A Few Pet Ground-Rules at LAX
- Before arriving, check with your specific airline about regulations regarding pet travel documentation, carrier size, and specifications for in-cabin vs. under-plane travel
- Your pet is never allowed off-leash at LAX, with the exception of their time in fenced-in relief stations. Most pets who are comfortable in their carriers simply stay in them throughout their airport experience.
- Bring a leash in addition to your pet carrier. You may be asked at some point to remove your pet from her carrier and you’ll need a leash to ensure she stays closeby – unfamiliar noises and people can spook a pet!
When to Travel With a Pet at LAX
All airports have peak times and slow times. Traveling with a pet is stressful enough, so we recommend trying to book your flight off-peak to avoid the hassles of crowd control. At LAX, that means flying during the week on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and aiming for a midday (11am-2pm) flight or one that takes off after 7pm. Bonus: Late flights may mean you and your pet are both so tired you get some in-flight rest!
Getting Through LAX Security With a Pet
No one likes going through security, least of all your dog or cat. First and foremost, give yourself plenty of time; cabin-bound animals in carriers take extra time to screen. Remember, TSA says they will never ask to X-ray your pet – they may want to X-ray your empty carrier, though.
The particular agents on duty will decide the best way to proceed. Some ask pet owners to “walk” their on-leash animal through the metal detectors with them. Others opt to send everyone to secondary screening for a more comprehensive experience. If you have a preference, let the TSA agents know. Remember to be kind! Stay calm and don’t forget that airport security is there to keep everyone (including your pet!) safe, even if that’s a bit inconvenient.
Pet Relief Stations at LAX
Did you know that LAX has more pet relief stations than any other airport in America? How convenient!
There are actually 11 pet parks located all throughout the airport including eight indoor relief stations and three outdoor. They’re all used by passengers, security animals, and therapy/assistance animals alike. Of the indoor stations, 7 of 8 are past security, so keep that in mind. All 3 outdoor relief areas are in the arrivals/lower level. All the relief stations are fenced and offer poop bags for easy cleanup.
Here’s a handy map of all the official pet relief stations at LAX airport.
P.U.P.: Unique to LAX!
Traveling without your pet this trip? Don’t fret! You’ll have plenty of opportunity to get some heavy petting in before your flight thanks to LAX’s P.U.P. program. It stands for “Pets Unstressing Passengers,” and it’s just what it sounds like: certified therapy dogs roaming the airport in official P.U.P. gear simply helping to alleviate some of the anxiety of air travel!
There’s generally at least one P.U.P. dog and volunteer handler on duty at any given time. Look for them at your gate and be sure to tag a pic of you destressing with your P.U.P. on social media, too.
Ready for takeoff?
Before you fly anywhere with your dog or cat, it’s a good idea to have your vet perform a comprehensive evaluation. Vetted PetCare vets offer in-home vet visits in LA and beyond…we can help with travel certificates, vaccinations, anxiety issues, and more.