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These Are the States With the Healthiest Pets. Is Yours One of Them?

Care.com data analysts identified the states that do the best job of keeping their pets healthy and happy.

Fact: Animals make our lives infinitely better.

(Think about it: Have you ever seen a cute kitty Youtube video that didn't fill you with joy?...Didn't think so...)

If you aren't a pet parent, you might brush this off as biased hyperbole. But we're not just saying this because we love pets: we're saying this because SCIENCE. Case in point: recently, researchers have discovered that:

Now, if you are a pet parent, you're sitting there going, "Well...duh."

In your eyes, your pet is your baby, your soulmate and your best friend all rolled into one. And, in return for all the love your pet gives you, you try to keep her as happy and healthy as possible -- whether it's by taking her out on regular walks, by feeding her good, nutritious food, or by enrolling her in a doggy day care to help her blow off some steam with her buddies during the day.

The question is: Are you living in a place that makes it easy to do this?

To figure this out, Care.com analysts looked at the data on pet care in each state, and ranked them across four different categories: an "Illness" rank, an "Access to Vet Care" rank, a "Healthy Environment" rank, and a "Total Pet Spend" rank. Then, the analysts combined these metrics into one all-encompassing "Pet Health" rank. The states that ranked the highest had a low prevalence of pet illnesses, higher access to veterinary care, healthier environments for pets, and higher pet-related spending (that didn't involve the vet).

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...

Here are the 10 states with the healthiest pets!

Infographic, courtesy of Care.com


Don't see your state on that list? Then take a look at the chart below to see how it fared across each rank:

State Prevalence of Illness Rank Access to Vet Care Rank Healthy Environment Rank Total Pet Spend Rank Overall Pet Health Rank
Montana 1 2 3 17 1
Nebraska 9 1 27 15 2
Colorado 2 6 45 2 3
New Mexico 6 6 33 28 4
New Hampshire 28 5 6 1 5
Idaho 13 3 38 36 6
South Dakota 2 16 20 46 7
Wyoming 13 8 12 26 8
North Dakota 2 38 17 28 9
Kansas 27 4 37 22 10
Minnesota 8 20 22 11 11
Wisconsin 11 14 25 20 12
Vermont 28 9 5 16 13
District of Columbia 20 44 1 9 14
Alaska 13 22 4 7 15
New Jersey 16 35 2 5 16
Connecticut 23 18 9 3 17
Maryland 22 15 23 8 18
Virginia 25 12 31 6 19
Illinois 10 29 26 14 20
Iowa 24 10 18 33 21
Massachusetts 20 26 11 4 22
Arizona 7 26 46 24 23
Nevada 5 41 39 34 24
Oregon 32 13 14 19 25
Utah 12 38 49 13 26
Maine 28 17 18 21 27
Rhode Island 17 48 15 12 28
Michigan 18 42 13 42 29
Hawaii 18 50 7 41 30
Washington 37 30 10 10 31
Missouri 36 23 28 27 32
California 31 30 50 25 33
Indiana 35 28 43 18 34
New York 33 47 8 28 35
Oklahoma 43 11 30 44 36
Pennsylvania 34 43 35 37 37
Kentucky 38 20 51 45 38
Delaware 42 35 16 23 39
Florida 43 19 29 35 40
West Virginia 25 51 21 50 41
North Carolina 46 24 36 32 42
Ohio 39 37 34 40 43
Georgia 40 30 41 39 44
Texas 41 34 44 38 45
Tennessee 47 33 42 43 46
Arkansas 43 49 24 49 47
South Carolina 48 45 47 31 48
Louisiana 50 38 32 48 49
Alabama 51 25 48 47 50
Mississippi 49 46 40 51 51


Methodology

This study considers all 50 states of the United States and the District of Colombia. The "Overall Pet Health Rank" was based on scores in four categories: Prevalence of Illness, Access to Vet Care, Healthy Environment, and Total Pet Spend:

  • “Prevalence of Illness” includes the prevalence of the following diseases per 10,000 pets: Diabetes, Heartworm, Dental Disease, Ottis Externa, Fleas Tickets, Roundworm, Hookworm, Tapeworm, and Whipworm. Average lifespan is also included in this category. Data is from the Banfield State of Pet Health Report 2016.
  • “Access to Vet Care” includes the number of veterinary offices and number of veterinary employees per household with pet. These data are based on the Census Bureau.
  • “Healthy Environment” includes percent of protected land, percent of sheltered animals per household with pets, air quality, number of parks per household with pets, and WalkScore. These data come from United States Geological Survey, Shelter Animals Count, the American Lung Association: State of the Air 2016, StateParks.com, and WalkScore.com
  • “Total Pet Spend” includes the number of pet businesses per household with pets, non-vet pet spending per household with pets, and average monthly pet insurance cost. With the exception of pet insurance cost, the more spending on pets and the higher the number of pet businesses per household with pets contribute to a higher ranking in this category. All dollar amounts are divided by the median income in the state to account for differences in the cost of living. These data are from the Census Bureau, and PetInsuranceQuotes.com.

Metrics in these categories were normalized on a scale from 0 to 100, and combined using a weighted average with the following weights: Prevalence of Illness (40%), Access to Vet Care (30%), Healthy Environment (20%), Non-Veterinary Pet-Related Expenditures (10%).



Want to check out more of our studies? Feel free to peruse this list:

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