Love it or hate it, Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest veterinary practice in the world and has over 800 locations throughout the United States. Their computer databases can tally data from millions of pets every year and analyze it in many different ways. For the last couple of years they have released an annual "State of Pet Health" using this data, showing how different diseases or trends affect pets.
In this year's report they break it down by state. Now, there are certain limitations to their data as it is only from their clinics, but it's more than most other sources have so it can be educational. Here are some highlights from my own state of Georgia.
Dogs average a lifespan of 10.9 years.
Cats average a lifespan of 12.1 years.
Dental tartar and ear infections are the most common diagnoses made in dogs.
Dental tartar and fleas are the most common diagnoses made in cats.
Bella and Max are the most common dog names.
Kitty and Tiger are the most common cat names.
Labrador retrievers and shih tzus are the most common dog breeds.
The most common pure-bred cat is the Siamese.
Overall 1 in 4 pets is overweight or obese. The highest rate of this in both dogs and cats is in Minnesota.
The highest prevalence for diabetes can be found in Iowa for dogs and Nevada for cats.
Louisiana and Mississippi have the highest rats of heartworm disease in dogs.
In both dogs and cats the rate of ear infections is highest in Mississippi and Florida.
All-in-all some interesting data and trends. Though I don't find that anything here will change my personal way of practicing, looking at national trends can be helpful in seeing how well we as a profession are diagnosing, preventing, and treating given health problems in pets.