The Dangers of Grandkids and Dogs

You may be scratching your head on this title, or you my wonder why grandkids get lumped in with dogs.  Well you will understand when you hear the context from a chiropractors perspective.  I cannot count how many of my existing patients and new patients describe to me some sort of injury related to caring for grandkids or walking the dog.

Let’s start with man’s best friend.  

This may seem obvious, but puppies grow up.  I have had patients get almost knocked out who have ended up with neck issues due to a playful dog’s head bopping them in the chin.   I have had many patients, some elderly, get drug down the road by a dog that sees a squirrel.  Aside from the scrapes and bruises, they end up with a host of spinal misalignments.  I have had patients slip and fall due to an accident the dog had on the kitchen floor, or get their legs taken out from under them by a running dog.

As for grandkids…

There is tripping over toys, bending to clean up messes and kids climbing on grandma’s neck.  But the most common issue I see is grandparents picking up that irresistible little (or not so little) bundle of energy or screaming grandchild with their arms up, ready to be loved on.  I know, from my patients with grandkids reactions, that the thought of saying no is out of the question.  It just often means a visit, or more, to my Norton Shores, Michigan office, which for many, is well worth it.

Let me give you a few ideas that may help avoid spinal injury in these cases.

First the dogs.  If you are going to get a good sized dog, consider getting it trained.


Another good bit of advice I have come across is called a gentle lead .  This muzzle type device does not hurt the dog, but they don’t like it enough that it deters them from running and pulling away if that squirrel presents itself.

As for the grandkids, the best advice I have been able to give is teaching proper lifting technique, which only works if the knees are healthy.  Better still would be to sit down & let the running or crying child climb onto your lap on the couch.

I certainly understand not everything with dogs and grandkids can be avoided, but maybe these few tips can at least help lessen the chance of spinal injury so you can continue to enjoy the dogs and grandkids in your life!


  1. Chris Pulsipher says:

    Ok, I read the article! I will try and remember that I’m not 20 any longer and my body doesn’t twist and turn like it used to! Thanks for always being willing to help “fix” my aches and pains – your adjustments work miracles.

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