Your Pet May Be Suffering Without You Knowing. recently released the results of an investigation  they conducted on which states have the healthiest pets. The results are based on access to veterinary care, prevalence of disease, their environment, and how much money is spent on non-vet expenses. The data was collected in a variety of sources.

According to these parameters, Montana is the state with the healthiest pets and Mississippi needs the most work.

One of sources is the Banfield Pet Hospital’s “State of Pet Health”, a yearly report that analyzes medical data of 2.5 million dogs and 500,000 cats in the United States. The report goes over the amount of various illness in them.

Another one was the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air,” which looks at air quality by state (this was just one part of the “healthy environment” part of the investigation.)

What fascinates me about this study is not the results, but the parameters it forgot.

You see, it’s important that your pet is physically taken care of, but studies show that dogs and cats can be mentally ill as well. They can suffer from aggression, anxiety, depression and anorexia among others.

These illnesses can be serious, yet their amount is not taken into account when looking at the state’s with the number of healthiest pets.

Why is that?

The report doesn’t say, but part of the reason may be that people mistake symptoms of mental illness as behavior problems.  Some symptoms can also seem similar to
normal behavior patterns.

So, what can you do if you’re pet shows signs of mental illness? suggests taking them to a vet with behavior specialist credentials to be examined. They then will recommend  appropriate treatment, which can be simple.

So, see where your state ranks in terms of physical health. Now, see how your pet measures up mentally.


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