This study was undertaken in the Province of Sidi Kacem in northwest Morocco between April 2010 and March 2011. The main objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of Echinococcus granulosus (Eg) infection in owned dogs. This province was selected as a case study because of the social conditions, geographic and climatic diversity making it a model representative of many parts of Morocco. The survey was carried out in 23 rural communes and in the 5 municipalities (urban districts) of the Province and sampling was undertaken in randomly selected households. A total of 273 owned dogs comprising 232 from the 23 rural communes (rural dogs) and 41 from the 5 municipalities (urban dogs) were tested. Arecoline hydrobromide purgation was selected as the diagnostic method of choice to enable visualisation of expelled worms by dog owners, thereby imparting messages on the transmission mode of Eg to humans and farm animals. Of the 273 dogs tested, purgation was effective in a total of 224 dogs (82.1%). The overall estimated prevalence of Eg infection was 35.3% (79/224, 95% CI 22.3-47.0%). Dogs inhabiting rural communes were at greater risk of infection (38.0%, 95% CI 31.1-45.3%) than dogs roaming in municipalities or urban areas (18.8%, 95% CI 7.2-36.4%) and the prevalence of infection was higher in those inhabiting rural communes with slaughterhouses (62.7%, 95% CI 48.1-75.9%) than in communes without (29.1%, 95% CI 21.7-37.2%). This first assessment of Eg infection in Sidi Kacem Province indicates a key role of rural slaughterhouses in parasite transmission to dogs.