

All about Falmouth MA beaches


No pets are permitted on any beaches (including sand, dune, water and parking lots)  from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

All about Harwich MA beaches


No dogs allowed on town-owned public beaches at any time.   

All about Mashpee MA beaches


No pets may be on the beaches, in the parking areas, or in vehicles in the parking areas at any time from the Friday before Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

All about Orleans MA beaches


From Memorial Day through November 1, dogs may be off-leash on town beaches, if under voice and sight control, between the hours of 6 am and 9 am and the hours of 6 pm and 9 pm.

From November 2 through the day before Memorial Day, dogs may be off-leash on town beaches, if under voice and sight control, between the hours of 6 am and 9pm.

All dogs must be restrained on town beaches at all other times.

All about Provincetown MA beaches


From May 15 to September 15, dogs are prohibited on any public beach or dune.

All about Sandwich MA beaches


All animals are prohibited between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from the third Saturday in June through Labor Day.

All about Truro MA beaches


Salt Water Beaches and Landings:

Dogs must be leashed at all times on town beaches and landings between May 15th and October 15th.

Dogs are not allowed on the lifeguarded portions of Newcomb Hollow, Cahoon Hollow, White Crest and Maguire Landing at LeCount Hollow between the hours of 9am and 5pm during the summer season, except to walk from the parking lot to a point beyond the end of the guarded beach.

Dogs are never allowed on Burton Baker Beach, Indian Neck and Nauset Road Beach, Mayo Beach and Powers Landing.

Freshwater Ponds:

Dogs are not allowed in the following freshwater ponds or on the beaches of these ponds: Gull Pond, Long Pond, Great Pond, Duck Pond, Higgins Pond, the Sluiceway, Spectacle Pond, or Dyer Pond from May 15th through October 15th.

All about Wellfleet MA beaches


Dogs are not allowed on public beaches at any time.

All about Yarmouth MA beaches

National Seashore Rules About Dogs at the Beach

Generally speaking, leashed dogs are allowed on Cape Cod National Seashore beaches year round.

Dog and owner climbing up a dune at Cape Cod National SeashorePet-Friendly Cape Cod National Seashore

However, during the summer months, dogs may not be on the lifeguard-protected parts of the beach. (It's okay to walk a leashed dog through the lifeguarded areas to get to the “non-protected” stretches of beach.)

Also, during shorebird nesting periods, pets are prohibited from posted areas. Passing through the posted areas is also prohibited.

National Seashore beaches are:

  • Coast Guard (Eastham)

  • Nauset Light and Marconi (Wellfleet)

  • Head of the Meadow (Truro)

  • Herring Cove and Race Point (Provincetown) 

MA State Park Rules About Dogs on the Beaches

At Scusset Beach State Reservation, no dogs are allowed on the beach. Although, it's not unusual to see folks walking their dogs at Scusset in the off season. ;-)

Couple and their dog at Scusset BeachA late October "dog day" at Scusset Beach

At South Cape Beach State Park in Mashpee, dogs are allowed at the beach from mid-September through April. 

Are Private Beaches Pet Friendly?

On private beaches, it's up to the property owner to decide if pets are allowed on the beach.

Note to Renters: Some waterfront, pet-friendly vacation rentals are part of a private beach association - and many beach associations have strict rules about pets on the beach.

Please, do yourself a huge favor. Check with the property owner or rental agent before you sign a vacation rental agreement  to be sure your furry friend can enjoy the beach with you!

Related Pages:

Pet Friendly Cape Cod Hotels, Motels & Inns

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