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Therapy Dogs Now At Hand To Help Tense Travellers At Istanbul Airport

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Sometimes, travelling can be stressful. But the good thing is that, at Istanbul Airport, therapy dogs are now ready to lend a helping paw to comfort tense travellers.

Reuters reports that the airport has been doing this program for the past month to help calm the nerves of passengers passing through the terminals.

Five pooches are tasked to roam around the airport to search for stressed passengers who are looking to calm down before they board their flights.

And it’s quite easy to spot the therapy dogs — they wear a blue vest/shirt with the words “Pet Me” written on it.

Unsurprisingly, the program has received positive feedback from passengers. And following this, Abdulkadir Demirtas, a customer experience manager, tells Reuters that Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA) is planning to expand the project.

By expanding the project, the airport operator will raise the number of therapy dogs providing comfort to passengers from five to 10.

Demirtas said, “Our priority is to provide a stress-free and enjoyable airport experience to all passengers.”

“Travelling can be stressful … According to research, interaction between animals and humans reduces stress levels and anxiety,” he added.

Murat Cengiz Koca, a dog behavioral expert and trainer who accompanies the canines around the airport, reveals that the dogs were trained not to react to sounds or people.

He said, “The dogs we have chosen here have gone through a year-long process and training. They are here today because they have been successful.”

A traveller, named Anastasia Podmazova, praised the program while kneeling to pet one of the therapy dogs, Kuki, saying, “It relaxes me. I love animals. It is very good.”

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