Swimming or paddling, these off-leash spots are perfect for pups to take a refreshing dip.
As summer approaches and the weather is already hotting up, water-loving dogs are ready and waiting to get splashing in the ocean. Not only is swimming great exercise for pups, but it's also a fantastic way to keep them from overheating on hotter days, and luckily there are some great dog-friendly swimming spots around Vancouver. Whether it's full-immersion or a quick paddle, most dogs love nothing more than a refreshing dip in cool water after they've been playing on a hot day, so these 12 dog swimming areas around Vancouver are ideal if your pup loves a good splash around.
1. Sunset Beach Park, Vancouver
A great choice for pups who love to swim, or are just beginning to like the water, this smaller off-leash beach in the Downtown West End is the perfect place to cool down on a sunny day. Despite its handy central location, even on sunny days it doesn't get as busy as many other Vancouver beaches and as its name suggests, it's a great place to take your pup for a sunset stroll on a hot evening.
Address: 1204 Beach Avenue (@ Bute Street), Vancouver, BC
2. Spanish Banks, Vancouver
With a sprawling sandy beach where you can relax while your pup burns off some energy splashing in the ocean, Spanish Banks off-leash dog park is a firm favourite with Vancouver dogs. Perfect for pups just beginning to enjoy swimming as it's shallow enough to walk along, it's a great place for your pup to cool off after they've been running up and down the beach or along the long expanses of grass.
Stunning mountain and city views, and it's connection to the beautiful trails in Pacific Spirit Park also makes this a joy for dog parents.
Address: 4767-4783 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC
3. Buntzen Lake, Anmore
A popular spot on hotter weekends, Buntzen Lake is ideal for pups who love to swim. The separate dog beach and fenced-off dog swimming area is always a winner with pups, and is a great relief for dog owners who can relax and know their furry friends are safe, and won't bother (or be bothered) by anyone in the water.
Address: 5000 Sunnyside Road, Anmore
4. Crab Park, Gastown
This is definitely more of a hidden gem located just outside of Gastown, with easy water access and a large grassy area for your pup to get some running out of their system before hitting the off-leash beach across the seawall.
This a great spot for a cool dip on a hot day with great views of the downtown skyline and the Coast Mountains, and gives a different view of the city than you're used to getting from the other beaches.
Address: 101 E Waterfront Rd, Vancouver, BC
5. Hadden Park, Vancouver
Right in the centre of Kitsilano, Hadden Park (aka Kits Dog Beach) is one of the most well-known and popular off-leash dog parks in the city, and is an amazing spot for pups who love to take a dip.
Beautiful views of the North Shore mountains, lots of space, and a chilled out atmosphere make this beach a perfect place to relax with your pup, watch them frolic in the sea, or take a sandy sunset stroll in the evening.
Address: 1905 Ogden Ave, Vancouver, BC
6. Fraser River Dog Park
This park is an absolute dog haven, complete with an off-leash area, beach, water, and more, so it's a great choice on a hot day.
If your pup loves to swim, they will absolutely love this small beach where they can splash freely, and you can set up camp at one of several park benches and watch all the fun.
The West side of the park is off-leash all day and year-round, while the East side is off-leash only from October 1 to April 30, with dogs in this eastern area required to be on a leash from May 1 to September 30.
Address: 8705 Angus Drive, Vancouver, BC
7. Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby
If you prefer to stay away from the crowds on sunny days, and want to escape the city, Barnet Marine Park is the perfect choice.
Look out for signs for the off-leash areas, but once your pup gets to the beach they can run free and splash until their heart's content.
The park also offers wonderful views of the Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains, as well as a large grassy off-leash area running along the waterfront.
Address: 8181 Barnet Rd, Burnaby. BC
8. Blackie Spit, Surrey
Surrey pups, this one is for you.
Located in the Crescent Beach neighbourhood of South Surrey, this beautiful park has two dog off-leash areas, both shared by dogs of different sizes. The main area is a mix of grass, gravel and sand, and has a covered shelter for rainy days, while the smaller area includes the only off-leash swim area in Surrey.
Remember to use a leash when travelling between the main dog off-leash area and the dog swimming area.
Address: 3136 McBride Avenue, Surrey, BC
9. Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
At 9,216.5 acres, Lynn Headwaters Regional Park park boasts a variety of dog-friendly trails with easy access to cool, refreshing water along the way. Lynn Loop is a popular short trail with dog owners that takes you through the forest before looping back along the rushing water of Lynn Creek, so if your pup loves to brave cold water on hotter days, they'll love this area in North Vancouver.
10. Brohm Lake, Squamish
Located between Squamish and Whistler, this lake is a stunning place to visit with your pup on a summer's day, and is ideal if your four legged friend isn't a fan of cold water, as the water is pleasantly warm on hot days. At the centre of a number of lush green trails, you can choose to hike through different loops around the water, stop for a swim at the many little outcroppings of rock on the shores of the lake, or settle in along the rocky waterfront where your dog is free to explore, swim or paddle. Address: Squamish, BC V0N 1H0
11. McDonald Beach Dog Park, Richmond
The cool water at this Richmond park is perfect for your four-legged friend to take a refreshing dip after burning off some energy, and there's also a network of wooded trails to explore if you're dog isn't tired out from playing fetch at the large dog-friendly field here.
On the banks of the Fraser River, this scenic stretch of dog-friendly beach runs for several kilometres and expands at low tide, meaning there's lots of space for you and your pup to enjoy, and the entire park is an off-leash zone.
Address: 3500 McDonald Rd, Richmond. BC
12. Devonian Harbour Park, C
A great choice for Downtown dog parents, this park is located north of Denman and West Georgia and the vast lawns at this park make it a favourite amongst many Vancouver pups.
The grassy areas lead to a little rocky beach that’s perfect for your pooch to take a refreshing dip after all those long games of fetch.
Address: 1929 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC