Is Studland Beach dog friendly?

STUDLAND’s coast in Dorset is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches for people of all ages.

From Knoll Beach and Shell Bay in the north to the South Beach closer to the village, there are miles of glorious sand to descend upon – but can your dogs join you?

Are Studland’s beaches dog friendly?

Four beaches make up Studland Bay making the Nature Reserve a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

And fortunately for dog owners, all of the beaches have the same rules when it comes to canines at the seaside.

Knoll Beach, Shell Bay Beach, South Beach and Middle Beach all allow dogs on their shores all year round – but they must be kept on a lead of two metres or less from May 1 to September 30.

National Trust also ask that you respect a number of other rules when taking your four-legged friends to the coast, including:

  • Keep to the paths as the heathland has ticks and adders that could harm your dog
  • Respect other visitors and keep your dog in your sights at all times
  • Bag and bin your dog’s waste
  • Protect nesting birds on the heathland
  • Keep your dog on a lead near cliffs
  • Keep your dog safe in hot weather – there are water bowls available at Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and South Beach.

Want to make a holiday out of your trip to Studland Bay? Stay at the pet-friendly Knoll House Hotel from just £79 a night – the beach is just an eight-minute walk away.

Studland's coastline is among the most beautiful in Dorset with stunning beaches for your dog to run around on (Herry Lawford/Flickr)
Studland’s coastline is among the most beautiful in Dorset with stunning beaches for your dog to run around on (Herry Lawford/Flickr)

Can I be fined for taking my dog to Studland’s beaches?

Although dogs are allowed onto all of Studland’s beaches 365 days a year, the restriction to have your pooch on a lead between May and September means you could still land yourself in trouble.

If you do not abide by this rule, you could land yourself a Fixed Penalty Notice fine of up to £100 to be paid within 28 days by Dorset Council under the Public Spaces Protection Order.

This can be reduced to £75 if you pay within 14 days of the fine being issued.

However, should you fail to pay and the matter is taken to court, that fine will be significantly more – in the region of £1000.

Yet, there are exemptions to the rules, most notably if you have a disability that prevents your picking up dog waste or if you have an assistance dog.

Why are dogs restricted on beaches?

The main reason for restricting dogs on beaches at certain times is for health and safety purposes.

Although most owners will clean up after their pets when they are out, some fail to pick up their dog’s poo. 

Due to a dog’s diet being largely meat-based, leaving their faeces on the beach runs the risk of humans contracting toxocariasis – or zoonosis. 

And during the busy months, this becomes even more dangerous – especially for children – with potential problems including blindness and breathing difficulties.

Things to consider when taking your dog to the beach

Dogs love a nice trip to the seaside, just like their human companions. 

But there are a number of rules and tips to consider when heading to the beach.

These include: 

  • Check with beach management to see if dogs are allowed
  • Take poo bags to clear up their mess
  • Bring a lead – dogs have to be on a leash on some beaches at all times
  • Avoid the big crowds
  • Consider some people may not like dogs
  • Take plenty of fresh water and a bowl for your dog
  • Take a first aid kit in case your dog becomes injured
  • Check for local vets in case of emergency
  • Make sure your dog is wearing their collar and ID tag
  • If they are wear a GPS tracker, make sure it is fully charged
  • Take spare towels to dry them
  • Keep an eye on your dog at all times

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