With studies suggesting that interacting with dogs can reduce anxiety levels, what better place for them than in airports! Long lines, tight deadlines, rigid procedures, and last-minute changes can all make for a stressful situation; especially during busy holiday travel times. In looking for ways to ease the frustration of travelers, many airports are inviting therapy dogs into their concourses to help sooth frazzled nerves.
Vane Airport Magazine complied a list of therapy dog programs available in U.S. airports. Check out their infographic here.
Here is a sampling of news articles of therapy dog airport ambassadors.
Albany International Airport’s Canine Therapy Ambassadors
Albuquerque International Sunport Ambassadors
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Denver International Airport – DEN CATS
Gerald R. Ford International Airport: Gentle Fur In Action
Orlando International Airport
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
Syracuse Hancock International Airport
This article on Syracuse.com says that the first airport therapy dog program started in San Jose after 9/11 to ease the fear of flying passengers were experiencing.
Given how expansive the program has become across so many airports in the United States and around the world, it seems that the presence of therapy dogs will continue to maintain a significant presence for a long time.
According to Syracuse.com, the first airport therapy dog program started in San Jose, California after 9/11 to help overcome the fear of flying passengers were experiencing.
Some of the benefits of the mental health benefits of emotional support animals and comfort pets, from Redbarn Inc, include the list below. Given the benefits listed below, it’s very obvious why dogs are appearing in airports.
- lifts spirits and lessens depression.
- lowers feelings of isolation and alienation.
- encourages communication.
- provides comfort.
- increases socialization.
- lessens boredom.
- reduces anxiety.
- aids children in overcome speech and emotional disorders.
- creates motivation for the client to recover faster.
- reduces loneliness.
If you are traveling through any of these airports, be on the look out for a fuzzy friend to pet or hug. Who knows, maybe it will improve your day more than you think!
Dog Therapy Programs
The Dog Alliance – Texas
Paws For Love – SPCA Serving Erie County
West Michigan Therapy Dogs Inc.
PAWS of CNY