How to Walk the Dog Without Getting Hurt
While walking your dog is a great way for you and your furry friend to bond, get outside, and get some exercise, it can be an injury risk if you’re not paying careful attention. In fact, dog walking injuries are more common than you may think as 2017 saw 4,400 reported ER visits related to dog walking injuries alone. To ensure your next walk around the block is injury-free, keep the following dog walking safety tips in mind the next time you take Fido out.
Dog Walking Safety Tips
- Hold the Leash Properly – Shepherd’s strain is a common dog walking injury caused by wrapping the leash around your wrist. If your dog pulls too hard, it causes traction. This puts you at risk of falling, dislocating your shoulder, or spraining your wrist. The long-term effects include potential cartilage, ligament, or tendon damage.
Instead of wrapping, hold the leash in the palm of your hand. That way, you’re more responsive to your dog and can tighten or loosen the slack with ease.
- Keep a Short Leash – Similar injuries can happen when your dog is on a long leash. If your dog makes any sudden movements, the pull can dislocate your elbow or shoulder and cause tendon damage. It’s also easy to get tangled and fall.
Use a shorter or retractable leash instead. This keeps the dog closer and allows the dog to walk next to you. If you’re walking more than one dog, use a double leash to avoid tangles.
- Take Care With the Collar – “Tail wagger wrist” is a wrist fracture or dislocation caused by tucking your fingers under a collar to restrain an excited dog. This puts your fingers and wrist bones at severe risk of fracturing if they get caught underneath. It’s usually not a clean break and could cause long-term ligament issues if not properly treated.
Instead of grabbing the collar to hook the leash, try alternate techniques. Pinch the collar at the edge or grab the attachment ring itself. And, don’t try to grab your dog by the collar if it gets too close to another dog.
- Walk With Your Dog – This may sound like common sense, but serious injuries can occur when pet owners choose to bike or skate alongside their dog instead of walking. This can put you off-balance and at a greater chance of falling. The dog is also at risk if the leash gets caught in the wheels. Injuries can range from a scraped knee to a broken elbow. Make sure you’re wearing proper running shoes when walking, and save the wheels for when you’re not with your dog.
Your Dog Walking Injury Treatment and Recovery Experts
If you’ve experienced an accidental injury or any type of orthopaedic ailment from walking your dog, don’t be embarrassed or hope that your pain will just go away. Instead, rely on the team of orthopaedic specialists and physicians at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. We’re proud to play a role in helping our patients regain mobility and get back to a pain-free lifestyle. You can request an appointment online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.