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Will your family be getting together during the holidays? Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are times for families to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. But, while you may be looking forward to seeing your sister’s kids and your Great-Aunt Edna, holiday gatherings can be very stressful for dogs, increasing the chance of a Milwaukee dog bite. Even normally well-behaved dogs are more likely to bite when overexcited or upset. Here are some tips to help keep everyone safe and happy during family gatherings.

  • The dog should not be allowed to greet guests at the door. Keep the dog in a crate or in a separate room until everyone is settled. Then bring the dog in to say hello if it is appropriate.
  • Give the dog a treat or special toy, so guests are associated with good things.
  • If there will be children in your home, find out if any of the children are afraid of dogs. Discuss appropriate behavior before the visit. Let the parents know that the children should not approach the dog. If the dog comes to them, they should stand still like a tree until they are given permission to pet the dog.
  • Keep the dog near you until you know how it will react to children.
  • Don’t allow children to touch the dog unless the dog is wagging, panting, and seeking attention.
  • If the dog shows any signs of over-excitement or agitation, keep the dog away from the children for the entire duration of the visit.
  • Never leave a child alone with the dog.
  • If the dog must be isolated in its crate or in another room, give it toys and a bone and a special blanket or bed, so it is comfortable and happy while away from the family.

A family gathering is not the time to train your dog. If your dog gets nervous or scared around visitors, see a dog behavior specialist before the holiday. If your dog attacks a visitor in your home, you could be held liable for the Milwaukee dog bite.

The Wisconsin dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham wish you an injury free holiday season. For information about dog bites, request our free dog bite brochure or call 800-800-5678.


Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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