• Walking your Dog on Cape Cod’s Beaches

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    The Cape Cod Dog
    The Cape Cod Dog is owned and operated by Katrina Boucher. We are located at 3 Main St., Unit 1, Eastham, MA 02642. On September 1, 2004, we opened our little shop and have made so many new friends, Canine and Feline!


    We asked Katrina Boucher, owner of The Cape Cod Dog, to keep us informed about where dog owners can walk their pets on the beach. Let’s face it: Playing fetch, swimming and just plain running is a perfect world.

    Hopefully this guide will help you choose a proper place for you to enjoy some recreation time with your dog. But, be cautious. There are lots of restrictions during the summer season.

    Let’s begin in Barnstable. Dogs are allowed on Barnstable public beaches from September 15 to May 15 only.

    Cape Cod National Seashore allows dogs on the beach year-round, but they must remain on leashes that are no longer than six feet at all times. Park rangers kindly ask that you walk your dog beyond the life guard protected swimming areas. And be mindful of posted shorebird nesting areas.

    Dogs are NOT allowed on the Provincelands bicycle trails.

    Chatham allows dogs on the beach from September 15 to May 1. The only exception is at Jacknife Point on Pleasant Bay in North Chatham. Here, dogs are allowed before 9am and after 6 pm.  Failure to obey may result in a fine.

    Dennis allows dogs on beaches from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

    Eastham permits dogs at Rock Harbor Beach during the summer, but only before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. There are no restrictions during the off season. Dogs are allowed at any of the public bay or pond bathing beaches from Labor Day until June 15th.  Please remember that pets must be on a leash or under voice control of a responsible adult.

    Eastham authorities enforce the pet policies for the benefit of visitors and to protect areas unique to our environment.  Failure to pick-up after your pet or follow the leash laws may result in a fine.

    An excellent resource for all things “dog” in Eastham is the Eastham Dog Owners Association (EDOA).

    Falmouth permits dogs on the beach only in the off season from October 1 to April 30. There is a dog park located on town-owned land off of Brick Kiln Rd.

    Harwich allows dogs on the beach only from Labor Day to Memorial Day. One of the best spots to take your dog on a hike is at Thompson’s Field Conservation Area. Dogs there ARE allowed off-leash!

    In Orleans, at Nauset Beach, dogs are allowed from Labor Day to May 15.  At Skaket Beach on the bay, you can bring your dog from Labor Day until the Friday before Memorial Day.

    Sandwich allows dogs from October through March, and they must be leashed.

    In Wellfleet, dogs are permitted before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.mm on the following beaches from the third Saturday in June through Labor Day – Duck Harbor, Newcomb Hollow, Cahoon Hollow, White Crest and Maguire Landing.  Dogs are NOT allowed on the Provincelands bicycle trails.

    Katrina’s tip:

    One of my favorite dog walking beaches is Race Point beach and Herring Cove Beach, located in Provincetown.  Both are part of the National Seashore, so the park’s rules apply here.

    The waves at Race Point can be rough, so  it may not be the best swimming for you or your pet.  However, Herring Cove is typically calmer and perfect for a dip.

    Provincetown is home to one of the top dog parks in the country.  Located just off Route 6 at the Shankpainter Road intersection, you will find two separate, fenced dog areas.  The smaller of the two is recommended for smaller dogs only.  In keeping with the history of Provincetown, it is appropriately named “Pilgrim Bark Park”.

    You will find whimsical art, statues and sculpture all donated by local artists.  Although the town donated the property, its upkeep is funded by donations.  It’s worth the drive to the Outer Cape!


    Although Katrina strives to provide the most current information, policies can change by town. Please check with the local authorities if you are unsure of the rules.  We hope this guide leads you to many fun adventures with your four legged family member.

    Katrina also reminds us: It’s important to pick-up and remove all dog waste wherever you go on Cape Cod.  Pet waste spreads disease and can affect our shellfish beds and waterways.  Besides, nobody wants to step in it either.

    Please limit the environmental impact your pet has on Cape Cod.  Not following the rules will ruin pet privileges, she cautions.

    If you would like to reach Katrina, email her at thecapecoddog@gmail.com.

    May 20, 2014