Our Top Tips for Camping with your Dog in Dorset

February 17th, 2021

If you’re planning a camping holiday with your dog in Dorset, but don’t know where to start, take a look at our handy camping guide. We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you plan an unforgettable staycation on the Dorset coast. You’ll enjoy your trip so much you’ll want to return with your canine companion year on year!


Book a dog friendly campsite 

Step one is to research and book pet friendly accommodation for the duration of your stay. Ulwell Holiday Park is one of the best dog friendly campsites in Dorset and the perfect base for a camping holiday with your four-legged friend. Our award-winning camping and caravan site has much to offer, including a spacious recreational field and dog friendly bar and restaurant. There are plenty of scenic walks surrounding the park as well as a wide range of dog friendly beaches nearby.

dog in the village inn at ulwell cottage caravan park in swanage


Practice at home

Camping with your dog for the first time can be daunting, so we recommend having a trial run at home. Pop your tent up in the garden and encourage your dog to spend time under canvas before heading to the campsite. This will give your dog plenty of time to familiarise themselves with new noises and smells. If any problems arise, you’ll be able to implement the necessary training prior to your trip.

dog camping in garden


Pack essentials

Having a dog is like having a child – they come with a lot of stuff! In the days leading up to your holiday make sure make a note of everything your dog uses at home set it to one side. Dedicating a single bag to your dog will help you locate things quickly and easily during your camping holiday. If you do forget something though, there’s no need to worry, we stock a range of dog essentials in our on-site shop.

Things to pack:

  • Collar/harness and lead
  • Toys and treats
  • Bedding and/or crate
  • Food and bowls
  • Medication, flea & worming treatment
  • Blankets and towels
  • Poo bags

dog ice cream in our onsite shop


Plan your arrival on park

Pitching your tent can be stressful, especially if you’re going camping for the first time! Make sure your dog is safe and secure whilst setting up your things. We suggest investing in a cork screw stake to ensure your pup doesn’t wander whilst you’re distracted. Some tasty treats are sure to keep them occupied! Alternatively, task one of your party with taking the dog for walk whilst you set up camp. They can enjoy the beautiful countryside surrounding our park and get to miss out on the hard work!

dog on lead


Establish a sleeping routine

Establishing a good sleeping routine is vital during a camping trip. If your dog won’t settle, none of the family are going to get a good night’s sleep. Some dogs will be happy to sleep in the main compartment, whilst others may prefer to sleep with you in the bedroom pod. Every dog is different, so trial and error will probably be needed to find an optimal regime. If your dog is crate trained and you have the space, you should bring their crate with you. Likewise, bringing your dogs bed from home might make them feel more comfortable. Regardless of where your dog sleeps, make sure you bring lots of blankets for them to lay on. It can get cold even in the summer.

dog friendly camping

Plan for medical emergencies

When holidaying away from home you should always make sure your dog’s microchip details are up to date and that they have an ID tag on their collar. This will give you the best chance of locating your four-legged friend should they get lost at any point during your stay. Make sure your dog has had their flea and tick treatment prior to your trip as you’ll be spending more time outdoors. As an extra precaution it might be a good idea to bring a small first aid kit and research the nearest vets in case of an emergency. If you get caught out our friendly reception team will be more than happy to recommend a vets in Swanage.

dog collar and tag


Pick dog friendly days out

Holidays are about spending quality time with the family and doing things you enjoy. Research dog friendly activities in the area well in advance, so you can be sure there are plenty of things to keep the whole family entertained. We’re fortunate to have a number of dog friendly attractions within easy reach of Ulwell Holiday Park. Some of our favourites include Swanage Railway, Corfe Castle and Swanage Pier.

There’s also a fantastic selection of dog friendly cafes, restaurants and pubs within walking distance of the park.

dog on beach in dorset 


Be mindful of other guests

We encourage dog owners to read our holiday park rules prior to arriving on site. It’s really important to be courteous to other guests so that everyone can enjoy a well-earned break by the coast. We kindly ask dogs are kept on lead at all times on our park. Please dispose of dog poo in the bins provided.

couple and dog walking through the holiday homes for hire

We hope our guide has encouraged you to try a camping holiday in Dorset with your dog. A camping holiday is one of life’s simple pleasures and we guarantee you’ll have a memorable stay at our Swanage holiday park. We do understand that camping might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t let that put you off. If you’d prefer the comfort of a holiday home, we have a selection of dog friendly static caravans available to hire at Ulwell Holiday Park!

What our guests say

  • A lovely quiet site

    Andy Blackwell

    A lovely quiet site, nice warm amenities with good sized shower cubicles, shop not open yet as it’s too early but the local pub is ideal. Staff were very friendly and helpful. If you’re reasonably fit you can walk into Swanage but the bus service is great so why would you want to. Overall a very nice break, we will be back.

  • Super swimming pool

    Joseph Molford

    Fantastic site, we have had a brilliant holiday. Super swimming pool and changing facilities. Site really handy to get to Swanage and Studland. Will definitely return. Thanks to all the staff for a lovely holiday.

  • Excellent quality caravan site

    Peter Skrobacz

    Excellent quality caravan site, top quality, small and friendly, location fantastic. Been visiting Ulwell for over 25 years now and every year is special.

  • An amazing week at Ulwell

    Jenny H

    We have just returned back from our weeks stay at Ulwell Holiday Park with our 2 small children and dog. It was an absolute brilliant week! The site has everything you need, and more! A lovely comfy pub on site for drinks and a bowl of chips, a small shop, swimming pool, large play are with park, and the bus stops right outside.. what more could you want

  • Easter break


    We have just returned after a brilliant Easter break. Couldn’t fault anything at all and we didn’t want to leave. We didn’t visit the pub but the shop is stocked with local produce and essentials. The facilities are great and the location convenient. Our van was spotless and had everything we needed. We will definitely be back

All reviews


We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

Latest reviews

Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain
  • premier park 2020 logo

Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North



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