Dog Bite Statistics
For decades, researchers have collected data on dog bites and used it to produce scholarly papers aimed at identifying what it is that turns the trusted pet you welcome into your Florida home into a source of physical pain, injury and, sometimes, death. Reviewing the statistics might be helpful toward gaining a better understanding of the causes of dog attacks and the steps you can take to avoid or prevent them.
Dog Ownership in the U.S. and Dog Bite Incidents
It is estimated that close to 50 percent of the households in America have at least one dog living in them. Many of those households have more than one dog because the total dog population is estimated to be about 80 million dogs. Given the size of the dog population, the following statistics about dog bites should not come as a surprise:
- Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in this country
- Almost 800,000 individuals a year require some form of medical treatment for injuries suffered in an
attack by a dog or by multiple dogs
- Hospital emergency departments treat an estimated 334,000 people each year for injuries related
to dog bites
- An estimated 6,000 dog bite victims are hospitalized each year because of the severity of their injuries
- Most dog bite incidents appear to occur during April through September each year with the July
being the month in which the most dog bites are reported
- Approximately 16,500 dog bites each year are suffered in what could be described as work-related
- The chances of becoming the victim of a dog bite appear to be the same for both men and women
- The highest rate of injury in dog attacks is seen in children between five and nine years of age
- Young boys, 14 years of age and younger, are more likely to be attacked by a dog than are girls of
the same age
Types of Injuries Reported from Dog Bites
Of all of the reported dog bite incidents throughout the country, the following injuries were the ones most frequently seen by medical personnel:
- Injuries to the arm and hand occurred in 45 percent of the dog bites
- Leg and foot injuries were reported in 26 percent dog attacks
- Head and neck injuries were seen in 23 percent of the dog bites
- Individuals older than 15 years of age suffered an injury to the extremities 86 percent of the time
- Puncture wounds were treated in 40 percent of all dog bite patients
- Lacerations were treated in 25 percent of dog bite incidents
- Abrasions, contusions and hematoma were seen in 6 percent of patients seeking treatment
following a dog attack
Fatal Dog Bites
A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that fatalities from dog bites are relatively rare, only 32 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, considering the size of the dog population in this country. However, 76.2 percent of the fatalities involved dogs that were not kept as family pets by their owners.
The conclusion drawn by authors of the JAVMA report was that dogs kept as pets form an attachment and dependency on humans that makes it less likely for them to attack. Dogs that do not have this relationship with humans are more likely to attack in stressful situations as a way of protecting themselves.
Breed-Specific Dog Bite Statistics
The American Veterinary Medical Association has taken the position that the chance of becoming the victim of a dog bite has to do with the popularity of a breed than it does with the breed itself. In other words, any dog can attack a person under the right circumstances.
The AVMA report found that the frequency of dog bites by pit bulls probably relates more to the popularity of the breed, how it is treated by its owner and misidentification of the dog’s breed than it does to a propensity on the part of pit bulls to attack people. The conclusion drawn by the report is that any dog, regardless of its breed, could inflict harm on a person depending upon factors such as training, abuse by the owner and socialization of the animal.
Dog Bites are Serious and May Entitle you to Compensation
The physical and emotional harm that may be caused by a dog bite could leave you with medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you or a member of your family has been injured in an attack by a dog, you could be entitled to compensation from the owner of the dog or from the owner of the property on which the animal was kept.
At The Felicetti Law Firm P.C., you will find a knowledgeable and skilled dog bite attorney who will review your case and provide you with the legal advice and guidance needed to help you pursue your claim for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (800) 707-1954 to schedule an appointment, or you can contact us through