Dog Walking Dangers: How to Avoid Injury While Exercising Your Pup
More than 65 million American households have a dog, making them easily the most popular pet in the nation. But did you know that walking your pooch could potentially open you up to injury?
It can sometimes be hard to determine by watching videos of people walking their dogs who exactly is walking who, as pet owners can sometimes find themselves being yanked around and ending up in the emergency room.
More than 65 million American households have a dog, making them easily the most popular pet in the nation. But a recent 20-year study by John Hopkins University reveals that 422,659 people have visited the emergency room for dog walking-related injuries.
Medical experts say what oftentimes injuries can occur if your dog suddenly yanks the leash as you're hold it. Two of the most common injuries are finger fractures and shoulder sprains.
The study reports that women are 50% more likely than men to sustain a fracture.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Stiever says if you hit the ground, you can really get hurt.
“[It could be] a fall that results in a broken hip, a sprained ankle or a spinal injury or a herniated disk,” he tells Inside Edition.
The study also says brain injuries are possible.
“Certainly if a dog owner falls and strikes their head on the pavement or some other hard object that can result in a bleed or a stroke,” Stiever says.
Dog owners were also warned about the dangers of running into the street after their dogs, as very serious injuries, or worse, can occur if hit by a car.
Paula, a 65-year-old retiree, was about to walk her Labrador retriever when her pup was distracted by another dog and took off. She tells Inside Edition that the leash must have wrapped around her finger because suddenly, she found that her finger had been cut off. She said it happened “so fast,” and unfortunately, her finger could not be reattached.
Experts say that you should use a leash that is six to eight feet long to avoid tripping and to steer clear of retractable leashes. Also, avoid places that can distract a dog like a schoolyard and carry a toy or treat to get your dog's attention if they're distracted.
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