Is Swanage Beach dog friendly?

SWANAGE BEACH is a hotbed of visitors with many heading to the golden, sandy beach in Dorset to relax and soak up the sun.

Yet, with beaches all over the UK restricting how much dogs can be on them, people are wondering if the rules also apply to Swanage.

Is Swanage Beach dog friendly?

Thankfully for canine lovers, dogs are welcome on Swanage’s main beach – but there are restrictions.

Dogs are banned from going on Swanage Beach from May 1 to September 30 every year, as per their town council.

Yet, the nearby Monkey Beach, located between the old Stone Quay and Swanage Pier allows canines all year round without any restrictions.

However, it is only small so beware it could be busy between May and September.

Fancy spending a bit longer near Swanage Beach? Why not stay at The Pines Hotel from just £65 a night – it is dog-friendly and just minutes from Swanage Bay and the beach.

Swanage is a beautiful seaside town to bring your dog along with you - but be careful of the rules (Keith Murray/Flickr)
Swanage is a beautiful seaside town to bring your dog along with you – but be careful of the rules (Keith Murray/Flickr)

Can I be fined for taking my dog to Swanage Beach?

Should you be caught on Swanage Beach with your dog during the banned period, you face the possibility of being fined.

Dorset Council state that should you not comply with the rules, you could be handed a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 – which will be reduced to £75 if you pay within 14 days.

Yet, if you fail to pay the fine within 28 days of it being issued, you face further legal action and being taken to court, which could cost up to £1,000.

And it is not just by being on Swanage Beach between May and September that could land you in trouble, with any failure to pick up your dog’s poo or even put them on a lead when asked to do so by an officer will also see you fall foul of the Public Spaces Protection Order.

Why are dogs banned from going onto beaches?

The main reason for not allowing dogs on to 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

Looking for a beach near you? Check out our full UK dog-friendly beach guide.

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