Dog Bite Statistics (How Likely Are You To Get Bit?)

Did you know that every year, over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs? Dogs may be our best friends, but they are animals and they can bite.  There is a 1 in 50 chance that you’ll be bitten by a dog in your lifetime. 

In fact, a study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that more than  4.7 million Americans get bitten by dogs and half of them happen to be children between the age of 5 and 9. Over 800,000 people receive medical attention for dog bites.

This study also found that children under the age of 10 were more likely to be bitten at home. This is because they are among the most curious and playful. Many children have a habit of playing with their neighbor’s dogs, which can lead to them getting bitten by their adorable furry friends.

In this post, we will get to know how or why you could possibly get bitten by a dog and how to prevent it.

Why do dogs bite?

This question should first cross our minds when talking about dogs. You would possibly want to find out what you did that made a dog bit you especially if the dog is not a stray or hostile dog. A dog bite can be triggered by these things.

  • When a dog is scared or threatened.
  • To protect their owners, puppies, or themselves.
  • When playing. (this is why rough play or making your dog overly excited should be avoided)
  • During their mating season.
  • When they are sick.
  • When they have been mistreated especially if they have a bad owner.

Above are the most common reasons why dogs bite or attack people. It is important to know the mental state of a dog as it will help you dictate a potential bite situation. If a dog is aggressive, it only means that you should stay away from them, or if you are not familiar with the dog, ask its owner if it is okay to pet them.

How to prevent dog bites

The same way we have good people who make mistakes, that’s the same way we have good pets that are bound to make mistakes. There are cases of unexplained dog bites even when there are no signs of the dog being provoked to attack or being aggressive.

Dogs are animals and they do not have any malicious intentions, but like humans, they have their own personalities as well. You have to be cautious when dealing with dogs and always know how they will react when you are around them.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure you do not trigger an attack.

  • Avoid running from a dog, panicking, and making loud noises.
  • Do not disturb a dog when it’s eating, sleeping, or taking care of its young one.
  • Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Allow a dog to sniff and smell you before you try to pet it.
  • If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain motionless and do not run or scream.
  • Do not encourage your dog to play roughly.
  • Report stray dogs or dogs behaving strangely to your local animal control.

Facts About Dog bite

  • A study by the CDC shows that are around 7 million reported dog bites in the United States each year.
  • According to the National Canine Research Council, 81% of dog bites cause no injury at all or only minor injuries that do not require medical attention.
  • A study by The Humane Society shows that most dog bites happen with dogs that are not neutered or spayed.
  • The Insurance Information Institute recorded that the insurance industry paid over $530 million in dog bite-related claims. 

What To Do If You Encounter a Dog Ready To Bite

You may not always be able to avoid violent dogs if you encounter a dog that is ready to bite, but there are a few things you can do to escape with minimal or no harm.

  • First avoid their space especially if they are chained. Do not stare as it is a violation of their space.
  • Try to be as motionless and as boring as you can be. You can yawn if possible. This will show the dog that you are not a threat to it. Once its attention is diverted, you should move away from it as slowly and calmly as possible (make sure you do not run).
  • In events where these strategies do not work, then the most important thing to do is to protect your face and hands. You can turn your back and stand upright, this is to protect vital parts of your body. 
  • If possible put something in between you and the dog and cover your face with anything, be it a blanket, jacket, or shirt.
  • You should also try hitting the dog. This is to show that you are not to be messed with. If it works and the dog retreats, leave by walking away slowly to avoid further attacks.

Protect Yourself Against The Risk Of Dog Bites 

Dog liability insurance. This is also known as Canine liability insurance. This protects you from financial responsibilities if your dog injures a person or causes property damage. There are many breeds of dogs that are considered aggressive by nature, but all dogs have the potential to cause harm unintentionally. Canine liability Insurance covers you 24 hours a day.


Dog bites have been reported as the second most common health hazard for children (the first one is poisoning by medication). Although dog bites are relatively common, there are precautions that you can take to ensure a safe encounter with your dog.

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