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Taking a Bite Out of Halloween Fun: Dogs vs. Trick-or-Treaters

Dog Bites on Halloween

Halloween and other fall festivities are fun for all ages, but not for all species. Pets do not understand what is going on, and strange looking creatures are especially creepy. Dogs in particular express fear and aggravation in an aggressive way. Dog attacks can be quite gruesome, leading to extensive injuries or even fatalities. You love your four-legged family members, so keep them comfortable and safe this Halloween by following the tips we have gathered.

HumanSociety.org quotes KC Theisen, director of pet care issues for The Humane Society of the United States, telling pet owners “While you’re enjoying the fun, make sure your pets have a safe haven in a room where they can feel safe, comfortable and relaxed—and that they are tucked away from any hazards.” Those hazards include parties and trick-or-treat, some decorations (candles, for example), candy, and unwanted pet costumes.

You can find more extensive advice on giving dogs a happy Halloween at DogGoneSafe.com, whose spokesperson, Kaylin, sustained extensive injuries when she was nine years old and her dog did not recognize her painted face. Kaylin still loves dogs, but she respects their needs and spreads the word on dog safety. Below is an abridged version of her list of Halloween dog safety measures.

For Dog Owners (DogGoneSafe.com)
Reminder – Even your own children or other known visitors can be strangers to your dogs if they are in costumes. Be aware of your dog’s comfort level as your family gets ready for Halloween fun.

  • Give pets a safe space, away from Halloween festivities. A comfy crate or a separate room is great.
  • Distract your dog(s) from all the hubbub with a comforting chew toy, calming music, and closed curtains.
  • Disconnect the doorbell. Your pups know the doorbell means visitors. Watch for approaching trick-or-treaters so no one has to knock/ring and alert your dog(s) of all the strangers.
  • Pet costumes aren’t always appreciated. Here are the signs that a dog does not want to wear the costume from DogGoneSafe.com: “licks his chops, yawns, shows a half moon of white in his eye, turns away, doesn’t co-operate, tries to escape, growls, puts his teeth on you or the costume.”

For Parents & Kids (DogGoneSafe.com)

  • “Be a Tree.” If a loose dog approaches you, stand still with your arms down and don’t move until the dog has moved on.
  • Avoid interactions with dogs, known or not. Do not approach any dogs, especially while in costume, and let pet owners put their dogs away before approaching the door or candy.

Common Injuries & Recovery

Dogs can do much more than bite when they are frightened or anxious. Their attacks can lead to broken bones, puncture wounds and lacerations, ligament and tendon damage, nerve damage, severed body parts, significant blood loss, disfigurement, or wrongful death.

Our attorneys hope you and all of your family members, two legs or four, have a safe and happy Halloween. However, if you or your child suffers at the jaws of a dog, know that you can be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, future lost income, pain and suffering, emotional damage of the attack, and psychological effects of scarring and disfigurement. An attack can have long-lasting or permanent effects, but the lawyers at Sperling Law Offices will fight for your rights so you can move on after the incident.

If you would like to discuss a dog bite claim, give us a call at 414-273-7777, or you can visit MilwaukeeLawFirm.com for more information.