Therapy dogs are coming to airports to help soothe travel anxiety and help anyone who needs some dog cuddles.

Traveling is more stressful than ever. Not only are people afraid of getting sick in such a crowded space, but Covid restrictions also make the process much more difficult. Fortunately, therapy dogs can help soothe passengers’ nerves before boarding their several hour-long flights.

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The concept of using these kinds of dogs in airports first came to play after 9/11 when travel anxiety was at an all-time high. Now with the pandemic, therapy dogs have once again entered the realm of travel to help anyone who needs some emotional support.

Heidi Huebner developed the airport dog program in 2013 and has since helped 70 airports put these dogs into their system.

All of the dogs chosen for these types of programs must meet certain criteria and have a specific personality type. They must also have at least one year of experience working with a recognized dog therapy organization, be registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and pass an initial meet-and-greet walk-through test.

Once they acquire all of these qualities, they can then be brought into airports with a handler to help any traveler who may need them.

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