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Thursday 10 January 2019

Resort offers optional puppy cuddling activities

Think of the perfect spa package; then include cuddling a puppy as an optional extra.

Sunrise Springs in Santa Fe in the US, is one of the first health resorts to offer interactions with puppies as part of a package.

The Santa Fe destination spa’s snuggling services aren’t just about making humans happy, but about helping the puppies learn, too.

Sunrise Springs has partnered with Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW) - a non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs for those in need - to create the on-site Puppy Enrichment Centre, currently home to eight puppies training to be service dogs, USA Today reports.

Puppies training to be service dogs require lots of socialisation, so they are prepared to calmly handle any situation when they are older. This is where Sunrise Springs steps in. The spa resort uses its puppy play and cuddling packages as a way to help both humans and dogs.

ADW executive director Linda Milanasi says humans get a chance to lower their blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels, while increasing oxytocin levels by interacting with the puppies through spa programs like Upbeat Canine Play and Puppy Preschool. And the service dog students get the opportunity to socialise and learn basic commands from a variety of friendly faces.

Sunrise Springs’ puppy activities are among the resort’s most popular features.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to have the puppies here and to support such an important program,” general manager of Sunrise Springs Mara Bouvier told USA Today

“Our guests rave about their experience, no matter what age the puppies are. To see them from newborns to six-months-old, in all stages of development and learning, is often the highlight of their stay.”

The puppies are pampered, as well. All of the little dogs’ activities are supervised by trained ADW professionals, and when the canines aren’t learning from guests, the puppies can often be found eating, playing on the resort’s property or resting in their luxurious accommodations.

For those who prefer feathers over fur, Sunrise Springs also offers interactions with pet Silkie chickens. 

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