Structured interviews were used to obtain information from 258 respondents from among 625 people who were selected by stratified random sampling from villages in five of seven local government areas of Nsukka area. Information included gender and literacy status of the respondents, whether the respondents had (between 1990 and 1995) presented any of their dogs for castration, the comparative market value of the dogs, and dog use and owner preference for castrates in performance of such duties. Information on bathing, vaccinations, confinements, use of veterinarians and cultural and religious uses of dogs also were sought. Also, 208 (80%) of the respondents had their dogs castrated. Of the respondents, 23% were literate, 37% semiliterate and 40% illiterate. Of the 367 non-respondents, 63% were not available during the time of contact and 37% resented dog keeping and therefore refused to talk. About 958 dogs were owned by respondents, of these dogs, 56%, 27% and 17% were females, intact males and castrates, respectively. There was no association between the respondent’s literacy status and dog-sex preference in performance of such uses as security, hunting, and “economic reasons”. The three most-important reasons for dog keeping were security, pet and hunting. However, the use of castrates for security was favoured by most keepers irrespective of literacy status. Most of the respondents agreed that dogs are used as gifts and 72% of the respondents agree that dog meat is a protein source. Castration should be encouraged because of its market value. Usage was low of veterinary services, confinement, and bathing of dogs.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 12/2002; 55(4):273-80. DOI:10.1016/S0167-5877(02)00003-X