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Pets and Falls

A brown and white hound dog rests its head on an older woman

Many of us choose to share our homes with pets, and for good reasons. Studies have shown that owning a pet helps people socialize, increases their activity levels, and improves their mood. Pets also can lower an owner's blood pressure and decrease depression, stress, and anxiety. 

However, owning a pet can increase your risk of falling. Here are some tips to keep you from literally going head-over-heels for your pet:

  • Don’t step over pets on the floor – make them move.
  • Keep pet toys and supplies out of walkways.
  • Check around you to see where your pets are before walking, especially on steps and near doorways.
  • Use nightlights to help you see your pets in the dark.
  • Put a collar with a bell on your pet so that you can hear when it is near.
  • Train your pets not to jump up on you or others while you are standing.
  • If your pet is large or powerful enough to push or pull you over, ask for help walking it or consider obedience classes to teach proper leash behavior.
  • Make sure your pet gets an appropriate amount of exercise; this will help it behave at home.
  • Keep water and food bowls out of walkways and clean up spills immediately.