Florida State Parks Pet Policy

A boy enjoying Lake Kissimmee State Park with his dog

Domestic pets are welcomed in many Florida State Parks. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park and Egmont Key State Park. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the park directly. 

Whenever you are traveling with a pet, follow the BARK Ranger guidelines:

  • Bag your pet's waste.
  • Always use a leash.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Know where you can go.

Following these practices will help to protect our parks, wildlife and your pet! 

Pets are not permitted on beaches, boardwalks or playgrounds, or in bathing areas, cabins, park buildings or concession facilities. Individual parks may have specific areas prohibiting pets. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the park directly.

Service Animal Policy

Florida's state parks welcome visitors with service animals. Service animals are “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities,” according to the Revised Americans with Disabilities Act Service Animal Requirements. Our Pet Policy applies to service animals with the following exemptions:

  1. Service animals in a working capacity are allowed in all public areas of the park when accompanied by a visitor with a disability; and,
  2. Service animals should be harnessed, leashed or tethered unless such devices interfere with the service animal’s work, or if the visitor’s disability prevents the use of these devices. In that case, the visitor must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective commands.

Pet Camping Rules

For everyone's enjoyment, including pets, please observe the following pet camping rules. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the camper being asked to board the pet outside the park or check out of the campground. Pets are not allowed in any state park buildings, cabins or cabin areas.

  • All pets must be confined, leashed, or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Leashes may not exceed six feet in length. This rule does not apply to horses and pack animals brought in for equestrian trail use.
  • Pets must be well-behaved at all times and observe BARK Ranger guidelines.
  • In campgrounds, pets must be confined in the owner's camping unit during designated quiet time hours, 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • At other times, pets may be left unattended on the owner's campsite for no more than 30 minutes and must be leashed or contained.
  • Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet waste in trash receptacles.
  • Pets that are noisy, vicious, dangerous, disturbing or intimidating to other persons or pets, or which damage park resources, are considered to be nuisances and will not be permitted to remain in the park.
  • Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds or fish, must be confined or under the physical control of the owner. Some animals may be prohibited on park property. Captive wild species, whether native or non-native and barnyard animals, except horses, are prohibited.
  • The number of pets allowed per visitor varies by park depending on the campsite types and buffer zones available, but shall not exceed four.
  • Dogs, cats and other pets must be vaccinated as per Chapter 828, F.S. Florida Law. Owners do not need written proof of vaccination when registering to camp.
  • Equestrians are required, upon request, to provide proof of negative Coggins test (EIA test) for each horse on areas administered by the division in accordance with F.A.C. 5C-18.010, 5C-18.011. This policy also applies to miniature horses that are service animals.
  • Pets are not allowed at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park because of the captive wildlife. The park provides complimentary kennels at the main entrance of the park on US 19 for those visitors traveling with pets. They are self-service and free. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park where visitors are normally allowed.

Pet Safety

Use the tips below for healthier and happier travels with your pets.

  • Be sure to keep your pet cool. Florida weather varies year-round, but can always include high temperatures, even in the winter.
  • Be sure to have plenty of water available, especially when leaving the campsite with your pet.
  • Never leave your pets in a parked car, even if the windows are open or if you are parked in the shade.