The doorbell is ringing nonstop. Unfamiliar humans are coming to the door in costume, causing frequent noise and commotion. For all of these reasons, Halloween is often a frightening and unsettling time for pets, prompting dogs to behave in ways they wouldn’t otherwise.
It is the responsibility of a pet owner to provide a safe environment for those coming on their property. However, no parent wants to see their child hurt, so teaching kids safety tips before Halloween can help. There are steps parents can take to try to prevent their child from becoming the victim of a dog bite and to avoid suffering a terrible injury. Doggone Safe, a nonprofit organization focused on dog bite prevention through education, offers these tips:
- DO skip houses where you see a dog and move on to others. Candy is not worth the risk to your children’s safety.
- DO stay standing still if a dog comes to greet you. Wait for its owner to retrieve the animal.
- DON’T run away if a dog gets loose. Dog bite prevention experts often say, “Be A Tree,” which is a good analogy to teach children what to do if a dog they don’t know approaches them. Show kids how to stay still, fold their hands in front and look at the ground. In this position, a dog is likely to sniff for a bit and then move away.
- DON’T bring your own dog trick-or-treating, even if you are tempted because he or she typically is well-behaved. You don’t know what kinds of dogs you might encounter at the houses you and your family are visiting.
Dog bites are the most common kind of animal attacks, causing traumatic experiences for children as well as serious injuries to the face and other parts of the body. If the dog was unprovoked, pet owners can be held liable for these injuries under Connecticut law. Keep yourself and your children safe this Halloween by taking time to talk about these safety tips beforehand.