America's dogs and cats are responsible for 86,000 serious falls a year, the Washington Post reports. A federal study found that 1% of all emergency room visits for fall-related injuries were the result of owners tripping over pets or being pulled off balance during walks. Dogs were blamed for 88% of falls, compared with 12% for cats.
"We know that pets have many benefits," said an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We want people to be aware that pets and pet items can be a fall hazard and can lead to injuries." The CDC advises pet owners to be aware of the hazards, use obedience training, and provide good lighting in rooms with heavy pet and human traffic.