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Pet Wellness

Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Leash Walks with your Four Legged Pal

December 18, 2023 - 2 minute read by Lori Carscadden


When you think of the benefits of walking, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

  • Improving cardiovascular health?
  • Flexibility and stamina?
  • Weight loss and management?
  • Increasing Energy?
  • Improving Sleep?
  • Reaching your step goal?

In a world where we are trying to maintain wellness through walking and getting ourselves from Point A to Point B, there are some pretty glaringly obvious factors we are missing – and that is SLOWING DOWN. Yes, the old adage of 'stop to smell the roses' can ring true in the walking realm!

During my doctoral residency at the Institute for Humane Education, we learned to do something called a 'Wonder Walk'. It is as magical as it sounds! Take your time, use all your senses, and take in everything all around you! Look up close, stop and smell, stand back and look on a grander scale, listen to subtle nuances both near and far, touch foliage (gently), maybe taste as long as you know what you are tasting (apple tree, anyone?)

This slowing down and walking with wonder will do just that, fill your cup with wonder and delight. It is so good for your overall well-being, it makes you wonder what took so long to discover it.

A dog with a leash on a leash sitting on a wood deck

Guess what? The SAME rings true for our puppers. All they want to do is stop and sniff. This is how dogs gather endless information. That is how they make sense of our world. This is enriching and exhilarating stimulation for them. I like to call it going on a Sniffari! Taking your time allows them to take their time. And it seems all we ever do is try to take them from Point A to Point B.

By going on purposeful slow and peaceful walks, you can provide a true gift to Man's (or Woman's) Best Friend. Chunk out some time to do just that. All together now – Let Them Sniff!

Don't forget some high quality snacks in case you need to redirect their focus (try not to, try very hard to relinquish control as much as you safely can).

Highly recommend:

Leash Walks – they're not just for potty anymore…

A dog jumping on a trampoline

About The Author

Lori Carscadden

Lori Carscadden is a Canine Behaviorist certified in Canine Nutrition with a specialized focus on kidney disease. She additionally holds a Masters Degree in Humane Education, as well as, a Bachelor's Degree in Humane Leadership. As a lifelong learner, Lori is currently obtaining her doctorate in Human/Canine Connections, also known as Anthrozoology.