Avoiding Dog Walking Injuries

Blogs, / By Winsen Citra

Your dog is your best friend. What could be better than going out on a nice day walking with your best friend? Well, it won’t be so fun when your dog takes off suddenly, yanking the arm that’s holding the leash, resulting in an injury. How do you avoid the injuries?

Keep your dog on a short leash

While it is tempting to allow a very long leash when walking so your dog has more freedom to move around, this is not recommended. The longer the leash, the longer distance your dog has to build up speed and momentum when it is running. By the time the dog is at the end of the leash, all the momentum will be transfered to you through the rope. That force can be much higher than you would expect and could result in a fall, bruises, dislocations, or even fractures. More commonly, it causes tendon and ligament injuries. While you want to allow a little distance so that your dog can sniff and do its business, keeping a relatively short lease will give you more control over your dog’s movements.

Don’t wrap your leash

You may think that wrapping your leash around your wrist is safer as it prevents your dog from running loose when walking. But, that is actually one of the most common ways that you get injured walking your dog. If you dog happens to decide to run off, you won’t have time to unwrap your leash. This will lead to a traction force pulling on your fingers and your wrist. In the worst case, you may have ligament, tendon, or cartilage damage which may require surgery to fix. Holding the least in your palm when walking your dog forces you to pay a bit more attention to your dog and adjust the grip strength based on what your dog is doing.

Wear Appropriate Shoes

It’s important to consider the terrain that you’re walking in and the weather conditions. If you’re walking in a muddy place, then shoes that provide you with good traction is recommended. Most important thing is to be sensible. Just like you wouldn’t be wearing heels for a jog, you should wear proper exercise footwear when walking your dog. Leave your sandals and flip flops at home.

We hope this has been useful for you. Find out more useful exercises by checking out our instagram page. Feel free to contact us should you have further questions.

Winsen Citra
Principal Physiotherapist

Winsen graduated from University of Melbourne in 2012. He worked in organisations of various sizes such as Singapore General Hospital, Pain Relief Practice, and Physioclinic before working at Elevate Physiotherapy. He specialises in sports and musculoskeletal injuries and has worked with athletes of various sports such as fencing, dancing, dragon boating, and cycling.

In his spare time he enjoys singing and playing chess.