Traveling with Pets

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3 minutes, 44 seconds

Park Ranger George Heinz covers some of the rules and provides advice related to traveling with pets in Yellowstone.


1. Pets are prohibited in the backcountry and on trails and boardwalks for the following reasons:

  • Yellowstone National Park is a designated natural area where wildlife are free to roam undisturbed. Park visitors should be able to enjoy native wildlife in their natural environment without the disruption of other people's pets.
  • Pets occasionally escape from their owners. Domestic animals generally lack the ability to survive in the wild.
  • Yellowstone is bear country, and domestic animals (especially dogs) and bears are traditionally antagonists. A loose dog can lead a bear directly back to you.
  • There is a strong possibility that your pet could become prey for a bear, coyote, owl, or other predator.
  • There is a possibility of exchange of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife.
  • Thermal areas pose particular hazards to pets. Boiling water in pools and thermal channels can cause severe or fatal burns if your pet decides to take a drink or go for a swim.

2. Pets may accompany you in developed areas of the park.
This includes any areas within 100 feet of roads, parking areas, and campgrounds but does not include boardwalks or thermal areas. Pets must be kept under physical control at all times - caged, crated, or on a leash not to exceed six feet in length.

3. It's prohibited to leave a pet unattended & tied to an object.
It is illegal to leave pets in a situation where food, water, shade, ventilation and other basic needs are inadequate. So while it is possible for pets to remain in your vehicle while you are viewing attractions near roads and parking areas, we recommend that someone in your group remain behind to personally ensure your pet's well being.

4. Pets should leave no traces other than footprints.
The owner is responsible for clean-up and disposal of all pet feces. Please be thoughtful of other visitors as well as your pet.


Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the park lodging concessioner, allows pets in some cabin facilities. Their telephone number for reservations and information is (307) 344-7901.

There are no kennel facilities within Yellowstone National Park but there are kennels outside Yellowstone in the Greater Yellowstone Area.


More Information

  • Weather: Check the weather before you come.
  • Qualified service animals assisting people with disabilities are allowed throughout the park and in all park facilities. However, they must be leashed. You must have a permit to bring a service animal into the backcountry due to wildlife and safety issues.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168


(307) 344-7381
Recorded information. For road and weather information, please dial 307-344-2117.

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