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Dog Bite Statistics and Resources

Dog bites affect adults and children about equally. If the dog is particularly hard to manage, parents must weigh the benefits of having a pet dog over the possible risk and problems keeping it could create. Forbes lists the top ten breeds that insurers do not cover because of risks of aggression. Families and children often do not consider the dangers these dogs are exposing them to until it’s too late.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares the following statistics on dog bites:

  • Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually. 50 percent of the victims are children. 20 percent of dog bites require medical attention.
  • In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery because of dog bites.
  • Children ages 5 to 9 have the highest incidents of dog bites of any age group.
  • Male adults are more likely than female adults to be bitten.
  • As the number of dogs in the home increases, so does the incidence of dog bites. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.

DogBites.org reports:

  • From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 73% of fatal dog bite attacks.
  • 32% of all dog bite fatalities were visiting or living with the dog’s owner at the time.
  • 18% of all fatal dog attacks occur off owner property. Pit bulls are responsible for 81% of these attacks.
  • The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200. That’s about double the average injury stay.
  • Dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States. Each day, over 1,000 people need emergency medical care.
  • Dog bites are the 5th-highest activity for children seeking emergency room treatment.

Dog Bite Resources

If you have been bitten by a dog, you know how serious the situation can be for all parties involved, including the dog. The following is a list of dog bite resources.

    • AVMA – AVMA is short for the American Veterinary Medical Association. Their site has statistics, podcasts, and educational videos for both children and parents about dog bite prevention as well as what to do if a bite occurs.
    • Centers for Disease Control – The CDC compiles national dog bite statistics. They also have preventative information by age group. Plus, access scholarly articles about the emotional, physical, and psychological damages that may occur from dog bites.
    • Dogbites.org – Dogbites.org is a nonprofit organization that provides resources for dog bite victims. They have a blog, book information, statistics, and information you should be aware of as a dog owner as well as resources for victims.
    • Doggone Safe – The site gives dog bite prevention through education on how to properly care for dogs. The website has a list of support groups for those who have been bitten as well as media events and other information on how to find a dog professional if you are having dog problems.
    • The Humane Society – The Humane Society looks to educate the public on how to not be bitten by dogs and what to do if you have been bitten by a dog. The site also provides some advice for owners following a bite. The site is interactive and has several videos to engage the reader.
    • Prevent the Bite – This website has a list of resources for specific age groups, demographics, types of dogs, insurance companies, and resource books. The site looks to provide education to the public as a solution to preventing animal attacks.
    • The Utah Dog Bite and Attack Handbook – The Good Guys Legal team has created a free book for the public about Utah dog bite laws and legal claims. The book also details specific information on what you should do if you have been bitten by a dog and tips for making your legal claim a success.

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