Assistance dogs in parks
Assistance dogs are welcome in Parks Victoria parks and reserves. Entry requirements apply for parks and reserves that are usually dog prohibited, such as national parks.
What are assistance dogs?
Assistance dogs are specially trained to enable people with a disability to participate in all aspects of society. They are trained for a range of purposes including assisting people who are blind or vision impaired, supporting children with autism and supporting people with mental health difficulties.
What are the entry requirements for taking assistance dogs into dog prohibited parks and reserves?
You do not need to notify anyone of your visit however, while in the park, handlers are required to carry evidence that the dog is an assistance dog. Types of evidence accepted are:
- Identification card issued for the animal by an accredited assistance dog training provider.
- A letter from the visitor’s medical practitioner stating that it is an assistance dog and what its purpose is.
- A state or territory government-issued public transport assistance animal pass.
The following park entry conditions also apply:
- The dog should have clear identification that it is an assistance dog. For example, wearing an assistance dog identification coat or harness.
- The dog must always be on a leash no more than 2 metres long and under strict control by the handler.
- The assistance dog must not frighten or endanger native wildlife or be aggressive towards other visitors.
- Assistance dogs must not be taken outside of designated visitor sites (e.g. picnic areas) and walking trails.
- Handlers must ensure that the dog meets behaviour and hygiene standards appropriate to public places. The animal will not be allowed park entry if it has an infectious disease that could impact on the health of the public or native animals. Any dog droppings are to be removed from the park and disposed of responsibly.
Before taking your assistance animal into national parks or other dog prohibited parks, it is recommended that you check the latest park information on potential hazards that may affect your dog e.g. fox baiting.