Table 2

Demographics, animal husbandry, attachment and practices of dog and cat-owning households (Ontario, Canada)
Variable Dog (N=274) Cat (N=191)
NR N (%) NR N (%)
Child under 16 yrs living in household 274 122 (44.5) 191 78 (40.8)
Child under 5 yrs living in household 274 44 (16.1) 191 26 (13.6)
All children living in household under 5 yrs 274 25 (9.1) 191 19 (10.0)
All children living in household 5-16 yrs 274 78 (28.5) 191 52 (27.2)
Adult ≥ 65 yrs living in household 274 35 (12.8) 191 28 (14.7)
Individual living in household ever diagnosed 227 60 (26.4) 162 55 (34.0)
with an immunocompromising condition
Individual < 5 yrs, ≥ 65 yrs, or ever diagnosed 237 122 (51.5) 169 90 (53.3)
with an immunocompromising condition
Previous receipt of pet-associated zoonotic 255 102 (40.0) 172 75 (43.6)
disease education1
Any ever bitten anyone 269 29 (10.8) 184 59 (32.1)
Any ever scratched anyone NA NA 180 113 (62.8)
Any declawed NA NA 188 110 (58.5)
All on flea prevention program2 263 200 (76.1) 177 98 (55.4)
All on intestinal parasite prevention program3 258 205 (79.5) 162 68 (42.0)
Any drink from toilet bowl 267 41 (15.4) 186 36 (19.4)
Any fed in kitchen 269 176 (65.4) 189 107 (56.6)
Any used for breeding 268 15 (5.6) 183 0
Any used for hunting 269 3 (1.1) NA NA
All visit veterinarian at least annually 259 237 (91.5) 184 121 (65.8)
Any inappropriately urinate or defecate in 268 188
 house4
 Always 1 (0.4) 7 (3.7)
 Often 14 (5.2) 13 (6.9)
 Sometimes 74 (27.6) 43 (22.9)
 Never 179 (66.8) 125 (66.5)
Litter box(es) cleaned NA 184
 Daily NA 73 (39.7)
 Every several days NA 72 (39.1)
 Weekly NA 30 (16.3)
 Every 2 weeks or more NA 9 (4.9)
In the past 3 months, have any been 274 NA
 On leash at a dog park 53 (19.3) NA
 Off leash at a dog park 51 (18.6) NA
 Doggie daycare or boarding 33 (12.0) NA
2 (0.7) NA
When outdoors, how often in a fenced yard or 267 NA
 on leash
 Always 195 (73.0) NA
 Sometimes 58 (21.7) NA
 Never 14 (5.2) NA
Fed to any of the pets 264 186
 Commercial canned/dry food 244 (92.4) 185 (99.5)
 Raw eggs 9 (3.4) 1 (0.5)
 Home cooked pet food 15 (5.7) 3 (1.6)
 Raw animal product treats 59 (22.4) 0
 Home cooked human food 112 (42.4) 17 (9.1)
 Commercial processed pet treats 156 (59.1) 70 (37.6)
 Raw meat 11 (4.2) 5 (2.7)
 Household’s emotional attachment to pet 268 186
 Very attached 247 (92.2) 150 (80.7)
 Somewhat attached 21 (7.8) 32 (17.2)
 Not very attached 0 2 (1.1)
 Not at all attached 0 2 (1.1)
Any children have access to the litter box(es) NA NA 74 49 (66.2)
Any children ever clean-up feces5 119 29 (24.4) 77 19 (24.7)
 Wear gloves (or use scooper for dogs) when cleaning up feces 28 24 (85.7) 18 5 (27.8)
 Wash hands after cleaning up feces 26 25 (96.2) 19 19 (100)
Play in area where the pet goes to the bathroom 114 59 (51.8) NA
 If play in area, feces removed 59 NA
  Immediately 12 (20.3) NA
  Daily 13 (22.0) NA
  Weekly 24 (40.7) NA
 Greater than weekly 10 (17.0) NA
Any children touch the pet 118 116 (98.3) 77 72 (93.5)
Children wash hands after touching the pet 115 70
 Always 5 (4.4) 2 (2.9)
 Usually 31 (27.0) 25 (35.7)
 Sometimes 53 (46.1) 26 (37.1)
 Never 26 (22.6) 17 (24.3)
Sleeps in one of the children’s beds6 115 71
 Always 9 (7.8) 11 (15.5)
 Usually 6 (5.2) 10 (14.1)
 Sometimes 15 (13.0) 21 (29.6)
 Never 85 (73.9) 29 (40.9)
Licks one of the children’s faces7 115 NA
 Daily 7 (6.1) NA
 Often 21 (18.3) NA
 Sometimes 50 (43.5) NA
 Never 37 (32.2) NA
Children’s emotional attachment to the pet 114 77
 Very attached 82 (71.9) 52 (67.5)
 Somewhat attached 25 (21.9) 14 (18.2)
 Not very attached 5 (4.4) 5 (6.5)
 Not at all attached 2 (1.8) 6 (7.8)

1Respondent recalled having ever received information from any source about diseases that they can get from pets or precautions to take with pets to reduce the risk of disease.

2If respondent reported they did not know, they were excluded from analysis: dogs (n=5); cats (n=9).

3If respondent reported they did not know, they were excluded from analysis: dogs (n=11); cats (n=20).

4Cats: Frequency of urination or defection outside of the litter box in the house; dogs: as written. Dogs/cats: Often (at least once per week), sometimes (less than once per week).

5Cats: Children ever clean the litter box(es); dogs: as written.

6Usually (3–6 nights per week), sometimes (less than 3 nights per week).

7Often (several times per week).

NR: Number responding to question. Blank and “don’t know” responses were excluded.

NA: Not asked.

Stull et al.

Stull et al. BMC Public Health 2013 13:520   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-520

Open Data