5 Things to Know When Travelling to Tofino with Dogs

If you’re like me, your furry friend is more than a pet, they’re family and when I make adventure plans, my 4lb hound is along for the ride.

It’s true, Tofino is a paradise for people and pups alike. We know you’ve dreamed of frolicking bare-footed in the sand, rover at your side, hair blowing in the wind (likely in slow motion) BUT there are some very real things to consider when travelling to the end of the road with your four-legged kin.

Here on the Pacific Rim, we are trying to create a Culture of Conservation. We know what we have is good and it’s important to keep it that way. Every year, we see an increase in residents and visitors to this region, meaning we must continually adapt the ways in which we engage with our surroundings. Each person & pet who reaches this coast must be a positive contributor to this philosophy. We thank you in advance! 

5 Obvious and Maybe Not-So-Obvious Things You Should Know When Planning a Trip to the Coast With Your Silky Sidekick:

1) Leash Up & Head Out

  Even when signs are not posted, it’s best practice to keep your dog on a leash. Yes, you are going to encounter many others running around wildly and untamed and it will be tempting to unclip but consider yourself an example of best practice. With your pooch properly tethered, you are preventing unnecessary stress on local flora and fauna. By minimizing wildlife disruptions, species such as migratory Shorebirds can rest and feed at ease.

2) Book Pet-Friendly from Friendly People

Be sure to reserve your pet-friendly room in advance! Most hotels offer specialty rooms designed to ensure the most comfort for you and your mutts. For example, Long Beach Lodge Resort has ground level units for easy access to the beach. These rooms feature scratch proofing on the doors, custom pet-proof fabrics on the furniture, sand and fur safe curtains, extra towels, treats and dining accessories for your beloved pup.


Sit. Walk. Stay.

There are certain Tofino adventures that are not to be missed yet you can’t take Max along. To ensure your fuzzy friend isn’t left alone all day, take advantage of our local services to keep them company with walks, runs or daycare so you can enjoy surf lessons, marine excursions, or remote hikes on Meares Island or Lone Cone.

- Tofino Dogsitting, @TuffWoof 
- Tofino Travelling Paws

4) The Doc’s NOT in

Most of us don’t think to look up veterinary services until we absolutely have to so it’s important to know that there are none on the coast. The closest vet clinic is an hour and 45 min drive back to Port Alberni so be sure to check medication and specialty food levels because a shortage would mean short trip.
Due to the high number of dogs in the area, it is highly recommended that your pup is up to date on all vaccines, particularly the highly contagious viral disease known as Canine Parvovirus. This is another great reason to leash up. You don’t want a bully wrecking your vacay.

5) Scoop Your Poop, So the Scoop isn’t Pooped

Imagine a young child coming down to the high tide line with dreams of building a castle where the sand is soft and warm. Each strike of their tiny plastic shovel plunges into your pile of dog dung lurking inches below the surface. Their palace and hands are now covered in the bugs and bacteria that have been contaminating the soil for months or even years. Burying or leaving your dog waste on the beach is not only inconsiderate it’s dangerous as it can cause infection and spread disease. Multiply your dog’s poop by the hundreds of thousands of dogs visiting these beaches each year and that’s a whole lot of filthy fortresses. Bags are readily available at most beach entrances but summer shortages are common so come prepared.

Get the most out of your trip by being the best beach-goer you can be! 

Tofino Live