10 US States With The Fattest Dogs

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on January 31 2020 in Society

Overfeeding and lack of exercise in pets in the United States is a real and serious issue. Image Source: Shutterstock
Overfeeding and lack of exercise in pets in the United States is a real and serious issue. Image Source: Shutterstock

While Americans are struggling with being overweight, their pets also face the same problem. About a third of all the dogs in the US are either obese or overweight. Although many people may think that chubby dogs look cute, overweight pets in the USA is a real health issue. Ironically, some of the lowest rates of overweight pets are in states that have increased human obesity. Every year veterinary clinic, Banfield Pet Hospital, produces an annual report on pets. The report is based on 2.5 million dogs treated in different clinics of the hospital across the country. According to Banfield, about 30% of all dogs in the US were overweight and unhealthy. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that as much as 54% of all the dogs in the country are either obese or overweight. Minnesota has the highest number of overweight or obese dogs in the US.

Minnesota

The state of Minnesota is the leading state in America with dogs that were either obese or overweight. About 41% of the dogs in the state are overweight. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the most popular dog breed in Minnesota is the Labrador retriever. The breed is also the most popular in the country, with about 50% of the households in the US having a Labrador retriever. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Minnesota is ranked as the 43rd in dog ownership. All states in the bottom ten list of dog-owning states have snowy winters and are the main metropolitan areas that hinder dog walking. This could be one of the reasons why dogs in Minnesota are obese. 

Nebraska

Nebraska is the second state with the overweight dogs in the country. About 39% of all the dogs in the state are overweight. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the popular dog breeds in Nebraska includes German shepherd, Labrador retriever, and Golden retriever. The state ranks at position 46 in pet ownership. In 2011, about 51.3% of households in Nebraska owned a pet. Most of the popular dog breeds in the state are those that love to be active. A dog named Whopper was one of the famous Akita-mix dog breeds, that became popular in Nebraska because it was overweight. Whopper weighed 185 pounds. The weight was about 100 pounds above the ideal weight. Whopper was turned in to Nebraska Humane Society and was put on a strict diet. 

Michigan

The state of Michigan ranks as the third with the highest number of overweight dogs. Approximately 38% of the dogs in Michigan are overweight. According to the American Kennel Club, the favorite dog breeds in the state include Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and the Golden retriever. In 2017 the Michigan Association of Veterinary Medical Association estimated that 55.4% of the households in the state had at least one pet. Similarly, 34.6% of the families in the state had at least one dog. The total population of dogs in the same year was estimated at 2,036,000.   

Idaho

About 38% of the dogs in the state of Idaho are overweight. Some of the top common dog breeds in the state include Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd. The main reason for overweight in dogs in Idaho like other states include overfeeding and lack of exercise. Pets, similarly to humans, require exercise to stay healthy. Other conditions like arthritis can keep dogs from being active and therefore predisposing them to obesity, 

Nevada

The state of Nevada has 38% of its dogs being overweight. Some of the famous dogs in Nevada are also common in other states, and they include Labradors, bulldogs, and German shepherds. The state of Nevada, like other states, have comprehensive laws against torture, causing injury, or killing a pet of another person. Such persons could be fined as much as $50,000 if they are guilty. 

New Mexico

The state of New Mexico is the 6th state with the highest number of overweight dogs. Approximately 34% of the dogs in the state are overweight. The top three most popular dog breeds in Nevada are Labrador, the Golden Retriever, and the bulldog. In 2013, the state of New Mexico ranked in the second position in the whole country in pet ownership. At the time, 67.6% of households owned a pet. According to the AVMA, there was an increase of 8% of households owning a dog that did not visit a veterinary clinic between 2006 and 2011. In 2011, about 81% of households with dogs made at least one visit to the veterinarian, which was a 1.7% decrease from 2006. 

Washington

About 34% of the dogs in Washington are considered overweight. According to the AKC, the most popular dog breeds in Washington are the Labrador retriever, German shepherd, and Golden Retriever. The Siberian husky is also a popular dog breed, and in 2004, it was proposed as the official state dog. However, the proposal failed, but the love for a husky in Washington has never faded. 

Utah

The state of Utah is aligned to the country regarding the popular dogs in the state. According to the AKC, the most common dog breeds in Utah include Labrador retriever, German shepherd, and Golden Retriever. About 34% of the dogs in the state are considered overweight. 

Indiana

The Hoosier state is one of the states that the Labrador breed is not the most popular dog breed. The German shepherd is the most popular, and Labs takes the second spot, while the Golden Retriever is the third most popular. The most common rescue dog breeds in the state are pit bulls followed by the Labradors, the German shepherds, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Beagles. About 34% of the dogs in the state are overweight. 

Oregon

The state of Oregon has a 34% rate of overweight in all the dogs in the state. According to the AKC, the most common dog breeds in the state include Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and Golden Retriever. A new trend that has emerged in Oregon is the love of mix breed, particularly the Labradoodle (a cross between poodle and Labrador). Other popular dog breeds in Oregon include the beagle and the French bulldog, among others. 

Health risks of obesity in Dogs

Obesity in dogs is a serious health problem and could result in diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases, among others. Overweight also become more frequent at an older age as the pet's ability to exercise declines naturally due to age as well as other disorders like arthritis. 

Causes of Dog Obesity

It is advisable to adjust the amount of food given to dogs to maintain an ideal body condition. If the guidelines on the pet food are not appropriate for a particular breed of dog, it could result in overfeeding. Many dog owners may not be aware that they are overfeeding their dogs and often perceive good appetite as an indicator of good health. Most dog owners keep the dog bowl full of food all the time, which is not a good practice. The dog will over-eat, especially if it is inactive, bored, or lacks enough space to exercise.  

10 US States With The Fattest Dogs

RankUS State% of overweight dogs
1Minnesota41%
2Nebraska39%
3Michigan38%
4Idaho38%
5Nevada36%
6New Mexico34%
7Washington34%
8Utah 34%
9Indiana34%
10Oregon34%

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