Last Updated 4/23/22
WOOF, is Las Vegas dog-friendly? Are you thinking of traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada with your dog? Perk up your ears to this post!
Known for world-class casinos and resorts, upscale nightclubs, celebrity chefs, and Elvis impersonators, Las Vegas makes a crazy Hangover-ish weekend getaway for West Coasters or a thrilling weeklong holiday for Europeans and Australians. Located in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas a.k.a. the Entertainment Capital of the World is a frequented destination for nearly all Californians, whether you rest your paws in Northern or Southern California. Hence, as native Californians, my humans have visited Sin City a whopping 30+ times and brought me along 5 times so far, including a one-month-long stay. Before you book a trip with your dog to hit those slots, sniff out what you need to know about Las Vegas’ dog-friendly culture:
The Las Vegas Strip is NOT so dog-friendly
Unfortunately, playing tourist with your dog is not ideal on the Las Vegas Strip, which is the city’s most famous attraction that draws millions of visitors from all over the world each year. The illuminating lights, 24-hour access to alcohol, sounds from endless rows of slot machines, and the inescapable EDM music from various corners – the Vegas Strip is stimulating to bark the least. Shortly after my first furry visit to Las Vegas, I learned that the city passed an ordinance to ban dogs on the Strip to prevent panhandlers from keeping dogs in the summer heat. Besides the fact that dogs are NOT allowed to walk on the Strip from noon to 5 am (from Sahara Avenue to Sunset Road, and from 200 yards on each side of Las Vegas Boulevard – 7 miles), the Strip is raunchy, filled with screaming, stumbling drunks and blasting music. During the hours from 5 am to noon (before the rowdiness returns), dogs can walk on the Strip but must be on a leash 3 ft or shorter.
Even if you plan on carrying your dog during those hours, the Strip’s strategic over-stimulation can still be distressing for your dog (and his or her ears), especially if exposed for a long time. With that said, it should be okay if you’re just passing through rather quickly with your dog. The same goes for Old Las Vegas on Fremont Street, which is part of Downtown Las Vegas (DTLV). Although there technically isn’t a legal ban on dogs like the Strip, the foot traffic and noise can still be a stressful environment for your dog, especially if you’re planning to spend some time exploring the area.
Second-hand smoke is almost unavoidable on the Strip
In addition to the Strip’s dog walking ban and ubiquitous debauchery, it’s quite difficult to avoid second-hand smoke, in which long-term exposure can be detrimental to your dog’s health (and yours). Limiting your adventure indoors with your dog doesn’t necessarily stop the exposure as smoking is allowed INSIDE casino resort properties, which boast their own set of shops and restaurants. Just a side note: Dogs are generally NOT allowed inside casinos (unless you’re merely passing through) although many casinos on the Strip may have a more lenient enforcement policy.
The summer heat is utterly DANGEROUS for dogs
Considering Las Vegas is in the Mojave Desert, you can only imagine the scorching heat that creeps through the city over the summer. From June to September, high 90s F and often triple-digit temperatures often take over the days, and sometimes even the evenings. For small dogs predisposed to collapsed trachea like me, the unbearable heat only causes the condition to flare up and exacerbates coughing attacks. However, even for my furry pals without any respiratory conditions, the high temperatures can cause heat strokes, burn paws, and kill even the healthiest dogs. Therefore, if you take your dog to Las Vegas, be sure to avoid the summer months; I find that the most comfortable weather is usually in the late Fall or early Spring.
Outdoor Dining on the Strip with Your Dog is a Hit or Miss
Dining on the Las Vegas Strip with your dog can be tricky! Even restaurants with outdoor patios have flat out denied my entry. And, the ones that reluctantly allowed me REFUSED to give me a small bowl of water after my humans pleaded. From my furry escapades in the city over the years, I’d bark loudly that the higher end restaurants on the strip seem to enforce a stricter, by-the-book dog policy while casual, lower-end restaurants are more laxed with dog diners. Heck, I’ve even dined indoors at quite a few restaurants off the strip without nasty glares or questions. As the law permits restaurants to decide whether or not dogs are allowed on their outdoor patios, I sense that restaurants OFF THE STRIP are generally more dog-friendly (or more lenient with their dog policy).
You CAN Shop with Your Dog
In terms of shopping on the Strip, bringing your dog into high-end retail stores and souvenir shops is generally not an issue given that your dog is clean and well-behaved (and food and drinks are not sold on premise). That’s right – I’ve been greeted with many smiles and gentle pets. However, some places may still have a (rarely enforced) corporate policy for only allowing service dogs, which means it’s usually up to the discretion of the staff. Hence, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to leave or stopped at the door. 10/22/21 Update: With over 250 shops, 8 department stores, and 25 eateries, the massive Fashion Show Mall is officially dog-friendly! On National Make it a Dog’s Day, this paw-bulous property on the end of the Strip open its doors to furry shoppers and even hosted an adoption event to celebrate. WOOF-HOOO! If you wanna shop on the Strip with your dog without any stress or dirty looks, Fashion Show Mall is THE SPOT.
Other dog-friendly shopping venues (OFF THE STRIP):
Town Square (6605 S Las Vegas Blvd.)
Las Vegas Premium Outlets (North: 875 S Grand Central Pkwy. South: 7400 Las Vegas Blvd. S.)
The District at Green Valley Ranch (2240 Village Walk Drive Henderson, NV)
Pet-Friendly Hotel Fees on the Strip can be pricey
Since the Las Vegas Strip is known for some of the world’s largest luxurious 4 or 5-star hotel resort properties, you gotta be ready to fork out some cash to house your dog there. Of course, you can book at dog-friendly Motel 6 for a quarter of the price or an Airbnb without those hefty daily resort fees, but one of the best parts about Vegas is their iconic, top of the line hotels that dominate the Strip. Although not all of Vegas’ famous hotels allow dogs, grand dog-friendly accommodations are relatively easy to find – if you’re willing to pay extra. There is currently only ONE hotel on the Strip that doesn’t charge extra for your dog’s stay, and that is NoMad (located in Park MGM 3772 S Las Vegas Blvd). Here is my list of sniff-worthy hotels on (or near) the Strip:
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – 50.00 USD per dog per night, up to 2 dogs. My favorite hotel in Las Vegas! This posh, classy hotel also offers 2 outdoor dog runs and a complimentary all-natural PupJoy gift box to welcome your furry friend. Dogs are technically NOT allowed in restaurants, food and beverage areas, the casino floor, gaming areas, pool area, or fitness center (although the policy is not always readily enforced).
Caesar’s Entertainment Hotels – Up to 2 dogs weighing 50 lbs or less are allowed under the PetStay program, covering all hotels operated by Caesar’s Entertainment Group in Las Vegas. Dogs ARE allowed to walk through designated common areas while on-leash and accompanied by their humans. Pet Relief Areas are also on the properties. They also provide a welcome package with food, water dishes, mats, poop bags, and treats!
Just a bark that these hotels require a nightly refundable 100.00 incidental (security) deposit in addition to the dog fee.
Caesar’s Palace – 100.00 USD per night
Planet Hollywood – 75.00 USD per night
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (off the strip) – 85.00 USD per night
Harrah’s Las Vegas – 75.00 USD per night
Paris Las Vegas – 85.00 USD per night
The Cromwell – 100.00 USD per night
Bally’s Las Vegas – 75.00 USD per night
Linq Hotel + Experience – 75.00 USD per night
Flamingo Las Vegas – 75.00 USD per night
MGM Resorts – Up to 2 dogs allowed with a maximum combined weight of less than 100 lbs. Doggie butler services (dog sitting, walking, check-in) available for additional fees! Dogs are not allowed in public areas except passing through.
NoMad – Dogs stay FREE!
MGM Grand – 100.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 150.00 USD per dog per night for suites
The Signature at MGM Grand – 100.00 USD per dog per night
The Mirage – 100.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 150.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Bellagio – 125.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 175.00 USD per dog per night for suites
New York-New York – 50.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 100.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Vdara (off the strip) – 100.USD per dog per night for rooms, 150.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Mandalay Bay – 100.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 150.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Park MGM – 100.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 150.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Luxor – 50.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 100.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Excalibur – 50.00 USD per dog per night for rooms, 100.00 USD per dog per night for suites
Trump International (off the strip) – 50.00 USD per stay (THIS IS A STEAL!!!)
Dogs are NOT allowed in the pool area
Although dogs are technically NOT allowed in the pool area, a few hotels may make exceptions or simply lax in enforcement during slow season. At a 4-star resort, I’ve been warmly welcomed into their trendy pool area and invited into the fitness center. It ultimately depends on the staff of the hour!
Besides my humans’ private vehicle, I’ve also ridden on Uber and Lyft in the city. To date, I haven’t experienced any issues with rideshare drivers, even when I’m outside of my carrier. Small dogs are also allowed on public buses as long as they’re inside a carrier.
Is Las Vegas dog-friendly? The Bottom Line!
OK – if Las Vegas doesn’t seem so dog-friendly, why have my humans taken me there more than once? As world nomads, we do NOT travel as ambitious tourists who must hit up the top 10 attractions within 72 hours. We enjoy the art of slow travel so we can experience each destination like locals. Sure, you may see pictures of me posing with slot machines and hanging out on the Strip, but the truth is that I’m usually just passing through (and am never inside a casino for more than 5-10 minutes straight). Bottom line – the Las Vegas Strip isn’t so dog-friendly, but there are parts of the city that are. If you can keep your dog relaxed and happy in a comfortable hotel room with at least 2-3 walks daily (not in the scorching heat, of course), then go for it! And, if you opt for a luxurious stay on the Strip like I have, then please make sure that the hotel has dog relief areas since, again, dogs can only walk on the Strip from 5 am to noon (on a 3-ft or shorter leash). Avoid visiting Las Vegas with your dog from June to September, when the temperatures can climb up to triple digits. If you want to take your dog everywhere with you, then you’re better off going off the Strip! Keep sniffing below for some suggestions.
Watch me celebrate Lunar New Year at Bellagio:
Off the Strip Dog-Friendly Activities
GRRR, so you’re probably getting the idea that the Las Vegas Strip isn’t so dog-friendly, but what about the rest of the city? For dog parks and dog-friendly hikes, you’ll have to go off the Strip. And WOOF, there’s more to Las Vegas than the Strip, but you’ll most likely need a car as the city is not so walkable. Also, bear in mind that homelessness and litter are quite noticeable throughout some parts of the city. Here are a few paw-pular dog-friendly spots off the Strip:
Charlie Frias Park (4801 S. Decatur Boulevard) – Near Excalibur, this is a pawsome 32-acre park with canyon and mountain views and two dog parks.
Town Square – (6605 S Las Vegas Blvd) – Near McCarran International Airport, this 93-acre shopping district welcomes all leashed dogs. At this fantastic shopping and entertainment center, your dog will sniff out water stations, poop bags, and dog-friendly grass areas. Most restaurants also have dog-friendly patios: Lazy Dog (offering a dog menu), Brio Tuscan Grille, CPK, Crazy Pita, Loco Cantina, and more!
Downtown Summerlin (1980 Festival Plaza Drive) – Approximately 20 minutes by car from the Strip, Downtown Summerlin is a 106-acre dog-friendly outdoor shopping and strolling area in the 400-acre development, Summerlin. Dog-friendly restaurants include Lazy Dog Cafe (yes, again), Grape Street Cafe, CPK, Andiron Steak & Sea, and many more.
Western Trails Park (7355 S Rogers St) – With a giant shade that comes in handy on hot summer days, this is a 7-acre neighborhood park near the Strip with a well-maintained clean grass area.
Sunset Park (2601 E Sunset Rd.) – One of the largest parks in the city! Located on the eastern end of McCarran International Airport, this regional park has numerous dog-friendly walking and running trails and a dog park.
Dog-Friendly Hikes and Recreation Areas:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Desert Breeze Park (8275 W. Spring Mountain Road)
Lorenzi Park (3333 W. Washington Ave.)
Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs (9200 Tule Springs Road)
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
Lake Las Vegas – Dogs are even welcome to take a dip with supervision!
*Don’t forget to clean up after your dog. 🙂
WOOF, hope you enjoy your trip to Las Vegas with your dog! If you’ve decided NOT to take your dog to Las Vegas, take a long sniff at these dog-friendly destinations.
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob