Hilton Head Public Dog Beaches | Hilton Head Vacations

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Hilton Head's Dog Friendly Beaches

Dog Friendly Hilton Head Beaches - Laws & Regulations

Dogs are welcome on every beach on the island, but there are some important things you need to know before taking your dog out of the comfort of your air conditioned rental.

Tips for bringing your dog to the beach

-Dogs are prone to heat stroke, so bring plenty of water and a method of shade. Don't walk them during the hottest times of the day as the concrete will burn their feet. Also, never leave a dog in a hot car as it's against the law! 

-Dogs can get sunburn and skin cancer, just like a person. You can purchase dog-specific sunscreen from pet stores in the area.

-Hilton head is home to a lot of critters, primarily snakes (some of which are venomous such as copperheads). Keep a close eye on your dog and if it gets bit, take it to a veterinarian immediately.

-Bring methods of disposing with your pet's waste and be wary of the laws mentioned below.

As you may know, pet laws and regulations, vary from town to town. We have compiled all the information you may need to know, when bringing your pet along for your Hilton Head vacation!


Beach Laws At A Glance:

Dogs are not permitted - Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day

Must be on a leash:

Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. April 1 through Thursday before Memorial Day

Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday after Labor Day through September 30

Must be on leash or under positive voice control at all other times.

Persons in control of animals on the beach are required to remove and properly dispose of the animal's excrement.


Hilton Head Town Laws:

Sec. 17-1-114.  Running at large prohibited; leash required; animals on streets and public places.

(a)   It shall be unlawful for any person owning any dog or any other animal or having the control of any dog or any other animal to permit such animal to be on the street or any other public place in the town, except beaches, when such animal is not at all times on a leash.

(b)   From Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend of each year, dogs or any other animal shall not be allowed on the beach between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. nor in any designated swimming area at any hour.

(c)   Dog owners or handlers may allow their dogs to be without a leash within the fenced areas of a designated public dog park; provided, however, that:

(1)   Dogs must remain leashed when entering or leaving the park area and when within the fenced lobby area. The lobby entrance gate and inner gate to the dog park must be closed immediately after entering the lobby or dog park area;

(2)   No dog owner or handler shall allow any dog that is not under positive voice control or supervision to be unleashed within the fenced area of any public dog park;

(3)   No dog owner or handler shall permit his dog, whether leashed or unleashed, to attack, bite, molest, leap or jump upon or otherwise harass, harm or annoy any other person or dog within the fenced area of any public dog park. Any dog exhibiting any such behavior shall be immediately removed from the dog park by its owner or handler;

(4)   No dog owner or handler shall bring any dog that is known to such person to have previously attacked, bitten, molested or harmed any other person or animal into any public dog park;

(5)   No dog owner or handler shall bring any dog younger than four (4) months into any dog park;

(6)   No dog owner or handler shall bring any female dogs "in heat" into any dog park;

(7)   No dog owner or handler shall bring any dog that is not legally licensed, and which has not had all required vaccinations into any dog park;

(8)   No dog owners or handlers shall permit their dog to dig within any dog park. Dog owners and handlers shall fill any holes dug by their dog;

(9)   No dog owner or handler shall leave an unattended dog within any dog park. Unattended dogs shall be considered abandoned;

(10)   No more than two (2) dogs per dog owner or handler are permitted in any dog park at any one (1) time;

(11)   Dog owners and handlers shall clean up and remove any droppings left by their dog within any dog park and elsewhere;

(12)   Children under the age of twelve (12) are not permitted in any dog park, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian;

(13)   Professional dog trainers shall not utilize any dog park for the conduct of their business; and

(14)   No person shall allow any other animal except a dog to be within the fenced area of a designated public dog park.

(d)   No person shall permit any excrement from any animal under that person's control to remain on the beach, the street, dog park, any other public place or the private property of another, but shall dispose of same in a sanitary manner.

(e)   Any violation of these provisions shall result in the owner of the animal being charged with a misdemeanor and may result in the animal being seized by the appropriate animal control officer or law enforcement officer.

(Ord. No. 85-10, § 1, 5-20-85; Ord. No. 88-17, § 1, 8-15-88; Ord. No. 02-32, § 1, 9-17-02)

Cross references:  Animals on beaches, § 8-1-211. 


Sec. 17-1-115.  Barking dogs.

It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any dog or cat to bark or meow to such an extent as to interfere materially with or affect the health, comfort, peace, or quiet of any other person.

(Ord. No. 85-10, § 1, 5-20-85)