By Josephine Marcotty
Falls associated with pets have never been addressed in the scientific literature. (Okay, there was one small study.) But today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have corrected that omission. It turns out that an average of 86,629 falls a year are caused by pets.
You know what kind of pet we’re talking about.
Yes, the dog. The vast majority of pet falls, 88 percent, happened when owners were either pushed or pulled to the ground by their dogs. Or they tripped over them. Cats caused the rest. Mostly people either tripped over their cats or fell while chasing them. You can read the whole thing published today in excruciating detail here.
Women were twice as likely to be injured as men.
Pet falls were still only a fraction of all falls, about one percent of the tumbles that send about 8 million people a year to the emergency room. But the researchers said that since 43 million households have dogs, and 37.5 million own cats, this is a public health problem.
What’s the solution?
“The development of more effective prevention strategies will require more information about the risks for fiall injury associated with specific pets (including size and breed) and put-human interactions,” they said.
Clearly, a whole new field of public health research awaits.
In the meantime, they recommend — more training! Of course, I’ve never quite figured out if obedience training is for dogs or people. It worked better on me than on my now deceased but beloved ox of a Labrador retriever. I was the one with skinned knees.
What are your pet fall stories?