Sit, Stay & Play: Pet-Friendly Vacay Advice From the Source

A family walk around Lost Lake in Whistler with their dog in the fall.

Sit, Stay & Play: Pet-Friendly Vacay Advice From the Source

If you’ve been working from home for the last couple of months you may have started spending your days with a new co-worker. Sure, they may sleep on the job and have been known to steal your lunch, but they’re still hands down the best you’ve ever worked with – your faithful dog.

These newly promoted office pooches have been taking their job very seriously. Your feet have never been warmer and they always know just the right time to take you out for a walk. Much like the rest of us, after all this hard work they could really use a vacation.

 

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But where to go? Look no further than Whistler. This little mountain town is a certified pup paradise. Majestic lakefront dog parks? Check. Dog-friendly accommodation? Double-check. And trails? Yeah, you could say we have a few of those.

Like the happy humans in town, the dogs that live here have it pretty good. Bribed by the promises of sausages, I convinced some of our local, four-legged friends to share the local intel on what you need when planning a Whistler vacation with your pup.

Maola – Four Seasons Hotel Dog

Being the hotel dog at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler is about as sweet a gig as it sounds. Equipped with the floofiest coat and very boopable nose, Maola is the lucky dog on the job. She’s an expert at putting smiles on guests’ faces and showing them the local trails with their pets.

How does the Four Seasons make dogs feel like VIPs (very important pups)? 

MAOLA: Visiting dogs at the Four Seasons Whistler are treated just as well as their owners. Doggos select their bedding and pillows from a menu to fit their style and comfort needs. You can embrace the outdoors with the Plaid Cloud Cushion Indoor Camping Set or go tropical with the Pineapple Dreams Set. There’s even a softer back-loving bedding option for when you’ve gone a little too hard at the dog park.

When hunger strikes, you can order a five-star dinner prepared by Four Seasons’ chefs to be enjoyed in the comfort of your room. Fair warning, you may never want to leave and then I’ll have to ask one of my colleagues to help you on your way.

 

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Bring you furry friends to your staycation this Summer to meet our resort dog, Maola! 🐶 #whistlersummerstaycation

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Where are your favourite places to go for a walk?

MAOLA: The walks directly across from the hotel are my favourite. Right across the road, you’ll find the endless trails of Lost Lake Park. In spring, summer and fall dogs are free to explore the trails with their owners and play lakeside at Canine Cove, the off-leash dog beach.

When the snow starts to fly, the park is converted into a winter wonderland for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Your owners can see full details on getting day passes here, but unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed in Lost Lake Park in the winter.

My human co-workers have created a map showing you the way to some of my favourite walks. Just ask the concierge and they’ll be happy to give you one for your next walk.

For snow-loving pups like myself, I also highly recommend a trip down to Whistler Olympic Park for some cross-country skiing. They have set of dog-friendly groomed trails for dogs to run their zoomies out. There’s no need for the humans to bring their own gear as they have skis, boots, poles and even ski chariots (for towing little humans) for rent on site. Read more in A Doggy Date at Whistler Olympic Park.

INSIDER TIP: If you plan on heading out in the late afternoon or evening, tell your leash-holder to pack a headlamp as not all the trails are lit, especially if you go off the beaten track. I occasionally wear a light or bell as I can be hard to see in deep snow!

What do you recommend for dogs to do while their owners are out for the day?

MAOLA: If you can’t join in on the fun, your owners can book a private pet sitter for the day through Whistler Dog Sitting. They’ll take you out for the best walks and give plenty of belly rubs.

When your humans get home they’ll probably want to enjoy some après cocktails at the alfresco patio camper and there’s no need for you to miss out as you can join in and socialize in the adjacent patio kennel for pups.

 

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Alta – Fairmont Chateau Whistler Ambassador

When your owner is Isabel Chung, the Executive Chef at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, you really get to know the finer things in life. Alta, a Hotel Ambassador and all-around ace pooch has become a fixture in this classic Canadian hotel, sharing stoke and vacation tips with visiting guests.

Can you pass on some tips on the Village rules so we stay out of the doghouse?

ALTA: Generally, Whistler is pretty relaxed when it comes to dogs, but there are some key rules you should follow.

First off, remember to stay on leash unless you’re in a designated off-leash area. While it can be super tempting to ditch your leash in the forest, make sure your owner keeps you clipped in. Even trails that seem empty could have people around any corner. They may be scared of dogs, have their own dog that doesn’t get along with others, or worst case you could cause a nasty crash if they’re on a bike or skis.

Us dogs can also be scary to local wildlife and get into conflicts with bears. Have your owners pack a retractable leash so you can savour freedom in the wild while still being under control when needed.

Secondly, make sure your owner scoops your poop. Yes, even in the woods. There are free bags available at most parks and along the Village Stroll.

Can you recommend some of your favourite routes for visiting pups?

ALTA: Many dogs don’t know that they can go for a walk around the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Course. It’s the perfect place to check out the changing fall leaves and the first dusting of snow. For pups that want to stay in shape, a loop on the Valley Trail around the Whistler Golf Club is always a classic. And for adventure seekers like me, I recommend hopping on the hotel shuttle bus for a trip down to Train Wreck trail in Cheakamus when the snow starts to fly. Don’t forget to tell your biped to bring their snowshoes!

INSIDER TIP: For even more advice on visiting with a pet from the human perspective check out Vacationing With Your Dog in Whistler and for more winter walking routes take a look at Walking in Whistler’s Wonderland.

More Pet-Friendly Accommodation Options

Summit Lodge

If you’re seeking a boutique hotel experience look no further than the Summit Lodge. In addition to supplying bowls and beds to make sure your furry friend has everything they need to stay in style, they also love dogs so much they even let them stay for free.  I’ve actually stayed there with my dog and he gave it two paws up.

 

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Our friend @junothesnowdog ❤️ #petfriendlyhotel #SummitLodgeDogs #SummitLodgeLifestyle⠀

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Aava

Is your dog large and in charge? That’s no problem at the Aava. In their words, “Your pooch can be between a small mouse and a pony, at Aava all shapes and sizes are more than welcome”.

Side note: if your dog is pony-sized I’d love to meet them.

Blackcomb Springs Suites

Ski-in / out access for you and pet-friendly for your pup, Blackcomb Springs Suites has the best of both worlds. Nothing beats a good wrestle in the snow with your pup after a day on the slopes.


Planning a trip with your pup doesn’t have to be ruff, the team at Whistler.com is always available to help you plan your ultimutt Whistler vacation, and if you book by December 1 you’ll be taking advantage of the best deals you’ll get all season. Please remember to pack your face mask and take a look at our Know Before You Go information, so that you know what to expect in Whistler this winter.

Well, I think I’ve hit my yearly quota for dog puns for the year. But seriously, bring your dogs, they’ll love it here.

Megan Wilson

Megan Wilson

Megan is a mountain adventurer guilty of breaking the golden rule, telling everyone her mountain secrets (ok, maybe she keeps a few to herself). Ontario by birth, and now Whistler by choice, even a decade later, the mountains still take her breath away.

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