Owners of ten popular dog breeds have been warned that they are at a higher risk of theft.
More than 2,700 pets were stolen last year as pet thefts hit a seven-year high. Puppy Hero has collated a list of top tips to prevent dog theft, and helpful information around the crime, to help families avoid going through the heartbreak of losing their furry friend, reported Devon Live.
These tips are from reputable sources including Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, PDSA and Met Police. The dog breeds most likely to be stolen have also been revealed.
READMORE:Huge 12 stone dog ‘uncontrollable’ after passing ‘haunted’ butchers
The advice is divided into protecting your dog while on a walk, keeping your dog safe while out and about, and preventing dog theft from your home.
Dog breeds that are most likely to be stolen
- french bulldog
- yorkshire terrier
Protecting your dog while out on a walk
All dogs need regular exercise but this is the prime time for dog theft to occur. Here are the top tips to keep your dog safe on a walk:
– Practice recall and/or use an extended lead : in case there is an emergency or threat to your dog, it’s vital to ensure they’ll respond to your calls. Try using tasty treats for your dog as this will greatly assist in recall.
-Avoid routine : this makes it harder for dognapping gangs to track you and work out when to intercept and steal your dog.
– Walk with a friend : where possible, opt for safety in numbers, a friend will provide an extra witness and backup should you encounter a dognapper.
– Do not give out your dog’s name: putting your dog’s name on their collar, harness or ID may make it easier for strangers to lure them over.
– Be aware of your surroundings: keep your eyes on your dog and avoid distractions like mobile phones. Try to always have a charged phone and do not wear earbuds when walking your dog.
– Be seen and be heard as the owner: so as to make everyone aware that the dog is yours and you have a constant eye on it, to detect any dognappers.
– Walk in open spaces: if you feel uncomfortable, try to opt for open, populated spaces where you can be easily seen.
-Follow your instinct: if you suspect someone may be following you or they raise your suspicions, leave the area quickly.
Keeping your dog safe while out and about
– Avoid location tags on social media : this prevents thieves from knowing your address or where you regularly attend with your dog.
– Be extra vigilant : report any suspicious activity you see.
– Wear a GPS tracking collar : consider investing in a GPS tracking collar, this will allow you to know your dog’s location at all times.
– Be careful of strangers asking you a lot of questions : always be wary of an unknown person asking unusual or constant questions about your dog (both on and offline).
– Dog walking/kennel/groomer services: always carry out complete, extensive checks to see if they are trustworthy and reputable.
– Note emergency SOS shortcuts on your phone: these can help if you feel threatened or unsafe.
– Carry an alarm device : these can help to scare attackers and attract attention.
– Refuse help from strangers: Absolutely necessary, avoid strangers’ offers for help with your dog unless.
– Tint your car windows: dognappers have been known to steal dogs from cars.
– Keep your dog building side: walk them away from the kerb.
– Anadult should always be in control : ensure children always walk dogs in the presence of an adult as dognappers may be more likely to target those they see as less likely to resist.
– Find local dog-friendly stores: this will ensure your dog need not be left outside or in the car.
Preventing dog theft from your home
– Protect home and secure property : consider dog cameras, CCTV, and video doorbells.
– Dogs are easily taken from gardens : especially front gardens, so make sure to secure your garden with tall fences.
-Lock and alarm gates : to prevent unwanted intruders.
– Leave a light on if your dog is home alone: this can be helpful in the evening, so it looks like someone is in. Alongside this, always turn an outside light on for supervised late night toilet trips so you can see your dog at all times.
– Outdoor kennels should also be alarmed and locked: for any dogs kept outdoors, ensure kennels have sufficient security.
– Gravel your path or driveway: this makes it harder for intruders to discreetly approach.
– Regularly test your home alarm: to ensure it’s in working order.
– Lock your dog flap when not in use: and don’t leave the window open in the room your dog is in.
– Don’t showcase new puppies online: be careful oversharing any new pets, puppies are especially valuable to dog nappers.
What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea