Greater Phoenix Has Plenty to Wag About

Dog-friendly accommodations, off-leash parks help make city one of the nation’s top 10 destinations for travelers with pets

Remember Snoopy’s cactus-loving cousin Spike? Turns out he’s not the only dog who feels right at home in the desert.

According to the American Automobile Association, Greater Phoenix is one of the best cities in the nation to travel with your dog. Thanks to its 64 AAA-rated pets-are-welcome accommodations, as well as its wealth of off-leash dog parks and accredited animal hospitals, Phoenix came in at No. 5 in a national ranking of pet-friendly destinations in the new edition of Traveling with your Pet: The AAA PetBook.

Greater Phoenix’s pet-friendly lodging isn’t just limited to hotel and motel chains. Among the area’s world-class resorts that welcome four-legged guests are the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa and The Phoenician. The former is a Frank Lloyd Wright architectural masterpiece that has been visited by every president from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, and the latter is Five Diamond-rated resort that features 250 acres of gardens, fountains and manicured lawns, and is home to a $25 million art collection.

Other high-end retreats that welcome pets include Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, and Wigwam Resort & Golf Club.

As for dog parks, Greater Phoenix has more than 20 – including two at Sky Harbor International Airport that allow for four-legged stretching before and after flights. Cosmo Park, in Gilbert, is lighted and features a lake and two pet-wash stations. The park is named for Gilbert’s first police dog, Cosmo van Blitsaerd of Holland.

Greater Phoenix is also home to several boutiques that cater to pets. Most offer upscale pet products and “human-grade” treats, and some provide spa-inspired grooming experiences. For example, at Posh Pet Boutique and SPAw in Scottsdale, the grooming room features a water fountain, aromatherapy candles and “Dog Dreams” music.

It all goes to show that being treated like a dog in Greater Phoenix is better than being treated like a king anywhere else.

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