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Did Someone Say W-A-L-K? The World’s Largest Pet Walk 2023

Elisabeth Van Every
World's Largest Pet Walk banner.
World's Largest Pet Walk banner.

Did someone say W-A-L-K? Join us for the World's Largest Pet Walk! Register to walk September 23, 2023: Pet Partners World's Largest Pet Walk presented by Wellness Pet Company

Are you ready to go for a walk? September 23, 2023 is the 6th annual Pet Partners World’s Largest Pet Walk presented by Wellness Pet Company! We’re excited to have thousands of people and pets walking all over the country and around the world again this year, and hoping to once again have this year’s walk be the biggest ever.

The World’s Largest Pet Walk is an official Pet Partners event and signature fundraiser. Whether you walk, run, roll, trot, gallop, or hop, this event is for everyone who wants to enjoy the health benefits of being active with pets, while also supporting Pet Partners and our Therapy Animal Program.

Steps for Taking Part

Every walk starts with a step, and taking part in the World’s Largest Pet Walk has just a few easy steps!

First Step

RegisterA screenshot of the registration page for the 2023 World's Largest Pet Walk for the walk. There’s no registration fee to take part. But we encourage you to set up your fundraising page, and then invite your friends and family to donate in honor of your efforts. If you have a group of folks who will be walking together—such as a Community Partner group, a workplace, a club, or even a group of friends—you should register as a team. You can also choose to join an existing team, or support other walkers and teams with donations.

We provide helpful tips and tools to make fundraising simple and fun for you. We also make it easy with text-to-donate options and social media posts, so your smartphone can help you reach your goals with a touch of a button.

We know that fundraising is a lot of effort, and we want to recognize the work done by our walk fundraisers. So we have some great incentives to reward you with:

  • Walkers who raise $75 or more will receive a pet bandanna.
  • Walkers who raise $125 or more will receive an official 2023 World’s Largest Pet Walk T-shirt.

Second Step

Determine what type of walk you and your pets will participate in. What’s special about the World’s Largest Pet Walk is that it provides the flexibility to set up a walk that works for you.

We’ve seen numerous creative ways of participating in the World’s Largest Pet Walk! Here are a few of them:

  • Friends and neighbors organize gatherings with their pets at local parks and trails.
  • Community Partner groups host large community events at public gathering spaces, and some have organized events at facilities where they visit, with their registered Pet Partners therapy animal teams leading the way.
  • Corporate teams have held multiple walks on their various campuses. Some companies hold virtual meetings with all their locations to kick off their participation, encouraging employees to log in to the group call with their pets, and asking everyone to share their plans for how they will participate in the World’s Largest Pet Walk.
  • Some people hold personal events with their pets where they take long hikes or go swimming to engage in physical activity.

And while we encourage people to hold their walk events on the official World’s Largest Pet Walk day on September 23, you can also hold your walk any time between July and December! Maybe you live in a location where September is too hot for outdoor walking, but December is mild. Maybe it works better for you or your walking team to hold your walk over a holiday weekend rather than on September 23. Maybe it’s just easier to get everyone together for a walk on another day. Set up the type of walk event that works for you.

Third Step

Be sure to print your official World’s Largest Pet Walk bib, fill it out, and wear it during your walk.

Image of the walker bib for the 2023 World's Largest Pet Walk

Final Step

Take your walk on the big day, September 23! (If that’s the day that works for you, of course.) And remember to take pictures and videos, post selfies of you and your pets, and share your participation on social media. Tag us using #WorldsLargestPetWalk and #PetPartners so others can see what you are doing to celebrate the World’s Largest Pet Walk.

For more tips on how to participate, contact Ash at 425-679-5535 or [email protected] for great suggestions or customized ideas just for you.

Why a Pet Walk?

A woman exercising along with her dog

Increasing a person’s physical activity level significantly reduces their risk of chronic diseases and related risk factors. And physical activity has numerous other health benefits, such as supporting positive mental health and healthy aging, so it’s one of the most important actions people can take to improve their overall health. Walking and getting outside for physical activity of any kind is an easy way for people to engage in regular physical activity, and walking with pets provides additional reason and motivation.

Pet Partners encourages walking for healthy communities through Walk With Me™, our program initiative designed to integrate walking into the overall health benefits offered through therapy animal visits. The World’s Largest Pet Walk expands that idea to everyone by encouraging people and pets everywhere to get out for movement and exercise and to demonstrate the benefits of walking with pets.

A person in a wheelchair interacts with a miniature horse in a park.And while we call it a pet walk, we want to ensure that people who have limited mobility or use mobility devices can participate as well. People who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as well as those who use assistive devices like walkers, crutches, and canes, can also benefit from physical activity that involves animals, and we encourage walk events that support their participation. We want everyone to have the opportunity to be part of this worldwide event!

A Walk for ALL Pets

A cat in a stroller participating in the World's Largest Pet WalkAlso, the World’s Largest Pet Walk is open to walkers and animals of all kinds—you don’t need to be a registered therapy animal team, and your pet doesn’t have to be a species that Pet Partners registers. It’s for every person, every age, and every level of walker. It’s also for every pet who wants to walk with their people. Past years have seen plenty of dogs walking, but we’ve also had cats, horses, alpacas, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and even a steer! If you have an animal who enjoys walks, whether on a leash, in a stroller or wagon, or riding on your arm or shoulder, they can take part in the World’s Largest Pet Walk.

The World’s Largest Pet Walk is also a way to raise crucial financial support for the vital services Pet Partners provides through our Therapy Animal Program. Funds raised by our walkers supports us in registering, serving, and insuring our therapy animal teams, and the walk brings attention to the work of Pet Partners and our volunteers. The benefits of the World’s Largest Pet Walk extend far beyond this one day.

2023 Walk Champion

A smiling woman with long hair, wearing a National Therapy Animal Day T-shirt, holding a shorthaired white guinea pig in her right arm and a long haired black & white guinea pig in her left arm.

Every year, Pet Partners highlights a therapy animal team participating in the World’s Largest Pet Walk. The chosen teams are dedicated and passionate about Pet Partners’ mission and support the organization by participating and fundraising in the World’s Largest Pet Walk. This year’s Champions are Dr. Elizabeth Lynch and her therapy guinea pigs, Cookie and Moo. Dr. Lynch has been involved with Pet Partners for more than 20 years and has raised more than $100,000 through grants, fundraising, networking, and other activities. A team evaluator and National Program Educator in addition to being a therapy animal handler, Dr. Lynch is passionate about our mission and shares it with everyone she comes in contact with. She has had several therapy animals registered with Pet Partners, and she and her adorable guinea pigs are excited to celebrate walk day this year!

Read more about Dr. Lynch, Cookie, and Moo.

Walking Your Own Way

One great thing about the World’s Largest Pet Walk is that it’s designed for participants to set up their own walking times, routes, and details. You choose how you wish to participate—no need to get up early or be in a particular place at a particular time! You can take a leisurely stroll in your neighborhood or a challenging hike in the wilderness. Walk independently or invite family and friends to join you. Start at daybreak or stretch your legs after dinner.

A group of teams from North Carolina Pet Partners poses for a group photo.

If you would like to find other walkers in your area, reach out to Ashley at [email protected].

For those who participate in fundraising, there are all of the benefits of a traditional charity walk event: cool pet bandannas and T-shirts, fun photos with your walking bib, and a sense of accomplishment in supporting a cause that you believe in.

This is also an opportunity to show your community how important therapy animals are and how they can benefit people everywhere. Inviting people to join you for your walk event or to support you through donating is a great way to engage people with the work of our Therapy Animal Program and our volunteer teams. We even have a variety of resources that you can use to spread the word and get people involved.

Ready to Go the Extra Mile

Now that you know how easy it is, you’re ready to get going! Go to the World’s Largest Pet Walk site to register and plan your walk. Then get out and walk on September 23 in support of Pet Partners.

World's Largest Pet Walk banner.

We extend heartfelt thanks to our World’s Largest Pet Walk sponsors this year:

Presenting Sponsor

The logo for Wellness Pet Company

Titanium Sponsor

Blue Shield California logo

Blue Shield California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association.