A man walks his leashed dog on a sandy beach under sunny skies.

Where can I take my dog?

Leashed pets can join you in many areas on Fire Island. Be sure to bring extra water for them, keep them in the shade on warm days, and check the pet rules for the area you plan to visit.

March 15 through Labor Day

Pets are restricted March 15 through Labor Day on Fire Island National Seashore's ocean beaches (Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Watch Hill, Talisman, and Wilderness) and within the Fire Island Wilderness. During this time, your leashed pet can join you in some areas:

On Ferries and Water Taxis:

  • On the ferry from Patchogue to Watch Hill or Davis Park on Fire Island
  • On the ferry from Sayville to Sailors Haven, Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines and Water Island
  • On the ferry from Bay Shore to the western Fire Island communities
  • Between communities and park destinations via Fire Island Water Taxi.
At National Park Service Facilities:
  • On park boardwalks
  • On bayside beaches at the Fire Island Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Talisman/Barrett Beach, and Watch Hill. Low tide is best, but not all bayside shorelines are suitable for a stroll.
  • On your boat in the park's concession-operated marinas
  • In the concession-operated Watch Hill Campground, but they may not be left unattended.

Why Are Ocean Beaches Closed March 15 through Labor Day?

Beach-nesting birds like the piping plover and least tern are federally protected species. These small shorebirds build nests on the beach, and are vulnerable to wild animals and to humans and their pets during this sensitive time. Pets resemble shorebird predators, and can cause adult birds to abandon their nest.

Leashed Pets

While Fire Island National Seashore offers some areas where you and your pet may enjoy the park together responsibly, the National Park Service does not allow pets (excluding service animals) in buildings, on ocean beaches from March 15 through Labor Day, in picnic areas, or in areas closed for wildlife protection.

For the safety of your pet, the park's resources, and other visitors, your pet must be kept on leash and under control. Leashes must be six feet in length or less. With a leash, your pet is less likely to be exposed to ticks (which may transmit Lyme disease), poison ivy (oils can be transferred from your pet's fur to your skin, causing a rash), or other plants with thorns or burrs. It also decreases the chance of a dangerous encounter with wildlife or other pets.

Rules and restrictions on pets vary in the Fire Island communities. If you plan to visit one of the 17 communities, Robert Moses State Park, or Smith Point County Park, please contact them directly for their current regulations regarding pets.

Last updated: April 1, 2021

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Patchogue, NY 11772



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