I’m sure all owners would agree that a dog isn’t just a pet, it’s a member of the family. We get so much love and joy from our four-legged friends that they’re priceless. We’re there at the ready to give them everything they could ever need – including fierce protection from any sort of harm.
Yet in 2016 UK Police forces dealt with 1,774 dog thefts*, amounting to almost five a day. These thieves are organised, clever and quick to act when they see a vulnerable pup.
According to a recent survey, the worst affected areas for dog-napping are West Yorkshire, London and Kent. With Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Chihuahuas being the prime targets**.
But not to fear, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid your dog being stolen and steps to take should the worst happen. Here’s our list of top tips to keep your pet safe:
Get your dog microchipped
If your puppy is over 8 weeks old it has to be micro-chipped by law, and for good reason! If your dog is lost or stolen it’s a failsafe way of proving who owns the dog and getting it returned to your family.
Buy a collar tag
A simple collar tag is an easy way for people to contact you if they find your pooch. Include your name, phone number and address.
Don’t leave your dog in the front garden
Front gardens are one of the main places thieves pick up dogs. If you can, let your pet out the back where passers by are less likely to peek in. Or if the front is the only option make sure it’s secure, with a bell attached to the gate to alert you of any intruders.
Unfortunately, if burglars have their eye on your pooch they’ll even risk breaking in to snatch it. Install a good quality CCTV system to get a clear picture of the culprit.
Get a pet friendly alarm
Our experts can tailor a pet friendly alarm system that won’t go off if your pet decides to have a wander, while cameras allow you to see what your little buddy is up to.
Vary your walks
Give burglars no chance to plan ahead, vary the route and time of walks so if someone is eyeing up your pooch they won’t be able to catch you unaware.
Get plenty of photos
If you’re a dog lover I’m sure we won’t have to tell you to take photos of your four-legged friend. But if the worst were to happen, it’s good to have a few different angles and any distinctive marks photographed. Also make sure you have a few of you together to prove ownership.
Do you have any other tips to keep your pet safe? We’d love to hear them, tweet or Facebook us along with any photos of your pooch.