Walk your dog, break a bone?

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Published: July, 2019

Owning a dog has many benefits, and a great one is the exercise you get from taking the leashed pet for walks. But there's also a potential risk for older adults who walk their dogs: broken bones. According to a study published online March 6, 2019, by JAMA Surgery, researchers who combed through 13 years' worth of data from emergency departments across the United States identified a rising number of fractures among older adults walking leashed dogs: 1,700 in 2004, climbing to almost 4,400 in 2017. Most (53%) of the bone breaks were in the upper arm, and 17% were hip fractures. Almost 30% of the patients required hospital admission during the study period. Either a large dog (which can knock you down or pull you over) or a small dog (which can get under your feet) can pose a fall risk, especially if you have problems with balance. How can you protect yourself? The authors suggest obedience training can help keep Fido from putting you at risk.

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