How can you protect your dog on a walk?
All dogs need regular exercise, but it is also important to be wary of their safety has this is a prime time for dog theft to occur.
- Practice recall and/or use an extended lead: On the off chance that there is an emergency or threat to your dog, it’s crucial to make sure they will respond to your calls. Try using delicious dog treats.
- Avoid routine: this makes it harder for dog-napping gangs to track you and work out when to intercept and steal your dog.
- Walk with a friend: Wherever possible, choose safety in numbers, a friend will provide an extra witness and backup should you come across a dog-napper.
- Do not give out your dog’s name: Putting your dog’s name on their collar, harness or ID might make it easier for strangers to lure them over.
- Stay alert of your surroundings: Keep your eyes peeled on your dog and avoid distractions like mobile phones. Try to always have a charged phone and not wear earbuds when walking your dog.
- Be seen and be heard as the owner: As to make everyone aware that the dog is yours and you have a constant eye on it, to deter any dog-nappers.
- 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 raising 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.
- Use a GPS tracking collar: Consider investing in a GPS tracking collar, this will allow you to know your dog’s whereabouts at all times.
- Be careful of strangers asking you a lot of questions: Always be wary of a stranger asking unusual or constant questions about your dog (both online and in person).
- 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: Unless absolutely necessary, avoid strangers’ offers for help with your dog.
- Tint your car windows: Dog-nappers have been known to steal canines from cars.
- Keep your dog building side: Walk them away from the curb.
- An adult should always be in control: Ensure children always walk dogs in the presence of an adult as dog-nappers 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: 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.
How to prevent dog theft by type of dog/breed
- Puppies that are not chipped are more valuable as they have no ID: Be extra careful in protecting puppies as they are prime targets.
- Be extra careful with pedigree dogs: They are the most valuable and therefore the optimum targets.
- Neutered dogs will deter thieves: As some thieves look to steal pets to breed them, a neutered dog will be less of a target.
- When selling puppies, have someone else present: Limiting the number of people and showing them in only one, secure area can protect your dogs from theft.