While walking along with a leashed pet dog may seem like a great way to motivate oneself to step out of the house and get their daily dose of exercise, it isn’t exactly recommended for older adults, or so says a new study. According to the study, walking a leashed pet increases the risk of fracture or a life-altering injury in older people.
The study that was published in the medical journal, ‘JAMA Surgery’ says instances of senior citizens injuring themselves as they walk their leashed pets has been increasing rapidly. The study observed patients, who visited hospital emergency departments throughout the United States from 2004 to 2017. The research said that there were more than 32,000 emergency room cases of fractures associated with walking leashed dogs, especially among people aged 65 and older.
The research team also observed that such cases increased from 1,671 ER visits in 2004 to 4,396 in 2017
However, there are many other reasons why older people may already be more prone to fractures, such as reduced bone mass as patients’ age and increased fall frequency. Older women who pet dogs in need of walking were especially at risk of injuries. Since older women already have a higher risk of osteoporosis, such accidents are seen at an increased rate among older women.
The researchers suggested that clinicians work with patients who use dog walking as a form of exercise regularly to reduce the risk of injury and fracture. They suggested that could include training dogs not to lunge when leashed and owning smaller breeds of dogs.
However, we think it’s best to practice prevention. Avoiding walking your leashed dog makes sense, as you grow older. What do you think?