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A Guide to Whistler for Dogs & Their Humans with 2022 Updates

a herd of dogs sitting a grassy field

Whistler is perhaps one of the most pet-friendly travel destinations you will find on your great Canadian adventures. As you walk around Whistler, you’ll soon realise that many dogs call this town home. With a vast number of epic dog walking trails and countless pet friendly hotels, Whistler should be every dog owner’s next holiday destination.

If you’re a new dog owner in town or if you’re here on a short visit with your dog, then you’re going to 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 any local rules or bylaws you need to know in advance? Are there any places to stock up on doggie bags and treats? Here is everything you need to know about visiting Whistler with dogs.

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

Whistler Bylaw Regulations

a dog sitting in front of a window

Bandito, the official mascot of Forged Axe Throwing.

Before setting your little dog loose on the town, know that Whistler does have a few locally enforced bylaws to consider. These laws are in place for the safety of both the dogs and the community. Familiarise yourself with the following bylaws before your visit, to avoid any issues on 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 that the municipality has in place. 

Dogs must be on a leash at all times while in public spaces. This is for the safety of others and local wildlife, as well as for the safety of you and your dog, unless of course you find yourself in one of the many off-leash areas in and around Whistler. 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 going to be living in Whistler, then please note that you’ll need to purchase an annual dog licence from the Whistler Municipality. The prices are as follows:

  • Neutered or spayed – $25
  • Not neutered or spayed – $50
  • Replacement – $10

Half of the proceeds go towards WAG, one of our favourite local charities that work 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 will be happy to help.

Finally, and in our opinion the most important bylaw of all, 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.

Are Dogs Allowed on the Whistler Gondola?

Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted on Whistler Blackcomb property or lifts, unless they are certified aid dogs.

5 Whistler Dog-Friendly Hotels

Just a dog living his best life at the Aava

Just a dog living his best life at the Aava

We know that it can sometimes be challenging to find accommodation that will accept both you and your dog under the same roof. In Whistler, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. In fact, there are almost too many options, happily accepting furry guests as well as the two-legged kind.

Aava Whistler 

One of our all-time favourite dog-friendly hotels in Whistler, the Aava knows what it takes to make you and your pup feel 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 your dog’s standards. 

The price per room is $25 on top of the basic rate, to cover any additional housekeeping or accidents. Their only rule with dogs is that they are kept on leash within the hotel grounds and are not left alone while you’re out.

Summit Lodge and Suites

For dogs with expensive tastes, Summit Lodge puts pets above the rest. All dogs stay free of charge at Summit Lodge for the duration of their stay, and the hotel even provides a little doggy bag full of surprises. Your four-legged friend will be treated like the VIP (Very Important Pooch) that you know they are. 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

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 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.

Nita Lake Lodge

Treat your dog to a night at Whistler’s only lakefront hotel. For an additional $35 per night, your dog will get to experience the luxuries of Nita Lake Lodge with in-room amenities including a plush, plump dog bed and a feeding bowl. 

The location is great, too, being steps away from Nita Lake and a short walk from Alpha Lake, two dog-friendly Whistler lakes. You will also find some tasty treats for your pup at Nita Lake Lodge’s Fix Café, priced at 25 cents each. Relax with your best friend at Nita Lake Lodge, where dogs are not only welcomed but celebrated.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler welcomes your furry friends with open paws. A charge of $50 per night does apply to all pets staying at the hotel. However, upon arrival you will receive a comfortable dog bed, food/water bowl, and a selection of kibble. 

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is perfectly located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and within walking distance of another of Whistler’s dog friendly lakes, Lost Lake. Here you’ll find areas where dogs are welcome to swim, fetch, and enjoy all that Whistler has to offer.

3 Whistler Dog Walking Services

As much as you love your dog, we’re sure there are some times when you’re unable to take them on the long adventurous walks they deserve, which is when having a dog walking service on call comes in handy. Thankfully, Whistler’s dog walking services are some of the best in the region—they know all of the secret spots to really let the dogs go wild and release all of that built-up energy.

Whistler Dog Walkers 

a dog wearing a costume

Another four-legged Champion at Foreged

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 favourite) for $40. 

When Bandito, The Forged Axe Mascot, returns from a full day out on the trail with Whistler Dog Walkers, he’s one happy (and exhausted) camper.

Doggy Tales Whistler 

A relatively new dog walking company to Whistler that will go that extra mile for your furry friend, Doggy Tales Whistler (DTW) have been providing exceptional care for the dogs of Whistler since 2020 and offer a wide range of dog sitting services. 

Whether you’re in need of one of DTW’s dog first aid- and CPR-certified professionals to take your pup on a private walk, private sitting, small pack walk, or even a doggy sleepover, the team at DTW are more than capable of giving your dog a day to remember. 

Prices start from $30 for a private walk and up to $70 for a doggy sleepover.

Whistler Dog Nanny 

The Whistler Dog Nanny is sure to take good care of your pups, with certified and educated care. With a number of different services available it can sometimes be hard to know what’s going to be the perfect fit for you and your dog. The Whistler Dog Nanny knows this and offers free meet-and-greets for Whistler locals in order to get to know you and your dog, to better understand what’s best for your dog’s safety and happiness. 

Services include hotel dog sitting, group walks, overnight care, and private dog walks, ranging from $20.50 per hour to over $85 for certain services.

Are There Any Pet Stores in Whistler?

a dog sitting in front of a building

Who is a good boy? This boy!

There are two pet stores in Whistler. One is the Whistler Happy Pets store (Bandito’s favourite) and is found 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.

The second pet shop in Whistler is Twin Trees Pet Boutique and is located in Creekside. Here, you will find a wide range of super healthy treats, ethical and sustainable bathing products, as well as some eco-friendly dog apparel and accessories. You can even find upcycled Gore-Tex jackets for your dogs.

Whistler Dog Parks 

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 Park: The “Barking Park” located at one end of Rainbow Lake Park is a grassy, off-leash area with access to the lake and dock. This is 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. This is 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 metres north of Lost Lake Park itself. Keep in mind, in the park dogs must be on a leash at all times, and they are not allowed on the beaches of any park due to sanitary issues.
  • Spruce Grove: When the fields at Spruce Grove are not in use, dogs are permitted to be off-leash, inside the field areas.
  • Meadow Park Ball Fields: This is the perfect place to take your dog for an off-leash adventure. In the summer, the fields at Meadow Park are a great spot to bring a nice picnic blanket or portable BBQ and relax with your friends and canine companions. Dogs are permitted off-leash inside the field areas when the fields are not in use, and being located alongside the River of Golden Dreams, your dog can take a dip if the weather gets too hot. 
  • The Valley Trail (Winter Only): During the winter, at certain sections, the Valley Trail is groomed for multi-use activities. In these areas, dogs are permitted off leash. These areas include Rainbow Park to Meadow Park Sports Centre, Fitzsimmons Trail to PassivHaus, and Riverside Campground to Alpine Way.

The Best Things to Do in Whistler With Dogs

Forged Axe Throwing

a person sitting at a desk with a dog

Welcome to Forged, Woof!

As we mentioned earlier, Forged Axe Throwing is more than happy for you to bring your dog along, as you both get to experience a true Canadian sport! 

Compete against your friends and see who’s got the best throw, drink some beers on our summer patio (if the weather allows), and let your furry friend chill out and watch. If you’re lucky, you might even run into our shop dog, Bandito, or our league mascot, Toots.

Be sure to bring a leash along with you in order to tie your dog up if this becomes necessary. 

Whistler Olympic Park (Winter Only)

Why not treat yourself—and your dog—to a day at the Whistler Olympic Park? With over 40 kilometres of dog-friendly trails, it is the largest off-leash area in the Sea to Sky corridor. With both snowshoe and cross-country ski trails available, get lost with your pup in the wilderness surrounding the Whistler Olympic Park. 

See here for more information and specific dog-friendly trail information.

Backcountry Hike to Brandywine Meadows

South of Whistler, you will find the hike to Brandywine Meadows, with a beautifully picturesque meadow, a glacial fed creek, moody mountains, and if your timing is right, brilliantly blooming wildflowers.

This backcountry hike isn’t only a stunning scene but also dog friendly, allowing it to be enjoyed with your best friend. But beware as this area is grizzly bear habitat, so you should keep your dog on leash at all times, using extra caution.

Whistler, Dog-Friendly and Proud of It      

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 own 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 pats as well. We can’t wait to welcome you and your four-legged friends into our space and our dog-friendly town, to show you how great Whistler is for dogs.