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We love Oak Island, NC and we think you will too! 

We've gathered some helpful tips and recommendations for you during your visit. 

Your Pet at Oak Island Beaches and at Down Time

Oak Island is a dog-friendly beach, and Down Time is intended to be a dog-friendly home. We hope you and your pets will enjoy Oak Island and all that it offers for your pets as much as we do.

Below are a few rules, tips, and resources for you and your dogs while and visiting Down Time and Oak Island NC.

We would love to see pictures of our pet guests enjoying our home and hope you sending us pictures of smiling, drooling, belly-rubbed, faces. 

Did we forget something your pet would like for their next visit? Please email us your pet pictures and suggestions to us: downtimenc@gmail.com 

Oak Island Beach Rules for Dogs

Oak Island is known to be one of the most dog-friendly beaches in North Carolina, but there are a few rules.

  • Dogs must be on leash at all times from march 15th to October 15th.
  • Dogs may be off leash from 6 am - 8 pm from October 15th to March 15th.
  • Owners shall be solely responsible for any injury or damage caused by their dogs.
  • Pick up after your dog. It is the law.
  • If any dog is found unrestrained in violation of the Town of Oak Island rules the dog owner will be fined up to $100 per violation and /or criminally charged.

Dogs at the Beach Tips

We love taking our dogs to the beach and have found a few ways we love to spend time with them on the surf.

  • Follow the Oak Island leash laws even if others do not.
  • Take your pets early (before 9 a.m.) or late in the day (after 6 p.m.) to the beach and avoid the afternoons. Its typically less ‘busy’ giving them room to run and play, and the air and sand is cooler for breathing and on their paws. Speaking of walking…
  • Please keep in mind that temperatures on streets, sidewalks and sand is much hotter than the air temperature. Use your hand to check the temperature before walking your pet on these surfaces during hot weather to prevent your best fur-buddy from burning paws!
  • Take fresh water for your pets to prevent them from drinking ocean water, which can cause upset stomachs for your pet.
  • Keep them cool keep them safe by knowing the signs of heat stroke in dogs. A fresh dip in the water, shade, ice cubes and fresh water are always a favorite for our best friends.
  • Watch for harness and leash rash on your pooch. Exposure to sand, water and activity can cause raw rubbed rashes where your dog’s leash, collar or harness contact your pooch. Areas under the front legs are especially susceptible with harness use.

Dogs at Down Time Rules

We welcome up to two dogs without charge and no breed or size restrictions. Need to bring more furry friends? Contact us to discuss.

  • Do not leave your pet unattended in the backyard. The backyard is fenced, but a determined pooch could dig underneath the fencing.
  • You are responsible for your pet at all times. We have three dog crates for your use during your stay located under the bed in the large guest room. Sizes: 36’ x 24 x 26’; 24’ x 19’x 1’x; 25’ x 20’ x 18’. Please return the crates to underneath bed before you depart.
  • Pets are welcome on the furniture, but please use our provided collection of dog blankets. Dog steps for use for your pups to get on the beds, etc. are available in the second bedroom closet. A towel or blanket beneath the stairs will keep them from slipping. Please return the stairs to the bedroom closet before you depart.
  • We ask that you wash your pets of sand at one of the two available paw wash stations or the outside shower before coming back inside after a beach trip.
  • Take fresh water for your pets to prevent them from drinking ocean water, which can cause upset stomachs for your pet.
  • We ask that you please pick up after your pet in the front and back yard of Down Time. A “PawPail” waste basket and scooper are available in the backyard. At the end of your stay, please throw the trash bag that holds your dog waste into the outdoor trash can located on the side of the home and restock with a clean trash bag.
  • Please pick up after your pet in while on neighborhood walks. We love our neighbors, and we share our love of Oak Island by keeping it clean. Pet waste can be disposed of in public trash cans, or any of the outdoor trashcans (including the PawPail) available at Down Time.

Oak Island Pet Recommendations

Pet Stores

  • Gonzo’s Animal House is a local pet store with treats, toys and good conversation. Check them out for something special for your pet while visiting Oak Island. Located 9 miles away from Down Time. Phone: (910) 250-1186
  • Pet Supplies Plus Bolivia is a chain store located in a shopping plaza next to Lowes Foods (a chain grocery store which also has dog food, a few toys, etc.). Located 5.3 miles away from Down Time. Phone: (910) 253-7087

Pet-Friendly Restaurants

Many of Oak Island’s restaurants are dog friendly. Here are just a few of our pups’ favorites.

Grooming Services

Vet Services