Could Walking Fido Actually Be Bad for Your Health?

Print icon

Walking your dog is a great way to stay active, but a new study published in March in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that dog-walking has led to more fractures in adults over the age of 65.

The national study notes that hip fractures occur most frequently. This is concerning because these types of fractures are more likely to affect quality of life and result in a loss of functional capabilities.

The trend we’re seeing in Connecticut is no different. Stephen Davis, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute, says he sees dog-walking injuries year-round. Although he sees many hip fractures, he says ankle, shoulder and wrist fractures are also common.

“Dog-walking injuries are especially common with large, excitable dogs that pull a lot or chase other dogs or squirrels,” said Dr. Davis.

Still, he says, people should continue walking their dogs because it’s a great form of exercise and it increases social connections with others.

“Knowing your limits and spending extra time training your dog can go a long way in helping you stay safe and avoiding an injury,” said Dr. Davis. “I also recommend shorter, nonretractable leashes because they can offer better control of a dog and reduce the risk that a person may be pulled to the ground.”

For more information about the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute, visit

What's New

After Cancer Treatment

How Physical Rehab Can Help Recovery From Lung Cancer      

By Ruth H. Satterberg Occupational Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist Hospital of Central CT Cancer Institute A lung cancer diagnosis can be extremely challenging. Lung cancer, different from breast cancer, often has more complications and challenges to overcome. Evidence shows that physical and occupational therapy can be very helpful at all stages...

Senior man giving wife a kiss

The Long-Term Effects of Cancer Therapy on Your Body

Treatment of lung cancer has developed rapidly in the past 10 years. With earlier detection and improved therapies, patient outcomes have improved significantly. The therapies used for treatment of lung cancer — chemotherapy, radiation and surgery — certainly cause many acute side effects.  But this article will focus on the...

Heat wave and exercise

Having a Heatwave? When Exercising, Know Your Body’s Limits

Brace yourself for a weekend heatwave with temperatures in some Connecticut towns reaching 100 degrees. More ominously, heat-index values that combine temperature and dew point are expected to reach as high as 115. That probably won’t stop the diehard exercisers among us, but experts advise caution during such extreme weather....

Hoarding Study

Institute of Living Study: What Motivates a Hoarder?

To understand hoarding and cultivate a healthy mindset beyond the large-scale purging of piles and boxes of belongings, behavioral health clinicians must first understand what motivates the hoarder. Researchers with the Hartford HealthCare Institute of Living in Hartford will probe that motivation more closely as part of the new study “Emotional...

Insulin Pump and Exercise

Exercise and an Insulin Pump: Here’s How to Do It

How can you exercise with an insulin pump? Healthwise content is included in this report. Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network, a not-for-profit member of Hartford HealthCare, offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, sports medicine and health & wellness programs.  Please call 860.696.2500 or click here for more information.