Are you trying to find an area for your dog to run free? You’re not the only one. Although many people are calling for more off-leash friendly areas for dogs, Metro Vancouver does have some lovely off-leash parks and spaces for dogs. We’ve compiled a list of neighborhood favorite off-leash dog parks in Vancouver!
Tips about off-leash dog parks in Vancouver
- If you are just starting to go to dog parks or are unsure about how your dog will react, go during off-peak times (early mornings, late evenings, and mid-day when people are at work are a good time to try)
- Make sure your dog comes in calmly and says hi politely to other dogs (many dogs don’t like other dogs running straight at them)
- Many people recommend socializing puppies with other puppies first in another environment as many older dogs can have issues with puppies
- Be friendly with other owners and learn about the other dogs – everyone’s dogs are different, and most dog owners are responsible
- Be careful with treats as some dogs are totally friendly until food appears! You may not know this and it’s better to give your dog treats discreetly
- Dog spats and fights can happen so always be vigilant! A quick tip: if there is a spat a loud voice or a spray bottle with water will help to redirect their attention and break it up.
Cooper Park | 1020 Marinaside Crescent in Yaletown
This great off-leash park is a huge grassy area next to False Creek. It has lots of space for doggies to run and water fountains for them in the warmer months. Just keep in mind that the off-leash dog area has no fencing and is beside a bike path and playground for kids. Make sure your dog has great recall before exploring this great place or try bringing a long line!
Charleson Dog Park | 999 Charleson Street in Fairview
Just on the other side of False Creek is Charleson Park that also has an amazing, partially fenced dog park for dogs off leash. One of the unique features of this park is a small waterfall and pond that dogs can happily enjoy! This is one of the most popular off-leash dog areas in Vancouver so it does get quite muddy during the wet Vancouver winters.
Queen Elizabeth Dog Park | 178 W 37th Ave in Riley Park
Queen Elizabeth Dog Park is a simple dog park of just grassy space and no fences. That being said it’s one of the larger areas for dogs to run around. Best yet, there’s beautiful gardens and sights to see with your dog on-leash as well! Remember to bring water for your furry friend, especially on warmer days.
Spanish Banks Beach | 4783 NW Marine Drive in West Point Grey
This amazing space has something for everyone, whether you’re a human or a four-legged friend. There’s a large grassy area, good for playing fetch, as well as a specified off-leash area on the beach (all unfenced). If you’re able to, catching low tide at Spanish Banks is absolutely amazing and gives the dogs a lot of extra room to play and explore. Plan appropriately for busy hours and sunny days in the summer as it becomes very full!
Hadden Beach | 100 Chestnut Street in Kitsilano
Probably the most popular dog-friendly beach in Greater Vancouver, Hadden Beach is easily accessible and generally a great area for off-leash dogs. Although there are no fences, the beach area is secluded with logs as small makeshift barriers to give dogs some sense of barriers. There’s lots of room here and dogs love to run up and down in the cool water.
Pacific Spirit Park | Various entry points along West 16th Ave in West Point Grey
Many people consider Pacific Spirit Park a great place as a hike and not so much an off-leash dog park. In fact, it’s a huge park with lots of trails and some of the happiest dogs. Many people feel safer bringing their dogs off-leash here because it’s secluded and there are less issues between dogs here. Since there’s so much space, dogs just greet each other and move on with their owners. Pet parents will also enjoy this beautiful, calming walk very close to downtown Vancouver!
Need a snack for your hike? Consider taking some Kafka’s Organic! We’re a local Vancouver pet food company making fresh pet food accessible to parents all over GVRD. We source ingredients locally whenever in season, prepare all pet meals in a human-grade kitchen in Strathcona, and deliver to doorsteps all over Metro Vancouver. If you’re looking for variety or a small, convenient snack for your pet, try our sampler set for dogs. You’ll get mini packs of each of our signature flavours that are easy to pack and yummy for your adventurous pup.
New Brighton Park | 3201 New Brighton Road in Burnaby Heights
New Brighton dog park is a fully fenced dog park. It is a gated off-leash enclosure east of the downtown Vancouver area. It’s mostly flat and grassy, meaning it’s great for dogs to run in and play fetch. With double gates and its large size, there isn’t much crowding at the doors, which is great for more reactive or nervous dogs. There is also beach access for dogs in another area of the park, but keep in mind the beach area is smaller and not fenced.
McDonald Beach Dog Park | 3500 McDonald Road in Richmond
Are you able to travel a little further from the downtown area? Check out McDonald Park that has a great off-leash beach area for dogs, as well as some trails! Although it’s more out of the way, this huge dog beach and other off-leash areas are popular among dogs and their owners. Since there’s very little traffic nearby and lots of free parking, McDonald Beach Dog Park is an awesome, relaxed place to visit.
Fraser River Dog Park | 8705 Angus Drive in Marpole
Across the river from McDonald Beach Dog Park is Fraser River Dog Park. This is another hidden gem right on the water that is tranquil and beautiful! Fraser River Dog Park boasts a large unfenced grassy area, as well as boardwalks and beach access. With many things to do and lots of space, both you and your pup will enjoy your visit here.
Blackie Spit Park | 3136 McBride Ave. in Surrey
This awesome park with lots of features is found in South Surrey. Enter through one of three double-gated entrances into plenty of open space for dogs to run and play. It has a poop station, a gazebo for pet parents, and benches scattered. If your pup is tired of socializing, you can also try the short trails or the doggy swim area. We love an off-leash park that provides lots of options for both you and your dog!
Everett Crowley Park | 8200 Kerr St. in Vancouver
Nestled away in Champlain Heights, surprisingly is a quieter and luscious woodland space. As Vancouver's 5th largest park, Everett Crowley has many trails that lead to a serene duck pond in the middle of the park. Then entire park is off-leash and with lots of benches around you may even find people without dogs taking a stroll through this park!
South Dyke Dog Park | 13900 No.3 Rd in Richmond
A staple part of Richmond to any dog owner. The South Dyke Dog Park, also known as the No.3 Rd dog park is a very popular spot on the waters edge. Summer days offer a cooling breeze and because of its flat walkways is easy for pups or all energy levels.
As you come to the end of the park there is an on-leash trail. If you and your pup follow the shorty (5-7min) trail you end up on the other side in what seems to be a continuation of the off-leash dog park!
Lighthouse Park | 4902 Beacon Lane in West Vancouver
Many beautiful strolls are had in Lighthouse Park as it is a popular and very well-maintained National Historic Site. With many trails open to well behaved off-leash dogs this stroll is a great place for a relaxing walk at any time of the day. Vancouver dog parks have no competition on this one!
Buntzen Lake | 5000 Sunnyside Rd. in Anmore (Just north of Port Moody)
Just north of Port Moody is one of the most popular lakes in the Lower Mainland, Buntzen lake. Dogs are permitted in two areas and one trail so make sure you pay close attention to the posted signs for maximum fun.
Since it is so popular, dogs are not permitted on the regular beach, even on leash, however after you have parked the trail to the right heads straight to the dog area where they have picnic tables, a dog beach, and a nice shaded grassy area.
This map shows you the three designated areas where dogs are welcome. Something to note before you head out on your adventure is due to the lakes rising popularity a parking reservation has been implemented. You can click here to get your free parking pass!
Make sure you and your pup plan ahead as parking fills up quickly on beautiful days, especially on the weekends.
Mundy Park | 501 Mariner Way in Coquitlam
With views of the Fraser River and the Port Mann Bridge, Mundy Park is a very popular dog spot. Not only does it offer itself as a fenced dog park but it actually has two separated fenced spaces - one for big dogs and one for small dogs.
While these fenced in parks are great they do not offer any shade on hot days, that's when pups and there owners take to the trails.
There are five areas to be aware of when adventuring with your pup.
- Off-Leash permitted Dawn to Dusk - Yellow marked trails on the map
- Off-Leash permitted Dawn to 10am - Perimeter (blue) and Nature (brown) trails
- On-Leash at all times - Paved Community Trail (this is marked orange and is around the outside of the park)
- No Dogs - Nature Trails (marked in red)
- Dogs on leash - The playing fields and grassy areas, dogs are not allowed off-leas on these fields.
Now you know some of the best dog parks in Vancouver and other spaces to take your dog for exercise. Remember to take the proper precautions and stay smart and safe while out and about. Did we miss any great off-leash areas you love? Leave us a comment below and let us know where you think the best dog park in Vancouver is. We always enjoy learning about more places to go and meet great dog friends!