Looking for a dog-friendly community? You'll see dogs and their families strutting around Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and the surrounding areas. Many hotels and summer rentals are catching on to the fact that many people consider their pets to be family members and can't imagine leaving Fluffy home alone while the rest of the family enjoys the surf and sand.
If you are planning to bring your dog (or any other critter to the beach for a vacation), or better yet, a permanent move to Rehoboth, Lewes or anywhere else in Sussex County, Delaware, here are some useful tips.
Coming in 2016: Lewes Unleashed - a new dog park in Lewes!
Pet Owner's Guide to Everything (Groomers, Boarding, Pet Supplies, & More)
Dogs on the Beach - The Rules
Lewes City Beach
Your dogs are welcome on the Lewes City beach year-round; however, May 1 to September 30 they are only allowed before 8:30 am and after 6:30 pm. Remember to keep them on a leash at all times. If you want to bring your dog to the beach during the day, check out (certain sections of) Cape Henlopen State Park.
Dogs are restricted to certain sections of the park. They are allowed on any of the roads or paved bike trails, parking lots and the beach at Herring Point. They must be on a leash at all times. This is a carry-in/carry out park, meaning you to take everything with you that you brought into the park that day/trip and dispose at home. The park does have 'Doggie Dooleys' for pet waste, which often have bags, but you may want to bring your own to make sure you are covered. And did you know...you can even camp with your pet!
Horses are welcome too. For detailed information, including a map, you can read more at the Cape Henlopen State Parks website.
During the summer, dogs are not allowed on the beach or the boardwalk at anytime (between April 1 and October 31) and must be leashed all other times. Come November 1, after the Halloween Pet Parade and Sea Witch Festival, it's dog heaven!
Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round but are time-restricted in the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day). On those days, it's a no-dog policy from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. But, dogs do not have to be leashed as long as they are under the owner's control. Additionally, owners must procure a Dewey Beach Dog License.
Dewey also takes the cake, er, bone, when it comes to events, too. Ever been to Greyhound week, also known as Greyhounds Reach the Beach? Every October, they visit the sandy shores of Dewey, DE and have a dog-filled blast!
Dogs on a leash are allowed on the beach only during the off-season, from October 1 to May 14.
Other Dog Friendly Places to Take Fido
The Junction and Breakwater Trail
Getting There - There are several entrances to the trail where you can park your car. One is behind Tanger Outlet Mall #2. You can see the beginning of the trail from the rear parking lot and there is a large sign/bulletin board at the point where the trail meets the parking lot. Another is at the official state park parking lot near the end of Wolfe Neck Road off Route One.
For more information:
Delaware State Park - Junction and Breakwater Trail.
The Junction and Breakwater Trail is a wonderful place to take your dog on off-peak times - lots of shady trees and plenty of interesting objects to sniff. On weekdays in the "off-season" you might just have the trail to yourself! On weekends in the summer, keep that leash short so Fido doesn't get run over by a speeding bicyclist or runner. Note: Keep Fido on the marked trail to avoid bringing home ticks or disturbing wildlife. Deer are prevalent during the off-season, so keep a watchful eye if you have an excitable pooch.