Washington Dulles Airport Service Animal Policies

Assistance animals are welcome to travel with passengers who have disabilities. Certain exemptions are provided to these animals, but some rules and restrictions still apply. To determine if your dog qualifies to be certified as a Psychiatric Service Dog and can be accepted as such for air travel, you can visit Pettable’s PSD service.

Washington Dulles Airport Pet Relief Areas

There are five pet relief areas at Dulles International Airport. Three are located outside the terminal in pre-security areas, while the other two are within the concourses (post-security). The variety of options provides convenience and security for travelers and pet parents—those who need to relieve their animals need not leave the terminals, and those experiencing long security lines can quickly step out to use the pre-security stations. Dulles International pet policy requires that all non-service animals be kept in carriers and crates while not utilizing a pet relief area.

Dulles International IAD Cargo Policy and Facility Locations

Dogs small enough to fit under your airplane seat will be allowed to fly with you in the cabin. All other animals must fly as either checked baggage or cargo. The checked baggage option is relatively unpopular among airlines, but if you choose to fly your dog this way, it’s really simple. Process your pup while checking into your flight and pick up him at excess baggage when you land. 

If your airline does not accept animals as checked baggage, he must fly as cargo. Washington Dulles International Airport pet policy requires that all pet parents collect their animals from airline-specific cargo buildings. As with most airports, Washington Dulles does not provide shuttle service to the six cargo facilities. However, they are extremely close to the airport itself—just behind Garage 2 and across Cargo Drive. Though we suggest arranging private transportation, travelers can easily walk to their designated facilities—there is no Dulles Airport pet policy that states otherwise. 

Below, we have listed essential location and contact information for a variety of cargo facilities. If you do not see your airline here, please check the Washington Dulles cargo directory. Please be aware that your airline may direct you to the Airport Cargo Facility at Reagan National. 


American Airlines Cargo
3703-C Air Freight Lane
Cargo Building 6
Dulles, VA 20166

Delta Airlines Cargo
23703-C Air Freight Lane
Cargo Building 6
Dulles, VA 20166

Lufthansa Cargo
23703-D Air Freight Lane
Cargo Building 6
Dulles, VA 20166

Southwest Airlines Cargo
23703-B Air Freight Lane
Cargo Building 6
Dulles, VA 20166

United Airlines Cargo
23723 Air Freight Lane
Cargo Building 5
Dulles, VA 20166


More Washington Dulles Airport Pet Policies

IAD Airport pet policy requires that all animal owners contact their airlines to learn about flight-related procedures, requirements, and restrictions that may be imposed while traveling. One of these potential restrictions regards weather—specifically, temperature. If the temperature drops below 35 degrees or rises above 85—as is likely in the summer months—the conditions may be deemed too dangerous for animal travel. This applies only to animals traveling as checked baggage and cargo. We recommend avoiding this airport in the summer months and carefully tracking the weather forecast to anticipate scheduling problems.   

IAD is a heavily-trafficked airport, seeing the most international passenger traffic of any airport in the Mid-Atlantic (outside of the New York Metropolitan area). As a result, pet relief areas—specifically those in secured locations—may become busy during peak travel times. In these situations, patience is of the utmost importance. Traveling with an animal is stressful enough—take a deep breath and wait to let your pup take a stretch. 

Looking for a different airport? We have an airport directory for pet policies.