Dog Bite Statistics

The Humane Society of the United States estimates the US dog pet population at almost 75 million. Dog ownership cuts across all economic levels, with almost 40 percent of all households owning a dog. Most dogs are well-loved and well-behaved family pets. Unfortunately, dogs can be dangerous, even if they have no history of being aggressive. Here is a look at dog bite statistics in America.

Dog Bite Injuries

According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost five million men, women and children suffer dog bite injuries each year. Approximately one in six of those injured (about 800,000) will be hurt seriously enough to seek medical attention.
The numbers for dog bite injuries are on the rise, although the cause for this increase in the frequency of dog bite attacks remains unknown. Many factors could be at work, including increased pet ownership and a decline in overall owner training quality.

Dog Bite Fatalities

Each year, approximately 12 to 16 people die due to dog bite injuries. Although the number of people killed by dog attacks is relatively low, and fatalities occur only in very small percentage of dog attacks, these deaths are tragic and largely preventable.

From 1979 to 1998, the CDC performed a long-term study fatal dog attacks. The CDC collected data on the types of breeds involved in the attacks, where attacks occurred, and other facts about fatal dog attacks. Here are some of the chilling statistics from that survey:

  • Pit Bull dogs accounted for almost one in three fatal dog attacks
  • Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepherds combined accounted for half of all fatal dog attacks
  • Over half of all fatal dog attacks occurred the owner’s property

Dog Bites and Children

Over half of all dog bite injuries are suffered by children, and children are also the most likely to be seriously injured or die due to a dog attack. Young boys are at a slightly greater risk for being injured by dogs. Dog bite injuries suffered by children are most often found on the hands and arms.

The CDC survey of fatal dog bite attacks reveals that 70 percent of all persons killed by dogs each year are under the age of 11. Among very young children (under the age of four), the CDC found that part of the reason for the increased rate of fatalities is the increased likelihood that the neck and face would be targeted in the attack.

Injured by a Dog?

If you or someone you care for has been injured in a dog bite attack, contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. You may be able to claim compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs of the attack.