In some states in the U.S., there are no laws that can protect them from certain dangers. An example is dog neglect, which makes them dangerous for dogs.

Besides that, some states are too hot or too cold, which can be detrimental to a dog's health

A state's weather or environmental condition can also expose your dogs to many illnesses. One of these is parasite infestation. 

And since dogs are curious animals by nature, their actions can get them in trouble from time to time. 

Ten Most Dangerous States For Dogs To Live In infographics

Below, we listed some of the dangerous states to keep in mind if you have a dog. 

Some fall short on their laws, while some have environmental conditions that can be bad for your dogs. 

Let's take a look at them one by one.

Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #1: Mississippi

The Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #1: Mississippi

If you have pets, you might want to get your tail out of Mississippi fast. The southern state is dangerous if you have one.

According to the annual U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report, Mississippi has weak animal protection laws. 

Among these laws is the state's no neglect or abandonment provisions. Thus, if one intentionally or unintentionally leaves their pets, they wouldn't get punished for it.

Furthermore, they have inadequate standards of primary care for most species. One of these is the non-mandatory reporting for animal-related agencies or professionals who suspect animal abuse.

Mississippi also has a lot of insects and rodents that can bring infection to your dogs, such as leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis, to recall, is an infection caused by leptospira bacteria. And dogs can get it through a rodent's bite or eating or drinking contaminated water.

On the other hand, ticks and mosquitos bring fatality to dogs. Although mosquitoes can transmit heartworm disease to your dogs, ticks, on the other hand, carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

If you plan on moving here and you have a dog, try to look for other places.

Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #2: Alabama

The Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #2: Alabama

Although they have a policy where veterinarians should immediately report suspected animal cruelty, their care requirements are not defined. In turn, makes Alabama a dangerous state for your pets.

Alabama also doesn't have any provisions for animal abandonment. Furthermore, the non-animal-related agencies or professionals don't have to report any suspected animal cruelty. 

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), one out of seven dogs has heartworm disease in Alabama.

Your dog can get bitten by a mosquito more than 80 times in this state. And it takes only a bite for heartworms to infest your unprotected dogs. 

On the other hand, the weather in Alabama is cold. Thus, the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association advises pet owners to keep their dogs indoors once it's 20 degrees Fahrenheit cold.

Exposure to cold conditions forces the body to burn more energy. As a result, it will lose heat quicker than it produces.

This phenomenon frequently happens more than you know. It happens to us humans and all living creatures in the world, including dogs. 

Thus, when you leave your dog in the cold for too long, their body temperature drops, leading to hypothermia or even death.

Unless you own a breed that naturally excels in cold temperatures, then you may not consider this a problem. Some of these winter dogs are Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, and Akita.

Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #3: Wyoming

The Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #3: Wyoming

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Humane Society of the United States, Wyoming is one of the worst and dangerous states to live in with your pets for several reasons. 

Among one of these reasons is not having penalties for animal neglect and abandonment. Aside from that, even when convicted, animal owners are not required to give up their abused animals.

On the other hand, rabies remains a significant public health issue in Wyoming. The carrier of this virus which is skunks or bats represent the majority of wildlife in the area.

And with your dog's exposure to them, it can be pretty deadly. 

Aside from rabies, the University of Wyoming researchers are screening dogs in northern Wyoming for Echinococcus. Echinococcus is a parasitic disease caused by the infection of tiny tapeworms. 

These tapeworms are often found in foxes and coyotes but can also infect dogs. It leaves parasitic cysts and tumors in their lungs and other organs.

If these parasites are left untreated, they can be fatal to your dogs. 

Aside from these deadly viruses, Wyoming has harsh cold weather. Its temperature can drop down to –66°C, and that is the coldest recorded yet. 

As a result, your dogs might suffer from frostbite. 

Hypothermia occurs when your dog's body has prolonged exposure to cold, leading to dropping temperature. This incident may lead to hospitalization or death.

On the other hand, frostbite happens when a portion of your body freezes. As a result, it damages your dog's skin cells and tissues, much like a block of ice on a windshield.

Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #4: Utah

The Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #4: Utah

In another report made by Animal Legal Defense Fund, there is no enforcement of animal protection laws in Utah. Besides, they have no specific provision for non-animal agencies and professionals in reporting suspected dog abuse.

In addition, it is also one of the few dangerous states where the ag-gag bill exists. This bill states that undercover recording of animal cruelty in the farming industry is illegal.

Utah also has a low rating for veterinary clinics and pet-friendly places. Although they aren't the worst state on the list, they still fall short compared to neighboring states.

In addition, alarming cases of Parvovirus are increasing in Utah. 

Parvovirus is a highly contagious type of virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting for your pet. If not treated properly, it can be deadly.

As bad as Utah is for your dog's health, their weather isn't any better. The summer in Utah is often bad since, in these times, they often experience a heatwave. 

This heat can sometimes lead animals to suffer from stroke or dehydration, which is unsuitable for your dog if they enjoy summertime.

Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #5: New Mexico

The Dangerous U.S. States For Dogs #5: New Mexico

The state of New Mexico also has inadequate provisions for the neglect and abandonment of animals. It's why they are on this dangerous state's list.

Furthermore, people who got convicted of animal abuse may adopt or buy a new dog. If they abuse their animals in front of a child, there would be no increase in penalties. 

On top of that, New Mexico doesn't have any law about sexual abuse on animals despite most states having one. They don't require veterinarians to report any case of animal abuse that they encounter. 

Although they can detain the animal that went into abuse, they cannot convict the perpetrator.

On top of that, New Mexico is also full of dog parasites. And Giardia is perhaps the most common one.

Pets acquire it by swallowing cysts from contaminated water, with its symptoms ranging from severe diarrhea to none at all.

Furthermore, the weather in New Mexico can also be unpredictable. Pet owners should be aware of falling temperatures, strong winds, and snow piling.

#6: Iowa

The Dangerous U.S. State For Dogs #6: Iowa

In the case of Iowa, they don't have enough provisions for dog care. They are also one of the states that are huge on ag-gag bills. 

What exists in Iowa are the thousands of puppy mills that breed and raise dogs, which were born and raised in inhumane and unsafe conditions.

Reports said that most animals there are neglected due to their number.

Although the people behind have been caught, they will face minimum to no charges since they have inadequate laws for such things.

In addition to that, Canine brucellosis is also prevalent in Iowa. It's a bacteria that causes a failure in the dog's reproductive system

Furthermore, the weather in Iowa isn't any better. This place can be icy cold during winter. 

#7: Kentucky

The Dangerous U.S. State For Dogs #7: Kentucky

For eight years in a row, Kentucky has been one of the worst states to live in when you have a dog. It is because they still let past animal abusers own pets.

They don't have a policy for non-animal-related agencies or professionals to report suspected animal cruelty, including veterinarians.

Same as Utah, a disease called Parvovirus is also on the rise in Kentucky. It's the same virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting.

Furthermore, the icy cold weather in Kentucky is as fatal as the virus. It causes dogs to be at risk of frostbite, hypothermia, and extreme cold snaps. 

#8: South Carolina

The Dangerous U.S. State For Dogs #8: South Carolina

South Carolina is also one of the states that don't require their veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse or cruelty.

They also allow people convicted of animal abuse to own another pet.

On the other hand, South Carolina remains in the top 10 of highest heartworm-positive pets, according to the American Heartworm Society (AHS).

Besides that, Canine Influenza is also prevalent in the said state.

And the number of cases for both diseases is still rolling to this day.

Dog owners should also be wary of the heatwave in South Carolina. Temperatures in this state rise quickly, which may lead to your dog's burned paws. 

If your dog loves going out in the summer, South Carolina might be somewhere you might want to cross off.

#9: Idaho

The Dangerous U.S. State For Dogs #9: Idaho

Idaho may be one of the states with many dog owners. However, they are also one of the dangerous states which fall short when taking care of them. 

Idaho has no low-level laws for first-time offenders convicted of torturing an animal. However, if you repeat them, its maximum penalty is three years in prison or a $5,000 fine.

Furthermore, they don't even have statutes for animal neglect or abandonment. Worst, they don't have any laws that prohibit convicted offenders from owning an animal.

On the other hand, the Canine brucellosis in Iowa also exists in Idaho. The bacteria brought by this disease causes a failure in your dog's reproductive system, resulting in infertility. 

Aside from that, if your dog can't handle hot weather well, Idaho is not the place for you. The summers in this state are hot and dry, which can be bad for your dog.

Thus, opting to move to another state might be the best option for you.

#10: North Dakota

The Dangerous U.S. State For Dogs #10: North Dakota

North Dakota is one of the dangerous states ranked as the worst state regarding its Animal Protection Laws.

Although they have well-defined care requirements for a dog's basic needs, failure to meet these needs would charge you of a Class A misdeed.

Despite this, there are some flaws in their laws when it comes to animal protection. For instance, they have no provisions for assault or neglect of animals.

They also allow past convicts of animal cruelty to own another pet once they served their sentence.

Furthermore, the rabies virus found in Wyoming is also harmful in North Dakota. Although old, it remains a significant public health issue in the said state.

The winter in North Dakota is so extreme that letting your dog outside in such weather may cause hypothermia.

If your dog loves going out, you might want to take measures in place.


Aside from these things, let's keep in mind that although environmental factors are inevitable in our pet's life, it's always safe to take more precautions.

Dangerous states for pets may still be liveable, but do not expect if they fall short.

If you live in Alabama or South Carolina, where heartworms are common, try to keep your dogs in a non-mosquito area. It could also help if you apply mosquito repellent on them. 

On the other hand, if you live in a hot state, try to bathe your dogs every day. Showering them now and then will prevent them from going into heatstroke.

Our dogs have already become a part of our family. Aside from that, they're essentially every man's best friend.

Simply informing yourself with this information will help you and your pet live in peace.

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Ten Most Dangerous States For Dogs To Live In