Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Cross-Sectional Study on the Knowledge About Pet Ownership, Zoonoses and Practices of Pet Owners in the North of Portugal

Version 1 : Received: 29 October 2021 / Approved: 3 November 2021 / Online: 3 November 2021 (09:21:40 CET)

How to cite: Do Vale, B.; Lopes, A.P.; Fontes, M.C.; Silvestre, M.; Cardoso, L.; Coelho, A.C. Cross-Sectional Study on the Knowledge About Pet Ownership, Zoonoses and Practices of Pet Owners in the North of Portugal. Preprints 2021, 2021110077 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0077.v1). Do Vale, B.; Lopes, A.P.; Fontes, M.C.; Silvestre, M.; Cardoso, L.; Coelho, A.C. Cross-Sectional Study on the Knowledge About Pet Ownership, Zoonoses and Practices of Pet Owners in the North of Portugal. Preprints 2021, 2021110077 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0077.v1).

Abstract

Pet ownership is common in modern society. In Portugal, 38% and 31% of all households own, at least, one dog or cat, respectively. Few studies have ascertained the knowledge of pet owners about pet ownership and zoonoses, and none of them was carried out in Portugal. The aim of the present study was to assess household knowledge and practices related to pet ownership and zoonoses in the North of Portugal. A questionnaire was completed by 424 pet owners, during November 2019 to February 2020. Most respondents (97.2%) considered pets as an important part of the family, especially women (p = 0.036); 73.1% allowed their pets free access to indoors; 41.3% denied sharing the bed with their pets and 29% assumed they did it daily; 20.3% reported never kissing their pets/pets licking their faces; 73.6% considered animals as potential sources of diseases to humans, but only 25.9% reported knowing the definition of zoonoses; 96.9% considered important the role of veterinarians in protecting public health. The low level of knowledge of pet owners and the occurrence of high-risk behaviors indicate a need to strengthen communication between veterinarians, physicians, pet owners and the general public to reduce the risk of acquisition and transmission of zoonoses.

Keywords

Knowledge; One Health; Pet ownership; Pets; Portugal; Public Health; Zoonoses

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Veterinary Medicine

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