Dog theft: 7 steps to help keep your dog safe

We now live in a world where, thanks to social media, we are more exposed to the lives of celebrities.   With the post of a selfie, celebrities are able to influence many aspects of our lives. They can influence what we wear, what we eat and even the type of dog that we share our lives with. Thanks to Instagram feeds we can see celebrities walking their dogs on the beach or going shopping with a tiny ball of fluff peeking out from a purse. The result is that if a particular actor owns a particular breed of dog, there is often a corresponding rise in the number of people who decide that is the type of dog for them too. It’s a designer lifestyle with a designer dog as part of that lifestyle. This trend in designer dogs is having an unfortunate effect elsewhere – an increase in dog theft. Dogs have always been big business but pedigree breeds now command high prices. The result is that obtaining and selling a dog can be a quick money-making exercise for some thieves. Prices have also increased further during the pandemic with an even bigger rise in demand for pets and as a result there has been an upswing in dog theft in some areas. We’ve got some tips on how to keep your dog safe from would-be dog nappers.

Ideas to protect yourself from dog theft

  1. Microchip your dog.  This is not mandatory in all states but it is an effective way of tracking down a lost dog.
  2. Do not leave your dog outside a store unattended.
  3. Don’t leave your dog alone in the car.  When you are in the car with your dog, insure that an accessory such as a vehicle-specific pet barrier is used, so he has a secure place to travel at the rear of the vehicle with a pet barrier that stays securely in position.  It can also act as a deterrent to dog thieves.
  4. Make sure your yard is secure and don’t leave your dog alone in the yard.
  5. Keep your dog on a leash when out on walks.  This is particularly important for dogs with poor recall skills.
  6. Be cautious of strangers who are expressing too much of an interest in your dog.
  7. Vary the times of your dog walks and the route that you take.

What to do if you are a victim of dog theft

If your dog is stolen, immediately report the dog theft to the police. Notify the microchip company at the same time.  Put out messages on social media to alert the wider community to your dog’s disappearance. Ironically, social media may be helping fuel dog theft, but could easily be the quickest way to be reunited if your dog is stolen.