Dogs (almost) playing poker: Pets welcome at many Vegas hotels

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At the Cosmopolitan, dogs under 25 pounds are permitted to spend the night for $50 per animal.
At the Cosmopolitan, dogs under 25 pounds are permitted to spend the night for $50 per animal.
Sarah Feldberg
Sarah Feldberg

When artist C.M. Coolidge created his series of iconic paintings, “Dogs Playing Poker,” to advertise cigars in the early 1900s, he likely didn’t imagine dogs actually strutting through the doors of elegant casinos and popular resorts. But while pups still can’t pull up a chair in Las Vegas poker rooms — the lack of thumbs would make playing cards pretty tough — dogs are now being welcomed at many properties up and down the Strip.

The latest to admit canine companions is the Tropicana, which in June began allowing up to two dogs per room with a combined weight of no more than 50 pounds for no additional fee.

At the Cosmopolitan, dogs under 25 pounds are permitted to spend the night for $50 per animal and greeted with a BarkBox containing a collapsible water bowl, a nonsqueaking toy and various chews and treats. There’s an outdoor dog area on property, and dogs must be kenneled when left unattended in the room.  

Caesars Entertainment rolled out its PetStay program in late 2010, now available at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Paris Las Vegas, the Flamingo, Harrah’s, Bally’s, the Rio, the Linq, the Cromwell and Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace. Considered a room upgrade, up to two dogs of 50 pounds or less are permitted, and must be crated when alone in the room. The resorts provide pet owners amenities like food and water bowls, treats and waste bags, with crates available to rent and directions to nearby dog walks in welcome packets.

At CityCenter, Vdara launched the V-Dog program, which caters to guests and their canine companions with a two-dog and 70-pound maximum combined weight limit.

“We implemented the V-Dog program about two years ago, and it has been incredibly successful,” said Vdara General Manager Mary Giuliano. “We’ve found that more and more guests prefer to travel with their canine companions and Vdara, a nongaming, nonsmoking, boutique hotel with a beautiful dog park, is an ideal setting for dog lovers.”

Pups receive waste bags and all-natural snacks from a local bakery at check-in for one of the specific dog-friendly Deluxe Suites. “We understand that not all guests enjoy dogs or are perhaps allergic. That’s why we have dedicated rooms on particular floors for those with pets,” added Giuliano. “This means that all our guests are comfortable during their stay, even our four-legged friends.”

Dog owners can make use of Vdara’s outdoor dog area 24/7. Crates are available, and pet-sitting can also be arranged for an additional fee. There’s even a menu of pet-friendly dishes available for in-room dining, like Chicken a la Coop with hormone-free chicken and brown rice.

The Delano, which opened in 2014, takes things one step further with its dog-friendly suites, where two dogs with a combined weight of 100 pounds can make themselves comfortable for $75 per animal per night. The regular rules apply regarding crates and solo room time, but the Delano also offers a full selection of doggie butler services and a menu of “Doggie Delights” dishes. For fees from $25 to $65, guests can book Fido a quick bathroom break, a leisurely stroll or an hour-long session that includes a 40-minute walk, fresh food and water, and brushing. Canine room service options include the Pooch Pattie, an eight-ounce Wagyu hamburger with vegetables and white rice ($13), and a broiled chicken breast with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes ($14).

There may not be dogs playing poker on the Strip yet, but there plenty of ways for guests to pamper their pets.

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