Dog Bite Statistics

Picture of a dog
  • A survey by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (“CDC”) concluded that dogs bite nearly 2% of the U.S. population — more than 4.7 million people annually. (Sacks JJ, Kresnow M, Houston B. Dog bites: how big a problem? Injury Prev 1996;2:52-4.)
  • Almost 800,000 bites per year — one out of every 6 — are serious enough to require medical attention. (Weiss HB, Friedman D, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments. JAMA 1998;279:51-53.)
  • Dog bites send nearly 334,000 victims to hospital emergency departments per year (914 per day). (National Center for Health Statistics National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey for 1992-1994. See also the CDC update of much of that research, focusing on the year 2001, in which it was established that the number of people treated in emergency rooms was 368,245. CDC releases epidemiologic survey of dog bites in 2001 – September 15, 2003.)
  • Bites to children represent more than 50 percent of the total number cases.
  • 26% of child-victims — compared with 12% of the adults — require medical care. (Ibid., National Center for Health Statistics, above.)
  • Getting bitten by a dog is the second most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms. (Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments,” JAMA 1998;279:53, citing US Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Injuries associated with selected sports and recreational equipment treated in hospital emergency departments, calendar year 1994.” Consumer Product Safety Review, Summer 1996;1:5. Also citing US Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Stair Steps and Baby Walkers Don’t Mix.” Washington D.C.:US Consumer Product Safety Commission;1992. Consumer Product Safety Alert No. 009207.)
  • Every year 2,851 letter carriers are bitten. (US Postal Service.)
  • An American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog each year. (CDC.)



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