Bringing your dog to Fire Island | What to know

Dog on Fire Island

Fire Island’s beautiful beaches and natural wonders can also be enjoyed be your four-legged friends, as long as you respect the local laws, which we’ll cover in this article. Since Fire Island is protected and dogs can unknowingly disrupt local wildlife, or pose other potential problems, there are certain regulations that need to be followed. Keep reading to learn more about bringing your dog to Fire Island.


Must be leashed

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.

Fire Island dog on leash


Restrictions are in effect March 15 through Labor Day

Pets are not allowed in buildings; on ocean beaches (Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Watch Hill, Talisman, and Wilderness) and within the Fire Island Wilderness from March 15 through Labor Day; in picnic areas, or in areas closed for wildlife protection.

During the summer when ocean beaches are closed to pets, they are still allowed in some areas: on ferries and water taxis; on park boardwalks; on bayside beaches at the Fire Island Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Talisman/Barrett Beach, and Watch Hill; on boats in the park’s concession-operated marinas; and in the concession-operated Watch Hill Campground.

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.

Piping Plover Fire Island


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