Dogs are the most commonly owned pet in UK households. With more and more households choosing to own a dog, the popularity of dogs has sadly led to a rise in dog theft. Fortunately, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to reduce the chances of your dog being stolen. We share advice on protecting your dog from dog theft.
It’s important to be aware of any suspicious behaviour.
- This could be anyone approaching dog owners to ask them lots of questions about their dog
- There are reports of thieves leaving chalk or spray paint markings in front of houses they intend to target. If you notice unusual markings, report them
- Keep up to date with online local community groups. These can be particularly useful in identifying unusual behaviour in areas that could raise concern
- Don’t hesitate to contact the police by calling 101 if you witness any suspicious behaviour.
Even the most basic of security steps can help to reduce the risk of your pet being stolen.
- Avoid leaving your dog unattended outside in a public space or in your car
- Secure your garden. If you do have a gate, fit a lock
- Try not to leave your dog unsupervised in the garden
- Installing security cameras can act as a deterrent. If dog thefts are common in your area, this may be something to consider.
Protecting Your Dog From Dog Theft
- Ensure that your dog is microchipped. All puppies must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age by law, and definitely before they leave their breeder
- Avoid putting your dog’s name on their ID tag. This could lead to thieves calling their name to tempt your dog over
- Take plenty of photos of your dog. Take clear pictures from different angles, detailing distinctive markings. Having lots of photos of yourself with your dog will also help to prove that you are the owner
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and has an accurate ID tag. Your dog’s ID tag should have your name and address on it. This is a legal requirement if you take your dog to public spaces. We encourage owners to include a mobile number, although this is not a requirement
- Keep your contact details updated, if you change your phone number or move house, be sure to update the information on your dog’s ID tag
- Recall training is particularly important. Spend time practicing this and if it’s safer, keep your dog on a lead.
What should I do if my dog goes missing?
In the unfortunate event that your dog does go missing, you should report this immediately. Below is a checklist of who you should inform as soon as possible;
- The Police via 101
- Your neighbours
- Local community online pages
- Your local council
- Your vet and other local practices
- Local animal rescue centres
- The database with which your dog’s microchip is registered.
If you post online or choose to make a poster to put around your local area, you should include a recent and clear photo of your dog.
- Share as much information as possible e.g., details of when and where your dog went missing, if they have any distinctive markings, if they were wearing a harness/coat
- Leave your contact details so that people can reach you if they have any information.
Contact your local practice for further information.