Many stores like Rona and Home hardware have signs on their door specifically telling you NOT to leave your dog in the hot car and to bring them in.
Some of the wineries are the same – they invite you to bring your dog inside. Others provide a nice shady spot for you to tie them up outside with a big water dish and sometimes a treat or two. It’s best not to assume, but to ask wherever you go what their policy is. Most are quite accommodating.
Dogs are also welcome at the Saturday Farmers Market. You will see many beautifully behaved dogs wandering around, masters in tow. The North end of the farmer’s market (near the Lakeside Hotel) is very close to the dog beach on Okanagan Lake, so why not take them for a dip and a run before or after you wander through the market.
If you really feel like being a rebel and letting your dog off its leash in the open parks and walkways, there are a few places where people are a lot more “tolerant”.
Walking along the Kettle Valley Trail – the further you get away from town the more you will see well-behaved dogs running free. Also, many people have found Naramata and/or Okanagan Falls a lot more tolerant of such activities.
Conversely, the Okanagan Lake walkways in downtown Penticton are a “hot spot” in terms of complaints and (threats of) ticketing for off-leash dogs, and Skaha Lake Park, while you will sometimes see unleashed dogs in off-hours, it is very much noticed and frowned upon during peak periods of the day. It is clearly advisable to avoid these areas – especially at peak periods.
Skaha lake Dog Beach
The Skaha Lake Dog beach nearest Penticton is not located where all the foot traffic is, or the main swimming areas are. You have to drive a little ways down eastside road, past the turnoff to Painted Rock winery and Skaha Bluffs
Okanagan Falls Dog Park
The Okanagan Falls dog park is easy to find, and is a great place to stop on a hot day while travelling between Penticton and Oliver. The park comes complete with a fake fire hydrant.
A Note to Those Thinking About Visiting Skaha Bluffs:
It should be noted that Skaha Bluffs, a hiking and rock climbing venue on the east side of Skaha Lake, has banned dogs from the area because they have determined that the area is a protected wildlife habitat and that the dogs may chase/disturb some of the little creatures nesting and foraging in the area.
This is “new” as of 2016, and many dog owners may be unaware of the change as it has, in the past, been a favourite spot to take your dog for a wilderness adventure.