Halloween is a night for witches, ghosts and goblins, but the scariest thing you encounter this Halloween could be your neighbor’s dog.
Some dogs love Halloween. The doorbell rings, and there are lots of visitors to provide attention. What more could an outgoing dog want?
However, many dogs find Halloween frightening. Since dogs recognize people by both smell and by sight, a dog can find it very confusing to smell a familiar neighbor, but see a Halloween mask. It can be even more confusing to have a parade of unrecognizable fairies, pirates, and superheroes encroaching on the dog’s turf. With all these strange creatures, even a normally friendly dog may feel the need to protect his family.
Halloween is a high-risk holiday for Illinois dog bites. These tips from our Gurnee dog bite attorneys can help you and your trick-or-treater stay safe this Halloween.
Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
- Plan ahead. If you know that a neighbor has a dog, call ahead and ask if they’ll be confining their dog during trick-or-treating.
- Avoid houses where a dog is tied up in the yard or barking behind a fence.
- Consider avoiding homes where a dog is barking or waiting at the front door.
- If a neighbor opens the door and there is a dog there, wait for the dog owner to put the dog away before approaching the house. You can tell the dog owner that you don’t want to come near the dog. Wait for the neighbor to close the door before you turn and leave.
- Don’t approach any dog on Halloween, even a dog you know. The dog may not recognize you or your child while in costume.
- Teach your child to stand very still and “be a tree” if approached by a dog.
Halloween Tips for Dog Owners
- Don’t assume that your dog will enjoy the holiday.
- Keep your dog indoors. Pets have been stolen, injured, or poisoned as Halloween pranks.
- Confine your dog behind a closed door or in a crate away from the front door.
- Close the drapes near the dog so he doesn’t see people coming and going.
- Turn on the TV or play music in the dog’s room to mask the sounds at the front door. If your dog tends to bark when the doorbell rings, consider sitting outside with treats or putting a “do not ring” sign on the bell.
- Give your dog a favorite treat or chew toy.
Have a very happy Halloween. If you or your child is bitten by a dog this Halloween, our Gurnee dog bite lawyers are here to help. Call us anytime at 866-625-2299.
For more information about dog bites, request a free copy of our dog bite brochure.