Stay-cations for you and your dog

Is it time to sneak away with the dog to a Phoenix or Scottsdale resort and take advantage of some of their summer deals?

Does it get to 120 in the shade in Phoenix? Heck yes!

Happy Dog Phoenix has already done the homework for you; we have a handy-dandy list of pet-friendly resorts in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Sedona.

But beware: It pays to do some homework beforehand. Some resorts say they are dog friendly but what they really mean is “We are friendly to the extra bucks you must fork over to us to have your dog stay with us. Have a stale dog biscuit on us.’’

We randomly selected seven Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson resorts and checked on their sites or called their staff to figure how much it really cost to have the dog stay there.

Resorts were selected by placing a list of resorts in the path of our assistant, Miss Beagle, and having her walk over the piece of paper. Names closest to where she walked were selected. Science, that’s how we roll, at HDP.


Name Fees Weight restrictions for dogs Limit on number of dogs
The Boulders $100 flat fee 75 pounds
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess $25 fee per day None None
FireSky None None None
Hotel Palomar None None None
Loews Ventana Canyon $100 fee None None
Omni Montelucia $100 fee per dog 30 pounds None
Wigwam Resort $25 fee per dog per day None None but if you leave the room, you must kennel the dog


Some resorts say they charge deposits. But what they mean to say is that they charge non-refundable deposits, which is just the same as a fee.

But some places seem genuinely happy to have dogs there. They offer special beds, treats and lists of nearby dog-friendly places.

At Hotel Valley Ho, for example, pets stay free, with no restrictions on number or weight of dogs. Dogs’ swag bags include treats, a double-sided bowl for water and food, clean-up bags, and a ‘Pet in Room’ sign. The hotel’s grounds are great for a stroll and it is close to the Arizona Canal for a longer walk if weather permits.

Just remember to ask some questions before selecting a resort and all of you, including Fido, can have a great break from the summertime heat. See you all for cocktails!



Downtown Dogs

short leash Your dog, faithful and loyal creature that she is, is still rooting for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The rest of us are wondering if we can just default on the season and wave the white flag of surrender.

But you can make your dog happy by taking her to a baseball Sunday afternoon at the ol’ ballpark.

The Arizona Diamondbacks is having Bark in the Park, where you can bring your dog in and watch the ballgame at Chase Field. It is a lot of fun and having the dogs there may be the only way the D’backs can salvage anything out of this season.

You can salvage the outing by stopping by Short Leash Hot Dogs Sit and Stay while you and the dog are in downtown Phoenix. Short Leash Hot Dogs offers hot dogs so superior to ballpark franks it is not even funny. There’s no mystery meat, no wimpy stale buns or condiments that come out of gallon drums. My personal fave is the Igby, a hot dog topped with coleslaw and bbq sauce and blue cheese, wrapped in warm flatbread. Yum yum yum yum yum.

Is this place dog friendly?

The Igby is named after the owner’s dog.  As is the Oliver. Many of their concoctions are named after dogs and Short Leash runs a dog of the week contest so your little cutie can have a hot dog named after her.

No matter what the Diamondbacks do on the baseball field, you and the dog will both win at Short Leash—have fun tomorrow! Hot dogs not your thing – check out our other recommendations for dog friendly downtown Phoenix

Let’s go to San Diego

Hmmm, temperature in Phoenix for Thursday: 111; temperature in San Diego: 70.

Seems like it is time to pack up the dog and hit the road. Perhaps you already have!

Your dog, of course, will love going to San Diego since not only does it have such incredibly fine weather, it is also perennially named as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country.

The beaches are a big part of why San Diego gets such glowing reviews.

There are four dog beaches in the metro area. (Our book Happy Dog Phoenix has the list) And when we say dog beaches, we mean it. People are just as likely to pack up their dog to go to the beach as they are to get the cooler ready. Dogs are everywhere. In July, there’s a surf-dog competition; there are some surfing classes for your dog and near every dog-friendly beach is a dog wash where you can lather them up and hose them down.

Our favorite dog wash is Dog Beach Dog Wash (also known as OB Dog Wash). It’s the classic, opened in 1993, and known for very friendly employees and a fun laid-back atmosphere. That’s important because when you are washing a Rottweiler, it’s good to be mellow.

Another San Diego dog classic is: The Original Paw Pleasers. It offers fresh-baked treats and but my dog, like me, loves the ice cream.

One more San Diego classic is the historic Hotel del Coronado, which now welcomes small pets, and for those with bigger dogs, check out the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Looking for budget friendly as well as dog friendly? Head over to the Holiday Inn near Horton Plaza or there’s always La Quinta.

Ahhh, San Diego: five hours away and 40 degrees cooler. Can’t beat it.

Bark in the Park

dog at chase field

On Sunday, you get to take your dog to a ballgame in downtown Phoenix to see the Arizona Diamondback whip up on the Giants.

What dog doesn’t live baseball? Will the D-backs continue making a comeback of sorts? Will there be plunking? Can you catch a foul ball and watch your dog at the same time?

Ah, the drama…. and the hot dogs!

Want to make a day of it? Cooperstown and Phoenix Public Market welcome dogs on the patio, incase you and the pooch want to make a pit stop before the game. Or there’s always Short Leash Hot Dogs incase you didn’t get enough at the game.

For the other kind of  pit stops, there’s a grassy area located outside Chase Field’s Gate K (northeast entry) that is designated as an animal-relief area.


Get to Know a Pit Bull

Pit-Bull-MythsEducation can come at you from unexpected places.

One of the interviews I did for Happy Dog Phoenix was with Rodrigo Silva, head of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. And the interview was going fine with me asking him about how lost dogs are handled. And then we started talking about taking care of dogs. And I asked him what I thought was a dumb question “What do you think of people who ride their bikes and have their dogs run along side to keep up?’’

Silva’s eyes looked away for a minute and I could tell I had inadvertently struck a nerve.

My dumb question had reminded him of a dog he had loved and lost.

Turns out Silva had had a dog who ran with him as he rode his bike. It was the best way for the dog to burn off some of the never-exhausted energy of his. That dog, of course, was a pit bull.

Silva loved the dog. The dog’s confidence, strength and joy at life.

And then one day, someone poisoned Silva’s dog. He believes they did it because they were scared of the breed not just of his dog.

After Silva told me about this act of ignorant cowardice, we both just stopped for a moment, tears glistening in our eyes. And then we tried to compose ourselves and get back to the business of the interview.

On Saturday, on National Pit Bull Awareness Day, pit bull lovers will meet at Cosmo Dog Park to celebrate their dogs and help people learn more about these misunderstood dogs. It’s a chance to meet some really great dogs and get some education.