DC Airports Get Super Cute Pet Bathrooms

DC’s Dulles and Reagan airports have just opened new “pet relief areas” for your pooch’s pooping pleasure prior to plane-boarding.

The zones feature a fenced-in area, fake grass, and an artificial fire hydrant.

The areas were built to comply with federal regulations requiring service animal relief areas, but they can also be used by travelers bringing their pets with them.

Here is a map showing the relief areas at Reagan marked in crimson:

dullespetpoopmap.jpgOutside Terminal A at two (2) locations near the main traffic circle
Outside Terminal B across from the entrance to the Metrorail station
Outside Terminal C across from the entrance to the Metrorail station.

And these are their locations at Dulles:

Pre-Security, Outdoor Locations

Outside of the Main Terminal on the east end of the Departures level. Go out the doors closest to the United Airlines ticket counter and turn right.
Outside of the Main Terminal on the west end of the Departures level near the walkway to Daily Garage 2. Go out the doors closest to the Delta ticket counter and turn left.
Outside of the Main Terminal on the east end of the baggage claim level. Follow signs near Baggage Claim #1 which say “Service Animal Relief Area.”

Post-Security, Indoor Locations
A and B-Gates: Between the concession area and Gate A-31. Please see a gate agent to obtain access.
C and D-Gates: Across from Gate D-1. Please see a gate agent to obtain access.

According to the press release, “The indoor locations also feature unique ventilation and flushing/drainage systems to maintain clean facilities.”

What do you think? Would this be good to have at more airports?


Edit Your Comment

  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This would be great to have at airports. I don’t have a cat or dog, but I have wondered where animals go to the bathroom when they’re traveling, or if they just know to hold it.

    • shepd says:

      Having brought a cat cross-atlantic, it ain’t pretty, but in their cages. Be nice and leave a towel in there.

    • hydrargyrum says:

      My cat can totally hold his bladder! The first time I flew with him from Chicago to NYC, I didn’t know to bring anything for it (just lined his carrier with an incontinence pad), but I took him out to the pet area at JFK’s JetBlue terminal (which is awesome) and someone had left a disposable baking pan with a bit of litter in it and he knew exactly what to do. Now I bring those along when I fly with the cat and let him stretch his legs in the family bathrooms during layovers or at the destination airport (if there’s a long trek on public transit still ahead). So far he’s been good for at least six hours, although I think if I were taking him transocean I’d try to do that in an airplane bathroom at least once or twice when everyone’s asleep.

      • hydrargyrum says:

        Hm, that was a very long post about my cat’s bladder habits. Can you tell I am 1) a relatively new pet owner and 2) really really happy that I learned the baking pan trick?

        • koalabare says:

          They actually sell disposable litter boxes for about $3 at grocery stores…litter and all.

          • hydrargyrum says:

            Yeah, I’ve seen those, but I find that a folded up foil pan + quart ziploc of litter is a lot easier to stuff in my backpack carryon.

      • shepd says:

        If the cat’s going transocean, it’s extremely likely it will be need to be checked as live cargo, as it will need to go through quarantine on the other side. That means it will be locked in the cage as soon as you drop off your baggage (or, as was our case, after the pet handler drops off the kitty, as in our case quarantine was done on the way out instead of on the way in).

        Either way, messy. And nobody bothers to let the pets out. In fact, I doubt anyone even goes down to the live cargo hold to check on the pets while the flight is in motion. :(

        • OmnipotentMLE says:

          nope- flew my cat from egypt to us in-cabin. She didn’t eat drink or go to the bathroom (although I tried to feed her/give her water). She slept most of the way. I think its because cats don’t like being near their excrement so in extremely small spaces, they just hold it.

    • Short_Circuit_City says:

      I’ve seen pilots, FAs and baggage handler walk dogs before. The most common ‘relief’ spot: the wheels of the jet bridge.

  2. Bakergirl says:


    • Rachacha says:

      “The areas were built to comply with federal regulations requiring service animal relief areas”

      So when someone is traveling with a service animal (seeing eye dog, animal to detect epileptic siezures, or heck, even a police dog) the animal has a designated place to releive themselves rather than using the pole outside of gate B47.

  3. Daverson says:

    Aww…that’s so nice – your dog can have one last relaxed happy dump before Delta puts him to death.

  4. qbubbles says:

    Ya know, I was wondering about this when I was contemplating moving countries. I have known the stench of kitty pee all over her fur. Neither of us were happy campers.

  5. rpm773 says:

    They already have these at most airports. There just usually seems to be a gym equipment and bunch of toddlers playing in them, for some reason….

    • teh says:

      EWW! Animals do carry the occasional disease and parasite that can be transmitted to humans. It bugs me every time I see someone relieving their dog at the playground, so I’m quite happy that airports are offering this (dedicated) location.

  6. Tim says:

    Is it DC day at Consumerist?

  7. jessjj347 says:

    How does the #1 get cleaned off of the turf….?

    • aloria says:

      There is probably a drain underneath and they spray it down occasionally? I sure hope so, anyway.

      • selianth says:

        Sounds like it.

        “According to the press release, “The indoor locations also feature unique ventilation and flushing/drainage systems to maintain clean facilities.” “

  8. snarkysniff says:

    I think this is great and yes normally the dogs have to hold it or if they cant they go in their crates (dogs generally will not do this because they dont like to go where they lay)

  9. SharkD says:

    I guess that’s one way to ensure that your dog or cat isn’t smuggling more than 3.4 ounces of “liquid” onto the plane…

  10. Doubts42 says:

    Is it OK for my healthy dog to use the handicapped accessible fire hydrant?

  11. Warble says:

    “…but they can also be used by travelers bringing their pets with them.”

    I totally interpreted this as saying that pet owners could relieve themselves in the pet area as well. Things would get weird in there pretty quickly.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      I did, too. I thought it was pretty strange, but hey, maybe some people prefer going outdoors.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Actually, I totally see this happening. Some drunken guy rolls out of the airport bar and finds a person letting their dog pee on the astroturf, and the thinks..”whoa.. Outdoor plumbing!”

  12. suez says:

    “”pet relief areas” for your pooch’s pooping pleasure prior to plane-boarding.”

    There’s an awful lot of “P” in there.

  13. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I swear I read this story earlier this year, but for the life of me, can’t find it. That picture looks so familiar.

  14. strathmeyer says:

    I make my own super cute pet bathrooms at home. (He have one at PITT, but it’s just a normal patch of grass by the side of the road.)

  15. Shadowman615 says:

    Damnit, it’s National Airport. Or DCA. Nobody from here calls it Reagan unless they’re recent transplants.

  16. WagTheDog says:

    Man, it’s only a matter of time before some dumb person lets their dog off leash and he jumps that fence, then you get people screaming “LOOSE DOG” all over the place, and that is always so helpful. Why is that fence so lame?

  17. coolteamblt says:

    This is nice and all, but I still want more airports to have playgrounds for kids, like the Salt Lake City one does. Trust me on this one, I just flew with my 18 month old, and I just about wept with joy at the sight of that little playground. Baby was getting massively agitated by all the sitting still!

  18. Gizmosmonster says:

    Little Moses the pomeranian has flown in and out of both of these airports, and is looking forward to avoiding those awkward incidents that so often happen in air travel.

  19. ITDEFX says:

    I noticed that back 3 months ago when we came back from a late night flight from cancun. I was like huh? ok…………..

  20. Joseph S Ragman says:

    Hell, yeah … in fact, this would be a good thing to have in lots of places

  21. QueenofSheepsbaaah says:

    There’s no way my little guy would pee on *shudder* artificial grass or an *gasp* artificial hydrant! He takes FOREVER just to find a proper place to defile the real thing!

  22. Woodside Park Bob says:

    Shadowman615 said: “Damnit, it’s National Airport. Or DCA. Nobody from here calls it Reagan unless they’re recent transplants.”

    He’s right. It’s still National Airport to most of us, or maybe Reagan National. Only rabid republicans or people from outside the area call it just Reagan.

    If I remember correctly, changing the name was the result of a campaign by a Georgia congressman to have something named after Reagan in every county in the U.S. He didn’t force Atlanta to rename its airport, however; he just stuck Washingtonians with his partisan boondoggle. Ultimately the local transit system was forced to spend a huge amount to re-do all its signs, maps, etc. What a waste. (And a waste of money Reagan himself would have probably opposed.)

  23. cmdr.sass says:

    Can I look forward to a “pet poop airport surcharge” on my next ticket?

  24. whfsdude says:

    Sometimes when I fly, I feel like I’m treated like an animal. I can now use these nifty restrooms to complete the experience.

  25. BoredOOMM says:

    Dog owners can now be relieved at this…..

  26. Havoc737903 says:

    The one at Dulles at least the outdoor location (pictured above) has been there for over a year, it’s nothing new. The indoor facilities however, are.