On a recent ambulance call, we took care of a man who tumbled down a few steps after tripping over his dog. He dinged up his shoulder pretty well, but it could have been much worse. I resisted the temptation to ask, “Do you want us to have a look at the dog?” See, I’m getting better!
We’ve all read how pet ownership is good for your health, but according to a study by the CDC a few years ago, tripping over your pets poses a significant hazard — and all their toys and crap are trouble, too.
The biggest culprits? Dogs. From the report:
“Nearly 7.5 times as many injuries involved dogs (76,223 [88.0%]) compared with cats (10,130 [11.7%]).”
“The most frequent circumstances were falling or tripping over a dog (31.3%) and being pushed or pulled by a dog (21.2%).”
I’m no stranger to the dangers posed by household
pests pets; living in a house teeming with furry animals who scurry about underfoot is risky business. It’s so bad at our house that when I get out of bed in the middle of the night, I sweep the floor with my foot to check for the presence of animals or sharp-edged bones and toys.
What I’d really like to see is a study of the relationship between stepping on cats and cardiac arrests. There’s nothing more startling than that — and speaking of cats, the study contains this odd tidbit:
“Most falls involving cats occurred at home (85.7%). Approximately 11.7% of injuries occurred while persons were chasing cats.”
To recap, a few safety tips: sweep the floor with your foot, limit the number of animals in your house, and never chase cats.