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Dog Bite Statistics

dog showing his teethDog bites are a serious problem that has many victims, about half being adults and half children. Being bitten or attacked by a dog is traumatic experience for children and may require surgery depending on the extent of the injury. For these reasons, parents are encouraged to consider a suitable dog breed for their household if they have young children. Parents must be willing to learn everything they can about how to handle the dog properly, which might include training the dog for non-aggressive good behavior.  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 listed the top ten breeds that insurers do not provide insurance for because the risks involved in these dogs is high for aggressive behavior. Forbes identified the following dogs as the riskiest dog breeds: Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Doberman Pinschers. featured several fatalities of dog bites in 2013. These “horror stories” are made more tragic by the simplicity of its occurrence. Families and children did not consider the dangers these dogs are exposing them to until it’s too late. Once the dog (especially pit bulls) is already in “attack mode”, it seems so difficult to stop it. Hence, the victim would often sustain serious or even fatal injuries. 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 results in injuries serious enough to require medical attention.
  • In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
  • Children ages 5 to 9 are reported as the age group with the highest incidence of dog bite injuries often requiring medical attention.
  • Male adults are more likely than female adults to be bitten.
  • Among children and adults, having a dog in the household is associated with a higher incidence of dog bites. 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 stated that:

  • From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 73% of the attacks that resulted in death.
  • In 2012, roughly one-third, 32%, of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog’s owner when the fatal attack occurred.
  • In the 3-year period of 2006 to 2008, 18% of all fatal dog attacks occurred off owner property. Pit bulls were responsible for 81% of these attacks.
  • A 2010 study showed that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.
  • Dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States. Each day, over 1,000 citizens need emergency medical care to treat these injuries.
  • Dog bites are the fifth highest reason why children seek emergency room treatment due to activities they voluntarily engage in, such as playing sports.

Clearly these statistics informs that dog bites should be taken seriously. Be a responsible dog owner and teach your children how to act around dogs. Always remind them not to approach strange dogs. Christensen & Hymas has prepared numerous articles on dogs. Feel free to browse them and share what you have learned to other family members.

Photo courtesy of freegr and Pixabay. The image is free for commercial use.

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