Being aware of how to prevent dog theft is crucial if you are a dog owner. This year, awareness of dog theft is more important than ever after 2020 was dubbed the “worst ever” year for dog thefts in the UK. Here are our top tips to prevent your dog from being stolen.

Microchip your dog

It is law in England, Wales and Scotland that all dogs must be microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old, so you should make sure that your dog is microchipped. Microchipping is a simple and safe procedure which ensures your dog can always be identified.

Microchipping doesn’t necessarily prevent your dog being stolen, but it does increase the chances of you being reunited with your pooch if the unthinkable happens.

However, microchipping only works if you keep the details up to date! If you move house or change your phone number, update the contact details on the microchip as soon as possible.

Have your dog neutered

Neutering your dog has lots of benefits ranging from preventing certain health issues, to the more obvious prevention of unwanted litters. Neutered dogs are also far less attractive to dog thieves as they can’t be bred from. Talk to your vet about neutering your dog.

Don’t leave your dog outside shops alone

Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop, even if you think you are only going to be gone a few minutes. This is an easy situation for dog thieves to take advantage of, as many dogs are easily lured away with treats and some friendly attention if no one is there to stop it from happening. Leave your dog at home whilst you run errands, and walk them separately.

Walk your dog on a lead

Even the best behaved dogs can forget to stay close when faced with a tantalising scent trail, or a four-legged friend to play with in the distance. Being off-lead makes dogs much easier to steal. It can also lead to other dangerous situations such as getting lost.

Keep your dog on a lead and near you, and only let them off if you have a secure recall and are in a safe space where you are confident they will come to no harm.

Make sure your home and garden are secure

Dog thieves can easily target a dog left alone outside. If you have an outdoor dog or a dog which is often unattended outside, it is important to make your home and garden secure.

Make sure you have strong, heavy-duty padlocks on gates, and tall fences that can’t be climbed easily. Even inside the house your dog could be at risk if you are out. Install a house alarm if you can, and make sure you always leave your doors and ground floor windows locked. You could also consider home security camera systems.

Cassi Selina
Cassi is an animal lover with experience of working with lots of different animals in industry. She has a keen interest in enrichment which promotes natural behaviours.

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