Study shows average pet life span increased

Pets are living longer than they used to.

Nationally, the average lifespan for dogs is about 11 years while cats live for about 12.1 years. Overall, the average lifespan for dogs is up about 4 percent (or about half a year) since 2002. For cats, the average lifespan has increased an entire year, or about 10 percent, since 2002, according to the 2013 Banfield State of Pet Health Report.

Cats and dogs had the longest average lifespan in Montana, with cats clocking in at 14.3 years and dogs at 12.4 years. The report took factors such as breed, genetics and spay/neuter status into account.

The report looked at data from about 2.2 million dogs and more than 460,000 cats, and generated insights into disease patterns, breed preferences and longevity.

Mississippi and Louisiana had some of the lowest average life spans for dogs, which the report linked to a high prevalence of heartworm infection (Louisiana is ranked no. 1 for heartworm and Mississippi is ranked no. 2). Heartworm infection is low in cats, the report notes.

Other highlights from the report:

  • The most common diagnoses for dogs were dental tartar, ear infection, overweight, skin infection and fleas. For cats, the most common were dental calculus, overweight, fleas, gingivitis and ear infection.
  • The most common dog names were Bella, Max, Buddy, Daisy and Coco. For cats, they were Kitty, Bella, Tiger, Max and Smokey.
  • The most popular dog breeds were Labrador retriever, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire terrier and pit bull. The most popular cat breeds were domestic shorthair, domestic medium hair, domestic long hair, Siamese and Maine coon.

Check out the full report here and the infographic summary here

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