Studies show that injuries are on the rise

Ferndale, Mich. – Dog walking is good exercise and fun for your pet. However, recent research shows a surprisingly high number of injuries due to dog walking.

An article published in the Journal of Medicine and Sports and Exercise on the 400,000 dog walking injuries between 2001 and 2020. In that time, the injury rate has quadrupled.

Lesions are most common in women between the ages of 40 and 64. Three common injuries are finger fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and shoulder strains.

Katelyn Thomas, owner of K-9 Turbo Training FerndaleHe says he’s seen owners worry after an injury, and often it’s because they’re unprepared.

„About 99% of people don’t train their dogs enough before they expect them to be good on a leash,” Thomas said.

It can turn into serious injuries. Four common mechanisms of injury:

  • Pulled by a rope without a slope

  • Being pulled by the leash can lead to a fall

  • Stumbled by the leash, leading to a fall

  • Tangling on the leash can lead to falls

Thomas has some specific tips to minimize injuries. First, she recommends a standard six-foot leash, not a retractable leash.

Retractable leashes can be a trip-and-tangle hazard. The way you hold your leash is also important. At the end, he suggests putting your hand through the ring and using your other hand to hold a third.

Do not wrap the leash around your fingers or wrists.

„We don’t want to get caught on our leash, we want to be able to get our hands off quickly if necessary,” Thomas said.

Thomas also recommends using a front clip harness rather than your dog’s collar.

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„These harnesses have a front clip attachment, so you clip your leash in the front here, and then when the dog pulls, the dog turns toward you instead of actually pulling forward,” Thomas said.

One tip that I totally underestimated is the importance of always having treats with you when you go hiking. Distractions are one of the biggest injury risks for our dogs, says Thomas.

When your pet is excited, it is more likely to pull or run away, and a treat is the best way to regain control.

„We’ve got to be more interesting than that distraction,” Thomas said. “So we bring our treat bag and make sure we have all our goodies so that when our dog comes out, we can make sure we’re reinforcing things we want to see, like loose leash walking or paying attention. „When a distraction appears to me,” Thomas said.

Finally, remember that you and your dog are a team. That means you need to pay attention when you walk. Be aware of distractions and develop a plan to deal with them. Using treats to get their attention can be very effective, says Thomas.

Below are safety tips to help reduce dog walking injuries

Dog walking is good exercise and fun for your pet. However, recent research shows a surprisingly high number of injuries due to dog walking.

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