Pets Welcome At All Florida State Parks
It is almost that time of year - time for folks around the world to retreat from the cold and descend upon the Sunshine State.
For many, the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in the dead of winter is what attracts them to Florida. This is evidenced by the convoy of RVs and campers rolling down I-95 and I-75.
Our fair state is very accommodating to these adventure seekers wishing to camp with their pets. Domestic animals are permitted in all state parks.
Of course, there are some (mostly common sense) rules to follow. According to FloridaStateParks.org:
• Pets are not allowed in any state park cabins
• Pets must be vaccinated against rabies (though owners are not required to show proof of vaccination)
• 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
• Pets that are tethered at a campsite cannot be left unattended for more than 30 minutes
• Pets may not be tied to trees, bushes, tables or shelter facilities even when the owners are present
• Pets must be well-behaved at all times
• Pets must be confined in the owner's camping unit during park quiet hours, 11 PM - 8 AM
• Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles
• Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed 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
It is important to be cognizant of inherent dangers facing camping pets in warm climates. For example, it can get pretty hot in Florida, even during the winter. Make sure your pet is kept cool at all times and has access to shaded areas.
Also, be sure your pet has plenty of clean water at your campsite. And never, ever leave your pet in a parked car, even if you park in the shade. The temperature can quickly rise inside a car, even with the windows cracked. Dogs and cats do not sweat - they can easily become overheated and suffer from heat exhaustion. This is a very serious condition and can lead to death.
Most of the campgrounds in Florida State Parks accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 11 months in advance. For a list of Florida State Parks and information on how to reserve space, please visit FloridaStateParks.org.
Jodi Ziskin, our Traveling with Pets Editor, is a Holistic Nutrition & Wellness Specialist for Cats and Dogs. She is a Certified Pet Nutrition Consultant who also holds a Master of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. Her mission is to help cats and dogs live healthier and happier.
Through her company, Holistic Healthy Pets by Jodi Z, she educates pet parents in their home environment, via Skype/Facetime or by telephone on how to make the best holistic diet and lifestyle choices for their animal companions. Jodi and her husband Zach live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with their two cats, Obi and Emma. Please feel free to contact her at info[at]holistichealthypets.net or visit http://holistichealthypets.net/
Photo credit Ramon Cami