Watch Out for Fido and Morris

by Matthew Glans on February 21, 2011

Are your pets hazardous to your health? According to a new study from The Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the US National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, owning a pet may be considered a dangerous activity. The Center found that owning pets dramatically increased the chance of accidental injury, with falls being the primary culprit. The study concluded that pets qualified as environmental fall hazards.

From Improbable Research:

“The team estimates that more than 86,000 US residents are injured each year by unfortunate accidental interactions with cats and dogs. Data* collected over a period of six years demonstrated that dogs are more than seven times more likely to cause accidental injuries – and the most common unintentionally damaged human body parts are the arm and hand.

The most danger-prone pet-related activities are:
• (concerning dogs) Walking the dog.
• (concerning cats) Chasing the cat.

And by far the most dangerous location (for both dog and cat induced injuries) is the home of the pet owner.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my dog came close to tripping me on a daily basis. It was one of Spot’s many skills, always standing in front of me at the most inconvenient time. While this data may prove useful in determining risk in the household, in my humble opinion dogs and cats and the companionship they bring are well worth an occasional bruised knee or elbow.

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