Holiday Vacation Jackpot: Dog-Friendly Las Vegas

Contrary to its image as Sin City, Las Vegas has become a festive, fun holiday destination for people and their pets.

By | Posted: November 26, 2014, 11 a.m. PST

Each year around Thanksgiving my wife and I love to hit the road, traveling out of town to a place that will get us in the holiday mood and help us start checking items off our gift list for people and pets.

Our destination at the start of Thanksgiving week this year was Las Vegas, not a city you might immediately associate with Christmas or Thanksgiving. Of course it makes sense that ever-glittering Vegas knows how to do decorations, music and lights. And as a shopping, entertainment and dining destination, the Entertainment Capital of the World is unmatched.

Dog House

The Dog House boutique pet store at Town Square shopping center is a great place to shop for that special pooch on your Santa list. Photo by Ernie Slone.

But what sealed the deal for us is that Vegas now boasts some of the nation’s most pet-friendly resorts, right on the Strip. Much more than just hotels that let dogs stay in your room, these luxurious dog-loving spots really take pride in "putting the paw in paw-liday festivities.’’

They Had Us at Hello

Checking in to the chic, brand new Delano Las Vegas hotel, our terriers Gordon and Gypsy got a welcome goodie bag with a freshly made gourmet treat from a local bakery. They devoured those cookies with the gusto of a Black Friday shopper snatching up a steep discount. Chomp.

Delano, which just opened in September 2014 adjacent to Mandalay Bay resort, not only lets your dog stay in the room, but you can also leave your pup securely snoozing in her carrier or crate while you are out shopping, dining, gambling or taking in a show.

Gordon. photo by Ernie Slone 

 The Doggie Butlers at Delano Las Vegas hotel took "selfies’’ of Gordon to let us know he was having a great time during our stay. Photo from Ernie Slone.

That is a quantum leap forward in pet-stay policy, in my experience. A growing number of hotels will allow your pet in, but most require that you not leave the pet alone in the room. That can pose a problem when you want to go to dinner, go shopping, or take in many of the amenities that a city has to offer. (Confession here, I won a whole $5 gambling during our visit. Your results may vary.)

Feeling guilty about leaving your pet alone? Even better, the Delano resort offers a Doggie Butler Service. So while my wife and I enjoyed a fabulous feast at Aureole Las Vegas restaurant (the Grilled Mediterranean Branzino fish entree was amazing) we had arranged for a Doggie Butler to do a "Check-in and Checkup” on the dogs.

 Not only did Delano concierge Brian Solomon text us with a message during dinner confirming that all was well with our dogs back in the room, after one dog walk he even sent us a "selfie’’ to show us Gordon’s smiling face. Weird coincidence: We found out later that Brian was born at the same Southern California hospital where Gordon and Gypsy make therapy dog visits each week. What are the odds of that?

While we were out feasting, our pups could enjoy yummy dog meals including Pooch Patty, a wagyu hamburger with vegetables and then there is the Fetch of the Day, a seared fillet with sweet potatoes and vegetables.

Shop Til You Drop

While Vegas has few rules for party animals, you might be surprised to learn that there is a curfew on dogs: They can only be walked on the Vegas strip between the hours of 5 a.m. and noon.

No worries because you can take your dog to Town Square Las Vegas, a huge open air shopping, dining and entertainment center located at the south end of the Strip. Designed as a European village, this is a beautiful setting for shopping and dog walking, and was designed with pets in mind.

dog treats 

Dog-themed holiday treats were tempting at The Dog House boutique at Town Square. Photo by Ernie Slone.

Your pup is welcome in all common areas, and there are two parks with ornate tile drinking fountains and doggie bag relief stations, one of which boasts a huge Christmas tree. A number of the individual stores welcome pets with water and treats, and The Dog House pet store is a great place to find a gift for that special Man’s Best Friend on your Santa list.

Say Hello to Doggie Heaven

Our second stop in Vegas was Vdara Hotel & Spa, where the doggie welcome goodies included individual "V-Dog’’ blankets for Gordon and Gypsy, and this time a freshly baked dog treat was made in the shape of a gingerbread man. Too cute.

 Gypsy loved to watch the giant new High Roller ferris wheel lights from the panoramic view we had from our suite at Vdara Hotel & Spa. Photo by Ernie Slone.


Our terriers loved the V-Dog in-suite dining choices, especially the Chicken a la Coop, which is hormone-free baked chicken with whole grain brown rice. Crates are available on request but most impressive: there is not one but two adjacent private parks where you can exercise your dog. Memorial Park, within sight of the Strip, is for both people and pets, and then a dedicated V-Dog Dog Park lets your dogs run leash free. Gordon and Gypsy had a blast playing with a Beagle visitor.

Dog park las vegas 

Gordon and Gypsy check out the private off-leash dog park, one of two private parks at The Vdara Hotel & Spa, right off the Strip. Photo by Ernie Slone.

After exercise and walks at the parks, our terriers enjoyed a snooze in the room while my wife and I took in the holiday sights at Bellagio and Aria Resort and Casino, where we had an amazing dinner at Jean-Georges Steakhouse, followed by the acrobatic spectacle Zarkana, a heart-stopping Cirque du Soleil show.

When it comes to a great pet-friendly holiday getaway, Las Vegas is a sure thing.

Here are some of our favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit in Las Vegas:

  • During the holidays those fabulous Bellagio fountains play Christmas music
  • Don’t miss another free holiday treat, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. During our visit they boasted talking trees and whimsical Thanksgiving themed sculptures, with live musical performances each evening. Vist for more
Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens was a feast for the eyes, decked out in Thanksgiving themed plants and animated sculptures. Photo by Ernie Slone.

  • Visit Crystals at CityCenter, which is decked out with thousands of fresh flowers and giant lighted reindeer sculptures: 

Las Vegas

Crystals at CityCenter is decked out with thousands of fresh flowers and giant lighted holiday sculptures. Photo by Ernie Slone.

Learn more about the dog-friendly hotels we visited:

-More Editor Off-Leash-

More Winter Dog Travel



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