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Prevent dog bites this Halloween

For many families, Halloween is a fun time of the year filled with adventure, mystery and sugar. However, a dog bite can turn your Halloween upside down, especially if extensive medical bills and healing time result.

Here is a look at why people are particularly susceptible to dog bites on Halloween and what you can do to help prevent them.

Why more dog bites may occur on Halloween

Many factors lead to an increased risk of dog bites on Halloween. To name a few:

  • House front doors are opening and closing often, giving dogs more of an opportunity to dart outside.
  • Dogs can go into a protective mode when they perceive "intruders" on their property.
  • The noise, commotion and unfamiliar sights on Halloween might be scary for some dogs.
  • More people, especially children, are out and about on Halloween and interacting with dogs.
  • Dogs might chase running children.

The reality is that even a dog your children have interacted with many times, perhaps even your own family dog, may suddenly become aggressive when faced with shrieks, lightsabers or scary masks.

How to prevent dog bites

Just as you talk with your children about pedestrian safety on Halloween, for example, carrying flashlights to make themselves visible to drivers, you should chat with them about how to deal with dogs. A few tips to cover could be:

  • Not interacting with strange dogs and not staring them down
  • Refraining from making sudden movements or sounds around dogs
  • Waiting until an adult is present and gives permission before petting a dog
  • Standing still when a dog comes exploring, to keep the dog calm
  • Respecting any posted signs that say "Beware of dog" or something like that
  • Skipping houses where there are dogs already known to be problematic

If you have dogs of your own, take measures such as keeping the pooches in a secured room after trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell.

Do you have any other tips for preventing dog bites this Halloween? If so, let us know below. And, of course, have a happy and safe Halloween!

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