Dog theft is on the rise - is your dog safe?
One of the things that has been on the rise as we come out of lockdown is dog theft. In particular puppies are being stolen in high quantities.
Lockdown saw a huge demand for puppies. For many prospective pet owners, it was the ideal time to welcome a puppy into their homes.
Most people were at home, either working from home or on furlough which meant puppy wasn’t on their own for too long, which is ideal when you are teaching puppy a new routine, toilet training and generally how to be a good pup!
Sadly, this meant that some unscrupulous people saw this as a way to make money. And lots of it. Prices of puppies ridiculously increased due to the demand, simultaneously causing dog theft to rise. In fact, according to Dog Lost there was a 65% rise in dog thefts during lockdown compared with last year.
So, what can you do to protect your puppy? I have come up with 4 ways for you to help keep puppy safe.
1. Don't splash them all over social media
I know they are incredibly cute, and you want everyone to see your beautiful fur baby but you could potentially put your pet at risk.
Instead, why not set up a private Facebook group. You can invite trusted friends and family to see your puppy’s adventures that way.
Or set up an Instagram page for your pet. Just make sure your location is never shown on the post and be careful about giving away your location in photos. Of course, you could always make your account private.
And be careful with hashtags. If you are wondering what hashtags are, they are basically an easy way to find what you are looking for on the internet. So if you use a hashtag such as #newpuppy you could be making it easier for them to be targeted.
2. Make sure you never leave your dog unattended in the garden
Yes you want them to go out as they need to but you have to keep an eye on them. Always. A lot of dog thefts are opportunistic. You could be busy on the phone, puppy is in the garden and suddenly they are gone.
Gardens are the most likely place for dogs to be stolen for. Which is just awful. The Pet Theft Census reveals that 52% off dogs are stolen from gardens.
Likewise make sure your garden in secure. Don’t just rely on a bolt at the top of your garden. Put a padlock on it. Then add another bolt and padlock further down your gate where no arm can reach over to.
Whilst you are making it secure make sure that you have got lights in your garden to. Security camera can get on your nerves by keep going on and off, but they do that for a purpose.
If you have a low fence, then now is the time to invest in a 6ft fence.
3. Set up a security system
I know it seems a bit drastic but you have no doubt paid a lot of money for your puppy so pay out a bit more to keep them secure.
Set up a security camera on the approach to your house. Depending on what sort of house you have then you certainly should consider adding more cameras to the side and back of the house.
At the very least put up some dummy cameras and out notices up on your back gate and fence to say your property is protected but take down any that say you have a dog.
4. Be vigilant on walks
As I said earlier most puppy thefts are opportunistic so walks out are just as much of a threat.
Make sure puppy has a dog tag on (it’s the law – you can read more about that here.) It maybe an idea to have a couple of tags so that you can hear puppy jingling when they move.
Only let puppy of the lead if they have unquestionable recall. Can they resist the lure of steak from an unknown person?
Take your puppy to a secure dog field for off the lead fun. Go to local classes to work up to that awesome recall. In the meantime use a long lead for a bit of leeway.
Our duty of care to our dogs are to keep them safe. Especially more so to a vulnerable, unworldly young puppy. Yes you may have to invest to keep your puppy safe, but wouldn’t you rather they were with you all their life than just for a few weeks?
We cover recall in all our puppy and adult dog classes. It’s never too late to work on recall. Find out more about our classes here
Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!
After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.
Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. Sally is also the author of “The Lockdown Dog.” You can also find Sally chatting as a guest on dog related podcasts.