It’s natural to fall in love with your four-legged friends. There is nothing better than the unconditional love, the furry snuggles and the big puppy eyes. Owning pets also has real health benefits. Studies have shown that owning a pet not only helps people socialize, increases their activity levels, and improves their mood; pets can lower an owner’s blood pressure, decrease depression, stress and anxiety, and can even prevent strokes.
But, if you have ever said “Excuse me” as you’ve stepped over your pet, you know how they like to be in the thick of things, sometimes to the point of being directly under foot. Even with all the health benefits, owning a pet can also add to falls risks. Here are some tips to keep you from literally going head-over-heels for them:
- 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.
- Teach your pets not to jump up on you or others while 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.
Make sure that even as you fall in love with your pets, you take care not to let them trip you up and make you fall.
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