Introduction and objective:
Owning a dog or spending time around a dog have many benefits, but also pose a risk of being bitten or attacked. Currently, publications on dog bites and related factors come from both high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries. So far, no attempt has been made to assess this phenomenon in Poland. The aim of this study was to determine the number of such events and evaluate hospital medical assistance provided to dog bite victims in Poland in the period of 15 years between 2006–2020.

Material and methods:
This cross-sectional study was based on the data from the Nationwide General Hospital Morbidity Study and cases with the code W54 (ICD-10) as the cause of hospitalization. As part of the analysis, victim demographical data, with an emphasis on city- and country-dwellers, as well as treatment variables were assessed.

Between 2006–2020, 4,145 cases of hospitalizations for dog bites were found, of which approx. 42% occurred in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Most of the victims were children aged 0–9, and this is especially common among boys living in the countryside. It was found that regardless of the place of residence, there was a systematic decrease in hospitalization of men as they were older. In women, however, the decrease in hospitalization concerned only the age groups 0–39. Among older women, the percentage of hospitalization increased, especially among rural women aged 60 and over.

Hospital discharge records report a small number of dog bites. These are only the tip of the iceberg. The problem has a multi-factorial nature and requires epidemiological monitoring and further research on correlates and determinants, as well as preventive measures.

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