Due to the animal import laws of the United Kingdom, Heathrow Airport has some special and significant requirements for animals traveling by plane. Most of the time, you will not be able to travel with your pet through the airport, minimizing most traveler’s need to find a pet relief area. Before you book your ticket, make sure you are familiar with the policies regarding your specific type of animal. No matter if your pet is a cat, dog, ferret, or fish, it will most likely be required to go through Heathrow Animal Reception Centre upon your arrival. Even during a layover in London, your pet will still have to make a trip to the HARC. Curious as to the accommodations your pet will enjoy while at the Heathrow Airport? You can read more about the pet policies for Heathrow Airport and the Heathrow Animal Reception Center.

If you have a service animal, you will have different guidelines to abide by when traveling. As animals are not allowed into the airport, there are no formal pet relief areas inside the terminals. The remedy for this is that you can bring your animal outside with an escort. Before you board your plane, meet with your airliner’s representative in charge of making sure you are seated on the plane, and you will have the opportunity to bring your animal to a designated area to relieve themselves.


London Heathrow Airport Terminal Map


With airports that offer a modern pet relief area, your pooch can expect a small stretch of Astroturf and supplied plastic baggies. It’s unclear what the accommodations are like for service animals at Heathrow. Most likely, the area is outside near the departure gates. Since you are being escorted by an airport representative, it is unlikely that you’ll have trouble getting back through security. It is a good idea to bring your own plastic baggies and anything else your animal might need for their comfort, such as a collapsible water bowl or a jacket if it is cold or rainy.

If you have any questions about the travel guidelines for animals through Heathrow airport, especially service animals, you can contact the Pet Travel Scheme Hotline at [email protected], or call at 0370 241 1710 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.