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Does Location Affect Your Pet’s Life Expectancy?

Does Location Affect Your Pet’s Life Expectancy?

lifespan-catsThe difference between living in abject poverty and pestilence and the comfort of a rich gated community can be attributed to a fortunate role of the genetic dice. That is, you’re lucky you were born into a well-to-do family as opposed to a war-torn Third World country.

The same can be said for pets.

According to a study just released by Banfield Pet Hospital, the 2013 State of Pet Health Report, our pets’ longevity and health can be directly attributed to the state in which they live.

It’s worth noting that experts also found a correlation between the states with the longest-living pets and having the highest rates of neutering and spaying. Other factors included a higher rate of indoor pets and less infectious diseases.

“It’s all about lifestyle, what your pet means to you and how you take care of them,” says veterinarian Sandi Lefebvre. “There are different attitudes, different levels of education and they tend to cluster in certain areas of the country.”

The states with the longest lived kitties include Montana, Colorado, Rhode Island, Illinois and Nebraska. The shortest cat lifespans are in Delaware, Ohio, Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi.

States with the longest lifespan for dogs include South Dakota, Montana, Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado. The shortest dog lives were in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Delaware and Maryland.

Regional factors also come into play, as southern states deal with higher rates of heartworm due to heat and mosquitoes, whereas Lyme disease is more prevalent in northeastern states due to the ticks with the disease.

Researchers analyzed medical data from the two million dogs and nearly 430,000 cats that were treated in Banfield’s hospitals in 2011.

The good news is that overall, our pets are living longer. Cats in the U.S. are living a full year longer than they did in 2002. The increase for dogs over that same period is about six months.

Also see:

Biggest Health Threat To Our Pets

An Organic Dog Food Recipe Fit For Sensitive Stomachs

Read more: Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets, ,

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Jason Knapfel is Co-Founder of, a growing resource for all things related to the beloved animals that we share our homes with.


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7:37AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

7:13AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

Very interesting post-thanks! I think animals raised in the country are def the healthiest+happiest too! These animals have the benefits of both the air quality but also the space in which to stretch out those legs 4 much needed exercise! Hopefully nowhere near those darn factory farms...

8:44AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Thanks for the info.

2:48AM PDT on May 25, 2013


10:25PM PDT on May 18, 2013

i love animals

12:28PM PDT on May 14, 2013

Another factor is genetics.

6:13PM PDT on May 12, 2013

ALWAYS love your children and your pets as if there will be no tomorrow. Even with the best of care, fate often deals a cruel hand. Make every day the best day you possibly can. Illness or an accident can come like a thief in the night.

5:29AM PDT on May 12, 2013

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

4:30AM PDT on May 12, 2013

Thanks for posting.

11:28PM PDT on May 11, 2013

Interesting but elicits mixed feelings in me. The terms "war torn" and "third world country" are not the same thing and not always go together. Was Irak a "third world" country? Hmmmm. If this article is about USA, a single nation, why start out the article with the said concept? The other issue is that inside the USA, if the article imposes such concepts, one would have to conclude there appears to be states that are "first world" and others "third world", a concept implying there are different worlds, in itself quite fuzzy and biased. The thing is there are two states which are good to maintain pets' longevity of both species (Montana and Colorado) and three states bad at that (Delaware, Louisiana and Mississippi). How come?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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