Dog Bite Injuries and Fatalities
in the United States

Web Pages Compiled by Diana Plumer

Introduction

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog Bite Fatalities

Risk Factors:
Breed, Victim & Place

Cost of Dog Bites

Factors that Impede Progress

Event Analysis

Prevention Strategies

References

Introduction

Are dog bites a significant public health problem in the United States? Investigating this question requires an examination of the prevalence, risk factors, trends, costs, and disabilities associated with dog bites. In the 2005-2006 National Pet Owners Survey, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimated that there were approximately 73.9 million owned dogs in the United States, with thirty-nine percent of all U.S. homes, or 43.5 million households, owning at least one dog.1

Since dog ownership is so common in the US, and therefore the exposure so widespread, addressing dog bites as a serious public health problem is both necessary and appropriate. Undoubtedly, injuries caused by dog bites inflict physical and emotional harm, pose occupational hazards, and incur costs to communities. This project will describe the scope of these harms, hazards and costs, as well as, strategies for prevention.

Most dog bites victims are children. In 2000, dog bites ranked twelfth among the causes of non-fatal injury treated in emergency departments for all age groups in the United States, but for children aged 14 and younger, dog bites ranked fifth.2,3

Nonfatal Injuries All Ages =
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5017a4.htm
Nonfatal Injuries Children =
http://ip.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/9/2/173

Next