Western States Are Home to Dogs with Long Lives

All dog lovers know that there are certain things that affect how long your beloved pooch is going to live. Factors such as the size of the dog and whether or not it was spayed or neutered have long been proven to play a significant role in life span. And since no one likes to think about losing man's best friend to the circle of life, it's not surprise that a survey was conducted to find out which states in the US have the dogs with the longest lives. Montana and South Dakota are tied for first place with the average lifespan coming in at about 12.4 years. Why these two states?

Dr. Mark Lawson, a veterinarian at Glacier Animal Hospital in Montana, shared a few of his theories with Missoula NBC affiliate KECI. In addition to having less infectious disease than other parts of the country, a higher spay and neuter rate and more open space for physical exercise, he also believes Montana's climate plays a role.

"Heartworm disease is spread through mosquitoes," Lawson told KECI. "Because we have a very short mosquito season that helps keep heartworm rate down. Lyme Disease is carried by the deer tick and we don't have that kind of species here in Montana."

According to the survey, the top five states for dogs with the longest lives were:

  1. Montana
  2. South Dakota
  3. Oregon
  4. Colorado
  5. New Mexico
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