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Pets and Falls

A brown and white hound dog rests its head on an older woman's lap as she offers it a treat.

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.