Holiday travel is “ruff” stuff, but these therapy pups can pick you up, even if you’re dog-tired.
United Airlines is bringing out 200 dogs at seven major U.S. airports this week to help travelers wind down while waiting for layovers or delayed flights.
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United Paws is providing the professionally trained comfort dogs from local organizations so travelers at the busiest airports can relax from the stress of traveling home for the holiday.
“Research shows that just petting a dog releases oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and affection, and also decreases levels of stress, helps us breathe easier and lowers our blood pressure,” Veterinary Consultant Dr. Walter Woolf (yes, that’s his name) said in a statement from the airline.
Expect to see therapy dogs on duty Tuesday through Thursday greeting passengers in terminals at Chicago O’Hare, Denver International, Newark Liberty International, Washington Dulles International, George Bush Intercontinental Houston, Los Angeles International, and Cleveland Hopkins International.
Travelers who want to post photos of their own dogs in travel settings and raise a little money for dog charities can enter to win round-trip tickets. Just post your pictures on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #unitedpaws. The airline will also donate a dollar for each picture to local comfort dog groups that are taking part in the holiday travel sessions.