Whether it’s a cancelled flight, a missed connection or lost luggage—travelling can be stressful.

In an effort to comfort travellers, the Ottawa International Airport has brought in therapy dogs.  

“We don’t know what stories people bring to the airport with them,” said Christine Phillips, the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program Coordinator. “Dogs can transcend emotion and can reach people in ways humans often can’t.”

Four dogs are part of the program that officially launched on Thursday.

The dogs will be at the airport on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Passengers will be able to interact with the dogs once they’re through security.

“We hope these dogs running through the domestic holdroom will really go a long way to bringing some comfort and joy to those passengers who need it,” said Krista Kealey with the Ottawa International Airport.

The program rollout at the airport has been a long time coming. Adjustments were made to ensure the dogs part of the airport’s in-house K9 Unit can carry out their duties without distractions.

“We’re confident now both can very peacefully co-exist. Security will always be at the forefront but passenger experience is also very, very important to us and having these dogs in the terminal is going to take that to the next level,” Kealey said.