Dog demographics are considered as one of the main factors in the control of rabies. Having reliable data on dog population and husbandry practices on how they are managed is a key point in the elaboration of any control program to fight against human deaths due to rabies which are mainly due to dogs. However, the lack of data regarding dog population is one of the main hindrances to elaborate effective fighting projects in developing countries, particularly in Africa. In order to contribute for reliable data on dog demographics and husbandry practices related to rabies, this study was carried out in the cities of Ngaoundéré, Garoua and Yaoundé, respectively located in Adamaoua, North and Centre regions of Cameroon from October 2013 to April 2014. A survey was conducted within 2500 households selected randomly to which 45 questions were addressed, while the vaccine status of dogs was checked in the houses by verifying the vaccination booklet and in public and private veterinary clinics. Various aspects of dogs such as dog population, husbandry practices, ownership and age distribution were assessed. Out of these households, 45% of them (1118) had exploitable data. From these, 46% of them owned at least 1 dog for a total of 707 dogs, with a dog per household ratio of 6.3:10 for a dog per human ratio of 1.16:10. The age distribution of these dogs showed that the mean age of male and female was around 2 years with a male per female ratio of 29:10. The estimation of roaming dogs gave a ratio of 2.3:10 per human. Concerning the reasons for having a dog, the main motivation was guarding (76%) and company (17%). Husbandry practices applied to these dogs were a complete restrained (52%), semi-restrained (29%) and a complete roaming (18%). In relation to rabies, only 34% of dog owners were able to prove the effective vaccination of their dogs and no reason was given to explain the non-vaccination by the majority (78%) of the owners. So this study provides for the first time a baseline on dog population for an objective fighting program but also shows that the husbandry practices applied by the owners can be a hindrance to a fighting program against rabies.
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Bouli, F.P.N.O., Awah-Ndukum, J., Mingoas, K.JP. et al. Dog demographics and husbandry practices related with rabies in Cameroon. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 979–987 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-02085-9