A few days ago a new toilet was opened in the Fuerteventura Airport, but it isn’t the usual toilet… It’s a toilet for pets!
If you don’t know where this airport is, it is located approximately six kilometers south of Fuerteventura’s capital, Puerto del Rosario.
After the government suspended all Covid restrictions on March 24th, more travelers flew to Fuerteventura, and some were flying with their pets. Like in other airports, those voyagers had problems with “taking care of their pets’ needs.” Luckily, the airport of Fuerteventura has opened a toilet for pets.
To see and understand where the idea came from, we have to go all the way back to 2013, when San Diego International Airport opened the first indoor pet toilet in the United States. This was a tremendous breakthrough when most airlines treated pets as an afterthought, which could be very stressful for their owners. The restroom included fake grass, a red fire hydrant, pop bags, and sinks for humans to wash their hands. For example, the one in Fuerteventura also has an area with artificial grass and bollards to pee on them.
In the aftermath, this idea reached many other US cities. Even the government made some regulations. To make flying with your pets less stressful and more accessible, they announced that every airport in the USA that services more than 10.000 passengers a year is required to have an indoor bathroom for our friendly animals. Moreover, not only inside one of the terminals but in all of them.
The complete list of US airports with pet toilets is available here.
This was a massive change because most of the Airports in the USA and Asia only had outdoor washrooms for our beloved animals. For instance, a toilet in Japan, to be more precise, which is located at the Osaka International Airport, has some amenities even though it isn’t an indoor bathroom – for example, it has a self-cleaning pee pole, a waste flushing system, and a shower. It is situated in the pick-up and drop-off area of the building so that people can take their pets there before boarding. This facility is open to the general public between 5.30 am and 10.00 pm.
However, even though flying with pets is becoming more and more common nowadays, many airports in Europe still don’t have relief areas for dogs and pets in general, not even the outdoor ones, not to mention those indoors. This may be because of the length of the flights in Europe, which usually don’t take that long, and the flights with transfers aren’t that common. The good thing is that some of the Airports in Europe have those zones, take the Helsinki Airport, for example. It has two bathrooms for pets, both located with long-haul passengers in mind. One of them is outside Terminal 2, used by the non-Schengen travelers, and the second one is inside the terminal and past the security, near Gate 51. Both of them are accessible 24/7. This isn’t the only pet-friendly airport in Europe; there is one in Mallorca, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Frankfurt.
Following the examples from airports in the United States, Japan, and some European ones, Fuerteventura Airport has opened a new restroom zone for our furry friends in the boarding area opposite gates 7 and 8 of the airport. Its main objective is to let passengers traveling with their pets rest and take care of their pets’ physiological needs.
As we mentioned before, we can find many useful amenities inside it, such as an area with artificial grass with a water cleaning system, a bin with a bag dispenser, a fountain with a bucket at the bottom for pets, and bollards to pee on them.
This place also includes a hand-held shower, a hairdryer, a sink, benches on which people can sit and look after their pets, and a poster explaining how to use it. However, they are reminded that this facility isn’t proper to use for individuals.