When (& Why) To Book A Decompression Walk For Your Dog
Updated: Oct 25
Here at Pet Waggin’, we’ve introduced a new service and are beyond excited to tell you all about it. You can now book your dog for regular Decompression Walks! Our new Decompression Walk sessions offer amazing benefits to so many dogs. You should consider if they might be suitable for your dog too.
You might be thinking, “But it's just a walk. What makes it different from any other walk?” Every walk has its benefits, but Decompression Walks offer dogs something extra. They’re more than just putting one foot in front of the other. We’ll fill you in on the details of our new service and explain why you should book a Decompression Walk for your dog.
What Is A Decompression Walk?
If you follow our blog, you may have seen our in-depth look at Decompression Walks. If you’re new here, here’s the breakdown. Decompression Walks are unstructured walks in nature where we allow your dog to take charge. Instead of the human setting the pace and determining where the walk goes, the whole point is to actually just… follow your dog. These walks are done with as little interference as possible. The dog is allowed to forget human boundaries and just focus on being a dog.
Even though they offer the benefit of movement, Decompression Walks are about more than exercising your dog’s body. They exercise your dog’s brain in a way that a regular walk can’t. They may barely even resemble a walk. Your dog can sniff, roll on the ground, scoot through the leaves, chase bugs, and engage with the world in a way that is natural for them.
Decompression Walks are done in quiet areas, like nature trails, remote parks, or any area where you don’t have a lot of human noise and distractions. They are done on a long leash (20 foot clip leashes are our preferred tool) so your dog has the freedom to roam.
P.S. If you’ve read about Decompression Walks in passing, you may have seen recommendations that they be done off leash. This is a practice we do not endorse. Having the long lead is a safety precaution that ensures both your dog and the world around them remains safe and secure.
Anxious and reactive dogs are frequently put on a training plan that includes Decompression Walks. The removal of human expectations lowers the stress on your dog and allows them to relax. They can focus on their instinctual behaviors without worrying about your expectations… or triggering sights and sounds.
If you haven’t yet, check out our previous blog post to learn more details about Decompression Walks and how to make them successful.
How A Decompression Walk Can Benefit Your Dog
Anxious or high-strung dogs aren’t the only dogs who benefit from Decompression Walks. Even if you consider your dog pretty mellow and chill, a Decompression Walk may make a huge difference in their mental health. These walks are great for every dog, no matter what their temperament. Being able to just focus on natural behavior for a brief time during the week is an activity that all dogs need.
No dog is perfectly behaved all the time… sometimes they just forget what not to do, and sometimes your dog is trying to tell you something. If you’ve noticed your dog seems to be less well-behaved than usual… getting in the trash, shredding papers, chewing on furniture, barking at nothing, or if they’re suddenly not as well-behaved on walks, seem to be reacting more to distractions, and just don’t seem right, they may need more mental activity to relax them and help them get back to a more neutral and less anxious state of mind. (Of course, if you’ve noticed a big behavior change, it’s also always a good idea to check in with your veterinarian to ensure your dog isn’t dealing with a new illness or pain.)
Adding Decompression Walks to your dog’s routine can help decrease those unwanted behaviors and put them in a more relaxed state.
It can be hard to work a Decompression Walk into your typical routine if you already have a packed schedule. By nature, these walks are slow-paced and since they’re up to your dog, can take up quite a bit of time.
That’s why we’ve started offering our Decompression Walk service. Your dog can get the stress relief they need, and you don’t have to worry about adding one more thing to the pile you’re already juggling.
How Does Our Decompression Walk Service Work?
Our Decompression Walks are the real deal. We aren't just walking your dog and calling it “decompression”. We have carefully pre-selected areas with few distractions so your dog can focus on sniffing and wandering. We provide and use a long lead to allow them freedom of movement, so they can get the most out of their time outside. Your dog will be kept on a leash at all times. Since this is time for your dog to just focus on themselves, Decompression Walks are done individually, so multi-dog families may want to rotate their dogs each week, or schedule separate days for each dog.
Decompression Walks are booked in 90-minute blocks from pick-up to drop-off. We want your dog to get the most out of their Decompression Walk, so the location we pick for a Decompression Walk will be determined by proximity to you and the individual needs of your dog. That’s also why we require them to be regularly scheduled for the same day each week.
Your dog will be in good hands with us. We’ll provide them with water, training treats, and a long lead. We only ask that you make certain your dog has a sturdy well fitted harness (we like the Freedom Harness, and you can check here for other supplies we recommend). If your dog has dietary restrictions or food allergies, we ask that you provide the training treats.
Read up on our Decompression Walk service here. This is one service you definitely shouldn’t pass up. Log into your Client Portal and send us a message so we can get your dog booked for Decompression Walks today! Spots are very limited for this service!