Central Bark, a leader in dog care and grooming, has joined forces with Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) to install indoor potties for service dogs. Coming with rave reviews, these little dog relief stations are not as bad as they may sound. There are two options, one with fake grass and one with real grass. The little boxes are placed unobtrusively near existing restrooms, fully enclosed for privacy. There is a little red hydrant in the center, and two sprinklers to rinse once Fido is done. In the past service animals had to wear diapers to go on trips with their owners, if they were unable to hold it, or the trip was too long. A service dog is performing a valuable service for someone who cannot perform certain tasks on their own, and Central Bark believes it is time to treat them with respect.
More and more people are travelling with their pets and this type of accommodation can help these animals feel more at ease while on an airplane. A full bladder is not the way to travel and installing potties for service dogs in airports is a great start, and employee’s at Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport are fully behind this new concept. Central Bark has been in business for over 10 years and has locations throughout the United States. This innovative indoor relief station is not found at many airports, and at some airports, dog owners are hard put to find any type of relief area, indoor or out. Dog Jaunt does a nice job of detailing major airports and their accommodations. Most of the airports listed have only outdoor facilities and they range from great, to hard to find, and the site even has photo’s of each relief station. This lack of adequate relief areas may come as a surprise to some, and the hope is that Central Bark will roll this out in other cities as well. It is convenient, and not having to leave the airport once you arrive gives dog owners piece of mind.
The new relief station at the Detroit airport is similar to the photo on the right. Just add some sprinklers and this is a good representation of how this indoor area will work. Owners will still have to pick up solid waste, however the rest can be rinsed away by just pushing a button. This was started for the hard-working service dogs, however dog owners at the Detroit based airport are excited about this too. Travelling with small dogs in carry on luggage is quite popular. Dog owners state that being able to allow their pet to relieve themselves prior to boarding will enhance the trip for the dog, and the owner. Anyone that has ever sat near one of these doggy carriers when the dog has to relieve themselves during flight, might find this is a worthwhile endeavor for all airports. Detroit Metropolitan Airport may have one of the first indoor service dog relief area’s, but the travelling dog owner hopes it isn’t the last. Central Barks hope is that it will change how we look at travelling with our pets, and make it an even more enjoyable trip.
by Kristi Cereska
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