dog walker

How to protect your dog against theft

Every day five dogs are taken in the UK and this number has risen each year for the last four years according to the data from Direct Line.

Recently, there have been many vulnerable puppies being stolen.

 Nine week old westie puppy ‘Haggis’ was stolen in the owner’s home. He didn’t even have his second vaccination yet.

Also, litter of 6 American Bulldogs, only 3 weeks old stolen from a house in Kent. As a former veterinary nurse, I know these puppies will not survive without their mother.

Thankfully, Haggis and American Bulldogs were found and are now safe and well.

It’s not always a happy ending, as only 17 per cent of stolen pups are returned to their owners

Last year, 1959 dogs were reported as stolen with Staffies being the most vulnerable – 71 were taken last year compared to 53 in 2017.

Dog nappers will target designer breeds such as labradoodle or cockapoo as it’s a growing trend to own these dogs.

Dog thefts know these designer dogs will sell quickly and for thousands of pounds.

I can’t imagine my life without my dog. I’m sure you feel the same

Owners of these breeds should be particularly vigilant especially at this time of year.

Don’t give dog thieves an opportunity, such as leaving your dog in locked cars. Definitely, don’t tie them up outside a shop. I know a few owners that have popped in a shop, to come out and find their dog has vanished.

Don’t think ‘I won’t be long’, because you will be. There will be that ‘someone taking forever’ in the queue. We have all been there. Please don’t do it, not worth the risk.

Make sure your dog has up-to-date microchip details and also never have your pet’s name on the I.D tag as thefts can just call your dog and bingo without a thought they will take your dog.

At Christmas time, everyone has friends and relatives coming and going. They may not listen when you say ‘keep the door shut’ so as a reminder put a sign up on the front of the door or gate.

Don’t walk your dogs at the same time each day, vary the times you go. Someone is always watching, this could be a dog napper.

If you hire a pet professional like a dog walker make sure they take reasonable steps to keep your dog safe. Safety is always top of my priority list when walking other people’s dogs. I always make sure they have a reliable recall when letting them off lead.

Steps to follow if your dog is stolen:

  • Firstly, check the local area and your dog’s favourite spots as your dog may have wandered off as they may have followed a scent of another dog or something that they like
  • Sharing lot on social media, putting up posters in the local area and informing local media – include photos and any distinctive marks in any appeals, and ask everyone to spread the word
  • There are some specific sites set up to help find lost and stolen dogs, like
  • Report your dog as stolen to the police and provide them with as much detail as possible
  • Report your dog as stolen to local pet related services like vets, animal rescues, pet shops, dog wardens and the council.
  • Report your dog to the microchip database

Hope that information is useful.

If you are looking for a dog walker, who will make it their priority to keep your dog safe then why not book a FREE 15 minute discovery call. Click on the button below.

Stay safe this Christmas

I’m off to put a lead on it

Harriet x