Dog Bite Liability: Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners
Halloween is an enjoyable time of the year for many children and adults, but often not fun for pets. There are many safety factors you need to think about as a pet owner. Some pet safety hazards are well known, such as the toxicity of chocolate. However, one factor that is not often thought of during this holiday is the increased chance of a dog bite occurring out of stress or fear.
Here are some points to take into consideration for your pet’s safety, as well as the safety of trick-or-treaters and family members or friends in your home.
Continual Doorbell Ringing: For dogs that often bark or show agitation when the doorbell rings, this can be very stressful. Consider confining your pet to a quiet room, or leaving your door open with just the screen shut if possible.
Strangers in Costume: Even the friendliest animal may become unexpectedly aggressive of fearful when being approached by an unfamiliar subject.
Candles: Candles in jack-o-lanterns or otherwise within your pets reach are a fire hazard. A wagging tail can easily tip over a candle or carved pumpkin.
Pranksters: According to sources from the ASPCA, Halloween night has one of the highest rates of animal cruelty due to pranksters. While this mainly applies to cats, it’s important that you make sure your small dog is safe inside your home or secure backyard.
Pet Costumes: Pet training experts recommend that you forgo the costume for your pooch unless you are certain that they don’t mind it. In addition, ensure that the costume has no small pieces that can be chewed off as this presents a choking hazard.
Following these safety precautions will help your family and your dog have a more enjoyable night, and potentially reduce the chance of a stress-induced bite incident occurring.
F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc., now offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only that specializes in Dog Bite Liability Insurance Programs This policy is available in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. It will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year.