Spotlight: Arizona

A desert oasis for you and your dog

By Si Si Penaloza


Love traveling with your dog? While some breeds dive into your back seat like a randy teenager on prom night, others are a bit more reticent about leaving familiar sights and smells. We already know that properly acclimating your pet can make or break a trip and this is especially true when heading to the deserts of Arizona.

With its hot and dry environment, seasonal thunderstorms, spiny plants and various venomous vermin, the desert can raise a few challenges for pets. If you enjoy hiking with your dog, make sure he or she is in good physical condition. Pack extra water for your pooch, along with a portable water bowl and cold damp towels stored in a plastic bag. Give your dog ample rest time in the shade no matter how well-conditioned they are. The wet towels come in handy if they begin to pant heavily or show signs of distress. Remember that dogs and cats can get sunburned too, especially those with short hair on their ears and nose, so keep them out of direct sun at peak hours. A southwestern holiday with your favorite furry companion holds many rewards, as long as you’re heat-savvy and stay at the right pet-friendly hotel.

Four Seasons Scottsdale | Scottsdale, AZ


The Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale reigns supreme when it comes to welcoming pets. Whether your pooch prefers pampering, playing sports, or tagging along for a night out, the hotel is packed with pet-friendly hot spots. Holiday bonding opportunities abound, supported by a staff that genuinely puts pets on a pedestal; it’s a team effort that really shines through. The camaraderie of being around fellow dog enthusiasts puts that extra magic in your stay. They clearly have this dog-loving lifestyle down pat. The rewards from this kind of reception are palpable; a moody dog suddenly shows a spring in his step, while a high-strung pup is soothed and relaxed. They come in anxious at being away from their home turf, but are soon catered to with immediate affection. You can’t put a price on this kind of service.

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Cradled by the golden foothills of Pinnacle Peak and framed by towering, centuries-old saguaro cacti, the Four Seasons Scottsdale mindfully channels the desert’s beauty by engaging the specialized talents of regional artisans in every detail. With a stunning location, cool adobe casitas and a landscape made for moonlight, this is by far the most scenic and romantic hotel in the area. By day, your senses will be stimulated by the vibrant desert greens and bougainvillea blossoms in a riot of crimson and peach. As the temperature dips at night, your dog will enjoy curling up by your side next to the rustic wood fireplace – and all will be well in the world. The Four Seasons is definitely a place to revel in every wish and whim. Take a guided hike up Pinnacle Peak or enjoy a complimentary stargazing tour every Friday night.


The Phoenician | Scottsdale, AZ


The Forbes five-star Canyon Suites at the Phoenician continues to personalize the resort experience for all guests with its expanded dog-friendly program. New complimentary features include Canyon Suites’ plush dog bedding and signature bowls, along with whimsical bone-shaped mats. Through a savvy partnership with local favorite Oh My Dog!, a welcome gift is presented to each canine, including a natural treat — such as a “Bark Jacobs” shoe cookie — and an eco-healthy toy. For an additional fee you can book a canine massage, private photo shoot, nighttime tuck-in service and more.

Canyon Suites pooches have been drooling for the new room service menu, created and prepared in-house by the Phoenician’s award-winning culinary team. The bill of fare features such delectable selections as Puppy Poppers (grilled chicken bits in natural juices); Slobbering Salmon (from Skuna Bay, served with brown rice); Canine Casserole (turkey, carrots, green beans and brown rice) and for dessert, Pawsickles (Greek yogurt, fruit and carrots). Through a partnership with the Arizona Humane Society, 10% of room service sales will be donated to the organization to aid homeless, ill and injured animals.

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The partnership has been a great success. Earlier this month, the Arizona Humane Society provided several exquisite “models” for a photo shoot to promote the Canyon Suites’ expanded dog-friendly program. Taking part in the project was Buster, a 5-year-old Yorkshire Terrier; Gracie, a 1-year-old Soft Coat Wheaten Terrier; and Dotty, a 1-year-old Poodle mix. Naturally, the models quickly went from photo shoot to forever homes.


The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa | Phoenix, AZ


At the Westin Kierland, the staff just gets it when it comes to our best friends. They go above and beyond to ensure your pet’s experience is just as divine as yours. You know that your Westin Heavenly Bed was worth every penny when you can’t keep your dog off it! If there’s one thing discerning dogs know, it’s mattress quality. So imagine our delight at the Kierland Companion’s Club offerings, which include a complimentary Westin Heavenly Dog Bed during your stay, as well as posh doggy dishes that you’ll want to take home too. The stylish dog bed comes with luxury bedding that includes over-sized pillows. It fits the decor perfectly, synching up with the design of the human beds!

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The Westin Kierland has made every effort to anticipate pet owners’ needs and provides crates, pre-filled fresh litter boxes, and get this – convenient special park access. A designated pet walking/potty area complete with poop bags and garbage receptacles is perfect for pet travelers. Additional pet-related items are for sale at the Toonverville 66 Trading Post, located on the second floor.


L’Auberge de Sedona | Sedona, AZ

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L’Auberge de Sedona welcomes guests and their extended family in their stylishly rustic cottages. Nearby you’ll find scenic trails to take four-legged friends for an adventurous hike offering picturesque views of the creek, canyons and area attractions such as Cathedral Rock. On site, L’Auberge offers a range of pet-friendly services and amenities including dog beds of various sizes, food and water bowls, a goodie bag with a toy, treats and clean-up bags, plus a map of nearby walking trails. The Red Rocks and Ruff Package is designed especially for canines, and includes a gift bag of “Pet Pawducts” from Whiskers Barkery, a Cain & Able dog robe, a one-night stay in a Garden Cottage, $50 food and beverage credit toward the L’Auberge restaurant situated on Oak Creek, doggie food and bowls in-room during hotel stay. Sounds pawfect!

So what are you waiting for? Arizona is ready for your ultimate pet-friendly desert getaway.