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First Indoor Airport Pet Relief Area
San Diego International debuts a new canine bathroom

Most airlines treat animals as an afterthought, which makes flying with pets a real hassle. Airports are required to have relief areas for service dogs, but the facilities provided usually require passengers and pups to leave the terminal and go back through security when they're finished.

Now pets going through San Diego International Airport have a new, and much more convenient, option for taking a pre-flight bathroom break. In April, an indoor pet relief area opened next to the human bathrooms between Gates 46 and 47. The amenities include fake grass, a red fire hydrant, poop bags, and even sinks for the humans to wash their hands. Maintenance workers clean the canine restroom twice a day.

San Diego has four other doggie bathrooms, but like most other airports, they're located outside the terminals. Also, good news for pups not flying in and out of San Diego.  The design firm that worked on the relief area is now offering the plans to other airport clients, so hopefully we'll see more of these in the future!

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Tim Bowden.

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Submitted by Carolyn | August 13 2013 |

Hope so! I used to fly with Maggie 2x/year with a lay over in Houston. It was hard to get outside that enormous airport and find a scrap of grass. If your layover time is limited, forget it! It was not inexpensive to fly Maggie as an in-cabin pet and I always thought it would be nice if a few more basic amenities were offered.

Submitted by Fran Murcott | April 8 2014 |

I hope this is added to many more airports. I do a lot of traveling with my yorkie and it is such a pain to have to go outside to a pet relief area and then have to go through security again. When I have to change planes I have to look for connecting flights that are more than 1 1/2 hr lay over so I can get outside and back through security. I really hope that this is added to more airports throughout the USA

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