Keep in mind this isn’t always the case but it seems in the case with at least a few communities in the entire world (some Amazonian/South American communities as well as the Akan in general) the word for dog’s derived from either cat or some other felid. It’s like how some Amazons refer to dogs as house jaguars or among some Akans, the word for dog is okraman and the word for cat’s okra (also soul).
It’s not that dogs haven’t been around in Africa and South America for a long time but possibly shorter than what’s expected in Eurasia, which’s where they’re first domesticated there. If wolves aren’t native to Africa at all, then dogs might inevitably be introduced and count even be a proper invasive species there (dog predation on livestock and monkeys have been noted before).
They’re even considered as such in some Latin American circles. Again not always the case but if/when dogs are recently introduced in South America and to a lesser extent, Africa then sometimes the word for dog may be likened to cats as a point of reference/familiarity. The fact that cats and dogs are sometimes closely entwined in witchcraft beliefs (which makes more sense with goats being victims, that dogs do prey on them) makes it a good semantic and semiotic association.
It’s like this study on one Ivorian community where witches have familiars taking on guises of dogs, leopards and cats and prey on goats. Likewise in another study, though this might not be true for all Amazons, witches are said to appear as dogs, jaguars and aeroplanes. This is what I’m talking about. Whilst not always the case either, if witches are likened to predators like dogs and leopards then this shouldn’t be surprising.
The fact that dogs can take on solitary behaviours, cats with some degree of social behaviour and some households have both cats and dogs made to hunt pests should make it a very unsurprising association.