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Avoiding Trip and Fall Injuries with Dogs

Learn to avoid trip and fall accidents involving your dog.

You may be surprised to find out that trip and fall accidents involving dogs are extremely common. They happen inside the house and outside, during walks. People can be seriously injured by such trip and fall accident, and visits to the emergency room for broken bones are not uncommon.

Not only do trip and fall accident with dogs happen to homeowners, but they can also occur when someone visits the home, either inside or outside (like to meter-readers or mail people).

Additionally, it's common for people to experience injuries involving their hands, wrists, or arms when leash-walking they're dog outside. Those accidents often involve a dog lunging toward another animal, person, or other exciting situation. The leash can also get tangled around an owner's legs and cause a bad fall.

Luckily, there are some ways to decrease the risk of trip and fall accidents involving your dog. Follow these ideas to make such accidents less likely.

Watch Out for Your Dog

If you have a dog that tends to be underfoot, causing risky situations for trip and fall injuries, you must make a habit of looking around before you move. Once you spend a few days consciously stopping to locate your dog before taking a step, it will become a habit.

Modify Risky Situations

If your dog tends to be under your feet during certain situations, do what you can to modify those situations to make them less risky.

For example, if your dog seems to want to be with you while you work in the kitchen, making it hard for you to move about without the risk of tripping, you can use a baby gate at the doorway to keep him out while you cook.

Alternatively, you can give him a dog bed in an out-of-the-way spot in the kitchen and train him to stay in it while you're cooking. You can do that by putting him in a sit-stay on his bed and then giving him praise and a treat. Any time, he gets out and comes near your feet, direct him back, and then give him praise. He will soon learn that, if he wants to be in the kitchen with you, he will need to stay in the bed.

Retractable Leashes Are Especially Hazardous

Leashes, in general, can be trip hazards, but retractable leashes are especially dangerous for everyone—you, your dog, and others you may encounter while walking. The reason for that is because the leash is a long, thin cord attached to a spring-loaded mechanism within the handle. The leash can go up to 30 feet out. That doesn't create a situation where you have much control over your dog. He will have the option to run into situations where he may cause a trip hazard for other people. A retractable leash also makes it easier for your dog to get tangled up around obstacles, creating danger for you, him, and others nearby. You can learn more here: "Retractable Dog Leashes: Know the Risks."

Training Is the Best Way to Avoid Trip and Fall Accidents with Your Dog

The best way you can avoid trip and fall injuries is to spend time training, so your dog knows how to respond to commands and listen to you. The better trained he is, the less likely there is to be an accident. The basic commands you should practice your dog all the time include come, quiet, sit, stay, and look.

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