Dog biteDog bite prevention relies on a combination of understanding your pet and providing the right training and reassurance. Unfortunately, when a pet experiences fear around strangers or loud noises (think doorbells, shouting, and other sudden auditory surprises), things can go awry.

Halloween is one of the most common times of year for dog bites, precisely because of these things we just mentioned. To avoid an unfortunate situation and keep the night filled with spooky fun, it’s important to implement some dog bite prevention measures.

Noise Anxiety, Fear of People, and Other Bite Prompts

Because children are more likely to be the victims of a bite (more than 400,000 incidents every year), Halloween can be a tricky time for those with anxious dogs. Despite the stereotypes, many dog bites occur due to fear or perceived threat, rather than outright aggression (although aggression is a response to fear).

Fear can be triggered by many things – especially sudden noises and new experiences. That’s why it’s important for those who have pets with anxiety, phobias, or fear-based behavioral problems to seek out veterinary intervention before something negative happens.

If your dog is prone to aggression or fear that disrupts quality of life, The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center encourage you to contact us. There are many wonderful positive reinforcement, desensitization techniques, and other training methods that can help. There may also be times when medication is beneficial.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips for the Scariest Night of the Year

Even if your pet doesn’t suffer from chronic behavioral issues, any dog can be prompted to bite when he or she is startled – and that’s what Halloween is all about.

Unless your dog is acclimated to people of all ages (small children included) and adores greeting everyone (even ghoulish fiends), we recommend the following dog bite prevention tips:

  • Find a quiet, relaxing room for your pet to stay in during peak trick-or-treating hours. If the doorbell is a problem, muffle the noise by turning on a radio or television.
  • If you’re hoping to include your pet in the festivities, be sure to test his or her response – in advance – to costumed people, doorbell ringing, and other sights and sounds that are part of the holiday.
  • Monitor your pet around children when out for a walk or go before dusk, when the streets are less chaotic.
  • Consider boarding your pet for the evening.
  • Do not leave your dog outside, even in a fenced yard, since he or she could escape or accidentally be let out.
  • Be vigilant when it comes to children interacting with your pet.   
  • If you’re a parent, teach your children how to behave safely around dogs.  
  • Avoid bringing your pup to festivals and large, crowded parties. Instead, ask a friend or family member to pet-sit for you.

While Halloween can be a frightfully fun night, you definitely don’t want a terrifying dog bite situation on your hands. Do your part to keep everyone safe by socializing your dog and addressing any problems before they get out of control.

Happy Halloween from The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center!

Looking for a pet-friendly Halloween event? Join us:

Saturday, October 22nd

Mystic Market: Halloween Party & Adoption Event benefiting
Magnificent Mutts:

Elmhurst Animal Care Center
850 S. Riverside Dr. Elmhurst, IL

For an afternoon of relaxation and magic, visit the Mystic Market: Magnificent Mutts Fundraiser! Bring your furry friend along for costume contests for best dressed, pet photos, bake sale, raffles, giveaways and a variety of vendors including: handcrafted art, jewelry, essential oils and more! Click here to learn more.