Traveling with Pets

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park Planning on Traveling with your pet(s)? Each park has its own regulations regarding pets within park boundaries. Restrictions on pets in parks are as much to protect your pet as to protect park resources.

If you do plan to bring your pet with you on your trip, please abide by all the rules and keep your pet(s) safe!

Pet Regulations

In general, pets are permitted but must be restrained either on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length, caged or crated at all times. Park Superintendents and Managers have the discretion to further restrict areas open to pets (i.e., trails, buildings, campgrounds may be off limits).

In most NPS parks pets are not allowed on trails. Restrictions on pets in parks are as much to protect your pet as to protect park resources.

Reasons parks have for regulating the presence of pets

Loose Pet

When a loose pet chases a squirrel or raccoon, the wild animal's ability to survive is threatened, and when it is threatened, it may react aggressively.

Prey

There is a strong possibility in parks such as Yellowstone that your pet could become prey for bear, coyote, owl, or other predators.

Disease

There is a possibility of exchange of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife.

Harass

Dogs, the most common traveling companion, are natural predators that may harass or even kill native wildlife that is protected within the park's boundaries.

Scent

The "scent of a predator" that dogs leave behind can disrupt or alter the behavior of native animals.

Control

Pets may be hard to control, even on a leash, within confines of often narrow park trails and may trample or dig up fragile vegetation.

Fesces

Dog and cat feces add excessive nutrients and bacterial pollution to water, which decreases water quality and can also cause human health problems.

Lost

Finally, lost domestic animals sometimes turn to preying on park wildlife and must be destroyed.

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