I never leave home without my poles! That's partly because of my increasing balance problems as I age (83). I started using a single staff back in my 40s, and 15 years ago switched to two poles. Now I need them even with no pack at all.
Here is an excellent site on why/why not to use poles, and the correct technique, to help your decision whether or not to ty them: Pete's Pole Pages
The Brits have used trekking poles for a lot longer than we have!
If you aren't sure, get a couple of used ski poles at the local thrift shop to try out, before investing in more expensive poles.
I have found poles to be a wonderful adjunct to exercise walking, turning a lower body exercise into a whole body exercise (called "Nordic walking"), strengthening the body core muscles. You do want to add rubber cups to protect the points of the poles and your neighbor's sidewalk.
Dogs can be trained to avoid the poles when on leash. The late Hysson easily learned to "heel" a little farther away. I also trained him to walk directly behind me on command. I discovered the hard way that if I let him walk in front of me (on or off leash), he would inevitably stop dead right in front of me every time he found an interesting smell. Fortunately I never tripped over him with my pack on, but there were several close calls. The other thing to train your dog to do is the "flip finish"--there are lots of youtube videos on how. This gets the dog back to your left side without his winding you up in the leash!