A Ruff Guide to Vancouver’s Best Dog Parks

Treat your pup to the best the city has to offer.

Treat your pup to the best the city has to offer.

Nothing compares to a sunny day spent with your best fur-friend—heck, we’ll even take partially cloudy. After eight dark and drizzly months, it’s time for urban dogs and their humans to get out into that big beautiful backyard we call Vancouver.Access to transportation is a struggle that dog owners (and all Vancouverites) are all too familiar with. Between the lack of dog-friendly transit options and the outrageously high gas prices, your off-leash daydreams can quickly become a transportation nightmare.The good news is that you and your pup don’t have to go far to find great spots to explore. Inspired by Toyota’s 2018 Prius c hatchback, which uses half the gas of a traditional gas engine vehicle, we scouted out a variety of dog parks across the city to add to your summer bucket list. Dog-friendly beaches, trails and lakes are all a short trip away.Here are some of the best off-leash spots to take your pooch within driving distance. One-way trip times and costs are calculated based on gas prices of $1.55 per litre (which adds up to approximately 7.6 cents per kilometre in the Prius c), with downtown Vancouver as a starting point. (Photo: Karenleephotography, Flickr

Charleson Park (False Creek)

Driving distance: 3.7 kmTrip cost: $0.28Separated only by a low fence from one of the nicest stretches of the Seawall, Charleson Park boasts waterfront and downtown views. This park has a decent patch of grass for tossing the ball around, whether by ball-launcher or free-hand. Just make sure to keep your dog out of the duck pond—for the ducks’ sake and yours. (Photo: Viv Lynch, Flickr

Pacific Spirit Park

Driving distance: 8.8 kmTrip cost: $0.67There’s no need to brave the bridges for beautiful forested trails. When walking through the quiet paths of Pacific Spirit Park, it’s hard to believe the city’s centre is so nearby. A woodland wonder, the park’s trail system includes plenty of off-leash routes for your furry forest-runner. (Photo: Rod Raglin, Flickr

John Hendry Park (Trout Lake)

Driving distance: 17.6 kmTrip cost: $1.34Trout Lake is a hub for eastsiders and their chill East Van pups. Your furry friend can hang out under some big shady trees or cool off in the lake, making visits to this urban body of water an excellent way to spend the dog days of summer.

Hadden Park (Kits Point)

Driving distance: 3.9 kmTrip cost: $0.30Take your downward dog to the yoga capital of Vancouver and let them feel the sand between their paws. Have a blast by the water with your best bud, whether they’re the running and swimming type or the type to steal your spot on the blanket when you’re not looking. (Photo: Shawn Nystrand, Flickr

Barnet Marine Park

Driving distance: 17 kmTrip cost: $1.29Turn Eastbound onto Hastings Street, and don’t stop until you reach Barnet Marine Park. You can unclip that leash and take a walk up and down the edge of the Burrard Inlet. Make a day of it and head further east for a post-walk dip in Buntzen Lake.

Buntzen Lake

Driving distance: 34.5 kmTrip cost: $2.62A very paw-pular summer swimming hole for humans and canines alike, this Port Moody destination is ideal for man’s best friend. The dog beach is separated from the humans-only beach by a fence that extends into the lake. Remember to keep your floaties out of reach of those claws, though. (Photo: Stephen Rees, Flickr

MacDonald Beach

Driving distance: 15.4 kmTrip cost: $1.17While technically in Richmond, this sandy hideaway is just a short drive away at the north end of Sea Island. This off-leash zone offers a good stretch of beach to stroll alongside the mighty Fraser where you can watch planes land and takeoff from YVR Airport.Don’t let the daunting cost of car ownership leash your potential. With a hatchback that saves you money on gas and has enough room for your pup and all its toys, all these doggy wonders are yours to explore!