Stray dogs and public health

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 Dogs throughout history have been faithful companions of people worldwide, they have had many functions, one of the main ones has been work, later it became a companion animal.  In most homes they have a dog and it is the responsibility of each family to give it the care that the pet needs.  But many people believe that having a dog does not imply responsibility, they think that it is not a living being with basic needs to cover.

 Seeing this situation, they abandon their pets and end up on the street without any type of protection. They also begin to reproduce excessively, resulting in more dogs living on the streets.

 This situation stopped being something only moral to become a public health problem, this occurs because stray dogs are in a hostile environment, full of sources of diseases caused by humans, being so close to human settlements, they develop diseases caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria.  Many governments have implemented different strategies to manage the overpopulation of dogs in street situations, in many countries it has been effectively controlled, underdeveloped countries are the most affected, since they do not have good data on the number of dogs in the street and do not develop effective strategies.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted from dogs to humans are rabies, scabies, among others, these diseases have had quite worrying outbreaks in humans in the past, which is why in most countries it is an obligation that each pet has its own treatment scheme, and full vaccination (Acha et al 2003).

 But stray dogs cannot access these vaccines, so they are exposed to all diseases without any type of protection.  Other types of problems have also arisen, such as aggression from dogs to humans, because they are dogs that have not related positively to people, they have only received mistreatment and that is why they react in this way (Martinez 2000).

 It is important to understand the responsibilities of owning a pet and the financial expenses that come with it.  If you cannot acquire a dog due to time and space but you have financial resources, you can sponsor dogs in foundations and collaborate in different ways without having to live with the dog.

 In the event that you can have it, always evaluate all the possible scenarios that may arise, in order to choose well which dog is the ideal for each home.

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  •  ACHA, PN, SZYFRES B. 2003 Rabies In: Zoonoses and communicable diseases common to man and animals.  Volume II, third edition.  Pan American Health Organization.  2003: 351-383.


  • MARTÍNEZ, MA.2000. Medical care of children with dog bite injuries.  Bol Hosp Infant Edo Son.  17(1):10-12.

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