Here comes the pup, all dressed in white. Hear those wedding bells chime for the bride and groom at Cosmopolitan. (Photo: Alamy)
Las Vegas is well-known for its non-stop entertainment, but behind the neon lights, the city is really celebrated for its outstanding service industry. At hotels, casinos, restaurants and beyond, an army of behind-the-scenes staff work hard to ensure visitors — both two- and four-legged ones — have a good time in Sin City. As pets have become integral parts of our lives – an estimated 79.7 million families now own a pet – the city has opened its arms to these important family members. Discover where to enjoy your Las Vegas vacay with a pup, and explore the city’s myriad pet-friendly eateries, hotels and opportunities.
Pet-Friendly Places to Stay
If your plans are centered on celebration or entertainment you’ll want a hotel on the Strip. Several casino resorts offer pet-friendly rooms and welcome leashed dogs on their property and offer unique pet-focused packages, like The Cosmopolitan (rated one of the Top Hotels in the World by Conde Nast Traveler in 2015), which collaborates with BarkBox on canine amenities. And if Fido happens to find love in Las Vegas, the Cosmopolitan performs doggy weddings in its pop-up chapel.
If you’re in town attending a conference you might want to stay close to the convention center. The pet-friendly Residence Inn is across the street, within easy walking distance, so you can visit your furry travel partner over lunch.
Dogs are a common sight on the Strip, taking their owners out for a walk. But keep in mind that the Strip can be sensation overload, with lights, traffic, music and unusual people and some dogs could be overwhelmed. In that case ask your hotel if they have a small dog park, or can recommend a quieter street nearby. Guest service employees know the city well.
Things to Do with Fido in Tow
If your schedule is packed with human-only events, consider treating your pup to its own day out. Several local pet concierge services like Paws Up Pet Transport are happy to pick your pup up and drop it at a doggy day-camp, a groomer, or take it for a walk.
As more intrepid visitors soon learn, fun in Vegas isn’t limited to the Strip. One of the city’s most popular pet gatherings takes place just west of The University of Las Vegas at Rumor Hotel’s Yappy Hour. The third Thursday of every month party animals of all sizes meet up for drinks and off-leash mingling. Big Dog’s Draft House and Crown & Anchor also welcome leashed dogs while you enjoy socializing on their outdoor patio.
Satisfy Your (and Your Dog’s) Inner Fitness Buff
If working up a sweat is your style, the city is surrounded by opportunities for hiking, biking, and more with your pet. Red Rock, just off the western border of the city, is a gorgeous spot enjoy the desert rock formations and easy to moderate trails. Ice Box Canyon is a favorite spot during the hot summer months and Calico Peaks is popular anytime. If you are visiting during the hot season, roughly June-September, get outdoors in the early morning hours and pack more water than you’d ever think you need for both you and your pup.
Las Vegas has an active fitness community and while you travel Paws & Boot Camp can help you keep up with your training regimen. Owner/dog group workouts are scheduled each weekday morning and evening, and private sessions are available by appointment. On their website they also maintain a list of unique races and workouts you can do with your dog including the Badass Dash mud run.
Hitting the Town — and Desert
To experience the desert terrain on wheels book a tour with American Adventure Tours. Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome on their ATV and dirt bike tours.
When it’s time to just get out for a stroll both the Las Vegas Town Square and Las Vegas Premium Outlets were designed with dogs in mind Many stores put out water bowls and leashed pups are welcome in the common areas. There are several shuttles from the Strip hotels to shopping areas, but check ahead to ensure your pet is allowed to ride.
After a shopping trip, grab an Uber and head over to one of the city’s 26 dog parks to let Spike burn off some energy and sniff to his heart’s delight. Sunset Park is the city’s largest, close to the Strip, and includes a large and small dog parks, fishing, and Frisbee golf.
Dining with Dogs
While a full meal at a celebrity owned restaurant on the Strip is an iconic part of the Vegas experience, the rest of the city also holds an enviable choice of eateries. Just north of the Strip lies Las Vegas’ downtown, home to the Fremont Street Experience and historic casinos. Revitalized by the Downtown Community Project, the area boasts a thriving arts scene and casually cool restaurants and shops. Many include outdoor patios areas enjoyable nearly year-round, where furry friends are welcome to nap at your feet or beg for a bite while you eat.
Just south of the Strip the Double Helix Wine and Whiskey Bar is a casual-hip spot for drinks and appetizers while Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar boasts a nearly 1,800 square foot patio, and a menu designed to welcome pups. Both are located in the easily walkable, peaceful ambiance of Town Square Shopping Center.