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Prevent Dog Walking Injuries

By Sara Butler

Taking your furry best friend for their daily walk (or walks) is a great exercise for both of you, but there are some dangers not everyone is prepared for. Walking your dog can lead to serious injury if you don’t know what to expect or you’re not ready. Here are a few ways you can prevent the most common injuries from walking your dog.

Never Wrap the Leash

You know your dog and trust it, so you might let down your guard and wrap that leash around your hand or arm just to make things a bit easier. This can result in injury faster than you can say "squirrel." If your dog takes off, which they sometimes do no matter how good your dog is, you won’t have time to unwrap the lease. You could fracture or sprain your wrist, fingers, or arm. If you fall down along the way, then you could also sustain other injuries from the fall.

You should hold the leash in your hand as you would a baseball bat or golf club. That way you’ll have more control and can let go if something happens.

Don’t Put Your Fingers Under the Collar

You can suffer from a twisting fracture of your fingers or wrist if you put your fingers under your dog’s collar and they suddenly pull away or jump. If you’re trying to hook up the leash to the collar, pinch the collar around the edges or holding onto the attachment ring instead.  It’s also never a good idea to try and grab the collar to separate your dog from another. You’re risking fractures and other, more serious, injuries such as a dog bite.

Wear the Right Shoes

You wouldn’t wear wedges or heels to take a hike, so don’t wear them to walk your dog, either. During any activity, you should look for appropriate footwear to support your body and provide good traction. Especially if it’s icy or snowy out, having boots with good traction is important. Shoes that offer stability are one of the easiest ways you can avoid injury during any physical activity, so leave the flip-flops at home and be aware of weather and conditions and terrain before taking your dog out.

Walking the dog seems simple, but there's a lot to know about in order to stay safe and injury-free!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mukilteo, Wash.

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