DiscoverScience VsPets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?
Pets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?

Pets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?

Update: 2019-04-049
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Description

Can petting Fluffy or Fido help with anxiety on planes? Or are emotional support animals a load of croc? We talk to psychologist Prof. Hal Herzog to find out if science has anything to say on whether these pets should fly high or be grounded.

Check out the full transcript here.

Selected references: 
  • Hal’s critical review on whether pets can improve mental health 
  • Study showing that blankets worked just as well as dogs to reduce anxiety in children
  • Here’s a good article describing the differences between emotional support animals and service animals 
  • A couple reviews on the evidence that animal-assisted therapy can help with psychiatric illnesses

Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Molly Crossman, Dr. Karen Thodberg, Cassie Boness, Dr. Rob Young, and Dr. Helen Louise Brooks. Also thanks to the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Comments (9)

Gabby Knox

I'm really disappointed they didn't once mention the difference between accredited service dog's and emotional support animal.

Apr 23rd
Reply

angelinblackink

So. What about people who have mental disabilities that experience notable differences that weren't there with other comfort attempts doing little to nothing? It was a last ditch effort and worked better than anything so far. It wasn't 100% but it was noticably helpful. I'm just curious about how that works if there's no proof that it does help me.

Apr 11th
Reply

Apple Betty

What?? THAT was the shortest episode ever, I feel like I've been ripped off.

Apr 4th
Reply

Charlita Huffman

Apple Betty When being sarcastic in writing you can't assume everyone is going to read it the way that you intended. Just something to be aware of. https://wiredimpact.com/blog/sarcastic-writing-risks/ https://www.writerscookbook.com/how-to-write-sarcasm/

Apr 5th
Reply

Apple Betty

Linh Nguyen ...and what gratitude should one have listening to a podcast??

Apr 5th
Reply
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Pets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?

Pets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?

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