Dog Bite Statistics

Dog Bites: A Big Problem in the US

Dog bites hurt a lot of people every year. A survey from 2001 to 2003 estimated that 4.5 million Americans were bit by dogs each year.  A study published in 2019 looked at dog bites from 2005 to 2013 and found that 337,103 people went to the emergency room each year because of dog bites. Most people who got bitten were about 29 years old. More men got bitten than women.

The bites happened on different parts of the body. About 47 out of 100 bites were on the arms. About 27 out of 100 bites were on the head or neck. About 22 out of 100 bites were on the legs. About 4 out of 100 bites were on the body. Younger people got more bites on their head or neck. Older people got more bites on their arms. More bites happened in the summer and on weekends. About 8 out of 10 bites happened at home.

Only 1 or 2 out of 100 people had to stay in the hospital. Older people were more likely to stay in the hospital after a bite. People over 85 had the highest chance of staying in the hospital. People aged 75 to 84 had the second highest chance. Very young kids, 4 years old or younger, also had a higher chance.

The average number of dog bites was about 1 in every 1,000 people each year. More men got bitten than women. The total cost of emergency room treatment for dog bites was at least $400 Million (US$) each year. Homeowners insurance companies paid more than $1.1 Billion (US$) for dog bites in 2023. The nationwide average insurance payment for a dog bite case fluctuates between $32,000 and $64,000.

Despite the millions of victims, only 17,600 of them per year get money from homeowners insurance policies and renters insurance policies. The medical bills for the other 734,000 victims are paid by Medicare and Medicaid programs, and private health insurance.

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