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Pet Relief When Traveling by Air

It can be difficult finding pet relief areas in some airports, as this traveler knows:

“I’ll be flying to Europe soon with my Pomeranian, and I’m worried that I’ll have trouble finding time and a place for her to relieve herself. Are there any “restroom” facilities inside airports in the United States? What about in Europe? I worry about missing our flights if I have to take my baby outside to relieve herself. Also, what if she has to go after we’ve been through TSA security? Will I have to go back through security again?”

Susan Smith, of Pet Travel at www.pettravel.com, replies:

“Service and emotional support animals as well as pets flying in the cabin with their owners got a break due to a U.S. Department of Transportation ruling mandating that all air terminals that serve more than 10,000 daily passengers had to have a post-security pet relief area by August 2016. Major airports across the United States have complied to this ruling not only for the convenience of traveling pets but also for therapy dogs being used in airports across the country.

Foreign Countries Have Strict Customs Control Over Pets & People

The issue is that pets laying over in foreign countries must stay behind security check points to transit a layover country. If pet owners want to take their pet outside for a walk, even for a minute, they both must clear customs and conform to the regulations of the layover country. This pet relief can add time to any itinerary and also increase the chances of complications should any issues arise from customs clearance. This is precisely why it is important for airports to have pet relief areas behind security check points in all international terminals.

What Pet Parents Can Do to Provide Pet Relief

That said, airports in the EU and other countries outside of North America are not subject to this mandate and so, pet owners need to prepare themselves to care for their pets during layovers. Here are some suggestions:

1..Before putting your pet in the carrier at the airport, take them for a long walk to make sure they get some exercise and have done all their business.

2.  Bring extra foldable pet pads with you like these high quality, foldable pads that wick moisture away from pets.

Pet Carrier Crate Pads

Pet Carrier Crate Pads can be found at the Pet Travel Store

3. Line your carrier with more than one pad so, in case of an accident in the air, you can take your pet to the lavatory and pull out the soiled pad and have a fresh one underneath.

4. Before you leave home, take one disposable pad and lightly rub it in the grass after your pet urinates; just a bit of scent on the pad will do. Fold this pad up and put it in a zip lock bag and carry it with you. During the layover, take your pet to an area where it can be confined (restroom or other uncarpeted area) or a pet relief station. Be sure and leash your pet when out of the carrier. Encourage your pet to sniff this pad to stimulate your pet to urinate.

5. Learn how to express your pet’s bladder (Google has good directions or ask your vet) and practice before you travel on a pet pad at home.

Hydration is very important for traveling pets and so, withholding water before and during travel is not recommended. Just keep those disposable pet pads handy!”

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