Enjoying Missouri State Parks with your Pet

illustration of a dog on a leashResponsible pet owners and their pets are welcome in Missouri State Parks. Following are a few simple rules to ensure that you, your pet and other park visitors enjoy the outing. These rules apply to all types of pets except service animals assisting people with disabilities.

Pet Rules

Keep it to two dogs or fewer per campsite.
As a courtesy to other visitors, it is recommended you bring no more than two dogs per campsite. This also helps reduce the impact on the natural resources and aids with noise control.

Keep your pet on a leash (not longer than 10 feet) at all times.
Even the best trained pets can be unpredictable when in a different environment. Other pets, people and wildlife can be a distraction. Keeping your pet on a leash ensures its safety as well as the safety of other visitors.

Keep your pet under control at all times and quiet. Do not leave a pet unattended.
Barking dogs can ruin the enjoyment of the park for everyone. Leaving a pet unattended, even if properly leashed, can be a danger to the pet and nearby visitors. If you need to leave your pet at the campsite, secure your pet inside the camping unit/tent. Do not leave it outside the camping unit, even if leashed.

Pets are not allowed inside any state park or historic site building, or in public swimming areas and beaches. The new Cabins for Canines program will allow dogs to be brought into certain lodging units. Detailed information can be found through the link in the upper right of this page.

Clean up your pet's waste.
No one wants to step in the mess left behind. Bring your own bags to pick up your pet's waste. Also check with staff to see if there are waste bag dispensers located in the park. Ensure that the waste bags are placed in a trash receptacle after use.

Failure to abide by certain rules may result in a citation or your removal from the park.

Make your visit enjoyable by being considerate of other visitors and the natural resources of the park.

Top 10 Ways To Have An Enjoyable Visit With Your Pet

  1.  Appreciate the natural and cultural resources of the park. Keep your pet from digging in any area of the park or historic site, and out of any buildings.
  2. Enjoy your pet's company but remember that not everyone is comfortable around them. Keep your pet leashed and under control.
  3. Enjoy water recreation but don't use the water as a bathtub for your pet. Keep them away from swimming areas and beaches.
  4. Keep your pet with you. Leaving it unattended is no fun for the pet or nearby visitors.
  5. Make sure your pet has plenty of water and food.
  6. Leave no waste behind for the next visitor to find. Bring your own bags to pick up your pet's waste. Ask about waste bag dispensers and the location of trash dumpsters.
  7. Respect the natural habitat of wildlife by keeping your pet at a safe distance.
  8. Enjoy all the benefits of the outdoors and keep pet noise to a minimum for the benefit of other visitors.
  9. Follow these simple rules as posted. It will leave a positive impression for all pet owners and ensure that this privilege continues.
  10. Respect and enjoy Missouri's state parks and historic sites.