Walking The Dog Far More Dangerous Than You Might Realize

Posted July 8, 2023 by: Admin #Animals

Taking your furry friend for a walk not only keeps you fit, but also strengthens your bond. Yet it’s essential to bear in mind the potential risks. A Johns Hopkins University study reveals that a pleasant stroll can take you straight to the emergency room. It’s striking that people aged 65 and over are the most likely to face such mishaps.


Disturbing statistics from 2001 to 2020 point to 422,000 dog-walking-related emergency room visits in the USA alone. Most common injuries are finger fractures, head trauma and shoulder sprains or strains. A perceptive publication in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise points out that women and adults over 65 are more likely to suffer serious injuries. Fractures and head injuries are most common in these people, with hip fractures also a problem for the elderly.

Ridge Maxson, a third-year medical student at Johns Hopkins University and lead author of a revealing study, has highlighted an intriguing trend in American households. In a survey conducted between 2021 and 2022, Ridge Maxson revealed a fascinating statistic: 53 out of every 100 households in the U.S. now have at least one loyal canine companion.


The health crisis was a major factor

Maxson firmly believes that the current health crisis has played a key role in the increase in dog adoptions across the country. As adults look to stay active and maintain their general well-being, canines have become the perfect partners, offering opportunities for exercise and engagement. Aware of the importance of this growing phenomenon, Maxson and the research team felt an urgent need to inform the public of the potential risks associated with this new dog craze.

The study results highlighted the main causes of injury during dog walks, showing three predominant factors. Firstly, there’s the risk of falling when the walker is involuntarily pulled by their four-legged companion. The second is the considerable risk of leash entanglement, often the cause of accidents and injuries. Finally, incidents caused by leash slippage can lead to unexpected accidents.


In response to these concerns, and with the aim of minimizing the likelihood of such accidents, the authors of the study have formulated recommendations for healthcare professionals. They urge physicians to inquire about pet ownership when examining patients, to evaluate the potential risks of fractures and falls, and to engage in in-depth discussions about safety measures. While leashes have been implicated in many of these incidents, the researchers still advocate their use, stressing the importance of attaching them securely to the dog’s collar when necessary.

The impact of dog ownership on society


While the growing popularity of dogs brings immeasurable joy and companionship to countless households, it’s crucial to be aware of the associated risks. Providing healthcare professionals with knowledge and recommendations, this study aims to create a safer environment for dog owners and their beloved furry friends.

So, while this article may cast a momentary shadow over the adoption of one or more dogs, it’s essential to remember that no activity is entirely without risk. As a responsible dog owner, you’re well aware of the positive impact these furballs can have on your mood and general well-being. Now, armed with this new awareness, you’ll take extra care every time you go for a walk with your furry companion, ensuring his safety and your peace of mind.



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