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Fido Goes On A Field Trip…. Or Not

Updated: May 13, 2019

Since I retired almost 7 years ago, I have been fortunate enough to move about the western USA, living in 4 different states. It wasn’t til I moved to Whitefish Mt, near Glacier National Park, that I became aware of limitations on pets in national parks.


There are perfectly good reasons for excluding dogs from the parks; conflicts with wildlife, irresponsible pet owners who don’t pick up after their dog, etc.; I happen to agree with the policy. I regret moving from the Whitefish area without exploring any options for taking care of my dog while I photographed Glacier National Park.


It was when I moved to Ogden, Utah that I came to realize much of southern Utah is classified as national park, national monument, or state park, with a variety of pet limitations. I realized that if I wanted to explore Utah with my dog, and photograph as much of it as possible, I needed to explore my options.


The most obvious and least palatable is to leave your dog at home. If you are lucky enough to have reliable relatives or friends, you can explore that avenue. I don’t, so I have used the boarding services of the vet I take Eucle, my dog, to for his care. I use the daycare service mostly for local photography outings. But when I took a 5 day trip to Grand Teton National Park this fall, I boarded him for the 5 days. They take good care of him, they know his medical history and needs, the vet is right there if he should need medical care, and they have an outdoor area so he could get outside several times each day. I don’t know who missed whom most, him or me.


Just before I moved from Whitefish, I came across a boarding kennel that advertised dog daycare/boarding for Glacier NP visitors. ( 3 Dog Ranch, just south of Whitefish)  I did an internet search for dog boarding near a number of national parks; Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Arches National parks. Within a very reasonable distance to each, I found a number of kennels that would meet the needs of park visitors and their canines. And you can also contact local vets near your destination to see if any of them offer boarding.

So, if you plan to take a road/field trip which includes visiting a national park, and have your pet friend on the trip with you, I believe you can have luck obtaining daycare or boarding services near most national parks and monuments across the nation.


Anytime you travel with your pets you need to take along their medical records, especially their vaccination records. You won’t find any reputable boarders who will take your pet if they aren’t current on rabies, bordetella, and distemper vaccinations. You also should take along any of their meds, special foods, etc. I have a prescription for my dog’s special GI dog food that I take along with me.



Anytime you travel with your pets you need to take along their medical records, especially their vaccination records. You won’t find any reputable boarders who will take your pet if they aren’t current on rabies, bordetella, and distemper vaccinations. You also should take along any of their meds, special foods, etc. I have a prescription for my dog’s special GI dog food that I take along with me.


I know I should always restrain Eucle when traveling in the car. I don't tend to do this in town, but I always restrain him when on a field trip, primarily because of the higher speeds. I made a wooden platform for the passenger seat of my F-350 truck, he can lay down on his bed , or sit up and enjoy the view. I went to Pet…..,( you know ) and bought their highest rated restraint system for car seats. He doesn’t like it, but oh well, like most things he will have to get used to it.



Not a happy camper! He got used to the restraint as our trip progressed

 Fortunately, he is very patient when I am photographing;  I tie off his leash so he is in the shade and he just lies down and waits for me. When nothing is handy to tie him off to, I have tied his long leash to my leg while I shoot.


So, going on a photography field trip and taking your dog along is something that can be done, you just have to do the extra planning.


I find places I visit more enjoyable when I have my dog Eucle with me. This is at Nevada Beach , a dog friendly beach at Lake Tahoeat Lake Tahoe


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