Guide to Ocean City with Dogs 2021
Ocean City is one of those places where you can bring your whole family with you — not just the human members, but the furry, four-legged ones, too. In the off-season, the beach and boardwalk are open to leashed pets, and in the spring and summer months, area hotels and restaurants, especially those with outdoor seating areas, are more than accommodating to your animal friends. Here’s where you can sleep, eat, shop, and play with your pets in Ocean City.
Many hotels charge an additional fee for pet lodging; Call ahead for details and to ensure the availability of pet-designated rooms.
Featured pet-friendly hotels:
The Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort: (Formerly the Clarion Resort) Not only a premier resort for human beachgoers, the Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort understands that your pets are part of the family and want to have fun on vacation, too. The Ocean City Fontainebleau Resort is oceanfront on 101st Street, so you and your pet are just steps away from running on the sand and into the surf during the off-season. Read the hotel’s pet policy here.
Aloft Hotel: Aloft Ocean City is as friendly and accommodating to pets as it is to humans. Aloft’s ARF Club is a pet-friendly program for dogs under 40 pounds that features an Aloft-branded bed and bowl and complimentary “woof-alicious” treats and toys.
Hyatt Place Ocean City: This Boardwalk hotel at 16th Street is pet-friendly and perfect for early-morning boardwalk strolls with the dog. Two dogs may be allowed in a guestroom provided the combined weight of both dogs does not exceed 75 pounds; the pet fee encompasses this and pets exceeding are at the hotels discretion.
Home2 Suites: The Home2 Suites prides itself on its pet-friendliness, and they’re more than welcome to hang out in the Home2’s guest rooms while their owners soak up the sun. Thy offer special amenities and services to their furry guests.
Surf Villas: The midtown Surf Villas Hotel offers all the amenities of a resort hotel with the privacy and convenience of an apartment. The Villas boast that their pet-friendliness is inside and out, so your pets can rest inside and enjoy an outdoor area, too.
Surf Inn: On 71st Street oceanfront, the Surf Inn & Suites is a resort motel that’s just steps away from the beach and features fully-equipped efficiencies AND newly pet-friendly rooms.
Howard Johnson Oceanfront Inn: Located near the end of the boardwalk on 24th Street, the Howard Johnson Oceanfront Inn is newly pet-friendly, and their rooms are newly renovated too (although you’ll probably appreciate that more than your dogs will). Read the hotel’s pet policy here.
Days Inn Oceanfront: Like the Howard Johnson, the Days Inn on 23rd Street is also newly pet-friendly. Both hotels have a limited number of rooms for their “furry guests,” so be sure to book ahead of time. Read the hotel’s pet policy here.
More pet-friendly hotels:
Barefoot Mailman Motel (35th St.), Fenwick Inn (138th St.), Holiday Inn Express (West Ocean City), Home2 Suites by Hilton (67th St.), La Quinta Inn (32nd St.), Paradise Plaza Inn (9th St.), Residence Inn by Marriott (61st St.), Safari Motel (13th St.), Sea Breeze Motel (N Baltimore Ave.), Sea Cove Motel (N Baltimore Ave.)
Like the hotels, it’s recommended that you call ahead to ensure pet-friendly seating is available. Many of these restaurants are only open during the summer months, but you will find some that are open now. With highs reaching into the 70s periodically in November (if we are lucky), many restaurants open their outdoor dining areas so you can hear the ocean – and enjoy lunch or dinner with your pet.
Featured dog-friendly restaurants and bars:
The Shrimp Boat: Stop by the Shrimp Boat in West OC on your way to Assateague Island (also pet-friendly) for delicious, fresh seafood, and a place to hang out with your pets in the recently-expanded outdoor seating area. You could just drop by for a shrimp sample, but once you try one of their famously juicy shrimp (cooked with the heads still on for extra flavor), you’ll want to stay for a whole meal.
Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill: If you sit outside at Macky’s, you can enjoy a glorious bayside sunset and quality time with your pets. They even have a mini-menu for dogs, which they can enjoy when they’re not sniffing around all the sand and smells of the outdoor seating area.
Billy’s Sub Shop: If you’re looking to order a pizza but don’t want to drop the dogs off before you pick it up, just order from Billy’s — they’ve got some of Ocean City’s best pizza an subs, plus their location off Route 54 in Fenwick Island has a dog-friendly outdoor seating area.
Anthony’s Liquors: You can’t bring your pets inside while you’re perusing the aisles for liquor or snacks, but you can sit with them at the tables outside Anthony’s while you enjoy one of their Boars Head lunch meat sandwiches fresh from the deli. (Note that the meat’s almost too good to be sneaking scraps to the dog, but we won’t tell anyone if you do.)
The Angler: Just off the Route 50 bridge on Talbot St., the Angler has a large outdoor deck that looks out to the bridge and the bay, and on most summer nights you’ll find musical entertainment out there as well. If you’re in Ocean City with your dog during the summer, the Angler is a great place to stop for fresh seafood and exceptional views.
Longboard Cafe: Up on 67th Street, your pup can sit with you on the front patio of Longboard Cafe while you enjoy a burger, a taco, crabcakes, a specialty cocktail, or all of the above.
More pet-friendly restaurants: Anthony’s Carryout, Bayside Skillet, Coffee Beanery, Crab Alley, De Lazy Lizard, Dumser’s Drive-In, The Greene Turtle (West OC), Harborside Bar & Grill, Higgins Crab House, Hooters, The Hungry Seagull, Lenny’s Beach Bar & Grill, Malia’s Cafe, Marina Deck, Micky Fins, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Smokers BBQ Pit, Sunset Grille. (Most pet-friendly areas are limited to outdoor seating; Call for details.)
Area pet stores and vets
Food, treats, clothing and accessories: Paws & Claws in West Ocean City (11934 Ocean Gateway) offers organic pet foods and treats, in addition to clothes, collars, beds, and toys (you know, in case your dog leaves their suitcase at home). Pet Threadz, also in West OC, supplies handmade and custom-fitted pet clothes that’ll keep your pup stylish all vacation long. There’s also a Petco in the White Marlin Mall and a PetSmart in Berlin. Doggie Style K9 Cafe in the Inlet Village on the Boardwalk carries pet supplies and accessories, plus baked dog treats and breed-specific gifts.
Grooming: OC Pet Spa is a professional grooming company in West OC that also offers boarding and doggie daycare. Del-Mar-Va Pet Grooming is another professional groomer in Berlin, and Sandy Paws is a pet supply store on Coastal Highway that also features a self-serve dog wash.
Vets: Hope for the best, but come prepared for the worst. Precious Paws in West OC is a full-service animal hospital that provides emergency treatment and routine medical, surgical and dental care. Berlin Animal Hospital on Old Ocean City Blvd. and Pet’s ER in Salisbury both also provide emergency treatment and routine care. VCA Delmarva Animal Hospital in Berlin provides lifelong medical care for your pets, in addition to boarding and grooming.
Other places to take your pets
The Ocean City Beach and Boardwalk: Between Oct. 1 and April 30, pets are welcome! Just be sure to keep them on a leash and pick up after them, although those rules apply pretty much everywhere.
Stinky Beach: Stinky Beach, also known by its formal name of Homer Gudelsky Park, is a small strip of beach located at the end of Old Bridge Road, in West Ocean City. Dogs are welcome on this little beach year-round.
Northside Park: Northside Park is the largest and most popular park in town, and its 58 acres are perfect for a long walk with the dog.
Ocean City Dog Playground: Located in Little Salisbury Park on the bayside of 94th Street is the Ocean City Dog Playground, the only outdoor area in town where dogs can roam free and unleashed. Passes are required — Learn more about those here.
Assateague Island: Another great place where dogs are welcome year-round is on the Assateague National Seashore (though not the State Park beaches). Take them camping there with you, or just for a scenic run by the ocean.
The cover image features OceanCity.com mascot Marley, and we promise there was a hand on the other end of that leash for the majority of her walk.
This article was updated on 3/22/21