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6 reasons why Grand Canyon officials are begging hikers not to bring their dogs

If you're planning on going on a hike at the Grand Canyon, make sure your dog isn't with you.
Credit: 12 News

GRAND CANYON, Arizona — The Grand Canyon National Park welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes, but just not on the trails.

The Grand Canyon's Facebook page made it clear with several reasons on why dogs aren't allowed below the rim on inner canyon trails, on Sunday. 

While many people may get the idea to bring their beloved pet dogs on a trail for a fun hike, the national park warns that it can quickly turn from an enjoyable moment to a dangerous situation. 

Here are six reasons why your dog should not be your hiking buddy at the Grand Canyon. 

It's illegal

According to the U.S. National Park Service, it's prohibited for any pets to be below the canyon's rim, on any park shuttle buses, or in-park lodging unless it's a pet-friendly room.

Trail paths can be rough

Since dogs don't have hiking boots like humans, the hot and rocky trails can be hazardous for their paws. The park said the ground can sometimes reach as high as 180 degrees. 

The park suggests holding the palm of your hand to the ground for seven full seconds and if you can't, then it's too hot for your dog to walk on.

Hikes can become too long 

Park officials said it's easy for hikers to descend too deep into the Grand Canyon and end up on a way more intense hike than what was intended. Many dogs aren't able to handle extremely long hikes and officials do not suggest carrying them.

It's too hot

While humans are able to sweat and stay cool with enough hydration, dogs aren't as lucky. Dogs can easily overheat especially with little to no shade in the Grand Canyon after 10 a.m.

There are other people

While you're sure to love your furry friend, there are other people who aren't fond of dogs and may not react well, or vice versa, especially since the Grand Canyon can get very crowded and busy.

There are other animals

Officials said encounters with dogs and the many mule trains that go through the canyon can turn dangerous. Other wildlife such as mule deer, bighorn sheep, squirrels and even coyotes don't mix well with dogs, the park said.

The Grand Canyon does, however, allow dogs and other leashed pets on trails above the north and south rim, in the Yavapai Lodge, which has the only pet-friendly rooms and at the South Rim Kennel.

Service animals are allowed below the rim if they are assisting their humans with disabilities. Emotional support animals are not permitted. Those with service animals must check in with the Backcountry Information Center.

Visit the Grand Canyon's website for more information on the park's pet policies.

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