A DIY Guide to Safety for Trick-or-Treaters

Make Halloween safe for your dog—and trick or treaters

Pittsburgh—Are you fully prepped for Halloween? Picked out costumes for the whole family? Decorated your home and yard with this year's scariest décor? Selected candy for trick-or-treaters with care?

We wanted to remind you that your holiday to-do list isn't complete until you've checked off, "Pet proofed and safety-proofed home and yard."

Throw Your Dog a Bone

Dog owners beware: Halloween isn’t the easiest of holidays for your four-legged friend. There will be unfamiliar sights, sounds and visitors, which can cause your canine companion some stress. And when dogs are stressed, they might bite.

The personal injury attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates wanted to give you a DIY guide to dog-bite proofing your Halloween to make sure your trick or treaters, your guests, and your pooch are safe and sound this year.

Every year, more than 4.5 million people in the Unites States suffer a dog bite. To help prevent bites—on Halloween or any time of year—it's important to educate yourself on why dogs lash out. Dogs bite because:

  • They have an instinct to protect their owner or their owner's property.
  • They are scared or confused because of new visitors, sights or sounds—all of which are plentiful during Halloween.
  • They are overstimulated from people hugging, poking or waving their hands in front of them.
  • They are injured or sick.

What YOU Can Do to Prevent Dog Bites

Fortunately, there are many steps dog owners can take to minimize the risk of their dog biting someone. As a dog owner you can:

  • Secure your dog. Make sure your pet is safely enclosed in a room or a crate away from the front door, where visitors are approaching.
  • Close your blinds. This way, your dog won't see people coming and going through the window.
  • Be on the lookout. Watch for trick-or-treaters so when they come to your door, they don't have to knock or use the doorbell.
  • Keep Your Pet Indoors. Don't tempt fate—keep your pup indoors, even if you have a fenced-in yard.

Keeping Your Home Safe for Guests and Trick or Treaters

Most of the horror stories on Halloween revolve around witches, goblins and any number of other fictional monsters. Make sure your home and yard don't inspire fear in guests and trick or treaters. Here are some friendly tips from the personal injury attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates:

  • Keep The Coast Clear – Clear steps and lawns of any tripping hazards (electric cords, hoses, etc.).
  • Light the Way – Keep your sidewalks and pathways clearly lit. Many children are wearing costumes with masks that may obscure their vision, or long costumes that could impede their steps. Don't make the trek from the street to your doorstep more difficult than it needs to be.
  • Forget Homemade – Save the homemade treats for your kids, friends and other family members and hand out store-bought treats instead.
  • Understand Your Responsibilities – If someone falls on your property and injures themselves, you could be held liable. Check out our online FAQ about premises liability to keep your property safe.
  • Party Safe – If you're having a party, don't provide alcohol to minors, and don't overserve your adult guests. Know the social host laws of Pennsylvania.
Make this Halloween an enjoyable—and safe—one!