Much has been written about the human-dog bond and the many benefits that ownership can bring to dog owners. By eight thousand years ago, when cats were still making their first tentative steps towards eventual domestication, dogs had already diverged into multiple types, adapted for guarding, hunting and even as status objects.
Jeremy Jenks, Vice President of Sales, 843.638.3002
Dogs do a lot more than make you feel happiness and love. They can also lower cholesterol, relieve stress, and boost self-esteem. You don’t have to tell dog lovers the feeling is both mutual (and very real), but a new study published in the journal Science reveals the fascinating reason why we feel so close to our furry companions: When humans and dogs look into each other’s eyes, both get a boost of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which is the same hormone behind the special bond between new parents and their babies.
Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine – neurotransmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties. “People take drugs like heroin and cocaine to raise serotonin and dopamine, but the healthy way to do it is to pet your dog, or hug your spouse, watch sunsets, or get around something beautiful in nature,” says Blair Justice, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health.Dogs have aided humans for thousands of years. Man’s best friend has provided protection, companionship and hunting assistance since the days of the earliest human settlements.
For dog owners, a dog is more than a protector or a hunting companion, a dog is a member of the family. So it only makes sense, when a dog owner leaves for vacation, they want their dog riding along, sitting in the back seat with its head out the window. Many dogs enjoy a day at the beach. They love the sand beneath their paws, the waves lapping back and forth and the ocean water beckoning them. It seems like a nice way to spend a summer’s day. But before you get in your car and head down to your favorite beach, are you sure your favorite pet will also be allowed? And if dogs are allowed, are they allowed to run leash-free or is the leash law enforced?
Even if you’ve been so busy that you haven’t had the time to give your dog the attention he deserves, he’s still madly waiting for you to come home. He doesn’t care if you have a zit, got fired, dumped, or made a really bad fashion choice that day. All he wants is you. He loves you unconditionally. And that, my friends, is the ultimate reason why you should love dogs. A pet is certainly a great friend. After a difficult day, pet owners quite literally feel the love.
Animal Laws Along the Grand Strand
Most public beaches in the Myrtle Beach area are pet-friendly year-round during early morning or during late evening. Dogs must always be on a leash and dog owners must pick up and properly dispose of the droppings. Specific area laws regarding dogs on the beach follows.
Any animal on the beach must be on a hand-held leash not to exceed seven feet in length and under the control of the person having custody of the animal. Animals are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 1 – Labor Day.
Dogs in public must be on a leash at all times. No animals are permitted on the beach or Ocean Boulevard from 13th Ave. S. to 21st Ave. N. in Myrtle Beach during any time of the year. Dogs are permitted on the beach anytime from Labor Day through April 30. No dogs are allowed on the beach 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 1- Labor Day.
North Myrtle Beach
Dogs are not allowed on the beach at any time May 15-Sept. 15.
Dogs are allowed on public beaches if accompanied by the owner or keeper and under the physical control by means of a leash or similar restraining device, or under the control of a responsible person to whom the dog is obedient on command. On Pawleys Island beach, dogs must be on a leash May-October. At Huntington Beach State Park, dogs must be on a leash at all times. In areas designated for the protection of endangered species, cats, as well as dogs, must be on a leash at all times.
62nd Avenue North Extension and Mallard Lake Drive
Myrtle Beach has two off-leash dog parks where owners may let their pets run and play. Barc Parc South is the original leash-free space for dogs. It is located off Mallard Lake Drive near Grand Park and The Market Common. The park covers 14 acres and includes a large lake. Barc Parc North is adjacent to the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA on 62nd Avenue North Extension. It covers 3.3 acres.
Both parks are fully fenced. North Barc Parc offers separate areas for large and small dogs. See the Barc Parc rules, below, for details. Dogs must meet height requirements, which are posted on the entrance gates. Rules for behavior also are posted, and owners are responsible for picking up after their pets and properly disposing of the waste. Handy picker-uppers are provided.
Barc Parc Rules:
- Park is open from sunup to sundown.
- Dow owners are responsible for clean-up.
- Dog owners must be in the park and their dogs must be within view at all times.
- Dogs must be removed from the park at the first sign of aggression.
- Dog owners must have a leash in hand at all times.
- Dogs must be leashed outside the boundaries of the park.
- Bitches in heat are prohibited from entering the park.
- Aggressive dogs are not permitted on the premises.
- Police and animal control officers can ticket dog owners who fail to comply with park rules.
- The parks accommodate unleashed animals. By entry, dog owners assume all risk of injury to themselves, any adult guest, and any person or thing over which they exercise care.
- Dog owners enter at their own risk.
For more information about these facilities or other city parks, contact the Parks Division at 843-918-2332.
Barc Parc South, Mallard Lake Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC
The Barc Parc South is one of the favorites among locals & tourists alike. This 14-acre fenced dog park features a large lake that dogs love. Its close proximity to The Market Common adds a certain level of convenience. One family member can go shopping while the other watches the dog at the park.
There are multiple bins and lots of free baggies to clean up after your dog. The park also has a walking path and benches for the humans to enjoy. Barc Parc South even has doggie fountains to keep your dog hydrated on those hot days.
If you’re staying anywhere near the South End of Myrtle Beach, between highway 501 and highway 544, this is probably the closest dog park.
The Barc Park North is located off of 62nd Ave in Myrtle Beach. If you’re driving on 17 Bypass, turn at the light at 62nd Ave and follow the signs toward the YMCA and Barc Parc. The dog park is located next to the YMCA building and they share the same parking lot.
This is another off-leash dog park with plenty of space, 3.3 acres in fact. It’s separated into two fenced areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. There is plenty of tree cover to offer shade and water fountains to quench a pup’s thirst.
This is probably the closest dog park for anyone staying between Highway 501 and the intersection of highways 17 and 22 near Tanger Outlet.
Surfside Beach Bark Park, Pine Drive Next to Library
The Surfside Beach Bark Park is more of a locals dog park. All dog must have their Surfside Beach license tags. These are $10 for. These can be purchased at Town Hall in Surfside. This dog park is located near the Surfside Library between 1st Ave N., and Pine Dr. It’s just a short walk from the Surfside Pier. The Town of Surfside Beach Police Department regularly patrols and has jurisdiction over these town grounds.
- Open sunrise to sunset.
- Closed Wednesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 noon for cleaning.
- Enter and use the Dog Park at your own risk.
- Dog owners must be 18 years of age
- Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult.
- All dogs must have current rabies vaccinations and wear current tags.
- ALL dogs must have and wear current Town of Surfside Beach license tags. Tags can be purchased for $10.00 at Town Hall 115 US Highway 17 N. 843-913-6111.
- Spectators shall remain outside of the fence area.
- Owners shall clean up after their dogs using bags provided. Report a need for bags: 843-839-8333.
- Dispose of waste properly in the designated on-site containers.
- No more than two dogs per person on any single visit.
- Owners must have one leash per dog at all times.
- Puppies six months and younger are not permitted in the Dog Park.
- The Dog Park is subject to patrol by Animal Control and Surfside Beach Police Department.
- Aggressive dogs and female dogs in heat are not allowed in the Dog Park.
- Professional Dog trainers may not use the Dog Park to conduct business unless sanctioned by the Town of Surfside Beach.
- Owners are responsible for any injury or damage caused by their dog and are fully responsible for their dog’s and their own actions.
- No Food, treats, alcoholic beverages, glass containers, strollers, bicycles, toys or smoking is allowed in the Dog Park.
- Dogs must be leashed when entering and exiting the Dog Park.
- Anyone found not following the rules will be asked to leave the Dog Park.
- Animal Control will be called to collect any unattended dogs and appropriate actions will be taken.
- SC Law requires all dog bites to be reported to the Town of Surfside Beach Police Department. Call 911 for emergencies. Call 843-913-6368 for non-emergencies.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, between Second Avenue North and 15th Avenue North, Myrtle Beach, SC
Though you must keep your pup on a leash, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is a great place for dogs to get some exercise. Between May 1 and Labor Day, dogs are allowed on the boardwalk between 5 am and 10 am. From Labor Day to May 1, dogs can enjoy the boardwalk at any time. The boardwalk is even equipped with water fountains for your furry friend. Each of the nine stations has fountains for dogs as well as humans.
North Myrtle Beach Dog Parks
The two dog parks in North Myrtle Beach are easily accessible to anyone staying in the area.
McLean Park, 350 2nd Ave S, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Though McLean Park is an on-leash dog park, it is a gorgeous spot to bring your dog for a walk. It’s just a short walk up 2nd Ave S., from S. Ocean Blvd. There is plenty of shade as well as gorgeous green space for a dog to enjoy. Take a walk around the lake or take a break in one of the gazebos. Located just off of Main St., this dog park is quite appealing to those staying oceanfront or near the ocean in the heart of North Myrtle Beach.
North Myrtle Beach Sports Parks and Recreation Complex, 150 Citizens Circle, Little River, SC 29566
Find this beautiful, relatively new dog park by driving along Robert Edge Parkway and turning on Champions Blvd. It impossible to miss the new facilities.
The park features 3 miles of walking trails as well as the off-leash Waggin’ Tails Dog Park. The park is split into two fenced areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. It’s the only off-leash dog park in North Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach State Park, 4401 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
Located just south of town, Myrtle Beach state park is filled with walking paths and great natural features including some of the most pristine beach on the entire Grand Strand. Pets are not allowed on the beaches from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 15 – Sept. 15, but are welcome to roam the oceanfront in the evenings, early mornings and throughout the offseason. Pets are allowed in most other outdoor areas year round, provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet.Admission is $5 for adults.
Huntington Beach State Park, 16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
One of the most beautiful stretches of beach anywhere, Huntington Beach State Park is a dog-friendly park year round. In addition to running through acres upon acres of natural beauty and wildlife, dogs are also allowed on the south end of the beach here so they can easily take a dip in the ocean and chase seagulls as well.
Keep in mind that all dogs must remain on a leash no longer than six feet at all times. Dogs are prohibited in buildings, including Atalaya castles and on the north end of the beach.
Park admission is $5 per person, and of course, pets are free.
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