Having your dog stolen is literally every dog owner’s nightmare. Nothing could be worse than someone snatching your beloved companion, and having no idea where they are or how they are being treated. It’s a scary thought.
Sadly, in the last few years there’s been a rise in dog thefts, with ruthless gangs stealing dogs to sell them on for cash, or worse, use them as fighting dogs. It’s all too easy for criminals to grab your dog, but you can help protect Fido by being vigilant and following certain precautions. Here’s 8 ways to help prevent your dog from getting stolen.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious individuals
Watch out for anyone hanging around dog parks paying particular attention to your dog. Don’t worry about those genuine dog lovers who can’t help but stare and say hello to every dogs. We’re talking about illusive strangers who look out of place.
- Microchip your dog
Easy peasy. Get Fido microchipped, so that if your dog does get lost and someone finds them, they can locate you. Plus, it’s the law and all.
- Watch what you post on social media
We’re far too relaxed about privacy these days. Dog thieves can scour social media for any hints on the whereabouts of dogs and their owners. Don’t post letting them know where you are or if you are out, giving them the chance to try and break into your home.
- Never leave your dog unattended in public
Whatever you do, don’t leave your dog unattended in public, especially outside a shop. Thieves know people do this and it’s an easy opportunity to snatch your dog. It’s just not worth the risk.
- Secure your garden
The more secure your garden is, the less likely thieves can get in and steal your dog. Don’t leave Fido unattended in your garden and put up secure fences. If you are really worried about your dog getting stolen, CCTV/video surveillance might be a good idea.
- If your dog has poor recall, keep them on a lead
Don’t let your dog off the lead unless you know they will come back when called. Why? Because if there’s a thief around, and you need to get your dog back, the last thing you want them to do is disobey you want walk straight into the thief’s arms.
- Be wary of strangers asking questions about your dog
If any alarm bells go off when someone starts asking about your dog, put them on the lead and leave straight away. Thieves will often ask questions about your dog to gain an idea of how much they could sell them for. For example what breed they are, how old they are and where you got them from.
- Take regular pictures of your dog
It’s a good idea to take regular pictures of your dog, so that if they do go missing, you have up to date pictures of them to use for posters and share on social media. Take pictures of any distinguishing features such as special markings.
- Take care selecting dog walkers and sitters
Make sure you check the authenticity of anyone you are thinking of leaving your dog with. Go with recommended, reputable dog walkers and daycare centres. Think twice before leaving your dog with a stranger.