Anyone who has a dog or cat knows the benefits they offer. Besides the obvious joy and love they give so much; pets have been linked to a variety of health benefits. Acknowledging this is important, but it also must be taken into consideration that pets can sometimes become a fall hazard for elderly people.
The falls can be caused by either tripping over the pet or being pushed or pulled by a dog. To minimize the tripping hazard, it is best to make the pet move rather than trying to step over them. Training is necessary to have a dog that will be better behaved and not push or pull as much.
Another option for safety is to consider adopting a senior pet, they are usually calmer and do not need the work a younger puppy might need, such as being spayed or neutered, being house trained, learning basic commands. And the surprise factor is not there, hoping that this cute puppy doesn’t get too big!
There are some things to keep in mind to reduce the fall risk:
Enjoy the love your pet gives and the health benefits, but be aware of the possible fall risks!
Prevent Falls at Home with Pets. [Internet] Available from: https://agesafeamerica.com/prevent-falls-home-pets/
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too. [Internet] Available from: https://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/for-all-their-plusses-pets-pose-a-risk-for-falls-too-625491.html
 Headey B, Grabka MM. Pets and human health in Germany and Australia: national longitudinal results. Soc Indicators Res. 2007; 80:297-311.