It’s no secret that taking a walk every day can have numerous mental and physical health benefits for humans. But, daily walks can also have tons of perks for your pup too!
Besides helping your dog work off some energy, walks can stimulate their brain, boost their immune system, and make them happier!
If you want to incorporate a mindfulness walk into your daily routine with your pooch, here are some tips to get the most out of the experience.
You may have noticed on your regular walks with your dog that they enjoy lingering in certain spots for longer. Instead of rushing them along and encouraging them to continue walking, let them fully explore their surroundings as you go.
Dogs are curious about the world around them and all the sights and smells that come with it. By allowing them to linger and explore longer, they are learning a ton about the world around them!
Use this time you spend waiting on your pooch to practice patience and to take in the environment around you!
You may have gotten into the routine of taking your walks at the same place every day, whether that be your neighborhood or a nearby park.
Seeking out new routes and trails to explore can be a wonderful way to pique your pup’s curiosity and allow yourself to explore a unique area. A new environment will not only stimulate your furry friend’s mind but yours as well. Be sure to take in your surroundings and appreciate the beauty of nature around you.
Shinrin-yoku, loosely translated to “forest bathing,” is the Japanese practice of mindfully walking through a forest. When practicing Shinrin-Yoku, walk with the intention of engaging all five senses as you go.
Try it out by trying to slow down on your next walk with your dog. Set the goal of trying to observe the landscape around you, instead of reaching a specific destination.
Remember to breathe throughout your walk and allow your thoughts to flow. For more information about this practice, check out this book by Nadine Mazzola, Forest Bathing with your Dog.
If a slow-paced walk isn’t going to work for you or your pup, a traditional hike can be a great alternative. And, a perfect way to up the fun is to invite other dogs! Group activities are much easier to stick to, not to mention that seeing your dog have fun will make it even more fun for you.
If your goal of mindfulness walks is to reduce stress in your or your pup’s life, check out this article on ways to do that with your pup.
Ultimately, any time you spend with your dog outside is going to be time well spent. Mindfulness walks can take some getting used to but once it becomes part of your routine, you will see some major benefits.
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