Which Are the US States With the Highest Risk of Pet Illnesses?


As pet parents, we know our furry friends aren’t just pets — they’re family. Therefore, keeping them healthy and happy is a top priority. Unfortunately, pet illnesses can emerge from a variety of sources, including environmental factors that vary significantly across the United States. Therefore, to help pet parents, Forbes Advisor conducted an analysis to determine the states with the highest risk of such diseases. It’s imperative for pet parents to be aware of these risks and to take preventive measures such as ensuring timely vaccinations and being cognizant of local health threats.

List of US states with highest risk of pet illnesses

Based on the analysis by Forbes Advisor, which considered favorable case rates for a number of dog and cat illnesses across the U.S., these are the states with the highest risk of pet illnesses:

  1. West Virginia: This state emerges on top with a perfect score of 100 out of 100. Its beautiful landscapes may be inviting, but they also host risks like tick infestations and diseases such as Lyme disease. Moreover, the state sees high cases of intestinal parasites in dogs.
  2. Rhode Island: Having a score of 80.71, Rhode Island faces unique challenges, being a hotspot for feline heartworms and other parasites like flea tapeworms. Tick-borne diseases are also a significant concern in this coastal region.
  3. New Jersey: Scoring 74.1, this state stands out with a high prevalence of rabies in cats and tick-borne illnesses in pets.
  4. Kentucky: Kentucky closely follows with a score of 73.91, where pets face health risks from various parasites and diseases such as Ehrlichiosis, and the viral infections FIV and FeLV in cats.
  5. Maine: Maine scores 71.3, showing a significant prevalence of tick-borne diseases, flea infestations, and tapeworms.
  6. Oklahoma: Scoring 70.15, Oklohama reveals a particular vulnerability to flea tapeworms in cats and canine respiratory infections, among other parasites and diseases.
  7. New York: With a score of 66.23, New York has a noticeable rate of giardia cases and tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.

For pet parents living in these states, it is crucial to stay informed about local health threats and to adhere to preventative health measures to safeguard the well-being of their pets. Regular veterinary check-ups, tick and flea prevention, and vaccinations are key steps in preventing the onset of these common illnesses.