Saint John Dog Blog

September 21, 2023

You can’t find a city in the Maritimes that is more dog friendly than Saint John. Believe me, I’ve tried! When it comes to fun activities with your furry friend, the Port City is top dog and, in this post, my boxer Frankie and I will show you why. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure, premium food and drink or exciting locations and events, you can enjoy it all with your pup in Saint John.

Tails & Trails

Everyone knows a tired dog is a good dog. And the same can likely be said about you. So why not get out and sniff around with your pooch on some of the awesome trails and beaches that are dog friendly in Saint John. These are Frankie’s five favorites around town:

Sheldon’s Point

Located on the west side just before Irving Nature Park, Sheldon's Point offers a fantastic outing for you and your furry friend. It’s hard to keep Frankie on the leash once she hops out of the car and starts the trail behind the green barn. As she leads the way, I try to enjoy the views of the Bay of Fundy through the trees.


It’s about a 20-minute walk up the trail before it opens to a breathtaking view of the bay. You can lean against the old wooden fence to catch your breath and watch the waves crash against the cliffs below, before you turn around and head back the way you came.


Better yet, continue on the trail to Saints Rest Beach and Irving Nature Park. Or do what Frankie and I do, and take the service road to an old rock quarry. There is a path that leads to an open field dotted with communications towers. It can be a bit of a maze, but it’s a fun walk back to the parking lot.


Irving Nature Park

Irving Nature Park is a hotspot for everyone that wants some time outdoors, and Frankie gets visibly excited when we’re getting close.


We typically stay on the gravel road, which is a good 6.5km walk. There are also a ton of very well-maintained trails to explore. No matter what, you’re sure to find some amazing Bay of Fundy lookout points and secluded beaches to throw a stick around! 


Don't forget to make your way down the Marsh Boardwalk for some 'gram-worthy' views of Manawagonish Creek.

Zoo Trail

The Zoo Trail at Rockwood Park is mine and Frankie’s favorite spot for walks! With kilometers of hiking trails, including off-leash areas, Frankie likes to roam freely, and I’m sure your pup will love it, too!


We park at the Zoo Trail lot on Sandy Point Road and grab a poop bag before we hit the 3km main Zoo Trail. There are a ton of trails to dip in and out of but our top pick is Owen Lake, where Frankie runs leash-free! The 1.1km trail through the woods includes some rocks to climb and a few bogs to hop over.


As we near the end of the trail, the zoomies begin because Frankie knows she can splash around and cool down in the creek, which is great because it washes off some of the bog mud. Owen Lake connects to SpongeBob - a 500m trail leading back to the Zoo Trail path, which is the route we usually take. See if you can spot SpongeBob in the trees!

Tin Can Beach

Tin Can Beach is a hidden gem in the city’s south end and a place that Frankie and I frequent. It’s a really cool spot to visit with your dog while exploring Saint John - just don’t expect to build a sandcastle.


It’s the rocky shore at the mouth of the harbour that offers views of Partridge Island and the chance to watch as tugboats escort cruise and container ships through the narrow entryway.


There is a small trail around the area that Frankie seems to enjoy while I take in the unique view of the city. Not to mention all the great photos we’ve taken there.

Harbour Passage

Your doggy adventure in Saint John isn't complete without a stroll along the Harbour Passage. This clip of Frankie will show you why!


Kick off your journey at Lower Cove Loop in the south end of the city and just follow the red path. You’ll wander down Water Street, over the boardwalk and around the harbour, which gives you an ever-changing perspective of our awesome city.


There's lots to discover along the way too. You can check out the historic Fort La Tour, learn about the coastal environment, or just enjoy the uptown skyline. Frankie likes stopping to watch the harbor seals as they float in the water and lounge on the shore. That and getting those freshly washed-in sticks at the boat launch.  


My favorite part about a Harbour Passage adventure? Returning uptown, and grabbing a beer at one of the many dog-friendly pubs!

Barks, Bites & Hangs

If dogs are man's best friend, then a dog-friendly city has to have plenty of places where you and your pal can hang out and maybe even have a cold one together. Luckily, there are a ton of spots like that in Saint John! Here are some of mine and Frankie's favorite watering holes and hangout spots:


If there is one place Frankie knows in uptown Saint John, it's the Picaroons General Store taproom. If she gets within 500m of the place she starts pulling in that direction, and for good reason - everyone and their dog hangs out there! You can enjoy local beer, get a woodfired pizza delivered to your table from Pomodori Pizzeria next door, and your pup is guaranteed to get a treat upon entry. Hopefully they don't jump on the counter to demand it like Frankie does!


Boardwalk Patios

How can you be in a port city with your pet and not hit the waterfront for some hang time? Whether you're after some classic seafood, Thai street food or some killer pub grub, the restaurants on the Saint John boardwalk are a great place to be. Frankie and I have enjoyed many afternoons and evenings living life on the restaurant patios, which are all dog-friendly.


Wasted Day

A recent addition to the dog-friendly taproom landscape in Saint John, Wasted Day is a great spot to do just that - "waste" a day. From the bright green hops on the wall to the comfy leather couches that Frankie would never jump on, it’s a dog friendly pub offering an amazing lineup of local bevvies and coffee. Plus, if you're hungry, you can get a taste of the Saint John City Market in the form of sandwiches from the Jeramiah's window located inside! It's also a great spot to check out local music with afternoon and evening performances throughout the week.


Area 506 Container Village

If a day in the city is all about the gram for you and your pup, you can't find a better spot for drool-worthy pics than the Area 506 Waterfront Container Village. Sure, you can grab a drink and sit on the deck at the Docks - two shipping containers high - to enjoy panoramic views of the harbour. But you could also enjoy some of the amazing food options, like authentic street tacos, smokey BBQ, maritime donairs and sweets like artisanal donuts, decadent ice cream or a classic Beaver Tail. Just remember to share something with your pooch!


Queen Square

For Frankie and I, Queen Square in the city's south end is a pretty special spot. It's always a great place for dogs and their humans to sniff around, interact with others and play fetch. However, on Sundays in the summer and fall months, it's home to the Queen Square Farmers Market. A chance to buy fresh local produce, enjoy a plethora of amazing street food and even get Frankie some fresh treats from the Red Barkery. Sunday at QSFM with your dogo is the best way to end the week.



Paws down, Saint John is the ultimate dog-friendly city in the Maritimes. From the tail wagging outdoor adventures to the pup-positive vibes at some of the city’s best hang out spots, Frankie and I are happy to call the Port City home and look forward to seeing you and your dog around town!

Join Geoff Walsh and his dog, Frankie, as they highlight their favourite dog-friendly spaces in Saint John!

Wasted Day

Follow Geoff on Instagram: @thegeoffeffect 

Looking for more bay-cation inspiration? Find a variety of itineraries highlighting different ways others have explored HERE and start planning your trip today!

Land acknowledgement

The Saint John Region is situated on the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’Kmaq, and Peskotomuhkati Nations. This territory is covered by Peace and Friendship Treaties signed with the British Crown in the 1700s. The treaties recognized the significant and meaningful role of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’Kmaq, and Peskotomuhkati in this province and the country with the intent to establish a relationship of trust and friendship.

Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency pays respect to the elders, past and present, and descendants of this land, and is committed to moving forward in the spirit of truth, collaboration, and reconciliation.