‘Designer dog’ breeds can now cost in excess of £1000, making them potential goldmines to dog thieves. These breeds, such as French Bulldogs and Chihuahuas, are becoming more and more popular with the help of celebrity owners and social media. And as they become increasingly popular, they become more valuable targets to thieves.
So, what are some of the things you can do to prevent your dog from being stolen?
While we might not like to think about our precious pets getting stolen – for some owners this has become a reality. So be sure to take all the precautions necessary – you can never be too careful!
- Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop or alone in your car. Even if you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes, some thieves will be waiting for an opportunity like this to arise. What’s more – it won’t take long for them to untie your dog or break into your car.
- Make sure your garden is safe and secure. Before giving your dog free reign of your garden, check that all fences/gates are secure. It’s also important to always lock your gate – you wouldn’t want your furry friend to go missing or for someone to get access to your garden when you’re not looking.
- Vary your walking times and routes. Some thieves target specific dogs and wait for the right opportunity to swipe them from their owners. So, if you walk your dog at the same time every day, taking them on the same route, you could be vulnerable to this. Why not mix it up – start exploring alternative routes and walk them at different times of the day.
- Only leave your dog with those you trust. Be sure to do thorough checks before leaving your dog with someone new. This could be with a dog sitter or walker, at a doggy day care centre or the grooming parlour. A good way to check if your pet is going to be safe is by looking at reviews. Or, you could post to local Facebook groups asking if anyone else has used the same service.
- Install a home security system. Although dogs can be good burglar deterrents, some noises may go unnoticed – especially if the intruder has dog treats. This is why it’s good to take all the necessary precautions to steer burglars away. This can include leaving lights on when no one is home, installing alarms and even recording devices.
- Be careful where you let your dog off the lead. Many dogs love the opportunity to be let off the lead and run around freely. However, take precaution when doing so as this provides thieves with the perfect opportunity to steal your dog. Even if you’re watching them, it only takes a matter of minutes for someone to grab them and throw them into a waiting car. Make sure to stay close to your dog at all times and don’t let them out of your sight.
What should you do if your dog does get stolen?
Even if you’ve taken all the precautions you think necessary – you never know what might happen. So it’s important you know what to do in the event that your dog is stolen. This can help to give you the best possible chance of getting them back.
- Report the crime as soon as possible. Time is of the essence so make sure you report the crime to the police ASAP. You’ll also want to insist that the incident is reported as a theft rather than a lost animal. (Remember to ask for the crime reference number).
- Contact the microchip database. Letting them know that your pet has been stolen will prevent the thief from being able to re-register the chip number. They’ll also be able to let you know if your pet is found.
- Report your dog as stolen to local missing animal websites/social media pages. This will help get the word out and people living local are likely to keep their eye out for your dog.