Can owning a dog or cat be classed as a dangerous activity? Judy A. Stevens PhD. and colleagues at The Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, of the US National Center for Injury Prevention and Control have completed their report – Dogs and cats as environmental fall hazards – which is published in the Journal of Safety Research,Volume 41, issue 1, February 2010, Pages 69-73.
The team estimates that more than 86,000 US residents are injured each year by unfortunate accidental interactions with cats and dogs. Data* collected over a period of six years demonstrated that dogs are more than seven times more likely to cause accidental injuries – and the most common unintentionally damaged human body parts are the arm and hand. The most danger-prone pet-related activities are:
• (Concerning dogs) Walking the dog.
• (Concerning cats) Chasing the cat.
And by far the most dangerous location (for both dog and cat induced injuries) is the home of the pet owner. The J. of S. R. paper is behind a $ 31.50 paywall, but a complementary CDC report on the same subject can be read in full here.
*Note: 370 cases were excluded [from the dataset] because the fall did not involve a dog or cat, or a pet or pet item was not directly involved in the fall (e.g., "patient jumped off a fence and fell onto a doghouse.").