Studies on Dog Population in Makurdi, Nigeria (I): Demography and Survey of Pet Owners' Beliefs and Attitudes

  • EA Omudu
  • EO Otache
  • SM Adelusi
Keywords: Dog population, Residents' Attitudes and Beliefs, Responsible Ownership


A survey of dog population in some residential areas of Makurdi, Nigeria, was investigated using household census and street observation methods, while residents' dog-related attitudes and beliefs were investigated using a structured questionnaire. The average number of dogs per household was 1.43. Dog-human ratio in the study location was 1 dog to every 4 persons, in Wurukum residential area this was however less with the ratio of 1 dog to every 3 persons. There was no significant (X2 = 1.42, df = 1, P > 0.05) difference in the distribution of sexes of dogs. The difference between free roaming dogs and those restricted within residential compounds was also not statistically significant (X2 = 1.08, P > 0.05). A total of 198 (98.0%) respondents who owned dogs kept them as house guards and/or security alert; only 18.8% of dog owners kept them as pets. The variation in reasons for keeping dogs was significant (X2 = 12.1, P < 0.05). The majority of respondents who do not own dog (91.7%) said it was to avoid dog bites. A significant proportion of respondents (48.0%) who kept dog could not mention any dog disease or disease transmitted by dogs. The implications of these findings are very critical in the control of rabies and other dog-borne disease and mobilization of residents for more responsible dog ownership in Nigeria.

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print ISSN: 2141-1778