Pet owners love their animals; they ensure their pets have the best life by feeding them, giving them attention and talking them out on daily walks. However, there is new evidence that a daily walk with a pet may put your hip at risk.
A recent study at the University of Pennsylvania found elderly dog owners are more likely to sustain severe injuries while walking their pets. Notably, the researchers found dog walking increases the risk for hip and upper arm fractures due to slipping and falling.
According to the study, there is a continued rise in fractures associated with walking leashed dogs from 2004 through 2017. In 2017, there was between 3,202 and 5,590 fracture cases, almost triple the cases in 2004. A majority of those cases are related to hip fractures - a particularly dangerous injury for patients over 65 years old.
While the experiment does not explore why these specific cases have grown, it does suggest older adults need to be wary of the risks even walking the dog may have on the body.
The researchers had two suggestions to prevent injuries among older owners: train dogs to ensure the animals do not lunge while leashed or choose smaller dog breeds to avoid being overpowered by the pet.
While the suggestions are useful for any pet owner, it does not guarantee your safety. There are many possibilities for injuries while walking your favorite, furry friend; you could trip in a crack on the sidewalk or tumble down some steps in a parking lot or store.
If you experience a slip and fall during your daily walk, seek immediate medical attention and treat any severe injuries. Then, consider if filing a personal injury claim is right for your situation; it helps cover medical bills and lost wages if circumstances apply.