Dogs can bring love, affection and companionship, but for the elderly they can also bring a trip to the emergency room.
Researchers studied people who were 65-years-old or older from around 100 hospitals and found fractures related to dog walking increased significantly, especially for women.
The article shows about 17 percent of fractures were hip fractures.
According to Dr. Chad Deal of the Cleveland Clinic, the fractures are significant because about 20 percent of women and 40 percent of men die within one year of suffering a hip fracture.
The most common fractures were to the arms including wrists and forearms.
Many dog-related falls can be prevented if elderly people stay relatively fit, maintain some general physical strength and make sure their dogs are well trained and obedient. Additionally, he suggests walking dogs where there aren’t a lot of other animals for them to lunge at.
“It really pays to have good balance and good muscle strength, because, a lot of times, if the dog pulls and your muscles are healthy, and they’re strong, you can have countermeasures that prevent you from falling,” said Dr. Deal.