Hiking and Camping with Dogs
- You must have your pet on a leash on National Forests and have control over your animal.
- You must have appropriate equipment for your pet. For example, make sure you have an appropriate leash depending on the size of your dog.
- You must clean up pet waste, no matter where it is.
- Do not leave a poop bag on the trail to pick up later - they are often forgotten or missed on the way back leaving litter on the trail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, dogs are allowed anywhere in the forest except the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Big Horn Sheep closure area and the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The Pusch Ridge Wilderness Big Horn Sheep closure area is only a portion of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Map
Big Horn Sheep Closure Area and Map
Yes, your dog must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet except when inside a vehicle, tent, dog crate, or portable kennel. Do not allow your dog to wander freely on a trail, campground, or picnic area. State, county, and federal laws apply when on National Forest System Lands. 36 CFR § 261.8d / 36 CFR § 261.16j
In addition, your dog must always wear a collar with current tags due to local regulations.
Yes, federal law requires owners to pick up after their dogs. Picking up dog waste is also just a common courtesy. Dog waste can spread disease to wildlife and it can contaminate water. 36 CFR § 261.11b / 36 CFR § 261.11d
Even if your dog poops off trail, the poop can negatively affect the surrounding environment. Most dogs eat nutrient-heavy pet foods and when they leave behind their waste, they are leaving behind nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. Excess of these nutrients in many ecosystems create unstable conditions and throw the ecosystem balance out of equilibrium.
Most trailheads have extra doggy bags available for the public, but if there aren't any, you can deposit pet waste in a 6-8'' deep hole at least 200 feet (70 big steps) away from any water sources.
No, state and county laws prohibit animal cruelty and abandonment. You can confine your dog in a suitable crate or in a portable kennel, but you must remain present. Also, on warm days, remember to place the kennel or crate in the shade.
Never leave your dog alone in a car; in desert heat, a car heats up quickly and can kill your pet.
An occasional bark can be expected. But dogs that bark uncontrollably are even more annoying in a quiet wilderness setting than in an urban environment. If your dog barks uncontrollably, don't bring it camping with you.
In developed campgrounds, excessive noise after 10:00 p.m. is prohibited. A barking dog after hours in a campground will attract the ire of other campers and can get its owner a hefty citation. 36 CFR § 327.12b
While a dog may drink from a stream, you should always carry enough clean water for your dog. It is not advisable to let a dog drink from a stagnant body of water. Don't allow your dog to forage or hunt.
No, the scent of food will attract wildlife. Secure all food in a vehicle with the windows rolled up or in a bear-proof container.
While your dog may alert to wildlife, their scent may also attract wildlife to your camp.
- Failure to have a dog on a leash can lead to a citation.
- Within developed recreation sites, you can be cited under 36 CFR § 261.16j.
- Within the rest of the forest, you can be cited under 36 CFR § 261.8d.