Estimating the Dog Population, Responsible Pet Ownership, and Intestinal Parasitism in Dogs in Quito, Ecuador
Keywords:Dogs, population, parasites, pet ownership, Ecuador, One Health, public health
Introduction: In 2011, authorities of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, approved an ordinance to promote public health and animal welfare through responsible pet ownership promotion. The population of dogs was not known, and the relationships between dog abundance, socioeconomic factors, prevalence of zoonotic gastrointestinal parasites, and pet ownership responsibility had not been investigated. The objectives of this study were (1) to estimate the human:dog (HD) ratio, (2) to examine the relationship between household factors and responsible pet ownership, and (3) to estimate the prevalence of households with one or more dogs infected with intestinal parasites in Quito, Ecuador.
Methods: Space-based random sampling procedures were used for estimation of HD ratios in free-roaming dogs and confined owned dogs. The relationship between household factors and a Responsible Pet Ownership Index was examined using logistic regression. Dog fecal samples were tested for intestinal parasites.
Results: Among stray dogs, the observed HD ratio was 58:1. Among dogs kept indoors, the observed HD ratio was 3.5:1. A positive interaction effect between number of dogs in study households and household living conditions (a proxy for household wealth) on responsible pet ownership was observed, which we discuss in this report. Prevalence of households with dogs infected with intestinal parasites was 28% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 21–37). Ancylostoma spp. was the most frequent intestinal parasite in study dogs kept indoors.
Conclusion: This study provides new information that can be used by policy makers to formulate, implement, and evaluate public policies and education programs aimed at enhancing animal welfare and health in Ecuador.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 C. Jaime Grijalva, Julie K. Levy, Heather S. Walden, P. Cynda Crawford, William E. Pine, Jorge A. Hernandez
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.