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Animal Attack – Dog Bite Statistics

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Posted on March 17, 2014

Last year, State Farm compiled a report ranking the top ten states in the US based on personal injury claims involving dog bite cases leading up to 2013. In the year prior, State Farm reported a total of 123 dog bite claims and payouts near $7.1 million in the state of Florida. These figures placed at number 8 out of all states in the US. California topped the dog bite claims list at number one, followed by Illinois and Texas. The full top-ten list can be seen below. In total, State Farm paid out just over $108 million in dog bite claims in 2012.

Top 10 States for State Farm Dog Bite Claims in 2012

  1. California
  2. Illinois
  3. Texas
  4. Ohio
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Michigan
  7. Indiana
  8. Florida
  9. Georgia
  10. New York

Dog Bite Statistics

State Farm says its date indicates there are more than 4.7 million dog bites in the US every year. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates the American dog population was approximately 70 million at the end of 2011, down from roughly 72 million in 2006. However, the number of dog bite incidents hasn’t decreased at all.

  • Dog bite claims cost the insurance industry over $1 billion in payouts each year
  • In Florida, approximately 500 dog bites require hospitalization every year
  • 25 percent of fatal dog attacks involved chained dogs
  • Nearly 60 percent of the 4.7 million dog bites reported each year involve young children
  • 50 percent of dog attacks involved children ages 11 and below
  • 65 percent of bites among children occur to the head and neck
  • 70 percent of all dog-bite fatalities occur among children ages 10 and under
  • 70 percent of dog bite incidents occur on the dog owner’s property or in the home, where most victims knew the dog
  • 82 percent of dog bites treated via emergency room visits involve children ages 14 and below
  • 92 percent of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, of which 94 percent were not neutered
  • Bite rates are dramatically higher among children ages 5 to 9 years old
  • Only 0.0002 percent (less than 0.00001 percent of the total US population) of all dog bites/attacks are fatal
  • Unsupervised newborns were 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog

Safety Tips to Help Children Avoid Dog Bites

The US Center for Disease Control and Injury Prevention recommends that parents teach children basic safety habits for encountering dogs. Safety tips should be reviewed and reinforced on a regular basis:

  • Never approach an unfamiliar or stray dog
  • Remain motionless if approached by an unfamiliar dog and look away from the dog
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still
  • Do not play with a dog unless accompanied by a supervising adult
  • Be calm – always talk in a quiet voice or whisper and do not shout
  • Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first
  • If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult



American Humane Society


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