Airport Pet Relief Facilities Are on the Increase

It's good to know that many airlines are getting more and more pet friendly, and now there are even pet relief facilities at many major airports. 
Airport Pet Relief Facilities Are on the Increase

Last update: 04 May, 2019

Furry beings and their owners are enjoying more and more rights and benefits. Not too long ago it was nearly impossible to imagine that you could easily travel by air with your pets. And you’d never believe that they could even ride so close to your seat. And now, the good news is that there are airport pet relief facilities in many US-based airline terminals.

Airport toilet rooms for pets seem to be restricted to the USA. But, as with everything, it’ll surely extend to many of the major cities around the world. Especially in those places that are openly pet-friendly.

The US Department of Transportation issued a regulation that requires airports with more than 10 thousand passengers per day to have a service area for pets traveling with their owners.

Pet relief facilities in US airports

The federal regulation impacts most international airports in the United States. Among them:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (in New York)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (DC)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

If you travel with your pet around the USA you’ll surely be amazed by the fact that there are airport pet relief facilities in many international airports. It’s one more step to make things easier for pet owners.

How airport pet facilities came about

A dog toilet at the airport.

The initial idea for airport pet relief facilities happened as a way to provide this service to the assistance dogs that have to travel everywhere with their disabled owners.

But it was really the large increase in passengers who opt to travel with their pets that sparked the idea to extend the regulation to all domestic animals. And while some airports already had outdoor areas for pets to do their business, they must now adapt them to also provide internal pet relief facilities.

Airport pet relief facilities in the US

Animal relief areas have a similar design throughout the different terminals. For example, they have signs at the door with the illustration of a dog footprint. The rooms are a little over 20 square feet, and are usually located between the ladies’ and the gentlemen’s restrooms.

The rooms are usually fitted with:

  • An area of ​​artificial grass for the animal to relieve itself
  • Waste bags for the owners to collect their four-legged travelers’ feces
  • A hose to clean the faux lawn after their pets use it
  • Sinks for people to wash their hands
  • Pet-related decor (including ornamental fire hydrants).

Benefits of toilet areas in airports

Through this initiative, things will get a lot easier for passengers traveling with their pets.

Among other things, it keeps pets from having to leave the airport in order to relieve themselves. And this is good, because then they don’t have to go through security all over again.

It also solves the inconvenience of traveling on long flights and having short periods of time to transfer from one plane to another. In such cases, the time it took to get the animals out of the air terminals to do their business wasn’t usually enough.

A hydrant toilet for dogs.

Furthermore, the pioneer in the matter of airport pet relief facilities seems to have been the Detroit airport. They set apart a small area with grass and two sprinklers were installed to keep it sanitized.

So don’t be surprised if sooner or later you’re up in the air showing Fido the Space Needle in Seattle. But, even if the dog can’t appreciate city views, for sure they’ll appreciate having relief facilities without having to endure the rain.

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