If you are “owned” by a dog, then you know how important it is to have the perfect home for your four legged friend. Everything from the number of stairs to a fenced back yard can come into play when looking for the ideal home for your furry family members. Most homes can be modified to accommodate special needs for pets but more importantly is the neighborhood pet friendly? Some planned communities are thinking ahead and including dog parks as an amenity for residents to enjoy while some provide sidewalks and trails where you can exercise your dog on-leash.  Once you have pinpointed your area of interest, stop by a park or pet store and ask pet owners if they recommend any neighborhoods or communities that they know to be dog friendly. Other pet owners are usually very happy to share information like their favorite pet store, veterinarian, groomer and their favorite place to take their own dog. You can also drive around a specific neighborhood taking note of the number of homes with dogs or if there are folks out walking their dogs. This is often a good indicator of a dog friendly neighborhood. Keep in mind if you are considering a planned community or neighborhood with a Home Owners Association, you will want to obtain the Bylaws and Restrictions to make yourself aware of any rules that might not work for you and your pet. Fencing for example, may be required to be constructed of certain materials or may have height restrictions. Just make sure you know what is or isn’t permitted.

If you are relocating to a whole new town, make sure that you inquire about local ordinances and license laws. Since animal welfare laws are different in every city, it will be important to know before you buy or rent, what is expected from you as a dog owner. Certain cities in the country even have bans on particular breeds which may prevent you from living in city or county limits. As always it is important to be informed! Hopefully you are working with a REALTOR who should be able to help you navigate your pet friendly quest.

If you live in Brunswick or New Hanover Counties and are looking for a fun new place to take your dogs for some exercise and play time, there are a surprising number of options! If your dog is considered part of the family, then you know how hard it is to leave them at home sometimes. Along the south eastern coast of NC, Oak Island is a year round, dog friendly beach. Other area beaches allow dogs on leash only during certain times of the year, deemed as “off season.” You might also be surprised to find out there are dog-friendly restaurants and bars too! Here are some of our favorites!

Dog Parks

Oak Island Dog Park

Dolphin Street, between 47th and 46th Streets

Holden Beach Dog Park

146 Scotch Bonnet Dr
Holden Beach, NC 28462

Shallotte Dog Park

5550 Main St,  Shallotte, NC 28459

Town Creek Park                  

6420 Ocean Highway East in Winnabow

 Abbey Nature Trail

10200 Hwy 17 N Wilmington, NC

 Ogden Dog Park

Market St and Gordon Rd
Wilmington, NC, US
(910) 798-7620

Hugh McRae Park-Dog Park

1799 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC, US 28403
(910) 798-7630

Wilmington Dog Park

3405 Park Avenue (Within Empie Park)

Dog Friendly Restaurants and Bars (outdoor seating)

The George on the Riverwalk in Wilmington,                       Front Street Brewery, Wilmington

Java Dog Coffee House, Wilmington                                        Rucker John’s on Carolina Beach Rd.

Brusters Real Ice Cream-Wilmington                                       Dairy Queen Wilmington

Lazy Pirate-Carolina Beach                                                           Gibby’s Dock and Dine-Carolina Beach

Casa Matta-Carolina Beach                                                          Seawitch Café and Tiki Bar-Carolina Beach

Fishy Fishy Café-Southport                                                          Calabash Deli, Calabash

Fibber McGee’s-Sunset Beach                                                   Shagger Jack’s-Oak Island

Inlet View Bar and Grill-Shallotte                                              San Jose -by Lowes Foods in Shallotte

Now get out there and have some fun with your furry friends!!!