Did you know dogs are good for your overall health? Petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower your blood pressure and walking a dog is great for your heart and musculoskeletal system, helping to strengthen muscles and bones. In addition, a walk keeps your joints moving … “motion is lotion”.
The downside? Walking a dog incorrectly can put you at serious risk for a sprain or even a broken bone! At 360 ORTHOPEDICS we see our share of dog walking injuries. The #1 injury from dog walking is hip damage; next is a hand/wrist or upper arm trauma. Worse, a broken hip can be a life altering experience so it’s important to know how to protect yourself from an unfortunate spill when walking Fido.
- Train your furry friend that pulling on the leash is a “no”. An obedience school may be a wise investment.
- You don’t text and drive and you shouldn’t text and walk either. A distraction can send your pet bounding away from you causing a trip and fall. Instead, put down your phone and enjoy the scenery!
- Wrapping the leash around your wrist or hand is the cause of a common injury and it occurs in a split second.
- Never use a retractable leash. Giving your pet too much latitude may allow them bounding off to chase a critter and dragging you with them. A front clip harness helps control pulling and avoids a painful dislocated shoulder.
- Walking your dog while riding a bike is an accident waiting to happen.
- Flip flops or open toe sandals can cause serious foot damage; opt for sensible shoes.
- Watch the weather. Walking in the rain isn’t perfect, but what can you do when Fido wants to go out? Non-slip shoes or boots rather than sneakers that can slip on wet pavement are your best option.
- At night, wear light clothing. A reflector on both you and your little one provides an extra safety measure. Walk facing traffic.
- Bottom line … PAY ATTENTION! No texting … no headphones … watch for critters that tempt your pet to give chase, and most important…train your buddy to obey simple commands.
If you do have an injury and your swelling/pain doesn’t subside within a couple days call your doctor. For a serious injury like a break or bleeding, see a physician immediately.
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