Dogs must be on a leash or otherwise confined while in the park

Heidi Weimer Photo

Regulations Concerning Pets

Pets are members of our families, but there are some things you should be aware of before bringing your pet to the park.

  • Pets in South Dakota and Nebraska state parks must be on a leash at all times. However, they should not be leashed while in a boat or a canoe on the river.
  • In Nebraska, pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet; in South Dakota, pets must be on a leash no longer than 10 feet.
  • Pets (except service dogs) are not allowed on designated swimming beaches or in any park buildings (including camping cabins, lodges and comfort stations).
  • Owners must clean up after their pets.
  • Please do not leave pets unattended.

If you are planning to bring a furry family member on your trip to Missouri National Recreational River, make sure you are prepared and are following the B.A.R.K. Ranger code. The code helps protect you, your pet, and the park while you are here. If the activities you have planned for your visit do not allow for pets or are unsafe, consider leaving them at home.

Bag your pet’s waste

Help keep the MNRR clean by bagging your pet’s waste and throwing it away in the garbage. Pet feces is not a natural fertilizer and can spread diseases to park wildlife, introduce non-native plant seeds, and can pollute rivers and lakes. Additionally, stepping in poop left behind by pet owners can be an unpleasant experience for other visitors!

Always leash your pet

Pets must be restrained on a leash not more than six feet long when in Missouri River (even if your pet is well behaved). Unleashed pets can stress or injure wildlife, scare other visitors, and are more likely to have a dangerous encounter. Keep your pet, wildlife, and other people safe by using a leash. Leashed pets cannot be left unattended.

Some people, especially children, are frightened of dogs. Make sure your leashed pet is well behaved around other people. You are helping to protect the experience of other visitors.

Respect wildlife

A respectful pet keeps clear of wildlife, stays on trails and out of wildlife’s natural habitats. Always give wildlife their space if you encounter them on your visit. Remember the smaller creatures too!

Pet food can also become wildlife food. Ensure all pet food is secured when left unattended.

Know where you can go

Plan ahead and know where you can take your pet. Do not leave your pet unattended anywhere in the park or left alone in a hot vehicle if you cannot take them with you.

Last updated: August 31, 2021

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Yankton, SD 57078


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