UK’s first airport therapy dog team will regularly visit Aberdeen International Airport
Already regular visitors to nursing homes, schools, prisons and universities, the dogs have been proven to help improve mental health and wellbeing, alleviate stress and calm nerves.
Anxious flyers departing from Aberdeen International Airport will soon be able to have their fears allayed with the UK’s first-ever team of airport therapy dogs visiting the terminal on a regular basis.
‘The Canine Crew’, easily identifiable in their high vis jackets and bandanas, will mingle with passengers and staff both landside and airside throughout the terminal.
Therapet in the Aberdeenshire area is managed by Canine Concern Scotland Trust and will deploy a team of dogs, of various sizes, with their handlers on a rota basis.
Trustee of the charity and area representative for Aberdeenshire North Therapet, Diane Wood, explained: “We are delighted to take the lead in this project and have the opportunity to work with Aberdeen International Airport.
“All our dogs – and their owners – have undergone rigorous training and assessment to work in a variety of environments and the dogs are used to being stroked and petted and generally made a fuss of so they will lap up the attention and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with passengers and staff.
“The mere action of stroking a dog slows down the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure so they will be a great help to anyone feeling nervous about their journey. The dogs will work in pairs, for two hours at a time once a week and we plan to keep everybody updated about what dogs are visiting and when.”
This is the first venture of this scale in the UK to bring dogs to an airport environment.