When checking out Reno/Sparks, why not bring your dog along? Just be ready to pay an extra free when it comes to lodging.

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Reno offers plenty to do for out-of-towners, including lodging, dining and outdoors activities that can become all the more enthralling when a loveable dog can be brought along.

The Grand Sierra Resort (800-501-2651) might just take the cake (or the dog bone!) when it comes to dog-friendly accommodations — it specifically has rooms set up on its third floor for pet-lovers. Although there is an extra $50 per night fee, up to two dogs are allowed. That said, some breeds also are prohibited – that list can be found here, but includes German Shepherds, Pitbulls and Wolfdogs. Additionally, there is another $25 fee for dogs weighing more than 50 pounds. A logoed GSR leash is required on your dog while it is on GSR premises, and that requires a $100 refundable deposit up front. However, don't expect your dogs to cost you anything when it comes to gambling. Dogs simply are not allowed on the gaming floor – whew!

The Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks (800-648-1177) also has a pet-friendly policy. It charges a pet fee of $20 fee per night and also requires a $50 refundable deposit up front. The pet rooms are available on the fourth floor of the West Tower, but only dogs less than 50 pounds are allowed.

The Residence Inn at Marriott and the Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel also both allow pets. The Marriott should be directly contacted for more details on its pet-friendly policy while the Best Western allows for a variety of pets, including birds, cats, and dogs, as long as the pet-friendly rooms are available. There is a $50 refundable fee up front and an extra cost of $20 per night at the Best Western with a $100 maximum weekly pet fee (Residence Inn: (775) 853-8800; Best Western: 800-648-3525).

Of course, service dogs, which assist individuals with disabilities, fall under different guidelines and should be allowed at most places, although proof of certification may be required.

Pet-Friendly Dining
When it comes to pet-friendly dining in Reno, there are a few different places to try out, although be aware that dogs that are brought along are typically accommodated for outside on patios and deck dining. A few of these include:

* 4th St. Bistro: Well-behaved dogs are welcomed at this bistro's outdoor dining deck. (775-323-3200).

* Moxie's: Locations both in the Caughlin Ranch area and along Robb Drive feature outdoor patios to which dogs can be brought with their human dining companions (Caughlin Ranch: 774-826-2665; Northwest Reno: 775.747.2665).

* Pegs Glorified Ham n Eggs: All four locations in the Reno/Sparks area have outdoors sitting available, at which dogs are allowed. Pegs only asks that dogs be well-behaved, people-friendly and on a leash. (Downtown Reno: 775-329-2600; Northwest: 775-624-2700; South: 775-851-7200; Sparks: 775-851-7200).

Outdoors for Fun
When it comes to adventures, there are plenty of hiking trails in the area and at Lake Tahoe that dogs can venture out on. Galena Creek Regional Park (775-849-4948), up Mount Rose Highway, is just one of these. There, dogs must be leashed on many of the shorter trails, but can be let off the leash on longer trails when they are at least a mile from the trailhead. In addition to hiking, there are numerous dog parks in the area, some of which include:

* Link Piazzo Dog Park at Hidden Valley Regional Park: Separate small and large dog areas are available as are drinking fountains, benches and trees. (755-720-2001)

* Virginia Lake Dog Park: According to the RGJ, this dog park underwent a renovation earlier in the year, through local donations, to be able to offer various amenities, such as benches, a shaded area, a water fountain and LED lights.

* Sparks Marina Dog Park: Dogs visiting this 77-acre lake are welcome to get in the water as long as they do so through the dog park, which is gated and located along the southern shoreline. Dogs are welcome on the walking path, too, but must be leashed there at all times. (775-691-9130)

One final tip: The Summit Mall in South Reno is also reported to be pet-friendly (775-853-7800).

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