Dog Friendly Airports

Given that I like to take my dogs on vacation with me, it shouldn’t be a surprise that locating dog friendly airports is also important to me.

In fact, the first time I ever even considered the notion of an airport with pet-friendly amenities was the summer my husband and I were flying to Ireland. We were going to visit our daughter who was studying abroad for the summer semester.

We were flying out of Philadelphia International Airport’s Terminal A. As we were walking to our gate, we passed the pet pit stop in the picture below.

pet friendly airports phl

I’d seen pit stops like this before, with fake fire hydrants, on turnpike rest stops when traveling by car. However, this was the first time I’d ever seen this set up in an airport.

So, it got me thinking: how many other dog-friendly airports are there in the United States? Turns out, plenty.

Where are dog friendly airports

In researching this topic, I came upon this study from UpgradedPoints.com. It focused on America’s most pet-friendly airports by surveying how many more airports are offering pet relief stations after you’ve passed through security.

It also looked at other pet-friendly amenities, including:

  • pet parks with real grass
  • faux fire hydrants
  • space to run and play
  • onsite boarding or daycare facilities

Once the site collected all of its data, it was able to come up with the most pet-friendly airports in the United States.

Then, I used that information to do my own research to figure out what made those airports especially attractive to travelers who were going places with their pets.

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Finally, in case you need to stay at an airport hotel, I’ve added in dog-friendly lodging on airport property or nearby.

Here are airport hotels with Peloton bikes.

Texas pet friendly airports

You’ll find dog-friendly airports at the two Dallas airports. They are:

  • DFW
  • Love Field

Now, onto the specifics of these airports, what their pet relief areas are like and if there are any hotels at the airport that also welcome pets.

Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)

There are eight total pet relief areas at DFW, according to the DFW website.

Four are before security and in these areas of the airport:

  • Terminal A – A8
  • Terminal C – C2, C39
  • Terminal D – D15, D29
  • Terminal E – E2, E38

The other four are after you pass through security and can be found in these terminals and these respective gates:

  • Terminal A – A29
  • Terminal B – B28
  • Terminal D – D18
  • Terminal E – E31

Another bonus at DFW: the airline employs therapy dogs for travelers who might be missing their pets. You’ll see them roaming throughout the airport and gladly accepting your pats.

Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport hotel

The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport is a dog-friendly place to stay at DFW. Here is the hotel’s pet policy:

  • $100 Non-Refundable Pet fee per stay
  • Maximum Pet Weight: 50lbs
  • Two pets per room only

Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)

For a small airport in downtown Dallas, this place has a lot for pets. This includes an outdoor dog run area as well as pet relief stations beyond security.

Colorado dog friendly airport

There is one airport in Colorado with pet relief areas in it, and it is Denver International Airport.

Denver International Airport (DEN), Colorado

Every concourse at the Denver airport has a pet potty area. They call them indoor pet relief rooms and they are all inside security. They have fake rocks to pee on and a mural of the Rocky Mountains.

All have artificial turf with a drain, and poop bags for picking up after your pets. Finally, if you’re a germ-a-phobe like I am or just like to practice good hygiene, you’ll appreciate this additional tidbit: each pet relief room has a sink, soap and paper towels for washing hands afterwards.

In addition, outside of the airport, before security, is another area where dogs can relieve themselves. This outdoor area is outside door 200 on the west side of the Jeppesen Terminal.

Also, according to the Denver International Airport website, all pet relief areas are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Westin Denver International Airport hotel

Not only are dogs welcome at the Westin Denver International Airport hotel, but also they get their own amenities upon check in. This includes The Westin Heavenly Dog Bed, a food bowl and mat to make them feel at home. Dogs must be under 40 pounds to stay here.

Nevada airports that welcomes pets

There are two airports in Nevada that welcome pets and have pet relief areas for dogs to use. Those airports are in the following cities:

  • Las Vegas
  • Reno-Lake Tahoe

Las Vegas Airport (LAS)

There is something important you need to know about the Las Vegas Airport–beyond its pet relief areas. And that it was once known as McCarran International Airport. However, these days it is called Harry Reid International Airport.

To make things easier, people just call it the Las Vegas Airport. But I wanted to point out these name differences in case you were like I was and confused because it wasn’t called McCarran anymore.

Now as far as pet relief areas go, there are multiple ones that pet owners will want to know about.

One, there are outdoor, enclosed areas near both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, near ticketing. This is what they look like.

I grabbed this screenshot from the Las Vegas Airport Facebook page. However, you can see from the watermark, this was filmed when the airport was still known as McCarran.

And, two, there are indoor areas to take dogs, inside both terminals.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport has three pre-security dog areas, including what they call Bark Parks aka dog parks outside. In addition, there is a pet relief area between the two airport concourses.

Keep in mind that this Nevada airport is quite small–there are only 23 gates. Therefore, you won’t have to walk too far, beyond security, to find a place for your dog to relieve themselves.

Aloft Reno-Tahoe International Airport hotel

There is one hotel on the Reno-Tahoe International Airport property, and, as luck would have it, it’s a hotel that welcomes pets.

It is the Aloft Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and here are its rules about pets staying with you:

  • One pet per room
  • Max weight: 75 pounds
  • $50 pet fee per night

California dog-friendly airports

Considering the size of California, it’s no surprise that there are multiple Northern California as well as Southern California airports with plenty of pet relief areas inside and outside of security.

Here are the airports where I found extensive pet-friendly amenities:

  • Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC)

Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

Hollywood Burbank Airport has just two pet relief areas. However, considering the entire airport has 14 gates, that’s not so bad.

One is before security, outdoors in the patio between Terminal A and Terminal B.

The other is inside Terminal A. It is across from Gate A4.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX has the most pet relief areas of any airport in the study. There are 11 all together–three outside the airport and eight beyond security.

Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel

If you find yourself needing to stay at the airport with your pet, I recommend you book the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel. It’s practically across the street from LAX. Also, if you’re a Peloton fanatic like I am, you’ll love that the hotel gym has a bike. Finally, here is the hotel’s pet policy:

  • Two pets per room
  • $50 per night pet fee
  • Total pet weight must be under 60 pounds

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

At SFO, look for painted paw-prints on the arrivals-level curbside walkways that lead to outdoor animal relief locations at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. These are the pet relief areas that are outside of security.

However, inside San Francisco International Airport, you’ll find plenty of places for your pet to, you know, go. They are:

  • International Terminal, A Gates
  • Terminal 1, B Gates
  • Terminal 1, C Gates Near Gate C5
  • Terminal 2, D Gates
  • Terminal 3, Gates F11 – F22,

Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel

There are many hotels near SFO airport. However, not many are pet friendly.

Therefore, I’ve chosen the Westin San Francisco Airport, which is definitely pet friendly. You’ll see on the Westin website (scroll to the bottom) that you can have up to two pets in your room.

San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC)

At the San Jose Mineta International Airport, you’ll find three of the four pet potty spots outside of security. They are grassy, fenced-in areas with a fake hydrant like the one in the picture below.

Then, inside the airport, there is one pet relief area located in the walkway between Gates 16 and 17. Keep in mind that there are only two terminals at SJC, so this is completely manageable.

Arizona airport

Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport is the largest and busiest one in all of Arizona. So, it’s the only airport I’ve included in this section about pet friendly Arizona hotels.

Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Here is how the survey described what this Phoenix airport has to offer pets:

“Sky Harbor has 9 areas for pets to stretch their legs, drink water, and take potty breaks, 3 of which are located post-security.”

Residence Inn Phoenix Airport

I couldn’t find any hotels actually on the airport property itself. Therefore, I decided to recommend this pet-friendly one just minutes away.

It’s the Residence Inn Phoenix Airport. The hotel lets you have up to two pets in your room, with a maximum weight of 60 pounds.

However, it’s not clear if the two pets together must weigh no more than 60 pounds or that each pet must be under 60 pounds.

Finally, there is a $150 pet fee per stay. Not per pet or per night but per your whole stay.

Atlanta airport with pet amenities

You probably know that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the United States of America. Because of that status, it’s the only airport in Georgia I’m focusing on for this article.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

America’s busiest airport has plenty of amenities for traveling pets. This includes an in-airport (but before security) dog park, pet relief areas at the international arrivals terminal and on-site boarding.

New York City pet friendly airport

I was really surprised to learn that, even though LaGuardia Airport recently went through a major renovation, it hasn’t added anything extra for people traveling with pets. In fact, it’s not even clear if the outdoor pet relief areas–called “Short Term Barking”–are still there.

On the other hand, JFK Airport has plenty to talk about with regards to dog-friendly amenities. So, it’s the only New York airport that appears in this section.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

JFK earned the number one spot for having the most pet-relief areas of any airport surveyed. With six airport terminals on the airport property, you’ll find at least one pre-security and post-security pet potty area in each.

In addition, it scored high marks for its “wooftop” space in Terminal 5. At 4,000 square feet, this outdoor, rooftop garden has plenty of space for humans and their fur babies.

You’ll find it located across from Gate 28 in the JetBlue terminal. The Wooftop lounge is open every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

JFK is also home to the ARK, which focuses exclusively on the care and transfer of animals traveling as cargo.

Finally, if you’re picking someone up from the international terminal, you can bring your dog with you. We discovered this when we went to pick up our daughter Annie when she came back from that summer semester abroad in Ireland.

Plenty of people had brought their four-legged family members to greet the travelers they were picking up. Had I known this, I would have brought our pups Oscar and Sadie with us to the airport.

TWA Hotel

If you have to stay at an airport hotel at JFK, you must book the TWA Hotel. Housed in the former TWA terminal, it has become an iconic destination in its own right.

Of course, I love that there are 14 Peloton bikes in the hotel gym. However, other amazing amenities include curling, an outdoor pool and, of course, the fact that your pets can stay with you.

You’ll pay $75 per pet for your stay. Also, you can book an overnight or just a “daytripper” stay if you need to rest up before/after your flight.

Final thoughts on dog friendly airports

As I mentioned, I’m really surprised that Philadelphia International Airport did not make the original list about pet friendly airports in the U.S.

Then again, when airports have nine pet areas like the Phoenix airport does or a dozen like JFK has, how can Philadelphia compete?

I’d love to hear from you about any experiences you’ve had with taking your pet to the airport.

Finally, some of these airports are places where you can get a Global Entry interview.

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