When you got to go…you got to go! Recently, my pals at Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog food asked me what was the number one question I get as an international doggie traveler? I have to say it is what happens if your dog needs to potty in the airport.
This is a valid concern. Most airports do not think of this dog problem when designing their facilities or terminals. As more and more people are traveling with their dogs, there is a legitimate need for places to take pets to use the restroom. Unfortunately, at most airports, the dog relief area is outside of security. This makes it nearly impossible for us to use them during layovers since you have to go completely outside where people enter the airport then go through security again to get back to your gate. So today I want to give you an insider view of pottying your dog at the airport.
Before you get to the airport
My biggest suggestion for you humans is to be strategic on when you decide to feed us the day before. Remember, what goes in must come out! Mom always makes sure to feed me my Nutrish dog food at least ten hours before we get to the airport. This allows plenty of time for it to … well, you know, get through all the pipes … hehehe. I admit, I get hungry, but Mom brings plenty of dog snacks. Also, as soon as we land I get a big bowl of Nutrish. For liquids, Mom limits them about three hours before we get to the airport. However, don’t let us get dehydrated either. If it is a very hot day you may need to give us water closer to take off. Mom also gives me a very small bowl of water at the gate and again on the plane, then a big bowl of water as soon as we land.
Another great tip is to plan to take us to a dog park before the airport. In Nashville, there is a great dog park very close to the airport. I get to run around, play with my Nashville pals, and also get my business done. I like mixing business with pleasure … hehehe.
Arriving at the airport
Almost all airports have some type of relief area, so this is where you need to do your research. Check out the airport website for the exact location. Make sure you plan extra time as they are almost never somewhere convenient. I have been to many relief areas that were tucked in the back of parking garages or even under an overpass. Luckily, at the Nashville airport it is not out of the way! It is right past the Delta skycap booth where you drop passengers off … awesome!
However, I have word of advice … make sure to completely check-out the relief area before letting your pet use it. Last summer I was at the Vegas airport and the pet potty area was kind of scary. There were used needles, which Mom referred to as drug paraphilia scattered all around. Mom told me those needles were not used for doggie allergy shots like I get and we needed to stay far away. I knew skipping was not an option since I had a four-hour flight home, so instead, I marked a pole. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do.
In the terminal
Some airports are finally getting it and giving us areas in the secure terminals to take care of business. I have to give them a big thank you for thinking of us! For example, the Pittsburgh airport has a huge room complete with a view of the tarmac and even a fire hydrant.
I have not visited this one, but my pal Francis who is owned by Shorty Rossi (The Pit Boss) says his home airport San Diego has a great spot too! I told him I couldn’t wait to potty there next time I am in town!
I think the coolest doggie relief area has to be at the Detroit airport in the United terminal. It is a two-seater … hehehe. There are two potty areas with a privacy wall between them for us shy dogs. The best part is that when you are done, your rents just hit a button, and it is self-cleaning!
Thank you Nutrish for asking me about my potty habits … hehehe. But seriously, it is a question we get all the time from people who want to travel with their pets. I hope my explanation relieves any concerns you have to take your dog with you next time you fly!
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