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Tips to prevent New Jersey dog bite injuries on Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for many New Jersey children but the holiday can be a scary time for a family’s pet dog. This means that the risk of dog bite injuries may increase during the holiday. Halloween can be upsetting for a dog for a variety of reasons, including that the Monday holiday will likely disrupt the routines of many dogs. Dogs are also naturally protective of their owner’s home, so the constant flow of trick-or-treaters ringing the door bell or knocking may aggravate some dogs.

Additionally, even a familiar child may look strange and scary when donning a costume mask. That is why it is important to teach all children in a household and visitors and it is not okay to spook a dog while masked because this can result in a mauling from an otherwise friendly dog.

Dog owners should consider kenneling a dog while trick-or-treaters are visiting or at least confining a dog to a particular room. The dog walk may also need to be rescheduled to avoid walking the dog about the neighborhood during periods of busy foot traffic. If a dog owner cannot avoid walking a dog during the trick-or-treating period then that dog owner should consider securing the dog with a harness or a mussel, particularly if the dog is a large breed or a stereotypically aggressive breed.

Parents should teach children not to stare down or pester unfamiliar dogs. Children should also avoid feeding candy to dogs because this can be bad for the dog and provoke a canine mugging of a child’s candy bowl. Finally, children should never be left alone with dogs, even at Halloween parties.

Source: Paw Nation, “9 Tips to Prevent Dog Bites on Halloween,” Amy Shojal, Oct. 24, 2011

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