United Airlines Bringing 200 Comfort Dogs To Seven Airports For A Bit Of Holiday Travel Stress-Relief

These pups aren't part of United Paws, but they'd still relieve holiday stress. (Hammerin Man)

These pups aren’t part of United Paws, but they’d still relieve holiday stress. (Hammerin Man)

With holiday travel predicted to reach record levels this week, it’s probably a safe bet that someone at some overcrowded airport across the country will get a bit stressed out. In a bid to make sure holiday travel is a bit less grueling for passengers, United Airlines is sending in the dogs, literally. 

United Airlines announced Monday that it plans to send 200 dogs to the airline’s seven airport hubs this week through a program called United Paws.

The specially trained “comfort dogs” will be led around terminals with the express purpose of bringing a bit of cheer to the holiday travel experience.

Under the program, which will run from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday this week in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Denver, Newark, Washington, Houston, and Chicago, passengers can scratch, pet, and otherwise love on the furry airline ambassadors.

“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,” the airline said in a statement.

The airline first started the holiday pet stress-relief strategy in one or two airports last year. The Los Angeles Times reports that LAX, which will have 13 United pups on hand this week, has a similar program year-round called Pets Unstressing Passengers.

[via The Los Angeles Times]