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Pet relief areas at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX has five [now four, per reader Kate's report (see below)] pet relief areas, and when we visited sunny SoCal last week I spent an afternoon visiting them all. Here’s what I’ve learned — and here’s a map of LAX to consult.

Between Terminals 1 and 2

Walking counter-clockwise around LAX’s arrivals level, the first pet relief area you encounter is located between Terminals 1 and 2. If you arrive at Terminal 1, exit the baggage claim area and turn right; if you arrive at Terminal 2, exit the baggage claim area and turn left. Against the wall, you’ll find a small fenced patch of Astroturf, containing a fake fire hydrant, a spigot and a water bowl. It turns out that four of the five LAX pet relief areas look just like this one (the bowl was missing from one, but they were otherwise identical, down to the odd bone-shaped patch of concrete).

The pet relief area between LAX terminals 1 and 2

Chloe and the concrete bone

The area is small but clean. Poop bags are provided. Chloe approved enough to pee in it, but if your dog is opposed to Astroturf, your best alternative is to cross the airport roadway and walk past the Bob Hope Hollywood USO to the futuristic Theme Building beyond (currently the home of the Encounter restaurant and bar). There are some lovely patches of lawn underneath it — be sure to keep them lovely by bringing your own poop bags with you.

Between Terminal 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal

If you arrive at Terminal 3, exit the baggage claim area and turn right. If you arrive at the International Terminal, exit the baggage claim area and turn left — the pet relief area will be just beyond the chain metal fencing backed with green cloth (it’s easier to find from Terminal 3, since the chain metal structure isn’t in the way).

The pet relief area between Terminal 3 and the International Terminal, seen approaching from Terminal 3

The best alternative to Pet Relief Area #2 is across the roadway — there are several attractive bits of lawn in front of the parking garages.

Between the International Terminal and Terminal 4

As you can see from this picture, this pet relief area is just about identical to the ones you’ve already seen. To find it, either exit the International Terminal baggage claim area and turn right, or exit the baggage claim area in Terminal 4 and turn left.

Pet relief area #3, seen approaching from the International Terminal

Here too, the best alternative are the small patches of lawn across the airport roadway, in front of the parking structures. Here’s what those patches look like from the official pet relief areas:

Across from Terminal 5

This pet relief area is sometimes described as between Terminals 5 and 6 — in fact, however, it’s across from Terminal 5. If you arrive at Terminal 6, exit the baggage claim area and turn left. Look in the windows of Terminal 5 and locate Baggage Carousel #1 — using the crosswalk directly outside Baggage Carousel #1, cross the airport roadway and turn left. The pet relief area is located between the two parking structures, in a stand of palms. It looks so much like the three you’ve already seen that I didn’t bother to take a picture.

Your best alternative to this pet relief area (again, assuming your dog dislikes Astroturf — otherwise, there’s no reason not to use the official pet relief area) is the small patch of grass that surrounds it.

At the end of Terminal 7

[3/29/13 Reader Kate reported today on Dog Jaunt's Facebook page that this pet relief area is now closed. It cried out for closure, I told her, and she agreed -- but she misses the poop bags. If you are flying into/out of LAX on United or United Express (the airlines using Terminal 7), be sure to equip yourself with your own poop bags, and look for the alternative grassy area I mention below.]

This pet relief area is sometimes described as between Terminals 7 and 8, but for the life of me, I couldn’t see a Terminal 8. You’ll find the official area at the end of Terminal 7 (exit the baggage claim area and turn right). As you can see from the picture, it looks very different from the other four pet relief areas, and it turns out to be the original, lone LAX pet relief area. Frankly, it’s nasty. There are poop bags, and there is a water spigot and bowl, but once you’ve grabbed a poop bag and given your dog a drink, I’d go across the roadway to the grassy area under the curve in the overpass (you can see it in this picture, just behind the yellow arrow sign).

The dog house should be charming, but it creeped me out. Also, the dirt? Not appealing.

I’m really glad that LAX added the four other pet relief areas I’ve described, because they’re all a vast improvement over this one — as I mentioned above, they’re pleasant enough that the only reason I can see for you to try the alternatives I’ve suggested is if your dog just will not pee or poop on Astroturf. I’m grateful, too, that LAX now has pet relief areas sprinkled around the arrivals level, because it’s a long walk to the end of Terminal 7. Now we have to hope that the airport’s next step will be air-side, indoor pet relief areas, like the ones at Dulles.

This post is part of an ongoing series of reviews of airport pet relief areas we’ve visited. To see others, visit Dog Jaunt’s handy guide to airport pet relief areas.

13 comments

  • Cheryl

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that I found your blog! We travel with our two small Beagles, mostly to Mexico (CUN) and back, and choose whatever airline is least expensive…which means our layover can be one of 5 or 6 airports. I’ve always preferred PHX because of the Boneyard and the fact that the airport allows us to walk the dogs on leashes in the terminal.

    But our past trip on Frontier took us through DEN…I would’ve been so disappointed, however on our way out of security, upon seeing an unending line to get back through security, we asked about the possibility of getting a line pass. “Sure” was the answer we got and the agent gave us a little card and pointed at the employee line. When we arrived back after taking care of business, we walked past the line of hundreds up to the “pass” lane and there were two people in front of us! That more than made up for the measly relief area they provided.

    Next week our layover takes us through LAX, one we’ve never done before. I can see from the terminal map that we will arrive in Terminal 1 (US Air) and depart out of Terminal 7 or 8 (United). Sometimes using airline miles can be a pain. We have a 2 hour layover so I’m sure that we’ll do just fine walking it and finding each of the areas you have described above.

    I want to thank you for taking the time to research and put up this blog! I can’t wait to go check out your other links and info.

    Safe and happy travels to you and adorable Chloe!
    From me and Lucy and Jackson

  • What a great comment, Cheryl! I love the praise, of course (thank you!!), but I’d never even heard of a line pass until I read about yours. I will certainly try that myself in the future — the worst that can happen is they say no, right?!

  • Paul

    THANK YOU for this fantastic information. I will be flying from LAX with my dog soon and want to make sure she can have a pee before her 10 hour imprisonment in a crate on the flight, because I know she won’t pee in the crate – she’s too clean for her own good!

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to put this together.

  • hiromi

    Thank you very much for the information.
    I and my dog go to Japan .
    It takes12 hours .
    I can walk with her before deperture.

  • Just a quick note to tell you that today (1/4/13) reader Kate posted a note on Dog Jaunt’s FB page that the Terminal 1 pet relief area is currently closed, and apparently being used as a staging area for construction. If you find the same situation, use the alternative I described above (and be sure to bring your own poop bags!). Thanks, Kate!

  • mel

    I was so excited to find this information, but it appears the pet relief areas are disappearing! Shimmer and I just went hunting for the one between terminal 3 and the international terminal and it’s nowhere to be found! Looks like the area is cordoned off for construction. 07/03/2013

  • Amanda

    Another alternative to the formal pet relief areas listed above — most if not all LAX terminals have grassy areas directly across from the arrivals areas. We’ve flown in and out of LAX with Wrigley numerous times, and I have yet to see a formal pet relief area! Instead, before departure and after arrival, we just pop outside the downstairs arrivals area of whatever terminal we’re in, cross the roadway and head for the grass.

  • Thanks, Amanda! Given how I keep getting news of the official pet relief areas shutting, temporarily or permanently, this is especially useful….

  • Deborah

    I am about to travel with my dog through LAX. He is larger, so will be in a crate in the hold but I wondered can anyone offer some advice on the procedure for the transfer since the agents I have spoken to don’t seem very sure. The most confident person I spoke with said Delta will transfer the dog (who should be checked through) and let him out for using the toilet. However, someone else said I would need to request the ground staff to have him brought to the terminal so I could do that, but from what I can see there is no dog relief area within the terminal. Can anyone help with some experience of the procedure? I feel so bad putting the little man through this journey but it was the only option, and for a greater good!
    Thanks!

  • Hi, Deborah — I suspect it depends on the place you’re laying over. When you check your pup in, talk to the ticketing agent and get their instructions for that day, that layover — then confirm them with an airline rep (the gate agent at your arrival gate would be a place to start) at your layover. When you check your dog in, you might want to request the opportunity to visit, walk your pup yourself — if your layover time allows — so you can see how he’s doing and give him some love (and water!).

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