Therapy Dogs Arrive At UK Airports To Help Nervous Flyers

by : Cameron Frew on : 15 Jan 2020 08:54
Therapy Dogs UK AirportTherapy Dogs Nationwide

Are you a nervous flyer? If so, make sure you travel from this airport – where therapy dogs are on-paw ready to make you feel better. 

There’s few better experiences one can enjoy than clapping a dog. It’s life-fuel: every pat equals a small dose of joy, even in the darkest of days and worst of times.


For some, flying doesn’t instil getaway, jet-setting excitement. Regretfully, it can be quite a stressful experience, so it’s unsurprising that therapy dogs are the answer.

Therapy Dogs UK Airport 2Therapy Dogs Nationwide

The new four-legged employees will be stationed at Southampton International Airport – they’re set to be a semi-permanent feature at the airport and will be patrolling the terminals once a week.

As therapy dogs, they need to be receptive to lots of people and their claps. As such, the pooches, from the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TND), are fully temperament tested and experienced in their comforting profession.


Simon Young, Head of Passenger Operations at Southampton International Airport, told Metro:

Having therapy dogs in our airport will not only benefit our passengers but also our staff. Four legged companions are well known for boosting general happiness, well-being as well as mood and we are very excited to welcome them to the Southampton Airport family.

Therapy Dogs UK Airport 3Therapy Dogs Nationwide

The move in Southampton comes after Aberdeen Airport became the first in the UK to employee cute dogs to help anxious flyers and those with hidden disabilities. They took on a sizeable canine crew in May last year, made up 14 dogs, including three golden retrievers, two German Shepherds, two beagles, a Leonberger and a pug.


Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is becoming increasingly popular across the company, with dogs (and other animals too, including Alpacas) often sent into care homes, schools, universities and hospitals.

Therapy Dogs UK Airport 4Therapy Dogs Nationwide

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For people who are socially isolated or suffering illness (both mental and physical), therapy dogs can provide a much needed comfort – according to airport bosses, just clapping a dog can slow a person’s heartbeat and reduce blood pressure, making them the perfect pre-flight cure for those with anxiety.

Kirsty Smith, re-homing supervisor at Blue Cross Southampton, said:


We see every day how incredible pets are and how much of a benefit they bring to our lives; through the joy they bring and often helping alleviate our stress and worry in difficult situations.

Another reason why dogs are too good and pure for this world.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Animals, Airport, Anxiety, Disabilities, Dogs, Mental Health


  1. Metro

    Therapy dogs stationed at UK airport to help nervous flyers