5 Best Dog-Friendly Vacations in BC

Here are five more trip ideas for you and your dog’s next vacation. Remember, please follow local bylaws, keep your dog leashed where required, and under control at all times. Visit GoFetch.ca for safety information when adventuring with your pet.

Dogs in the City

Ella, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's adorable canine ambassador.

Meet Ella, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s adorable canine ambassador. Photo: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

If your posh pup is a fan of city living, Vancouver and Victoria are ready to roll out the welcome mat. In Vancouver, your leashed companion is welcome at popular attractions such as Capilano Suspension Bridge  and Stanley Park. Visit Spanish Banks Beach and adjacent Pacific Spirit Park for extensive off-leash areas and stunning views of the city and English Bay. Dogs are welcome aboard the Aquabus ferry service, which offers short boat trips around False Creek with stops at Granville Island, Olympic Village, and downtown Vancouver.  Head out for an upscale shopping spree with your dog at Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew department stores. Canines can lounge in the lap of luxury with Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s  Designer Doggie Package, which includes a fashionable dog collar, an hour-long Pup-arazzi photo shoot with Flytographer, round-trip transportation to the dog park, and more. The hotel also offers a canine in-room dining menu with drool-worthy items like Prime Rib Bone with Gravy Lacquer. If your pup is pooped after a day out on the town, a one-hour in-room canine massage is included as part of the Pampered Pooch package at the Opus Hotel in Vancouver. 

In Victoria, bring your dog along on your visit to Butchart Gardens, and continue to the nearby Cy Hampson Park in North Saanich for off-leash access to grassy fields and a pebble beach with views to the Gulf Islands. The books aren’t dog-eared but the visitors can be at Munro’s Books, Russell Books, and Chapters.

In British Columbia, dogs aren’t permitted in restaurants or on patios with food service, but there are a number of restaurant patios with adjacent public spaces where your pet can relax while you dine. Urban options include the large patios of Tap & Barrel’s three Vancouver locations, and Canoe Brewpubin Victoria.

Wine Touring for the Dogs

While your dog will be more interested in the water bowl than the wine glass, there are plenty of wineries in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley that welcome four-legged friends. Notably, See Ya Later Ranch pays homage to the canine companions of original landowner Major Fraser with wine labels that feature a small golden dog with wings. Many wineries, such as Road 13 Vineyards and Okanagan Crush Pad, allow dogs to join their owners in the winery’s tasting room or shop, or have comfortable and shaded areas for your dog to relax nearby.

Dogs in the Mountains

Alpine peaks aren’t just for the Saint Bernards; British Columbia’s mountain trails and towns will appeal to any breed. Whistler is home to many dog-friendly walks and hikes, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. There’s  Dogfest in April and Woof Weekend in October, annual events that feature canine-related activities. In the mountains of the Kootenay Rockies region, a number of events also welcome dogs, including an annual “Pooch Plunge” at the public pools of the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

Dogs on the Water

Surfers and dog at Cox Bay Beach in Tofino, Vancouver Island.

Fun on two legs and four at Cox Bay Beach in Tofino. Photo: Brian Caissie

Water dogs will feel right at home on Vancouver Island, where the open beaches of Tofino and Parksville beckon for humans and canines alike. If you’re looking for an organized tour, head to Tofino where dogs can join the boat trip to Meares Island and guided tour of Big Tree Trail with Ocean Outfitters. Canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding can be a fun adventure with your dog, and there are rentals available in Ladysmith, Comox, and Tofino, among other locations. It’s a good idea to buy or rent a lifejacket for your dog for water-based adventures: Vancouver-based RC Pets has a few options available.

Dogs on the Range

Running through the open grasslands of the Cariboo is the ultimate dog adventure. Well-balanced and disciplined dogs (those unlikely to chase chickens or deer) are welcome at Flying U Guest Ranch and Big Bar Guest Ranch, both notable destinations for horseback riding. And a ranch vacation isn’t just for the dogs: both Big Bar Guest Ranch and Nipika Resort in the Canadian Rockies offer “Bale and Breakfast” equine vacations, which provide stabling for horses who accompany their owner’s visit.

Featured image: Relaxing on the deck in Northern BC. Photo: Taylor Burk

Source: HelloBC