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


10 Tips to Keep Your Summer Cookout Safe During COVID-19

The summer season is officially underway and whether you spent the holiday weekend at home – again! – or widening your world in some way, chances are you’ll be trying to socialize sometime soon. COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have kept us largely at home. As infection rates decline, many are...

Walk on the Beach

Is it Safe to Take a Summer Vacation, Even Fly?

Distancing, both physical and social, is the buzzword of the year and one Hartford HealthCare (HHC) experts want you to remember as the state reopens and you begin venturing out of your home this summer. The warmer months, when kids are traditionally of school, are a time when many people...

COVID and Pets

CDC’s COVID-19 Update Spares Pets, Downgrades Threat of Infected Surfaces

COVID-19 spreads more person-to-person than surface-to-person or animal-to-person, according to the latest update guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The person-to-person spread surprises no one, but the CDC has downgraded the risk of  touching a contaminated surface, then infecting yourself by touching your nose, eyes or mouth....

Windham paramedic program honors 25 years

Since its inception 25 years ago, the paramedic program at Windham Hospital has saved countless lives, built partnerships with 16 fire departments and served the 400-square-mile community around the hospital. In 1995, the town of Windham recognized the need for paramedic or advanced life support services in the Windham and...

Public Restroom

Is it Safe to Use a Public Bathroom During COVID-19?

As the country reopens, state by state, is there public trust in public restrooms? Put it this way: At last check, New York’s subway system had one bathroom per 53,000 riders. In Connecticut, public restrooms remain closed at most state parks. Elsewhere, will people change their hygiene habits when in...

COVID-19 Blood

Where to Get a COVID-19 Antibody Test, And Why

During the COVID-19 surge in Connecticut, diagnostic tests  performed with a nasal swab were critical in determining who had been infected with the coronavirus. Now, as the state’s economy reopens, a blood test is helping health professionals detect an immune response in people who were infected and also identify people were...