Summer visitation at many national and state parks is in full swing. These places remain popular destinations for individuals and families. I recently returned from the Yellowstone National Park area, one of my favorite places in the U.S. Each year nearly four million people trek by automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, and RV through Yellowstone; many also hike the trails and visit the famous geyser basins, such as Norris and Old Faithful.
There are rules about pets when it comes to taking them in national, as well as state parks. Before embarking upon such a journey with your furry friend, review the pet policies.
National Parks and Pets
Pets are welcome in America’s national parks. However, there are some rules that travelers with pets should be aware of. Those include:
In addition to providing a wonderful respite for humans, America’s national parks are home for many species of wildlife; in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, for example, these include bears and bison. Pets running loose or hiking with owners in the backcountry can harm wildlife – or be harmed themselves. Therefore, the National Park Service, recognizing that many people travel with pets, accommodates our four-footed companions in certain areas while prohibiting them in others, for the safety of both pets and wildlife.
Speaking of accommodations, are there places inside the parks that allow people to stay with their pets other than the campgrounds? In some cases, yes. Hotel accommodations in Yellowstone, for example, are not pet-friendly, but a few of the cabin facilities inside the park do allow pets. Additionally, just outside the national parks’ boundaries are gateway communities in which many hotels can be found, and many of those are pet-friendly. Prepare in advance to review the communities’ lodging options and investigate ahead of time whether pets are welcome. Look and book in advance! There are many great resources for finding pet-friendly lodging, including GoPetFriendly.com and BringFido.com. Rover.com provides a listing of pet sitters in various communities, which can be a good option if you’re staying in a town near a national park and you want to take a day-trip for hikes, horseback riding or other activities that don’t accommodate pets.
Although the national parks have similar guidelines because they are federal entities, different parks may have different pet policies. To learn about the regulations in the park you’d like to visit, log onto the National Park Service’s website at www.nps.gov, find the park you’re interested in, and review that park’s pet particulars. You can also visit this Travel Channel site to read an article about national parks that are pet-friendly and those not as much so: https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/national-parks/photos/exploring-our-national-dog-parks.
State Parks and Pets
In June, I spent a week in Oregon visiting family and driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. I was pleasantly surprised to find two things: (1) many Oregon state parks have no (or minimal) entrance fees; and (2) pets are welcome at most Oregon state parks and beaches, including some trails. Therefore, I visited many of these places with my traveling companion, Jeremiah the Shih Tzu.
All states differ in their pet policies when it comes to visiting state parks. Wyoming, where I live, for example, allows dogs to be on leashes up to 10 feet in length (many other states limit the length to six feet). A person is also able to leave a pet unattended for an hour (although I personally would not do so).
So, know before you go! Visit the parks’ websites for the state (or national) park you want to visit before taking your pet on the trip.
May your adventures with your furry friend be enjoyable – happy traveling!
According to the calendar, spring arrives today. Many of us, however, may doubt what we see on that wall ornament as we look outside. No matter if the season has changed where you live or if you still see piles of snow in the yard, knowing that the sun will shine, the temperature will rise, and travel will commence. Taking your furry friend on the road with you can be a wonderful experience and can also help you maintain your exercise routine. This week I welcome fitness expert and dog lover Paige Johnson -- she shares with us ideas and insights about how you and your dog can stay fit while traveling.
Guest Post by Paige Johnson
Staying fit while you’re on the road can be a real challenge, but if you decide to bring your dog along in lieu of leaving him with a kennel, friend, or loved one, you’re more apt to maintain your routine. Studies show that dog owners have a better chance of attaining their fitness goals than those who forgo having a furry friend. Why? You’re forced to move more (by an impressive 69 percent), dogs can increase your walking endurance, and mental health is improved while blood pressure is decreased.
If you have yet to choose a destination for your trip, consider checking out resources that help connect dog owners to pet-friendly establishments around the world. Along with hotels and restaurants, you’ll find tips for the best dog beaches, parks, and even walking tours you can bring your dog to.
Standard activities that may come to mind may include running (consider signing up for a canine charity race), walking, cycling, and hiking. Consider these alternatives:
Maintain a Healthy Routine for Your Pooch
Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you should forgo your dog’s regular, healthy routine. This includes a healthy diet to avoid stomach problems, access to fresh water at all times, clean food and water dishes, and regular walks.
When packing your fitness gear, consider what additional items your dog may need based on the activities you have in mind. Some suggestions include:
Not only does traveling with your dog help you stay on top of your fitness game, it’s also a bonding experience. Do your research in advance to make the most of your experience. Don’t forget to get your dog vaccinated if traveling overseas and ask your vet for any tips for car and airplane travel prior to departure.
Paige Johnson is a fitness nerd and animal lover. She shares her insights on LearnFit. She loves offering advice on a variety of topics. As a personal trainer, she has a passion for fitness training and enjoys sharing her knowledge with those seeking to live a healthier lifestyle. She's also mom to three dogs, all rescues, and volunteers at her local animal shelter. Through her time with her own pups and working at the shelter, she's picked up some great tips on pet care and training.
Credit for Photos: Pixabay
Many communities throughout the nation provide special parks for dogs to run and play. These dog parks offer activity and exercise for resident and visiting canines.
With spring returning and summer on the horizon, there many days and weeks of wonderful get outdoors as well as traveling weather for you, your family, and your four-footed friends to enjoy. Knowing there are “pet playgrounds” in various locations can assist you and your furry companion.
Throughout the nation dog parks are popular. Many offer fenced-in security where dogs can safely run, play, and exercise. Fenced-in parks mean greater safety, an important concept in a dog owner's mind, especially for owners who travel with their furry friends. An enclosed park keeps dogs from running away and from running onto busy streets. Who wants to lose their dog while on vacation … or any other time?
More and more hotels are becoming pet-friendly, so having a dog park in a community is an added benefit for enticing travelers to stop and even to stay in that town. Such communities become more welcoming to visitors traveling with their dogs because dogs, like people, need to stretch their legs while on a journey.
Dog parks also provide socialization opportunities, again for both the dogs and their owners. While walking or playing with one's dog at a park, a person is likely to engage in conversation with other dog owners … and the dogs are apt to play with one another, running through the park or fetching a ball or other toy. Studies show people who have dogs are more outgoing and engage in more socializing because, well, like with our kids, we dog people like to talk about our furry family members!
Even communities that don’t have an actual enclosed dog park, some provide wonderful walking paths at which owners can give themselves and their furry friends good exercise.
A great resource to learn about pet-friendly places, such as hotels and parks (including dog parks) can be found here: http://www.bringfido.com/attraction/.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.