Atlantic City has gone to the dogs and everyone is thrilled.

For the first time, a boardwalk resort has rolled out the grass carpet… errr, red carpet for traveling canine companions.  Truman and I were looking for a short escape, so we took a ride to check out what is fun for four-legged friends and the people who love them.

“We started Pet Stay in our Las Vegas properties a few years ago and the response was fantastic,” said Joe Domenico of the Showboat, who has welcomed 36 dogs in the first week of the Pet Stay program.  “No question, Asbury Park has a beautiful beach but if you are looking for a quick and easy getaway, the Showboat is happy to welcome you and your dog.  I guarantee a walk on the beach first thing in the morning with your dog will give even the most frequent guest a new perspective of the city.”

The Showboat is as serious about welcoming canine companions as the Dog Whisperer is about hypnotizing an out-of-control

Showboat Room


For a $40 per night upgrade, the resort’s Pet Stay program takes care of everything pet owners usually have to worry about when we travel with our furry friends.  Rooms are equipped with an assembled crate, food bowls, appropriately sized pet bed – all clean and color-coordinated with the surprisingly impressive room, a basket of gourmet treats and a comprehensive list of pet-friendly activities around town.

Truman and I visited the Abescon Lighthouse museum, walked the long boardwalk a few times, played on the beach (the dogs-on-the-boardwalk rules in Atlantic City mirror what we have here.  There is also a year-round dog beach 15 minutes away), shopped at great pet store Jake’s Dog House and did lots of people watching – better than any other show in town.

The resort has also designed a beautiful outdoor area for pets with a playful vintage fire hydrant centerpiece, in addition to an on-call pet walking service run by the owner of the Atlantic City Fire Department’s mascots – rescue Dalmatians, Ash and Daytona.

“I have been bugging casinos for a long time to let us bring Jamie, our Yorkie,” said Carol Codino with her husband Jack of Middletown.  “We had a new dress made for Jamie’s first trip here.  Now, we do not have to worry about rushing back home to take care of her.”

Showboat room

Showboat Room

Each time a dog exited the elevator, even the most hardened of gamblers cracked a smile.  I am sure that having your dog waiting for you in your room makes winning more fun and losing less painful.

“No doubt, feeling at home with your pet here will bring you good luck,” said Joe to me and the host of Logo Network’s travel show “Bump!” which was filming for an upcoming episode.

Forget that “What happens here stays here” slogan every city has adopted.  For this newly pet-friendly city, it should be “Atlantic City… unleashed!”

More info about the Showboat’s Pet Stay program, click here.