Two people visiting Yellowstone National Park have been caught on camera washing their dogs in a thermal pool. Luckily the water doesn't seem to be hot enough to scald the animal as they splash their paws and rump, despite the steam, but the risks are enormous.
Not only could the water been much hotter, thermal pools are often surrounded by only a thin crust, with scalding groundwater underneath. Less fortunate visitors have suffered severe burns after accidentally breaking through the surface.
The video (which you can watch below) was shot by another park visitor, Karissa Krull, and shared this week on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone. The account highlights bad and foolish behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty, and this has to be one of the worst so far
A photo posted by on
Some US National Parks are great for exploring with your pet (see our guide to the 8 best National Parks dogs for some suggestions), but Yellowstone isn't one of them due to its geothermal features and wildlife.
The National Park Service (NPS) explains that you may only bring your pets to developed areas, and they must stay within 100 feet (30.5 meters) of roads, parking areas, and campgrounds. They must be physically restrained at all times (using a leash or crate, for example) and must never be taken into the backcountry, on boardwalks, or in thermal areas. There are no exceptions, even if your dog is small enough to carry or push in a stroller.
Visitors must also look after their pet properly, never leaving it tied up alone, or without proper access to water, food, and shelter. You must also bag up and dispose of all their waste properly.
Qualified service dogs are allowed in the backcountry if restrained at all times, but even a well trained dog can accidentally spook wildlife, and service dog teams may have a greater risk of confrontation with bears, wolves, and other animals. Again, handlers should take care of their service dog's welfare and clean up after them.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.