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Woof Wednesday: That Bites! Keep Halloween Fangs At Bay

Beware werewolves in doggy clothing!

Next Monday is Halloween–are you and your dogs ready? What about your kids? Sure, you and your kids are comfy around your own pets, but what about the strange dogs they’ll meet while trick-or-treating?

Dog bites injure nearly 5 million people every year. Half of all kids in the United States get bitten by age 12, and five-to-nine-year-old boys are at highest risk. You can prevent dog bites, it doesn’t have to happen. Most dog bites result from inappropriate interaction with the family pet, with a neighbor’s or a friend’s dog—or even your puppy.

Many dogs enjoy the holidays. Nonstop doorbell rings and visitors showering attention may be doggy bliss for your pet. But even friendly, laid-back pooches get their tails in a twist over the disruption to routine. That can be dangerous for pets and for people.

Dogs recognize people by smell but also by sight. A dog may not recognize a favorite human behind that Halloween mask. Miniature goblins, witches and other ghoulish visitors often are strange children he won’t know. A flowing cape or sparkly fairy wings can be scary. A frightened dog easily mistakes a waving “light saber” or pitch fork as a weapon aimed to hurt. Halloween can increase your child’s risk for a dog bite–so refer to my latest Paw Nation article for Tips to Prevent Halloween Dog Bites.


Don’t forget to train the dog! All dogs bite and chew, but it’s important to teach bite inhibition and stop puppy biting before it gets out of hand. What’s baby-cute or aggravating in your new pup becomes dangerous once he grows up. One accidental bite could label your pet as a “dangerous dog” and result in an expensive lawsuit, increased insurance rates, and costly medical bills. Teaching bite inhibition not only protects people and prevents heartbreak, it could save your dog’s life. You can learn more about how to teach your puppy (or adult dog–it works on the big guys, too!) how to pull their toothy punches and inhibit bites.

Please share! This info can save kids and pets any time of the year, not just at Halloween. But for more Halloween safety tips for your dog in this Halloween Ideas for Puppies roundup, including costume tips and first aid for too much candy.

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