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A Guide to Whistler for Dogs and Dog Owners

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Traveling with pets? Whistler is perhaps one of the pet-friendliest pit stops on your great Canadian vacation. Even just walking around Whistler, you’ll quickly realize how many people have dogs in our town. Literally, everyone is a dog person. Whistler is the kind of mountain town that welcomes all sorts of four-legged creatures, small to large and everything in between. With the many Whistler dog-friendly hotels, associated services, and epic dog walking trails, there is little reason not to bring your best friend with you on your next vacation to Whistler. 

Is Bandito the Number One Whistler Dog?

Is Bandito the Number One Whistler Dog?

The friendly place of all for dogs in Whistler just might be Forged Axe Throwing. So long as your dog is friendly, and on a leash, you are more than welcome to bring them inside for a little axe throwing experience and a few pets. Bandito, the house axe throwing dog, is our company mascot. He is more than willing to help entertain your furry friend while you get into the most Canadian of indoor activities.

If you are new to town, or just here for a short stay, you’ll need the low down on Whistler for dogs. What are the best Whistler dog-friendly hotels? What about the best Whistler dog walking services? Are there rules and local bylaws to know in advance of your visit? Is there a place to stock up on doggie bags and treats? Here is everything you needed to know (and likely more) about visiting whistler with dogs.

Oh, and get ready for some seriously cute dog pictures.

Whistler Bylaw Regulations

Before setting your little dog loose on the town, know that we do have a few locally enforced bylaws to consider. These laws are in place for the safety of the dog, as well as the community. Familiarize yourself with the following bylaws before your visit to avoid any issues after your arrival. If you have any further questions about Whistler’s dog rules, contact Whistler Bylaw Services at 604-935-8280, and ask about the animal control bylaws the municipality has in place if you have further questions. 

Another day, another cute dog at Forged Axe

Another day, another cute dog at Forged Axe

Dogs must be on a leash at all times while in public spaces. For the safety of others, the wildlife, as well as for you and your dog, ensure always to have your furry friend clipped in unless of course, you are in one of the many off-leash areas. These areas are signed accordingly. Beyond the leash factor, dogs are prohibited from playing on beaches, playgrounds, and waterparks for obvious health issues.

If you are staying in Whistler for the season, or forever, please note that you’ll need to purchase a annual dog license from the Whistler Municipality. The prices are as follows:

  • Neutered or spayed – $15
  • Not neutered or spayed – $50
  • Puppy five months and under – $15
  • Replacement – $5

Half of the proceeds go towards WAG, one of our favourit local charities, working hard to find happy and healthy homes for stray or abandoned dogs in the region. To purchase a licence, please get in touch with WAG, they’ll be happy to help.

Finally, and in our opinion, the most important bylaw of all is to pick up after your dog. Nobody wants to have to deal with your dog’s business; we certainly don’t – we have to deal with Bandito’s.

Whistler Dog-Friendly Hotels

We know in some places it can be challenging to find accommodation willing to take both you and your dog under the same roof. Whistler doesn’t have any such issue. In fact, there are almost too many options available, happily accepting furry guests as well as the two-legged kind.

Aava Whistler 

Just a dog living his best life at the Aava

Just a dog living his best life at the Aava

One of our all-time favorite dog-friendly hotels in Whistler, Aava know what it takes to make you and your pup right at home. They accept all breeds, all sizes, and up to two dogs per room. They even leave a little special surprise for your pooch to make sure their stay is up to their doggy-standards. The price per room is $25 on top of the basic rate,  to cover any additional housekeeping and accidentals. Their only rule with dogs is that they are kept on leash within the hotel grounds, and also that they are not left alone while you visit the village.

Summit Lodge and Suites

For dogs with expensive tastes, Summit Lodge puts pets above the rest. All dogs stay at Summit for free, for the duration of their stay and the hotel even provides a little doggy bag of surprises. Your four-legged friend is treated like the VIP you know they are, as you’ll notice their name up on the VIP Pet’s Board on your arrival. Again, no dogs are allowed to stay alone, but the hotel can help set you up with dog walking services to accommodate.

Westin Resort and Spa

Another staff favorite, the Westin Resort and Spa is a Whistler dog-friendly hotel offering free accommodation for your furry friends. Hotel guests are required to sign a waiver before entry, and dogs are also not allowed to stay alone in the hotel. Book in advance to secure a pet-friendly room, and the hotel will be happy to provide your pup with a small dog bed, treats, and a food bowl. Need dog sitting? The concierge can assist with up to 24 hours notice.

Whistler Dog Walking Services

As much as you love your dog, we imagine there are sometimes when you are unable to take them on the long adventurous walk they deserve, which is when having a dog walking service on call comes in handy. Thankfully, Whistler dog walking services are some of the best in the region, they know all the secret spots to really let the dogs go wild and get the zoomies out with the rest of their pack.

Whistler Dog Walkers  

A big day of doggy adventure on a whistler dog walk.

A big day of doggy adventure on a whistler dog walk.

When we are in a pinch, we call Whistler Dog Walkers. They offer half and full day options and can accommodate within days notice. We especially love their Instagram feed, with a never-ending lineup of natural furry beauties getting wild in the backwoods of Whistler. The intake is a relatively straightforward application form, so they can get to know your dog’s unique personality. Plus, their staff are well trained and personable. Every walk is for a full three hours, ranging in price from $23 to $24 depending on frequency. They can also accommodate dogs who prefer to go solo for $35, and all day walks (Bandito’s favorite) for $40. When Bandito returns from a full day out on the trail with Whistler Dog Walkers, he’s one happy (and exhausted) camper.

Whistler Pet Stores

There is one, and only one, pet store in Whistler, which now has two locations! Whistler Happy Pets has a centrally located storefront next to the Nester Grocery store in White Gold, and the second (Bandito’s favourite) is in Function Junction, around the corner from us on Alpha Lake Road. Whistler Happy Pets offers a wide selection of high quality, premium pet foods, treats, and products. They’ll be happy to help find whatever items you may have left behind, or get you sorted with some special treats.

Whistler Dog Parks 

Meet Lewis the pom pom... err we mean puppy.

Meet Lewis the pom pom… err we mean puppy.

Every dog should get at least one off-leash walk a day in our opinion, to really get some pent up energy out of their system. In Whistler, the bylaws specifically state that dogs must always be under control and on leash everywhere in the township, except in the off-leash dog parks.

But where are the Whistler dog parks? Thankfully, the off-leash areas in Whistler are located in some pretty fantastic human parks as well, meaning that everyone both human and dog alike should enjoy the experience.

  • Alpha Lake Park: Someone at the municipality office has a sense of humour because the gravel off-leash area of Alpha Lake Park has been lovingly dubbed the “Arfa Park.” Alpha Lake makes a great destination even without a dog, with perfect locations for picnics, family BBQs, and an afternoon on the lake shores.
  • Rainbow Lake Park: The “Barking Park” located at one end of Rainbow Lake Park is a grassed off-leash area with access to the lake and dock. Another great location, rain or shine, and even a hot dog concession stand during the summer months.
  • Bayly Park: Bayly park might not have a beach, but it does have a few added amenities like tennis courts, multi-sport courts, and a playground. A family-friendly place to bring the dog, as they also have a doggy off-leash playground.
  • Lost Lake Park: Another doggy-themed off-leash park, Canine Cove can be found 400 meters north of Lost Lake Park itself. Keep in mind, in the park dog must be on a leash, and they are not allowed on the beaches of any park due to sanitary issues.

Whistler, Dog-Friendly and Proud of It      

Meet JubeJube, our beloved doggy neighbour

Meet JubeJube, our beloved doggy neighbour

Some people say we are a little dog crazy here in Whistler. Well, they might be right. But dogs are just a natural part of the landscape here, and especially at Forged Axe Throwing. There is almost always a friendly dog around, waiting to become your new best friend. Not only are the staff here at Forged happy to give you any Whistler doggy advice you might need, but they’ll also happily give out free pets as well. We can’t wait to welcome you and your four-legged friends into our space and our dog-friendly down.


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