Pets are a high priority in the ShoreBread households. When it comes to taking care of our four-legged friends, we settle for nothing but the best, whether its dog treats, dog friendly happy hour spots, or dog parks. We’ve done our fair share of research on our area’s canine hot spots, and we thought it only fitting that we share our pet-friendly tips with you all! From pet-friendly hotels to the rules on walking your dogs on the beach and boards, we’ve got everything you need to know about bringing your pup to Ocean City.
Rules and Regulations
Ok, we’ll start with the not-so-fun stuff…restrictions. Unfortunately for our furry friends, the beach and the boardwalk is off limits during the busy summer season in Ocean City. The good news is, from October 1 to April 30, dogs can walk the boards and beaches to their heart’s content, giving us another reason to love our town in the off-season. Leash laws are in effect year round, as well as laws for cleaning up after your dog. We suggest following both as violations can result in some hefty fines.
If you and your pup are itching to get in the surf or dig your toes and paws in the sand before October 1, we suggest heading out to Assateague Island. Dogs are allowed at the State and National Parks year-round and its great way to spend a day, afternoon or weekend!
With leash laws in effect throughout the Town of Ocean City, we suggest taking your pooches to the town’s dog park to let your dogs run free while getting in a little social time as well. The Ocean City Dog Park is located on 94th Street and the Bayside. The dog park is divided into two sections; one for dogs under 28 pounds and the other for dogs over 28 pounds. In order to access the park, all dogs must be up to date on rabies vaccinations and have a current dog license. Owners must also fill out an application and obtain a pass, along with signing a waiver. Pricing for passes is as follows:
- Ocean City Resident Annual Pass – $50 ($5 for each additional dog)
- Non-Resident Annual Pass – $100 ($5 for each additional dog)
- Ocean City Resident Half Year Pass – $30.00 (After July 1st)
- Non-Resident Half Year Pass – $60.00 (after July 1st)
- Seven Day Access Pass – $15.00 Note: this “Dog Pass” is intended for those individuals who wish to utilize the Playground for a one week or limited duration only ($5 for each additional dog)
- Applications and Passes may be obtained from the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department front desk located at 200 125th, Ocean City, Md 21842, Monday – Friday with the exception of legal municipal holidays from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.
- Frontier Town is also home to a dog park for your pets to enjoy while visiting. The Barks and Recreation area includes two sections, one for large dogs and one for small dogs.
Pet Friendly Hotels
For our out of town friends, finding a place to stay with your pets can be stressful. Fortunately Ocean City has several pet-friendly accommodations available, including the following ShoreBread favorites: Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel, Safari Motel Boardwalk, Barefoot Mailman, Castaways Resort, and the Coastal Palms Hotel. We suggest calling each hotel or motel to ensure that pet friendly rooms are available during your intended stay period.
Dog Friendly Bars and Restaurants
For locals and vacationers, finding a bar or restaurant where your dog can tag along is pretty amazing. There really is nothing better than enjoying a cocktail with your pup at sunset, or letting your furbabe join you for lunch. Some of our favorite dog friendly bars are: Sunset Grille, Fishtales, Macky’s, Mickey Fins, The Bayside Skillet, Smoker’s BBQ Pit, Dumser’s Drive-In, On the Bay Seafood, Belly Busters, Malia’s Café, and Lenny’s Beach Bar and Grille. As always, be conscious of other diners and pets nearby.
Our area is home to a collection of dog-centric events throughout the year, with our favorite, Boardwalkin’ for Pets, held each spring. In the nearer future, we’ve got our eyes on Pooch Palooza, to be held October 4th at Frontier Town. The canine community event will last all day, with gates opening at 8:30am and the grounds closing at 5:30pm. The schedule of the events includes a costume contest, pie eating contest, tennis ball lotto, cover model search, Delmava DockDogs, seminars and more! Advanced tickets are $21 and admit two humans and two dogs. A la carte pricing is also available. For more information, visit www.poochpalooza.com.
Also in October, pets will line up to proudly parade along the Boardwalk for the annual OCtoberfest Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade. Who doesn’t love a parade of dogs dressed to impress?! This year’s parade will be held on October 18.
Whether you’re a local, a summertime resident, or just visiting with your pet for a few days, it’s important to know the nearest and best places to get dog food, treats, toys and goodies. We’ll start with our favorite local dog treat purveyors, Tumbleweed & Eddies. We met the dynamic duo behind the brand last year and were impressed with their sincere dedication to making healthy, all-natural dog treats that are completely free of preservatives and other harmful additives. What’s more, they’re local! You can find their treats for sale on their website, as well as a listing of stores that carry them.
For the rest of our pet needs, we frequent Paws & Claws, Sandy Paws, and Petco. Petco is conveniently located in the West OC outlets (giving you an excuse to do a little shopping for yourself while you’re at it). You’ll find Paws & Claws on Route 50 as you head east towards Ocean City, and includes a wide variety of food, treats, collars, toys and more. Sandy Paws offers pet supplies and (an added bonus!) a self-serve dog wash.