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Are Dogs Allowed in Cemeteries? (2024 Update)

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

White grave sites at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC

Are Dogs Allowed in Cemeteries? (2024 Update)

Today, there are many historic cemeteries to visit, and some even let you walk your dog along the paved paths of the grounds. It’s important to note that most cemeteries do not allow dogs inside the grounds, but there are a few that do. Whether or not a dog is allowed inside is completely up to the cemetery’s owner. Although most cemeteries don’t have contact numbers or websites, you can visit them without your dog to see if they have posted signs explaining their rules.


Which Cemeteries Allow Dogs?

The cemeteries that allow and prohibit dogs are too long to list. There are numerous cemeteries throughout the United States, but generally, most prohibit dogs and other pets. Cemeteries that allow canines usually prohibit them on the grass near the burial plots and implore visitors with leashed dogs to stay on paved paths.

dog beside a grave
Image Credit: Ken Solo, Shutterstock

Bonaventure Cemetery (Pet-Friendly) – Savannah, Georgia

Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the cemeteries that does allow dogs inside the grounds. Bonaventure has been named one of the 10 most beautiful cemeteries in the United States and was in the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” It is a pet-friendly cemetery, even though it is steeped in tradition. In fact, it’s one of the most popular parks for pet owners to bring their dogs to in Savannah, Ga, so make sure you visit when passing through.

There are rules to visiting the cemetery with your canine, so make sure you check out the website before taking your dog on a tour of Bonaventure.

Arlington National Cemetery (Service Animals Only) – Arlington, Virginia

As you may know, the Arlington National Cemetery’s main goal is to lay those to rest who have served the United States with honor and dignity. Therefore, the only types of dogs that are allowed inside the cemetery are service dogs. They also allow military working dogs. However, if you have neither of these and wish to visit the cemetery, you must leave your pet at home.

Riverside Cemetery – Ashville, North Carolina

Located in gorgeous Ashville, North Carolina, Riverside Cemetery also allows dogs inside the cemetery as long as they stay on the paved paths and are not destructive. You must always keep your dog leashed and can be asked to leave if the dog is a nuisance or destructive.

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Should You Walk Your Dog in a Cemetery?

While you might think that the dearly departed would appreciate a visit from your canine friend, most cemeteries follow a strict no-dogs policy for a very good reason. Without a no-dogs policy, dogs would have free reign of the grounds, and some would, unfortunately, defecate and urinate near the burial plots.

You need to follow the rules, keep your dog on a leash, and clean up after your pet if they do have to use the bathroom during your stroll through the headstones.

dog on a leash standing on grass
Image Credit: Tomasz_Mikolajczyk, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

While it’s true that most cemeteries in the United States have a strict no-dog policy, other than service dogs, a few allow you to bring your pup along. If you are thinking of walking your canine in the local cemetery, call and ask if it’s okay for the animal to be on the grounds. If it is, make sure that you follow all the cemetery’s rules and always respect the dead. Please keep your dog on a leash on the paved paths, and never let them use the bathroom on a grave or headstone.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: ZaGha Photography, Shutterstock

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