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September 19, 2014

6 Tips for Preventing Falls Around Your Pets

Pets make wonderful companions, can be great stress relievers, and provide lots of love and comfort. However, an over-excited dog or cat can also be a substantial tripping risk and—before you know it—your best furry friend could cause you serious injury. 

Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t have pets. While you want to be comfortable in your home, there are several preventative measures you can take to keep your pet and stay on your feet:

  1. Recognize your pet’s habits. You know your pet better than anyone. Keep track of his or her habits so you can be aware of when falls would be most likely to happen. For instance, is your dog especially excited when you return home from an outing? If so, plan to have a chair near the door where you can sit and wait for the burst of energy to pass without having to worry about being tripped. 

  2. Invest in training. Whether you take a class, hire a professional, or research effective training methods on your own, an obedient pet is much less likely to cause a fall. Establish boundaries with your pet and teach him or her to see you as the master. Doing so will allow you to get potentially dangerous situations under control before an accident occurs. 

  3. Don’t ever step over a pet. Even if your pet appears to be sleeping comfortably, stepping over him or her can cause him or her to rouse and accidentally trip you. If your pet is in your way, make him or her move so you can pass, rather than risking a fall.

  4. Improve your own balance. If you’re more secure on your feet, you’ll be more likely to catch your balance when tripped by a pet. Working on your balance is a great idea to prevent falls in general, but can be especially important if you have a pet underfoot. Check out some of the exercises in this post for an idea of where to start. Also be sure to speak with your doctor about a balance assessment. 

  5. Hire a dog walker. If you’re concerned about tripping over your pet’s leash or being pulled down during a walk, look into hiring a dog walker. The extra exercise will likely make your dog calmer around the house, and you won’t have to worry about getting into a possibly dangerous situation. 

  6. Know your limits. As much as you love your pet, your safety needs to be top priority. If you’ve run through your options and your pet is still posing a danger, then it might be time to look into rehoming options. While this should certainly be a last resort, it’s important to know what you can and can’t handle when it comes to caring for a pet. 

Pet companionship is good for both your physical and emotional health. With the right prevention tactics, your pet should be able to stay in your home without posing a falling hazard. 

Interested in the other ways owning a pet is beneficial to older adults? Check out “Pet Companionship for Older Adults” today!

Pet Companionship With Older Adults Guide


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