The 10 best airports for pets in the US

16 February 2015 (Last Updated February 16th, 2015 18:30)

From Denver International Airport to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Airport-technology.com picks the 10 best pet-friendly airports in the US, based on facilities specifically designed to keep pets safe and happy.

The 10 best airports for pets in the US

sleeping dog

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, is home to a premium on-airport resort for pets. Named Paradise 4 Paws, the facility features private suites with flat screen TVs, indoor play areas, a bone-shaped splashing pool and on-site medical experts.

The 25,000ft2 facility, which was opened in December 2014, offers 24-hour service including cat and dog grooming, obedience training and massage therapy. Pets can board at the facility for day and overnight stays while their owners travel. Web cameras in the facility allow owners to keep tabs on their pets round the clock.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport features a fully-fenced dog park with benches, trash cans, flowers, rocks, biodegradable bags and two dog sculptures. Dogs can run around on the grass without a leash before getting on the plane. Located in the Ground Transportation area on Domestic Terminal South, the park receives a daily average of 20 dogs.

Two additional pet areas are located on the lower level of Domestic Terminal North and on the Arrivals level of the international terminal.

San Diego International Airport

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

A new Service Animal/Pet Relief Area was opened at the McNamara Terminal in Michigan's Detroit Metropolitan Airport in April 2014. It allows passengers travelling on Delta Airlines to take their pets and service animals to an indoor canine lavatory post-security.

The facility is equipped with two patches of grass, one real and another made from artificial turf. A large dog-friendly flush button activates the sprinkler system to rinse the grass and drain the liquid waste. Plastic bags are also available for disposal of solid waste.

San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport's air-side pet relief area comprises 75ft2 of indoor space featuring fake grass and a faux fire hydrant. Though located between Gates 46 and 47 in Terminal 2 West, the pet restroom can be accessed by passengers leaving from Gates 20 to 51.

The relief area is equipped with a hand-washing station, two deodorisers, and complimentary disposal bags. The facility was opened in April 2013 as part of the airport's $1bn Terminal 2 expansion. The airport also has four outdoor areas for pets and service animals, before security checkpoints.

golden retriever

Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport consists of seven outdoor pet relief areas called Pet Ports, located near the departures and arrivals road. Ranging in size from 250ft2 to 600ft2, the Pet Ports are fenced-in and consist of a concrete dog paw print and a 4-inch deep mulch surface. The areas provide dogs with water and space to stretch their legs.

Additional facilities include benches for the owners, trash cans, biodegradable pet waste bag dispensers and receptacles.

Dulles International Airport

Dulles International Airport in Washington DC provides five pet and service animal relief areas, which were opened in 2010. The two indoor facilities are located inside the midfield concourses, one serving Gates A and B and another serving gates C and D.

The facilities comprise an L-shaped fenced-in area with artificial K-9 grass that can be rinsed by pressing a button on the wall. Dogs are provided with bowls of water and enough space to move around. The three outdoor relief areas have natural grass and are located outside the Main Terminal.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Sky Harbor International Airport

Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, has three pet-friendly parks named Pet Patch, Paw Pad, and Bone Yard. The 2,700ft2 Bone Yard is the biggest of the three parks and is located outside Terminal 4. It consists of a bone-shaped area filled with crushed gravel and absorbent dog litter, and is shaded during the day.

The 2,200ft2 Paw Pad is also made up of absorbent dog litter and is located outside Terminal 3. The Pet Patch outside Terminal 2 spans 490ft2 and has natural turf. The fully-fenced areas provide pets with water and owners with mitts to clean up.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, has four pet relief areas outside Terminals A, B, C and D. In addition, Continental Airlines operates a 1,100ft2 onsite kennel for pets utilising the PetSafe service. It is the first airline-owned kennel within an airport property in USA.

The facility also offers 24/7 kennelling and grooming services for pets during layovers between connecting flights. Exercise pens and an emergency care facility are also available.

Tom Bradley International Airport Terminal

Los Angeles International Airport

The Los Angeles International Airport has four animal relief stations or 'Pet Parks' for pets, guide dogs and other service animals. The pet parks are mostly located around the Central Terminal Area on the lower level between terminals 1 to 5. One is situated inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal beyond the security checkpoint.

The fully-fenced pet parks are equipped with fresh water, waste bags and trash bins. They are characterised by a bone-shaped concrete patch in the grassy park and a water hydrant.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport

Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno, Nevada, has two dog parks called Bark Parks. The original Bark Park is situated north of the Baggage Claim area. The second dog park, opened in 2012, is situated south of the terminal building.

Artificial paw prints lead travellers to the fully-fenced facilities that consist of a rest room, disposable plastic mitts and running water. Pets and their owners are protected from the harsh Nevada sun by canopies covering the facilities.