Dog beaches in Southwestern Ontario

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Are you looking for dog beaches in Southwestern Ontario? Lakes and rivers including Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit River surround this Ontario peninsula region.

Considering that this area of Ontario is geographically on the same latitude as central Italy – you can imagine how excited I am to share all the dog beach locations in this area!

You’ll find the warmest waters in Ontario in Southwestern Ontario, so you’ll never have to worry about blue lips and shivering bodies when you visit one of these dog beaches.

Hot take: Looking for the best dog beach in Southwestern Ontario? Here are my picks!

Key cities and counties

Map of key counties and towns located in Southwestern Ontario - 1 of the 13 tourist regions of Ontario

Chatham-Ken | Elgin | Haldimand County | London | Middlesex | Norfolk County | Oxford | Sarnia-Lambton | Windsor Essex

9 dog beaches in Southwestern Ontario

1. Clearville Park

  • Best for: Dog-friendly trailer park close to water
  • Neighbourhood: Chatham-Kent
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand and pebbles
  • Dog beach restriction: On leash only
  • Timeframe: Year-round

Clearville Park is mostly a grassy campground space. The park has a small lake opening with a narrow and short pebbly shoreline.

2. Erieau public beach

  • Best for: Quiet walk with your pup in some of Lake Erie’s warmest waters
  • Neighbourhood: Chatham-Kent
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand
  • Dog beach restriction: On leash only
  • Timeframe: Year-round

If you’re looking for a quiet on-leash walk by the beach with your pup, then Erieau Beach might be the hidden gem you’re looking for. You’ll find a pier, a mini lighthouse, and a wide boardwalk at this beach.

3. Long Point Provincial Park

  • Best for: Short runs in warm water
  • Neighbourhood: Norfolk
  • Shoreline Terrain: Shallow, flat beach
  • Dog beach restriction: Off leash in and out of water
  • Timeframe: Mid-May to mid-October

The dog beach gets quieter and less packed the further west you go. This beach is a narrow shoreline. You can walk the entire off-leash area in under 3 minutes, but it’s also the only dog beach in Southwestern Ontario that allows your pup to be completely leash-free.

Dig into our summer afternoon experience at Long Point Provincial Park’s dog beach! Spoiler – we loved the entire day except for the biting flies at dusk!

4. Mitchell’s Bay

  • Best for: Family day by the lake
  • Neighbourhood: Sarnia-Lambton
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand
  • Dog beach restriction: On leash only
  • Timeframe: Year-round

Mitchell Bay is a small community located next to Lake St. Clair. It’s best known for sport fishing, ice fishing, duck hunting, and birdwatching. But Mitchell’s Bay beach is also known for its warm, shallow waters and is ideal for a family-friendly day at the beach.

There aren’t many pet-friendly rentals in the area so I’d recommend this as a day trip and staying overnight at one of the pet-friendly hotels in Chatham (22 min drive away).

5. Pinery Provincial Park

  • Best for: Enjoying vast shorelines
  • Neighbourhood: Sarnia-Lambton
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand and pebbles
  • Dog beach restriction: Off-leash in water, but leashed out of water
  • Timeframe: Year-round

Pinery Provincial Park is best known for its massive 10km stretch of sandy coastal shores. But not all of it is dog-friendly. You’ll find the dog beach portion at the Northernmost end of the day-use beach area. The park is popular – and for good reason too! During the peak beach season, the park is packed. Be sure to arrive early to avoid crowds!

6. Port Burwell Dog Beach

  • Best for: On-leash strolls in the water and off-leash romps in the off-leash area
  • Neighbourhood: Elgin
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand
  • Dog beach restriction: Mix of off-leash and on-leash
  • Timeframe: mid-May to mid-October

The dog beach at Port Burwell is near the day-use parking lot #1. When you arrive at the dog beach you’ll see clear signs that mark where pups can play off-leash and where they must be leashed.

7. Rondeau Provincial Park

  • Best for: Sweeping horizons along 11km of beach
  • Neighbourhood: Chatham-Kent
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand
  • Dog beach restriction: On leash only
  • Timeframe: Year-round

You’ll find the closest access point to the dog beach by Beach Access 11. You won’t find a lot of beach glass on the sandy shores. Most people visit this park for calming and sweeping horizon views along Lake Erie.

8. Turkey Point Provincial Park

  • Best for: Dog-friendly camping during the shoulder season
  • Neighbourhood: Norfolk
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand
  • Dog beach restriction: Off-leash in water, but leashed out of water
  • Timeframe: Early-May to end of October

If you plan on camping with your pup for a few days, I recommend camping during the off-shoulder season. The beaches are quiet, and bug-free, and it’ll feel like a private oasis for you too.

9. Wheatley Provincial Park

  • Best for: Birdwatching and canoeing
  • Neighbourhood: Chatham-Kent
  • Shoreline Terrain: Sand
  • Dog beach restriction: On leash only
  • Timeframe: Year-round

Best known for birdwatching and canoeing, Wheatley Provincial Park is a great pick if you want to canoe with your pup and enjoy a dip or two at the dog beach. Most of the shoreline is eroded so this park is best for dropping by the lake while you hike and explore the short trails nearby.

Things to pack to a dog beach in Southwestern Ontario

Along with obvious things to pack when you visit a beach (sunscreen, swimwear, beach towels, a hat, etc.), here are some things you should remember to bring – especially if you’re visiting during the summer months:

Dog-safe bug spray

There are an insane amount of mosquitoes and biting flies by the shoreline – especially during dawn and dusk. The popular Absorbine Ultrashield Green Natural Fly Repellent can help keep some of it away from you and your pup.

My best advice though? Avoid the beaches during peak biting fly time!

Beach tent for dogs

Our pups can overheat a lot faster in the heat than we can. Packing an ultra-light, easy-to-deploy beach tent for dogs can give your pup shade and shelter from the sun and hot sand in seconds.

You can find a variety of sizes and shapes over at Amazon.

Elevated tents are great for extra air circulation, but a tiny version of a one-person tent works just as well. Grab one that best fits your budget and needs!

Can dogs swim in Lake Erie?

Yes! Lake Erie has some of the warmest waters in Ontario. If you’re looking for dog-friendly beaches around Lake Erie, check out Erieau beach, and Long Point Provincial Park.

Recap: Dog beaches in Southwestern Ontario

Southwestern Ontario is the region to visit if you’re looking for warm water beaches to spend time with your pup.

Whether you’re looking for an off-leash dog beaches, off-leash in water, but on-leash on land, or a fully on-leash dog beach, Southwestern Ontario has enough dog beaches to offer a little bit of something to everyone!

Wherever you decide to visit, one thing’s guaranteed – you’ll find the warmest waters in Ontario here!

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