In the United States from the years 2000-2009, there were 256 dog bite related fatalities. This doesn’t seem like a lot—it’s only about 0.087 fatal dog bites per one million persons per year. Most media news regarding dog bite related fatalities often focuses on breed-specific coverage rather than multiple other factors that come into play during a dog bite.
One study that spanned the ten years of dog bite related fatalities from 2000-2009 sought to expand on these other factors. The study focused on age of the person who died, relationship of the person who died to the dog, ability of the person who died to interact properly with the dog, and presence of an able-bodied person who could stop the dog from attacking.
Characteristics of the Deceased and Dog Bite Related Fatalities
Before jumping into statistics, let’s look at a more thorough description of the study factors:
Age of person who died: This was broken into six categories of < 90 days, 90 days-1 year, 1-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years, 15-69 years, and > 69 years.
- 33.6% of dog bite related fatalities were 1-4 years
- 23.4% were 15-69 years