Is your Dog at risk from Dog Theft?

It’s a sad fact that dog theft is on the increase in the UK.

Thu 23 Feb 2017

By Judy

Is your Dog at risk from Dog Theft?

It’s a sad fact that dog theft is on the increase in the UK. Additionally, it’s not just dogs that are at risk from being stolen, cats and exotic pets are vulnerable too.

What can I do to keep my dog safe?

  • Make sure your pet is microchipped. Most vets and dog charities offer this service. Microchipping is quick, painless and effective. The chip is the size of a grain of rice and holds all the relevant details about your dog. Microchipping your dog will enable it be returned to you, even if he slips or loses his collar. Microchipping is suitable for almost any pet, but your pet does need to be over 10cm long. Speak to your vet or local dog charity to find out more. Remember it is now the law that all dogs must be microchipped, with your details up to date on your supplier's database.
  • Ensure your dog is wearing a collar with up to date details. It’s a good idea to have both home and mobile contact details on the tag. Your postcode, house number and surname should also be displayed on the ID tag. Do not put the name of your pet on the tag. Check regularly that the ID tag details are clearly visible, as metal tags do fade over time.
  • Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop, even for a few minutes.
  • Consider neutering your dog to prevent the risk of theft for breeding
  • If you are a breeder, ensure your postal details are not displayed in adverts or on the internet to reduce the risk of burglary.
  • Never let your dog venture out alone. Again neutering dogs will make them less likely to roam or run off.
  • Make sure your garden is secure and your pet is unable to jump over or dig under fences, (especially for small terrier type breeds).
  • Avoid leaving dogs unattended in cars. Not only is it a serious health risk to the animal during summer months, but also dogs in cars with the windows lowered are at an increased risk of theft.
  • Vary your walking routes and keep your dog in sight at all times.
  • Don’t advertise your dog on your gate. It’s common to see a plaque displaying the dog’s breed on the sign which says “I live here”, which is supposed to deter thieves. In fact, it can have the opposite effect, for dog nappers looking for specific expensive breeds.

What breeds of dogs are most at risk from dog theft?

High-risk breeds include: .

  • German Shepherds
  • Bull Terriers
  • Rotweillers
  • Dobermans
  • Yorkshire Terriers

However, any dog breed is potentially at risk from being stolen.

Why are dogs being stolen?

Most thieves are stealing dogs for breeding, illegal dog fights, or simply for the thieves to claim reward money from desperate and grateful pet owners. There have been many cases of dog owners paying ransom money to have stolen pets returned to them.