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Shetland Sheepdog service dog laying next to its owner at the airport.
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Whether you and your dog are seasoned travelers or your dog is taking their first airplane trip, flying can be stressful for humans and animals alike. Being prepared and knowing what to expect at the airport can help with some of your concerns. Fortunately, many airports are equipped with pet relief stations, so your dog can stretch their muscles, have a drink of water, and relieve themselves.

In fact, a U.S. federal regulation requires airports serving 10,000 or more passengers a year to have areas inside or outside each terminal where pets can have a bathroom break. These areas typically include patches of real or fake grass and space to move around. With this regulation in mind, we researched airports and came up with a list of the top 10 dog-friendly airports that are designed to put your mind at ease when traveling with your pet.

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport has private restrooms for pets in each of its concourses, in addition to Jeppesen Terminal. These indoor pet facilities comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are equipped with artificial turf, built-in drainage, and waste disposal bags and containers. They also have a sink and soap dispenser for handwashing.

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DEN also has an on-site resort called Wag Hotels for dogs and cats. Services include overnight boarding, doggy daycare, a pet boutique, parking and shuttle service, and premium grooming services. The resort has private suites, flat-screen TVs, massage therapy, on-site medical experts, and obedience training. Play areas are climate-controlled and well-ventilated for your dog’s safety.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport

Terminals 1 and 2 at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport have several pet relief areas, including an indoor post-security area with fake grass and a sink for easy cleanup. Terminal 1 has a space dedicated to pets near the baggage claim and another relief area outside of the Silver Parking Ramp. Terminal 2 has a grassy area near the baggage claim and near Gate H11. If you’re traveling with a service dog, you can request an escort to your terminal.

Additionally, this airport has a 24/7 pet boarding facility where your dog (or another pet) can get pampered while you’re away. This facility offers overnight boarding, doggy daycare, spa treatments, and dog training services. Once you’re back from your trip, they’ll even pick you up from the terminal and reunite you with your dog. Also, you don’t have to be an airline passenger to use this facility.

Los Angeles International Airport

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Los Angeles International Airport has 11 pet relief areas located indoors and outdoors — more than most airports in the U.S. Three relief areas are located before security checkpoints. The other eight are in post-security locations, meaning you don’t have to leave a secure area to tend to your dog.

The indoor relief areas consist of rooms with artificial grass, a fake fire hydrant, fresh water, and a station to dispose of waste. The outdoor atrium offers additional space to walk around and stretch your legs.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers several pet relief areas, including one on the arrivals level of the International Terminal and a 1,000-square-foot dog park to accommodate pets and service dogs. The outdoor dog park is located pre-security in the Ground Transportation area at Domestic Terminal South. It’s fully fenced and has benches and biodegradable waste bags.

Every concourse has an indoor post-security relief area. Dogs must be in a pet carrier, except when they’re in a pet relief area or going through security. Service dogs don’t need to be in a carrier.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport

Reno-Tahoe International Airport has three relief areas for pets and service animals which meet ADA standards for accessible design. Two of these “Bark Parks,” as they’re called, are in pre-security locations. Gate K-9 Park is located south of the terminal, near the ticketing lobby. The north park can be accessed through the baggage claim.

Another Bark Park is in a post-security location. All parks are fully fenced and within walking distance of the airline gates. Bark Parks come equipped with running water, clean-up provisions, a fire hydrant, and a canopy in case of bad weather.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has a “dog walk,” complete with lighting and landscaping, where you and your dog can take a stroll. This relief area is located outside in a pre-security area near the parking garage. It includes a drinking fountain for your dog, as well as bags and receptacles for disposing of your dog’s poop.

For Austin travelers, Bark & Zoom is located onsite and is open 24/7 for pet boarding. Owners can enjoy parking, car care, and shuttle services to and from the terminal. Dogs can enjoy their first-class facilities, including luxury suites, grooming services, enrichment activities, covered play yards, and a pet swimming pool. Staff can also accommodate special pet diets.

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Washington Dulles International Airport

Washington Dulles International Airport has several designated service animal or pet relief areas. In the concourses are two relief areas in post-security locations for your convenience. These indoor facilities have artificial grass and a fake fire hydrant.

Three other relief areas are pre-security and located outside the main terminal. The outdoor locations are enclosed for your dog’s security. Both the indoor and outdoor stations are supplied with waste bags and receptacles, as well as a sink for handwashing.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has nine relief areas, so you’re never too far from a location where your dog can have a potty break. All of the relief areas have space for drinking water and cleaning up pet waste. Most of these areas are pre-security, while three are in a post-security location.

Dogs of all sizes and breeds are welcome to use the outdoor facilities. The airport requires that all pets, except for assistance animals, be kept in carriers when they’re inside the airport. Pets can be outside of their carriers during a security checkpoint or in a relief area.

Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport has seven service animal relief areas in every terminal that are specifically designed for this purpose. There are also pet relief areas outside the airport on the Departing Flights Road and outside the buildings that house the baggage claim.

The relief areas are between 250 and 600 square feet. Travelers can choose from pre- and post-security locations. The outdoor areas are equipped with fencing, latch gates, benches, and fake fire hydrants. The airport provides biodegradable poop bags and expects owners to clean up after their dogs.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

New York City’s JFK International Air Terminal has multiple pet relief areas, which you can access from different terminals. One relief area is located on the first floor, just outside of Terminal 4. It has a pet bathroom complete with artificial grass, a bag dispenser, and a waste receptacle. Service dogs and emotional support dogs with proper documentation are allowed in any restaurant in Terminal 4.

Another relief area is located past a security checkpoint between Gates B31 and B33 for travelers’ convenience. It features a large outdoor garden patio for passengers and their pets. Located in the cargo area of JFK is the ARK Pet Oasis, which provides pet care, veterinary services for pets and livestock, check-in, and review of travel documentation for pets.

So, if you’re planning on taking your dog with you to travel, make sure you plan ahead. To help you get started, check out our tips for traveling with dogs.
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