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Therapy dogs help reduce stress as travelers move through Houston's airports

“They bring so many smiles. They create so many magical moments," said Houston Airport System Volunteer Program Outreach Initiatives manager Ella Ghica.

HOUSTON — As thousands of travelers at Bush Intercontinental Airport started their holiday, therapy dogs Shotgun and Clyde were hard at work.

“They bring so many smiles. They create so many magical moments," said Houston Airport System Volunteer Program Outreach Initiatives manager Ella Ghica.

“They were scared about flying, but now they’re not,” said K9 Ambassadors team leader Louise Thorne.

Houston Airport System has partnered with Alliance of Therapy Dogs since 2016 to help travelers, staff, and airline workers relax.

To lower the stress level even further, airport officials recommend passengers do three things.

First, double-check what you can - and can't - bring in a carry-on, especially food items.

“If you’re gonna take gravy through the security checkpoint, you can only carry 3.4 ounces. So, make sure you have it in a bottle, but you’ll be able to get it across. A big question we get this time of year is, ‘Hey, can I take tamales through the security checkpoint?’ Guess what? You can,” said Houston Airport System spokesperson Augusto Bernal.

Second, double-check parking capacity and reserve a spot at both airports online at fly2houston.com.

“You’re not only gonna save some money, but you’re also guaranteeing that spot in the parking garage,” Bernal said.

The third bit of advice comes from traveler Larry DeSantis, who's flying to Atlanta to see his son:

“Best thing to do is get here early, that way you don’t get stressed out," he said.

This holiday season, officials recommend travelers give themselves an extra hour to get to the airport.

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