Do we really buy or adopt dogs and puppies in Nigeria?

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | August 5th, 2020

“How much should I ‘give you’ for the puppy?” Wole asked still looking at the puppy he had selected. “Let me just give it to you at two hundred and fifty thousand naira (#250,000), just to manage,” said Akin the dog breeder. “What!!!” exclaimed Wole with eyes wide open, “for German shepherd?” he continued. “That’s the best I can give you this puppy if you really need it” replied Akin. “I personally imported the parents of these puppies from Germany from one of the best breeders, and I spent over 1.5million naira in the whole process, so it will be pointless to sell any of these 4 puppies below that price sir” explained Akin. “It’s way beyond my budget sir. Maybe next time” said Wole as he slowly walked towards his car, entered and drove off.

The big question is: do we really pay the right cost of the puppies we buy here in Nigeria most of the time? In chicken production, for instance, we calculate the cost of feeding, cost of buying the chicks, cost of labor, cost of rent, and cost of veterinary services, and so on. In fact, in poultry production, before we calculate the profit we make sure all costs are summed up before we determine the price of the poultry product. Be it chicken or eggs. But its quite different in dogs or puppies where most of the costs are completely ignored before the dog or puppy is sold.

No matter the dog, full breed, or crossbreeds, the cost of maintaining and feeding these dogs average the same. The cost of food given to dogs has doubled within the last 6years in Nigeria but the price of puppies remains the same or going down. It is unfortunate that the cost of maintaining these dogs and the revenue from the sale of their puppies are not commensurate but this fact does not stop people from mating their dogs to produce puppies.

You can’t import a dog for as high as #600,000 (Six hundred thousand Naira) and end up selling the puppies for giveaway price and claim to be a breeder. Most people that are considered breeders and serious business guys select dogs for breeding. They sell their puppies after adding up the cost of feeding and maintaining both the parents and puppies then add their own profit to the entire puppies then divide per puppy to give a sustainable price per puppy. With this, a breeder can be able to sustain his breeding business. Outside this, the breeder is merely giving away his puppies for compensation or better still adopting these puppies without conditions.

I may just say that most people that sell puppies in Nigeria are actually giving them out on adoption not necessarily selling them. The breeders and sellers sell most puppies at prices are not breakeven prices neither are they prices with profit. I would say that most ‘producers’ or breeders are getting compensated in most cases. Sometimes if you buy puppies to sell as a business you experience ‘bad-market’ where these puppies eat all the profit that sometimes you are forced to give out these puppies for free to save cost.a

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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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