Can You Bring Your Pets to Yellowstone?

Our pets are like family... no, they are family, and leaving them behind can be a hard thing. You'd love to have them along on your trip to Yellowstone or Teton park, but can you bring them? Should you?

Yes, you can. But there are some restrictions and other things to keep in mind to protect the park, your pet, other visitors, and you. If you plan to do a lot of hiking, it's best not to bring a pet. I'll list some places outside the park to leave your pet if you plan to go into areas not allowed.

Some things to consider: wild animals may be drawn to your dog or cat. This is the wilderness, and wild animals are unpredictable. Pets could wander off or start to chase something and never be found.

Pets must be restrained at all times and are not permitted on hiking trails, inside visitor centers, or other facilities. A good way to remember where pets are allowed is a pet may go anywhere a car may go: roads and road shoulders, campgrounds and picnic areas, parking lots, etc. Pets must be on a leash (six feet or less), under physical restraint, and within 30 feet of the roadway. Pets are not permitted on any park trails or in the park backcountry. Pets are not considered pack animals.

So here are the official regulations:

You are responsible for the clean-up and disposal of all pet waste.

Pets must be kept under physical control at all times - caged, crated, or restrained on a leash not to exceed six feet in length.

Pets are prohibited in the backcountry and on park trails.

Pets are prohibited from public buildings and swimming beaches, except for guide dogs.

Pets are prohibited from riding in boats on park waters, except for Jackson Lake.

Pets must stay within 30 feet of any roadway.

Pets must not be left unattended and/or tied to an object.

Pets are prohibited from making unreasonable noise or frightening wildlife.

Pets running-at-large may be impounded, and their owner charged for the care and feeding.

Pets are not allowed on the park's multi-use pathway.

Guide dogs used for the sole purpose of aiding a person with a physical disability are permitted but should be clearly marked as a working animal.

Important note: Please don't leave your pets in the vehicle by themselves. It can get hot in the parks. Even a short time can be hazardous to your pet! Thanks to +Nina Anthonijsz for reminding me of this one.

So, unless you are sure you won't be leaving your vehicle to go hiking the trails, it's probably best not to bring your dog or cat. If you must bring your pet, you have some options. Stay at a hotel outside the park in one of the neighboring towns. Many hotels allow pets. These towns also have some pet sitting establishments where you can leave your pet while hiking in the parks. 

Jackson, Wyoming, is the Tetons' largest town and will have hotels and Pet sitting services. Near Yellowstone, you have Cody, Wyoming, and West Yellowstone, MT. Both have many pet-friendly hotels and pet sitting services too. Of course, near Yellowstone, you'll find other towns too.

This link lists some of the places and phone numbers that will babysit and board your pet while you are in the parks: http://goo.gl/xQh8Mz

This link takes you to a PDF brochure about pets in the Tetons: http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/upload/PETS_15.pdf

This is a link to a video about pets in Yellowstone but applies to the Tetons as well: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/pets.htm

I hope this helps a bit. Not perfect solutions, but workable! =]:)

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Please let me know what you think. =]:)