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Uncovering dog bite statistics

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2023 | Dog Bites

Man’s best friend, the loyal and loving dog, can sometimes show a less friendly side. Dog bites are a common concern.

Understanding the statistics surrounding them is important to ensure the safety of both humans and these furry companions.

Prevalence of dog bites

Dog bites are more common than you might think. In the United States alone, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. While not all of them are severe, even minor bites can lead to infections or other complications.

Victims of dog bites

The victims of dog bites are diverse. However, children are more susceptible to dog bites than adults. In fact, nearly half of all dog bite victims are children under the age of 12. This highlights the importance of educating kids about how to interact with dogs safely.

Severity of injuries

Dog bites can range from minor nips to severe attacks. While most dog bites are not fatal, they can still result in significant injuries, including puncture wounds, lacerations and infections. Roughly 750,000 dog bite victims require medical attention annually.

Breeds and dog bites

There is often a lot of debate about which dog breeds are more likely to bite. However, any breed can bite. Statistically, the breeds associated with more bites can vary by location and reporting.

Cost of dog bites

Dog attacks can result in significant financial burdens, encompassing not just medical costs but also legal implications and insurance settlements. The cumulative expenses reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Dog bites and emotional impact

Beyond the physical injuries, dog bites can have a severe emotional impact. Victims, especially children, can experience lasting trauma and anxiety related to the attack, even if their physical injuries are relatively minor.

Preventable nature of dog bites

The majority of dog bites are preventable through responsible pet ownership and education. Proper training, socialization and supervision of dogs can significantly reduce the risk of bites. Educating people, especially children, on how to approach and interact with dogs safely is also important.

Dog bite statistics may be subject to underreporting. Some bites may not be severe enough to warrant medical attention, and authorities do not receive reports for all incidents. Therefore, the actual number of dog bites and the overall impact of them remains unknown.