Hey, Little Buckaroo, Stop Riding the Dog!

Brittny Drye

 monkey riding dog

Small monkeys are okay though

You may think it's cute when your toddler tries to climb on the back of your Great Dane, and being the gentle giant that he is, he takes her for a ride.

There's all kinds of videos on the web dedicated to kids riding dogs with comments like "Oh, how cute!" and "Too funny!"

But it's neither cute nor funny -- it's dangerous for the animal.

Dr. Sarah Bassman of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine explains the health risks for letting your child ride on your dog's back.

"Children riding on the back of their family dog is very dangerous for the animal, and the child, even if you have one of the giant breeds as your family pet. The muscles in a dog's back are not strong enough and not designed to carry a passenger and could be damaged by this activity. We worry about muscle sprain and strain, vertebral sub luxation, and disc-related problems. Lesser sprains and strains may need to be treated with pain medications or physical therapy while serious spinal injuries could lead to paralysis which may or may not be able to be surgically repaired."

So if your little cowboy is itching to go riding, enroll him in some riding classes at the local stables. Your dog will thank you.


Image via joeltelling/Flickr

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