9 tips for pet-friendly Banff & Lake Louise vacations

Pets are a special part of a family. So it can be hard to leave them at home during a vacation, or to find a trusted pet-sitter at short notice. If you’d like to bring your furry friends along for an adventure in Banff and Lake Louise, here are some useful tips for a pet-friendly getaway.

Lobo the dog explores Banff National Park with his owner. Photo: Luke Sudermann.
Lobo the dog explores Banff National Park with his owner. Photo: Luke Sudermann.

1. Remember your leash

While pets are welcome in Banff National Park, they must be kept on a leash at all times. Want to go somewhere your furry friend can roam free? Banff is home to an off-leash dog walking park in the town’s industrial area. The Banff Recreation Grounds are another popular place where you can go to walk your pet. If you’re visiting during snow season, it can be a good idea to bring a coat or booties to keep your pet warm – if they will wear them!

Remember your leash when exploring Banff National Park with your pet. Photo: Emma Gumbleton (@emmagumblebum).
Remember your leash when exploring Banff National Park with your pet. Photo: Emma Gumbleton (@emmagumblebum).

2. You can choose from a number of pet-friendly hotels

In the Banff area, you’ll find pet-friendly accommodation at properties including the Fairmont Banff Springs, The Moose Hotel & Suites, Hidden Ridge Resort, Rimrock Resort Hotel, Juniper Hotel, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, Irwin’s Mountain Inn, Tunnel Mountain Resort, Rocky Mountain Resort, Banff Ptarmigan Inn, Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Inns of Banff, and Bumpers Inn, (as well as Emerald Lake Lodge, close-by in Field, BC).

In Lake Louise, your furry friend is welcome to join you at properties such as the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Lake Louise Inn.

Note:  in order to avoid disappointment, be sure to confirm the pet-friendliness of your hotel prior to making a reservation. Hotels may also have different policies on the number of pets permitted in each room, the type of pets allowed, and the number of pet-friendly rooms available.  Call our reservations team  at 1-844-762-7190 and we would be happy to confirm your dog-friendly accommodation.

Crusoe the Celebrity Daschund visits the Moose Hotel & Suites in Banff

3. Like other guests, pets pay to stay

Most properties in Banff National Park charge a pet fee starting from $25 per pet, per night – however, this varies between each property. Usually, hotels will request that you do not leave your pets unattended in your room – however, some will make an exception if they are housed in an appropriate kennel.

Crusoe the Celebrity Daschund kicks back in style at The Moose Hotel & Suites in Banff. Photo: CelebrityDachshund.com
Crusoe the Celebrity Daschund kicks back in style at The Moose Hotel & Suites in Banff. Photo: CelebrityDachshund.com

4. You can hire a doggy babysitter

If you need someone to look after your furry friend during your ski trip in Banff National Park, or if you’d just like to have a day or night out while your pet is cared for, MyHotelSitter.com offers doggy babysitting. The service includes walks and costs $20 per hour for up to 3 dogs at a time.

Your pets will be well taken care of at Banff National Park's pet-friendly hotels. Photo: Getty Images.
Your pets will be well taken care of at Banff National Park's pet-friendly hotels. Photo: Getty Images.

5. You can meet the Director of Pet Relations

On top of being one of the most pet-friendly destinations in Banff National Park, the upscale Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is also home to a famous four-legged employee. Marcus is the Chateau’s much-loved yellow labrador who holds the esteemed title of Director of Pet Relations.

He is part of the Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador program, designed for travellers missing their own furry friend. Marcus came to the Chateau after failing the final test at guide dog training school because he was “too friendly”. But now he’s found the perfect role.

While Marcus is now semi-retired due to his senior age, you may be able to spot his wagging tail around the grand Chateau – be sure to say hi and shake a paw.

Marcus knows how to make guests feel welcome at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Marcus knows how to make guests feel welcome at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

6. You and your furry friend can enjoy tasty treats

Prior to arriving at your accommodation, ensure that you have enough food for your pet during your stay, or check with the hotel to see if they are able to provide pet food options.

If you’d like to head out on the town for a snack, head to local Banff favourite Wild Flour Artisan Bakery & Café. It’s not just people who flock to this popular, casual cafe – here you’ll find a smorgasbord of delicious baked treats for people (tarts, cookies, muffins, granola bars, foccacias and more), plus a brimming jar of delicious home-baked treats for pups.

Traveling with pets doesn't have to be a dog's breakfast. Photo: Psilaska.cz
Traveling with pets doesn't have to be a dog's breakfast. Photo: Psilaska.cz

7. Avoid wildlife encounters – especially with pets

The towns of Banff and Lake Louise are part of Banff National Park, a protected, UNESCO World Heritage-listed area known famed for its untouched wilderness. This scenic area is home to a number of amazing wild animals such as bears and wolves, plus other large mammals such as elk and deer. While encounters with these animals are relatively uncommon, it’s important to remember that they are unpredictable and potentially dangerous if they feel threatened.

It’s particularly important that visitors do not feed any wild animal in Banff National Park. Feeding wildlife can put both their lives and yours at risk –   it causes wild animals to become dependent on food from humans, leading to increased risks of human interaction and this may cause them to be culled in the interest of public safety.

Protect yourself, your pet and Banff National Park’s magnificent creatures by using caution to avoid wildlife when exploring the area with your furry family members. Take note of wildlife warnings on signs around town and via the Parks Canada website.

Stay safe when exploring Banff National Park your pet by keeping your distance from wildlife. Photo: CelebrityDachshund.com
Stay safe when exploring Banff National Park your pet by keeping your distance from wildlife. Photo: CelebrityDachshund.com

8. You can learn about Banff’s remarkable service dogs

Not all heroes wear capes – some wear collars. In Banff National Park, dogs make a valuable contribution to a number public-safety roles. In the event of emergencies, avalanche rescue dogs assist with tracking missing persons who may find themselves lost or injured in the wilderness. Bear tracking dogs are also used to monitor the location of grizzlies that call Banff National Park home.

Rescue dogs are a valuable part of avalanche response teams in Banff National Park. Photo: Parks Canada.
Rescue dogs are a valuable part of avalanche response teams in Banff National Park. Photo: Parks Canada.

9. Missing your pup back home? Explore Banff National Park with a dog sledding tour

Life’s ruff when you’re a dog lover if you can’t bring your pup everywhere you go. But you can still get your dose of doggo while exploring the outdoors with one of the many dog sledding adventures available in Banff National Park. A visit to the wolf-dog sanctuary may also be in order.

Dogsledding is a scenic way to explore Banff National Park. Photo: ThePlanetD.com
Dogsledding is a scenic way to explore Banff National Park. Photo: ThePlanetD.com

Ready for a scenic and snowy adventure with your pet?

To book your next pet-friendly ski vacation at Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine, check out our featured ski and stay vacation packages or call us at 1-844-762-7190.

Ski & Stay Packages - Save up to 20%
Showing 6 comments
  • craig
    Reply

    could use some REAL tips…like where the off leash parks are ….trails …ect.. not super helpful at all, sorry

    • Bonnie Harrison
      Reply

      Hi Craig, I’m sorry to hear these tips weren’t useful to you. I have added a hyperlink to the point about Banff’s off-leash dog park. The park’s address is 140 Hawk Avenue on the south side near the Industrial District entrance. You can find out more information on the Town of Banff website via the hyperlink here: http://banff.ca/facilities/Facility/Details/29

  • Natalie
    Reply

    Any pret friendly shuttles to and from Calgary from Banff? Im looking to do a car-free summer trip. I only know ROAM within the park is dog friendly.

    • Chris Lamothe
      Reply

      Unfortunately neither Brewster Express nor Banff Airporter allow pets on their shuttles (Airporter does allow service pets), so you’ll likely need to provide your own transportation if bringing a pet into Banff National Park. ROAM transportation within Banff does allow pets but they need to be crated.

  • Leila
    Reply

    Sadly I have to agree with Craig! Finding it hard to visit Banff with my dog with most patios being on rooftops where I can’t tie him on the outside fence. As we are travelling and living in my camper van, leaving him “at home” is not an option. Bear street tavern does have a huge patio space with dog bowls if you wish to dine. That’s all I can find so far…

    • Chris Lamothe
      Reply

      Most of the restaurants along Bear Street and Caribou Street have street level outdoor seating that allows you to have a pet leashed up, but the courtyard at Bear Street Tavern is definitely one of the easier and less crowded options.

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