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We are a nation of dog lovers

We are all being urged to exercise more, and for those who own dogs, the daily walk is an excellent way of getting out in the fresh air and keeping fit and healthy. Or is it?

Over an eight week period doctors at one of the leading hospitals in the south-east noticed 37 cases of patients needing treatment for broken bones, soft tissue injuries and head wounds caused by dogs. This would add up to more than 200 injuries a year. We are not suggesting that the pooches deliberately tripped up their owners or gave them concussion, but the damage was done whilst dog walking.

Many were pulled over by their dog whilst it was on a lead, while others tripped, fell over leads or were knocked over by their pets. Sixteen of these dog walkers needed surgery. Doctors were so surprised by the findings of the survey that they are wondering whether the risk to dog owners may actually offset any of the health benefits!

Previous research indicated that owning a dog can reduce the risk of depression and eczema, lower blood pressure and combat obesity. Now it seems that dog-related injuries are more common than had been thought, especially amongst the elderly. A new study, published in the Journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, looks at how many injuries (excluding bites) that dogs may cause.

No one is suggesting that people shouldn't have dogs, but clearly you do need to take care when out and about. For the more frisky four legged companions, some obedience training may be sensible – and everyone should keep their wits about them when out and about anyway. Watch out for the obvious things – such as uneven terrain and rabbit holes in the wilds, and uneven pavements and slippery surfaces in the towns.

If you do have an accident it may be worthwhile looking at your insurance policy. There are several strands here – your pet's insurance (if you have some), should there be an injury. Your own personal insurance if you have hurt yourself, and also the land or property owner's insurance if you are not on your own property.

Westhill Insurance Services is an independent insurance company who pride themselves on their customer service. No matter what type of insurance you require, it is easy to pick up the phone and speak with one of their professional and friendly team. Once you have established the type of insurance you require, Westhill Insurance Services will then shop around to make sure they find the best possible deal for you, providing a policy which is what you need; no frilly options, but a good, sensible policy to stand you in good stead. Useful if you take a tumble – or your canine companion trips you up!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 13th March, 2012