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What If My Dog Goes/Needs To Go To The Bathroom On An Airplane?

Ways To Prevent/Prepare Airplane Bathroom Accidents | Items To Bring If You're Worried About Accidents | What To Do If An Accident Happens | Dogs Can Hold Their Bladder A Lot Longer Than We Think


A lot of the prevention for dog airplane bathroom accidents comes down to planning and preparing, below you will find tips on how to help plan/prepare your dog, so you can reduce bathroom accidents.

Please understand, when traveling with your dog, it's VERY NORMAL for you dog's bathroom routine become a little jumbled up.

Tip #1- Train Your Dog To Be Comfortable In Their Travel Carrier

You're probably wondering, "How would training my dog in their travel carrier prevent them from going to the bathroom?"

It's quite simple, dogs do not like to go to the bathroom where they sleep (and eat too). If they know their carrier is a place they're comfortable and feel safe in. It will reduce the chances of them going to the bathroom in it.

Keep the carrier out in your home, make it normal for them to want to go and lay inside. In the beginning you'll want to avoid using the travel carrier for JUST airplane travel.

Tip #2- Stop Feeding At Least 4-6 Hours Before Flight

No more meals within 4-6 hours of flying. If you have a long day of flying, bring single ingredient freeze dried fruit. It's excellent travel treat for dogs!

If you can’t feed them earlier due to an early morning flight, remember it’s just like surgery or getting their blood work done (the vet asks you to not feed your dog after their dinner meal, the night before.

Your dog will be okay! ☺

Tip #3- Water Should Still Be Given To Your Dog (Even When Flying)

Dehydration is common when flying for you and your dog! It’s important to still give them a little bit of water when flying. However, be sure to limit the amount consumed. You don't want them to have to go to the bathroom.

However, be sure to limit the amount consumed. You don’t want them to have to go to the bathroom.

It’s important to start hydrating your dog a minimum of 24 hours before a flight (we usually start 2-3 days before a flight).

If your dog does not drink water frequently, try using some of these options to help entice your dog to drink more…

🥥 Coconut Water

🦴 Bone Broth

🫐 Adding some fruit to their water

🥒 Cucumbers to their water

Tip #4- Teach Your Dog To Go To The Bathroom In Strange Places

I taught Olive to be able to go to the bathroom in...

  • Wood chips

  • Turf

  • Dirt

  • Rocks

  • Potty Pad Liners

MOST pet relief areas are gross, Olive refuses to use them (don't blame her) but most airports do not have fresh grass for them to go to the bathroom.

Travelier Tip: If your dog doesn't want to use the pet relief area, teach them to go on a potty pad liner. Simply lay one out on the floor in the bathroom stall.

Tip #5- Know Where The Airport Pet Relief Areas Are Located (In & Outside The Airport)

Knowing where the pet relief areas at your airport is very important. Your airport should state online where the pet relief areas are located,

Tip #6- Take Them To The Bathroom SEVERAL times before your flight.

I always take Olive to the bathroom several times before flying. I always take her...

  • 4 Hours Before Flight

  • Before Leaving For The Airport

  • Before Checking-In or Head To Security (if you there is a place available)


It's been a long travel day, they've been in their carrier all day long. You want them to stretch their legs. However, I STRONGLY recommend waiting until your dog has had the chance to go to the bathroom first before allowing them to walk.

Why? Because walking activates their bowels/bladder. If they haven't had the opportunity to go to the bathroom, and you let them walk, next thing you know they will be popping a squat on their airport floor with LITTLE TO NO WARNING. This happened to me with Olive!

How To Prepare/What To Do If An Accident Happens

Bring A Small Trash Bag & Line Their Travel Carrier With A Potty Pad Liner

Using disposable potty liners allow for easy clean-up in case of an accident. Be sure to bring some sort of airtight waste bag (plastic grocery sack, gallon ziploc bag, etc...) so you can place the liner inside the bag until you're able to throw it away.

Dog Diapers

I rarely recommend dog diapers, however they're not an option to be dismissed. These are great for puppies who are being picked up by their new fur parents and haven't quite been potty trained.

These are also an excellent option for senior dogs that may need to take a flight and you're worried they may not be able to hold their bladder.

Dog Onesie + Wipes

"Why in the world would I need to bring a dog onesie?" Because if your dog has an accident, chances are they're going to smell, you'll want to contain the odors as much as possible.

Throwing a onesie on them not only contains the smell, but helps reduce further odors from rubbing on their carrier. Not ideal, but in this situation, your options are limited.

Don't Freak Out

If an accident occurs, don't freak out. Simply clean up the mess, and remain calm. Your dog can pick-up on your anxiety and stress, same with people around you. It's going to be okay, you'll get through it!


(Most) Dogs Can Hold Their Bladder/Bowels A Lot Longer Than We Give Them Credit For

Every dog is different, however as long as they're potty trained and you follow the tips above. The chances of an accident happening are very slim!


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