Parents have to remain vigilant when they’re taking their kids trick-or-treating. Aside from making sure that no one runs into the street or wanders away, you need to also be on the lookout for dogs. You never know where you’ll encounter a loose dog and what kind of state they’ll be in.
Just as Halloween is exciting for kids, it can get dogs agitated as well. Unfortunately, not every dog owner walks their dog on a leash. While a dog may usually walk along with its owner, significant amounts of people, and especially little ones, on Halloween can cause even the best-behaved dog to run up to or after people.
Even dogs staying home can get out if they’re not kept in a room away from all the excitement of trick-or-treaters coming to the door. It’s not unusual for dogs to run out the front door on Halloween.
How to keep you and your kids safe if you encounter a dog
Remind your children not to approach dogs that they don’t know. This rule should even extend to dogs they know on Halloween. Even a neighbor’s dog may not recognize them in their costume or be frightened by it.
If you encounter a dog or one who runs toward you, then the general rule is to “be a tree.” That means to stand still, keep your hands in front of you and look down at your feet. Most dogs will give you a sniff and be on their way. Teach your child that if a dog knocks them down, they should curl up into a ball, cover their face and stay still.
If a homeowner answers the door with their dog by their side, then stay still and let them hand out the candy. Don’t turn and walk away until they close the door to make sure that the dog doesn’t sneak out. If you hear a dog barking inside or outside a home, then it’s best to skip it.
Most dogs you’ll encounter on Halloween are someone’s pet. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t bite. A homeowners’ insurance policy should cover your expenses and damages if a dog injures you or your child. There may be alternative compensation options to pursue if a homeowners’ policy doesn’t cover dog bite injuries or all the bills that you’ve amassed.