Dogs are a man’s best friend. They are obedient, playful, and loyal. Being intelligent and easily trained makes dogs extremely popular among pet owners. At 33% average ownership, dogs are the most popular pets, followed by cats at just 23%.
Deciding to own a dog is a big decision. It involves many considerations since it is such a huge responsibility. As a dog owner, your duties will vary depending upon the stage of life your dog is at. You will need to take care of their every need, take them to the vet and train them to behave properly.
Aside from these responsibilities, you also need to be aware of the specific laws your country has about keeping pets. Being aware of legal requirements and following the rules is important. Rules vary in the country you reside in.
Dogs In Nigeria: What You Need To Know
If you are in Nigeria and thinking of owning a dog as a pet, here is everything you need to know:
Dog Ownership in Nigeria
Dogs are quite a popular pet in Nigeria. While no official record exists, 2010 estimates put the number between two and five million. However, recently these numbers are much higher, well above 10 million.
While the number may seem high, it is still well below the number of dogs owned as pets in other parts of the world. Dog ownership in the country’s population remains much lower in Nigeria than in countries like the US.
People keep dogs for many reasons, including safety, hunting, sporting activity, and companionship. Dog’s connection with humans, it seems, is global. A single culture or language does not define this relationship.
Legal Requirements for Owning Dogs in Nigeria
Dog owners under Nigerian law must acquire a license to own a dog above the age of six months. The law has been effective since 1943; however, there are shortcomings regarding the implementation of the law.
Overall, the country remains backwards when it comes to legislation to protect the rights of dogs. While the state recognizes the rights and bans animal cruelty, including the cruel treatment of dogs, this is not enough. The state of animal welfare is lacking in Nigeria.
Lack of laws coupled with a shortfall of funds in areas of essential services like veterinary services leads to neglect. One report found that despite an abundance of livestock in Nigeria, productivity from livestock remains low due to failure in these areas. Rabies, for example, remains a huge issue in dogs in Nigeria.
Dog Breeds in Nigeria
Despite the issue, there are some wonderful Trending Breeds in Nigeria. If you want to own a dog in Nigeria, keeping one that belongs to the local breed is a good idea. Here are some breeds local to Nigeria:
Basenjis are among the trending dog breeds in Nigeria. They are hunting dogs that originate from the Central African region. They are small yet strong and nimble. Basenjis are active and full of energy; this, combined with their curious nature, makes them great hunters.
Basenjis are friendly dogs as they develop deep connections with their owners. They have an average life of 13 to 14 years and are excellent companions due to their loyalty.
Greyhounds have an Eastern European origin. However, ancient remains of this breed have been found in places like Syria. This means the breed is widely spread throughout the region. It is no surprise that Greyhounds are a popular breed in Nigeria.
They are the fastest breed of dog, and this speed makes them excellent hunters. Greyhounds have a slim, muscular build, perfect for running. They have an elongated snout, giving their face an aerodynamic feel.
Greyhounds are gentle, playful, and easy to train. They are among the best breeds of dogs to own if you have ample space, as these dogs need a lot of exercise.
Another hunting dog indigenous to Africa is the Azawakh. Famous for its tall and slender body, the Azawakh is an excellent hunting dog due to its speed and agility. The Azawakh is a friendly and playful dog, though it does require getting used to strangers.
Native to the region, the Azawakh does well in the familiar environment. You can train them to be the perfect guard dogs due to their sharp senses.
A medium-sized dog breed, Aidis is a particularly popular pet in the mountainous region of the country. Not only are these dogs great hunters, but they are also suitable for acting as guard dogs for cattle.
They are resourceful, active, and loyal. Their thick fur means they can survive well in low temperatures in mountainous areas.
Chinese Crested Dog
The name may indicate a Chinese origin; however, this dog breed is from Africa. This small dog is primarily hairless and helps catch pests such as rats and other vermin.
Reaching a maximum weight of just 8 to 13 pounds, this little dog is fast on its feet. Its ability to track and catch pests is unparalleled. This is why travellers used to carry these dogs on ships to get rid of rats, resulting in the Chinese Crested dog going to China, which explains the name it was given.
Dog Welfare in Nigeria
There is no doubt that Nigeria, over the past few years, has adopted laws and implemented regulations to encourage animal welfare. Still, the country falls far behind many other countries regarding animal welfare.
Rabies in dogs is a significant concern. Especially considering the large number of stray dogs that roam the streets. Many people keep dogs for specific purposes. However, the majority own dogs as pets mainly due to utility, as opposed to companionship.
Dogs make wonderful pets. They reciprocate love and remain loyal. This is why they perform essential tasks, such as keeping the house safe or herding livestock. This is why it is necessary to provide protection and security to them.
Nigeria has laws in place to safeguard the interests of pets, yet these are not enough. A social change to ensure dogs get the care and protection they need must occur.
Arslan Hassan is an experienced writer passionate about writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics.