Fido Underfoot Can Be Dangerous

Many people are hurt when tripping over pets

Dogs may be man's best friend, but here's a random piece of information for you: they're also a reason many of their owners end up in the emergency room. 

Dogs and cats cause more than 86,000 falls requiring a trip to the emergency room each year, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pets benefit us in many ways, from our physical health, to our emotional health and are even the eyes for some who are seeing impaired.

So why a study about this?  Because we can trip over them, and we can get dragged and pulled by them when taking them out for walks.  Sometimes we even trip over a water bowl or a chew toy left on the floor.

Those at the most risk, are our seniors, who are most likely to break a bone, which can have serious long-term consequences, according to Dr. Judy Stevens, the C.D.C. epidemiologist who wrote the report.  Women were at more than double the risk for injuries than men.

"We wanted people to realize that while pets have many benefits, they can also be a fall hazard," said Dr. Stevens, who added that obedience training may help.  

The study appears this week in the agency's Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report.

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