Travelers with pets and service dogs are getting an upgrade on pit stops at Philadelphia International Airport.

The airport on Thursday announced it opened a permanent Animal Relief Area near Gate D3 for travelers with service dogs, emotional support animals, and small pets. The site is the first to replace seven temporary relief areas opened in 2016.

No, that’s not a real fire hydrant: A new facility for travelers with animals has opened at Philadelphia International Airport Terminal D.
Philadelphia International Airport
No, that’s not a real fire hydrant: A new facility for travelers with animals has opened at Philadelphia International Airport Terminal D.

The 90-square-foot relief area has a built-in basin with plumbing for easy wash-downs by the owner, a faux fire hydrant, waste bags, waste receptacle, handwashing station, and a bench for humans that includes device-charging outlets.

The Animal Relief Areas were installed to comply with a U.S. Department of Transportation regulation for larger airports to provide animal service relief areas inside terminals so that passengers do not need to leave secure areas to tend to their animals' needs.

Temporary pet-relief areas at Philadelphia International Airport, shown here in 2016, are being converted to permanent facilities.
CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Temporary pet-relief areas at Philadelphia International Airport, shown here in 2016, are being converted to permanent facilities.

"The permanent relief areas are intended to be helpful and provide a less stressful airport experience for travelers who may have their service animal or pet with them," Airport chief operating officer Keith Brune said in a statement.

A permanent relief area is planned for Terminal E in late 2019 and others in Terminals A-West, B, and C will open in 2020.