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10 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Canada (2023 Guide)


May 3, 2023
Blue Heeler and beagle boston terrier cross dogs Hiking Nihahi Ridge Kananaskis Country Alberta Canada

Canada is a beautiful country with stunning scenery and lovely people. And if there’s one other thing that makes the country great, it’s its openness to accommodating pet-loving tourists. So, if you’re considering a trip to the Great White North with Fido, you have a lot of research ahead of you to find the perfect destination.

Lucky for you, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to round up the country’s ten best dog-friendly vacation hot spots. Read on to find out where you’ll be traveling next.


The 10 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Canada

1. Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and dog-friendly destinations in Canada. Its countless wide-open parks and many winding trails make the city an active dog owner’s dream place to live.

Things to Do

There are many dog-friendly hiking trails in the Vancouver region. West Vancouver’s Cypress Falls Park is a beautiful hiking spot that winds through Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar forests with canyons and waterfalls. North Vancouver’s Skyline Trail is a steep mountain hike that awards hikers a view of the city from the top and a glimpse of a US Air Force jet crash from the 1950s.

Dogs are permitted in all of Vancouver’s parks but must be on a leash unless in a designated off-leash area. Check out the city of Vancouver’s website for a list of all the off-leash parks in the area.

Stanley Park, arguably Vancouver’s most scenic and well-visited public park, has a small, fully fenced-in off-leash dog area. When you’re done spending time there, visit the Off-Leash Dog Beach below the Burrard Street Bridge to let your pup explore the beach and the ocean. Then, take a beautiful walk around the seawall and enjoy views of the ocean and mountains.

Popular tourist destination spots, such as the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Granville Island, allow well-behaved, on-leash dogs.

Where to Eat

Vancouver citizens love their dogs, so there is no shortage of dog-friendly patios to grab a bite. Uncle Abe’s on Main Street is a paradise for pups as they have a weekly Yappy Hour, serving up special treats just for dogs. Also, Six Acres in Gastown has a fantastic patio for enjoying a couple of brews on a hot summer day.

Where to Stay

Some of the city’s most prestigious hotels are pet-friendly, including The Westin Bayshore, which allows up to two dogs for no extra charge. If you prefer vacation rentals over hotels, you can find many dog-friendly accommodations on VRBO.

Camping spots must be reserved two months in advance, making spontaneous camping trips almost impossible for travelers. However, you can find free campsites a short drive away from the city. Mount Seymour Provincial Park, a 30-minute drive from Vancouver, allows camping anywhere north of Brockton Point. This area is considered backcountry, so you will need a Mount Seymour backcountry camping permit.

2. Banff, Alberta

Banff National Park is an outdoor adventurer’s dream vacation, especially since your dogs can tag with you virtually everywhere.

Things to Do

Like Vancouver, the Banff area is surrounded by pet-friendly trails for all fitness levels. For a quick half-hour stroll, Marsh Loop or Fenland Trail are generally considered easy to tackle. Both are easy to find from downtown Banff, so you don’t need a vehicle. For more adventurous hikers, the Lake Agnes Trail near Lake Louise provides a 7.4-kilometer out-and-back trail with a 435-meter elevation gain.

If your dog loves water, rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard and hit the ice-blue lakes. We recommend getting to the rental company as early as possible as this is a very popular activity, and the rentals get sold out quickly.

Where to Eat

Banff has no shortage of amazing restaurants with fantastic patios. Wild Flour Bakery is a local favorite, serving fresh baguettes, croissants, hot soup, and coffee. They even make dog treats so your pup doesn’t feel left out. Bear Street Tavern has a year-round courtyard patio that’s always open to doggies, making it a must for those winter vacations to Banff.

Where to Stay

Many hotels in downtown Banff are pet-friendly, including the suites at Fox Hotel and Suites or condos at Hidden Ridge Resort. Even the prestigious castle that is the instantly recognizable Fairmont Banff Springs is pet-friendly.

Dogs are permitted on all campsites in the area, except for some backcountry campsites due to wildlife concerns.

3. Kawartha Lakes, Ontario

Just a few hours away from Toronto, the Kawartha Lakes area of Ontario is one of the country’s top cottage vacation destinations. The region is home to hundreds of lakes and rivers and is a dream for outdoor adventurers.

Things to Do

There are countless hiking trails to explore in the Kawartha Lakes region. The Ken Reid Conservation Area is a popular option, offering 12 interconnected pathways. Dogs must be on leashes on the trails but can be off-leash in the designated off-leash dog park.

The Kawartha Settlers’ Village is a pup-friendly historical site on 10 acres. It consists of a collection of historic buildings, homes, and artifacts. Please note that your dog will not be permitted inside the buildings.

Check out the Old Dog Brewing Company if you’re a beer lover. Your pup can join you on the outdoor picnic tables while you taste-test the brewery’s hand-crafted beers.

Where to Eat

There aren’t many dog-friendly places to eat in the area, but the ones available are fantastic. The Bobcaygeon Inn Restaurant serves classic pub fare and has a dog-friendly riverfront patio and private dock. 72 Bolton Sports Café is a sports bar with a pet-friendly outdoor patio.

Where to Stay

The Days Inn and Suites by Wyndham Lindsay is an award-winning hotel close to many shops, pubs, and the beautiful waterway. It allows two pets up to 20 pounds.

If you prefer to be on the water, check out the houseboats in the Kawartha Lakes area. However, be warned that there are pet fees for some houseboat companies, so factor that into your budget.

4. Mont Tremblant, Québec

Mont Tremblant is set within the Laurentian Mountains northwest of Montreal. The year-round ski resort offers winter sports, golf courses, and a shopping village.

Things to Do

Mount Larose is an 11.3-kilometer trail near Montcalm. This challenging route can take four hours to finish, but the stunning view of the Laurentians and St. Lawrence River is more than worth it. Of course, your dog is allowed to tag along with you, provided it has the chops.

The Panoramic Gondola is perfect for summer or fall visits. The gondola takes you to the summit, providing beautiful views of the Laurentians. Dogs are allowed in the Casino Express gondola during the summer.

The pedestrian village is one of the best parts of Mont Tremblant. Many businesses are dog-friendly and may even have tasty treats ready for your pup if you ask.

Where to Eat

La Maison de la Crêpe is a gourmet restaurant serving sweet and savory crêpes for every palette. Dogs are allowed on their small sidewalk patio.

Restaurant Antipasto is a must for any Italian food lovers. The restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine and allows customers with dogs to sit beside the pedestrian walkways at specific tables.

Where to Stay

Some of the most prestigious hotels in Mont Tremblant are pet-friendly. This includes the Fairmont Tremblant and Le Westin Tremblant, both of which allow big dogs and two or more pets.

Domaine Summum is a boutique hotel allowing pets to participate in all the amenities on the property, including hiking, swimming, and canoeing. They even provide dog-sitting services if required.

5. Whistler, British Columbia

Whistler is a small town north of Vancouver, home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Many of its 11,000 residents own dogs, so there are plenty of things for you and Fido to do in the area.

Things to Do

Whistle Olympic Park is one of the most dog-friendly attractions on our list. It offers over 40 kilometers of dog-friendly trails and a huge off-leash park. You can take your dog with you as you ski, snowshoe, or hike in the area.

The “Arfa” Lake Dog Area on Lake Placid Road is great for playing fetch with your pup or swimming in the lake. It has off-leash areas and a sand pit for your little digger to dig to its heart’s content.

Whistler Village has everything you could ever want, from shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Dogs are allowed in the village as long as they’re leashed. Some shops may also allow them to enter.

Where to Eat

Many restaurants with patios in Whistler will allow dogs to sit alongside their owners outside. Some even offer dog-friendly menus.

Tapley’s Neighborhood Pub is a casual sports bar serving pub fare and tasty drinks. Their outdoor patio is dog-friendly.

Hunter Gather focuses on fresh dishes made using locally-sourced ingredients. Their sunny outdoor patio is pet-friendly.

Where to Stay

Dog owners on a budget will appreciate reasonable accommodation like the Listel Hotel Whistler or Pinnacle Hotel.

Try the skin-in, ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler or mountain lodging like Evolution for luxury dog-friendly accommodations.

For travelers that prefer to be in nature, check out the Yurts at Riverside Resort, as they have several cabins and yurts that are pet-friendly.

6. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Switching gears to focus on the country’s East Coast, Halifax is a fantastic vacation destination for dog owners, thanks to its various recreational areas and stunning scenery.

Things to Do

Point Pleasant Park is one of Halifax’s best civic spaces. This large forested park on the peninsula offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and is a great place to run, bike, or walk with your dog. In addition, most of the park allows dogs to be off-leash.

The York Redoubt National Historic Site was constructed in the 1700s to protect the Halifax Harbor. There’s a lot to learn here, and your dog can tag along with you so long as it’s on a leash.

There are plenty of off-leash parks in the area to let your pup run off steam, including Shubie Park, Irving Big Stop Bark Park, and Sandy Lake Park.

Where to Eat

Salt Yard Social is a two-level waterfront restaurant with a variety of cuisine to suit your fancy. You and your pup can enjoy the nice shaded patio areas if you need to escape the sun.

Good Robot Brewing Company is another place to check out if you enjoy craft beers. The company even hosts events throughout the year specifically for dog owners that include a grooming station and beer-flavored dog treats.

Where to Stay

Many of the chain hotels in Halifax are pet-friendly, including the Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake Hotel, Comfort Inn Halifax, and the Coastal Inn Halifax Bayers Lake. We like The Prince George Hotel as they truly pamper their pet guests with a cozy blanket, biodegradable waste bags, bowls for food and water, and an information package highlighting the best dog-friendly places in the city.

For campers, Porters Lake Provincial Park has a great campground close to the city. Many campsites have direct lake access, and most are very private and well-spaced.

7. Robinsons, Newfoundland & Labrador

Robinsons may be a small village, but it has plenty of activities for humans and their canine companions.

Things to Do

Robinsons provides travelers with a much more relaxed vacation destination. You and your pup can enjoy strolling on deserted beaches, watching sunsets, and hiking along the many cliffs in the area.

Do not miss the famous Wells Farm Market with plenty of fresh vegetables for buying.

Where to Eat

We weren’t pulling your leg when we said Robinsons is a small village. There are only a handful of places to grab a bite to eat, most of which don’t have websites or any online footprint.

The Pirate’s Haven Restaurant makes delicious home-cooked meals like soups and fresh cod. For the adventurous diner, you can try cod tongue or mousse pie. The restaurant has outdoor seating, but its website doesn’t explicitly state that it is pet-friendly. They offer takeout, which might be a better option as you can sit on the beach to enjoy your meal uninterrupted.

Where to Stay

Despite being quite small, there are several great pet-friendly accommodations in Robinsons.

Pirate’s Haven Chalets & Adventures is ideal for active tourists, as there is much open space and plenty of walking trails to explore. They also have ATV rentals and scheduled ATV tours, though these are not dog-friendly activities.

You can also check out Pirate’s Haven ATV Friendly RV Park for a pet-friendly campground with picnic tables, firewood, and great Wi-Fi.

8. Toronto, Ontario

With a population of 2.8 million people, Toronto is the largest city in Canada. With such a booming population, it only makes sense that there are plenty of dog owners among the city’s residents, leaving tourists with many dog-friendly attractions to choose from.

Things to Do

If you want to do something besides walking or hiking, check out the Haunted Walk. This tour is available from April to December and is dog-friendly so long as your pup is leashed.

Of course, if you enjoy hiking, there are plenty of opportunities in Toronto. Check out High Park, the city’s largest greenspace. There’s even a designated off-leash area for pups and several paths that allow dogs to run free.

If your dog loves water, consider booking a trip on Kajama. This 165-foot schooner boat cruise allows passengers to take in stunning views of the Toronto skyline from Lake Ontario.

Where to Eat

Toronto is a huge city with countless pet-friendly outdoor patios.

Lobster Burger Bar has a fantastic drink and food menu consisting of burgers, seafood, tasty appetizers, and wagyu steaks. They even have a menu just for dogs.

Café Landwer is a great all-day café for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Leashed dogs are allowed to sit on the patio outside and may even get a tasty treat or two from their server.

The Hair of the Dog Pub serves delicious comfort food and has a huge patio with seating in the sun and shade if you need to cool down.

Where to Stay

Hotel X Toronto is a beautiful hotel with great amenities for you and your dog. Take advantage of their pet-sitting services to sneak away with your dog for the day and enjoy the heated rooftop pool at night. You’ll also receive dog beds, food bowls, and water bowls if needed for your stay.

The Kimpton Saint George Hotel welcomes all pets to stay with them. There are no limits on size, weight, or number of pets per room. There isn’t even a cleaning fee or deposit required. In addition, you’ll enjoy pet-friendly amenities like beds, treats, and pee pads.

9. Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and one of the most beautiful cities on our list. It’s a bucket list destination if you and your pup are avid adventure seekers.

Things to Do

There is no shortage of green space in Victoria to explore with your pup.

Add The Butchart Gardens to your to-do list if you love flowers and plants. This 118-year-old internationally-renowned garden has over a million visitors annually and has even been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

Dallas Road is the most iconic dog walk path in Victoria. Start your journey at Clover Point and walk along path toward the Ogden Point Breakwater. There’s an off-leash dog park along the way to let your pup run off some steam and make new friends.

Arbutus Cove Park offers an easy 1.6-km loop with a fantastic swimming spot. The beach is big enough for a game of fetch, and the entire park is off-leash.

Hop on the Victoria Harbor Ferry to zip along the calm waters of the city’s inner harbor. You might even glimpse some marine animals like seals or whales.

Where to Eat

Barb’s Place is a must-visit restaurant if you’re big on seafood. This seasonal food stand is located at Fisherman’s Wharf, where you’ll see several quirky, colorful float homes and many other tasty culinary delights.

Spinnakers Brewpub is the city’s first brewpub, offering tasty hand-crafted beer and farm fresh menu. In addition, they have two fantastic patios that are more than welcoming to dogs.

Darcy’s Pub Downtown is an awesome restaurant in Victoria’s historic downtown. It has a huge outdoor patio for you and your pup to enjoy.

Where to Stay

The locally owned Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites is one of the best places to stay with your pup. They provide amenities like towels, wipes, treats, dishes, blankets, and bedding.

The Hotel Grand Pacific is another great option. They offer a Pampered Pooch Package for $50 that gives your pet a doggy bed, food, organic treats, and a disposable clean-up kit.

If you prefer camping, Goldstream Park has a great campground close to awesome hikes and walks.

10. St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick

St. Andrew’s may be a small town that won’t take more than an hour to explore on foot, but you’ll want to give yourself a few days there to explore all the area has to offer with your pup.

Things To Do

Kingsbrae Garden is one of the top destinations in the area for dog owners. The garden is home to over 50,000 perennials and many themed gardens. You can also take a gander at many animals in the gardens, including alpacas, pygmy goats, and peacocks.

No visit to the area is complete without stopping at the beach in the southernmost part of town. This isn’t a stereotypical sandy beach, but more rugged and rocky. It offers stunning views of Passamaquoddy Bay and is a beautiful place to rest on a hot summer day.

Where to Eat

The Gables Restaurant is a beautiful waterside eatery with a romantic setting perfect for date nights. Their pet-friendly outdoor tables provide a great view of the water.

Char and Chowder focuses on locally sourced and seasonal food, offering menu items like seafood chowder and lobster rolls. In addition, it has a large outdoor seating area perfect for pups to tag along.

Where to Stay

The historic Algonquin Resort is a luxurious hotel perfect for pet owners of all species. Guests of the dog variety are given treats at check-in, and there are many grassy areas around the resort for relief purposes.

The Woodhaven Country Lodge on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay is the number one place to stay in the region. Their accommodations are child and pet-friendly and close to many attractions like the Bay Ferry, kayak tours, and King’s Landing.


Final Thoughts

There certainly is no shortage of fantastic dog-friendly vacation destinations in Canada. Whether you want to hike up mountains or window shop in idyllic locations, there’s a perfect Canadian vacation spot for you and Fido. Before you make any solidified travel plans, contact the hotel and location tourism companies to confirm that they can accommodate you and your pet.

Safe travels!

Featured Image Credit: BGSmith, Shutterstock

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