Prevent dog bites on Halloween

Kids look forward to Halloween all year, and you want it to be a fun night for them. As a parent, you also need to make sure it's a safe night.

Keeping your children safe while trick-or-treating includes taking steps to prevent dog bites. Learn some simple steps that can help everyone have a happy Halloween.

Why are dogs scared by costumes?

Dogs are often frightened by people in Halloween costumes. Even your own dog may not recognize you or your children in a costume.

It is important to understand that dogs communicate primarily through nonverbal communication. They read body language, including facial expressions, posture and muscle tension. When a person is in a costume, the dog can't read their body language, and this can be confusing and scary. Masks are especially problematic because they obscure eyes and facial expressions.

This is just one reason that dogs may be more prone to biting on Halloween. Some dogs become excited or anxious whenever someone comes to the door.

Consider these safety tips when trick-or-treating with your kids:

  • Don't try to pet a dog that comes to the door.
  • If the dog approaches you, stand still. This will keep the dog from getting more anxious.
  • Don't approach dogs that other trick-or-treaters are walking.
  • If you know a dog that is easily excited or aggressive, skip that house.

What to do if you or your child suffers a dog bite

A dog bite can cause serious injuries, including scarring, facial injuries, broken bones, bite wounds and infection. Children who are attacked by a dog may also suffer emotional trauma. The nature of these types of injuries typically requires extensive medical care. You will need financial compensation to cover the cost of medical bills and other losses.

You can speak with a lawyer to learn your legal rights after a dog attack.

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