A cross-sectional study of factors associated with dog ownership in Tanzania

Knobel, D.L. , Laurenson, M.K., Kazwala, R.R., Boden, L.A. and Cleaveland, S. (2008) A cross-sectional study of factors associated with dog ownership in Tanzania. BMC Veterinary Research, 4(5), (doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-4-5) (PMID:18230137) (PMCID:PMC2262882)

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Background: Mass vaccination of owned domestic dogs is crucial for the control of rabies in sub-Saharan Africa. Knowledge of the proportion of households which own dogs, and of the factors associated with dog ownership, is important for the planning and implementation of rabies awareness and dog vaccination programmes, and for the promotion of responsible dog ownership. This paper reports the results of a cross-sectional study of dog ownership by households in urban and rural communities in the United Republic of Tanzania. Results: Fourteen percent (202) of 1,471 households surveyed were identified as dog-owning, with an average of 2.4 dogs per dog-owning household. The percentage of dog-owning households was highest in inland rural areas (24%) and lowest in coastal urban communities (7%). The overall human: dog ratio was 14: 1. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that households which owned cattle, sheep or goats were much more likely to own dogs than households with no livestock. Muslim households were less likely to own dogs than Christian households, although this effect of religion was not seen among livestock-owning households. Households were more likely to own a dog if the head of the household was male; if they owned a cat; or if they owned poultry. Dog ownership was also broadly associated with larger, wealthier households. Conclusion: The human: dog ratios in Tanzania are similar to those reported elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, although cultural and geographic variation is evident. Estimation of the number of owned dogs, and identification of household predictors of dog ownership, will enable targeted planning of rabies control efforts

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Knobel, Mr Darryn and Boden, Dr Lisa
Authors: Knobel, D.L., Laurenson, M.K., Kazwala, R.R., Boden, L.A., and Cleaveland, S.
Subjects:S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:BMC Veterinary Research
Journal Abbr.:BMC Vet. Res.
Publisher:BioMed Central Ltd
Published Online:29 January 2008
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Veterinary Research 4(5)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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