It seems common sense that walking a dog is good for older people. Dogs provide a healthy excuse to go for a walk and get some exercise. However, research shows that dog-walking can have downsides for seniors. A report published in an American medical journal says more and more seniors are getting injured because of dog-walking. From 2004 to 2017, researchers found over 32,000 cases of over-65s suffering fractures attributed to walking their dog. Some injuries were serious and needed the senior to have emergency surgery.
Researchers advised the elderly of possible dangers to walking a dog. They said: "For older adults - especially those...with decreased bone mineral density - the risks associated with walking leashed dogs merit consideration." They said just one injury could cause a deadly hip fracture, lifelong complications, or the loss of independence. The lead researcher blamed a "small person/big dog" scenario for many accidents. He said a dog is sometimes mismatched with its owner's strength to handle it. An elderly dog owner said: "Old people need dogs. We need our soul mates."