Traveling through airports with pets has become a much more comfortable experience over the last few years, primarily thanks to new pet relief areas being built.
Are you planning to make use of one of these spaces the next time you travel in-cabin with your small pet? Each airport offers a different experience and your time to frolic will probably be limited, so follow these basic guidelines to make the most of your pet's pet relief area visit.
1. Map It
Before you arrive at the airport, familiarize yourself with the layout so that you can avoid wasting any time wandering around or asking for directions. These areas are not always well-marked, so doing some sleuthing online ahead of time will allow you to proceed with confidence.
This is good advice for traveling in general, but remember to have a few basic items in your doggy bag of tricks. A collapsible water dish, a familiar toy or two and a leash, of course, will make your pet's experience safe and comfortable. The relief areas should all be supplied with waste disposal bags, but you should carry a few extras just in case.
3. Be Polite
You never know what you'll encounter at a pet area. You may be the only ones there, or it could be a busy place; if this is the case, keep your dog restrained until it's clear everyone will get along (particularly if it's an off-leash facility). Whether you encounter service animals, security dogs or other pets, aim to be friendly and considerate by playing nice and cleaning up after yourselves.
A pet relief area can in many ways resemble a dog park, so make sure your pup is comfortable in such a situation. If you don't frequent any of your neighborhood hang-outs and don't often take your dog to new places in general, you might consider going a few times before the trip so that your little traveler can get used to the experience of being away from home.
There are all kinds of social media tools out there, so why not make use of them to pick up some advice? Through Twitter, Facebook and, yes, sites like PetRelocation, you can connect to thousands of pet travelers and gather some of the information they've shared. Whether you spend a few minutes reading a great travel blog or ask a question on an organization's Facebook wall, there are plenty of ways to initiate a conversation with an experienced group of peers.
Traveling with a larger pet and need some help booking pet travel via cargo? Contact us to discuss your options.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2010 and has been updated with new information. Photo Credit: William Mathis/AP Photo