Dog Bite Statistics

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 4.5 to 4.7 million dog bites occur each year. Dog bite statistics are a helpful tool for understanding the nature of dog attacks and observing potential risk factors that may contribute. By evaluating dog bite statistics, experts and families may gain valuable insight into preventing dog attacks.

Dog Bite Injury Statistics

The following dog bite injury statistics have been reported:

  • About 71 percent of dog bites involve the victim’s extremities, or the legs, arms, feet, and hands.
  • Female adults are less likely to experience a dog attack than male adults.
  • In 2012, California held the highest number of dog attack claims, totaling 451.
  • The Insurance Information Institute states that dog attacks accounted for more than one third of all money paid toward insurance liability claims in 2012.

Dog Bite Treatment Statistics

Dog bite treatment information includes the following:

  • The CDC states that 20 percent, or roughly one in every five dog bites results in serious injuries that may require medical attention. Half of these patients are children.
  • A study from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sates that about 1,000 patients each day require emergency care for dog bites.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also states that hospitalization for dog bites nearly doubled over the course of 15 years.
  • The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery reported that in 2012, nearly 28,000 dog bite victims underwent reconstructive surgery after sustaining severe dog bite injury.

Dog Bite Death Statistics

The following dog bite death statistics have been reported:

  • In 2011, 31 dog bite deaths were reported.
  • Roughly 92 percent of reported fatal dog attacks were caused by male dogs. Of these, 94 percent were not neutered.
  • In more than half of dog bite death instances, the dog attack involved an unrestrained dog on the dog owner’s property.
  • Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds account for the highest number of dog bite death occurrences, contributing to at least 80 percent of dog bite deaths in 2013.

Kids and Dogs Statistics

About half of the 4.5 to 4.7 million dog bites each year involve children. Dog bite injury rates are highest among children aged five to nine. Children are more likely to require medical treatment for dog bites than adults. This is primarily due to the fact that a child’s smaller stature and fragile body often results in more severe injury.

Additional kids and dogs statistics are as follows:

  • Roughly 70 percent of dog bite injuries receiving medical treatment involve children younger than age 10.
  • Head and neck dog bites occur in roughly two thirds of bites involving children. This is primarily due to a child’s height, as the head and neck are more closely within a dog’s reach.




Boat, Barbara W, et al. “Pediatric Dog Bite Victims: A Need for a Continuum of Care.” Clinical Pediatrics 51.5 (2012): 473-477. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

Chahine, Carol J., and Bruce B. Horswell. “Dog bites of the face, head and neck in children.” West Virginia Medical Journal 107.6 (2011): 24+. Academic OneFile. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

“Dog Bite Statistics in U.S.” North Carolina Lawyers Weekly 11 June 2001. Academic OneFile. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.

“Medically attended dog bites.” National Canine Research Council. National Canine Research Council, 26 Nov 2013. Web. 13 Jan 2014. <>.

Weiss, Harold B., Deborah I. Friedman, and Jeffrey H. Coben. “Incidence of Dog Bite Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments.” JAMA 279.1 (1998): 51-3. ProQuest. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.