Preventing dog theft

PDSA vets share how to keep your furry friend safe wherever you are.

As reports of dog theft continue to be a topic of discussion in the media, it’s natural for owners to feel worried about their precious pooches. Although in some parts of the country it has been reported that there has been an increase in dog theft cases, it’s thankfully still uncommon. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be vigilant when it comes to protecting our pets.

PDSA Vet, Lynne James said: “Losing your dog to a theft is a horrible thought, but there are preventative actions that we can take to reduce any risks.

Secure your garden

 “Make sure your garden or outside space is secure, so that your four-legged-friend can play outdoors safely. Regularly check your fences and gates – you could even consider alarmed padlocks or bells to alert you when someone is approaching. It’s also a good idea to ensure your garden is well-lit when it gets dark, so you can keep an eye on your pooch on those night-time toilet trips.

Be Alert

“Being aware of any unusual activity in your surrounding area is a really important part of safeguarding your dog. If you’ve noticed things like stranger’s cars parked regularly outside your house or you’ve been increasingly contacted by cold callers, it can be helpful to speak to your neighbours to see if they’ve spotted anything out of the ordinary too.

“Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop or alone in a car. If you’re venturing out together, stay near them at all times. If you suddenly need to run errands and can’t bring your dog along, it might be best to drop them back at home – it’s worth the extra journey to keep them safe.

Get them chipped

“It is a legal requirement that your dog wears a collar and tag with their owner’s name and address while out in public places, it’s also a good idea for them to keep it on at home, in case a door is accidentally left open. You can even purchase handy GPS pet trackers to attach to your pet’s collar, so if an incident does happen, you can follow their location. Getting your pet microchipped is essential – this is a legal requirement for dogs but I’d also recommend getting cats and rabbits chipped too. Keeping your contact information accurate and up to date is also vital to help you be reunited if they are lost or stolen.

Pet photoshoot

“This is any easy one for any pet owner – always have recent photos of your pooch to hand! Photos and recent descriptions of your pet will help you create posters if they do go missing. If you’re heading out and your dog is staying at home, you can even try using a pet monitoring app to keep any eye on them while you’re gone. Not only can you check that they’re still safe, but also keep an eye for any signs of separation problems.”