How To Keep Your Dog Safe
Dog theft has always been an issue but it seems to have exploded over the last 12 – 18 months especially with the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact 2020 saw a staggering 250% increase in dog theft. There are many ways in which you can keep your dog safe and avoid them being stolen from you and we will look at some of those things in this blog.
Do not walk your dog alone if possible
One of the best ways to keep your dog safe is to make sure you are not alone when you walk them. I appreciate this is easier said than done in some cases, perhaps you live alone or your partner works shifts but where you can, walk with someone, friends or family members so that if you do get approached by someone trying to steal your dog there are two of you to fight bag and stop them. Also two pairs of eyes to get a good description for the police as well.
Change your walking route regularly to keep your dog safe
Keep you and your dog safe by changing your walking route. Dog thieves will spend time watching people before they try to steal a dog, they will get to know who walks where and what time so they can pick the best place to attempt to steal them. If you regularly change your dog walking routes and times you will make it harder for them.
Report any suspicious activity
It is vitally important that everyone comes together to stamp out the huge rise in dog theft and we can all play our part by making sure all suspicious activity is reported to the police. Have you noticed the same people hanging around the dog walking areas carrying a lead but you never see them with a dog or do you see the same vehicle circling round specific areas where there are dog walkers? If everyone reports these things the police can find patterns and have a better change of catching dog thieves which in turn keeps our dogs much safer.
Do not leave your dog unattended
You may think you will only be in the shop for a minute or so, but it take seconds to steal a dog. Please don’t leave your furry friend tied up outside a shop while you nip in for something, ask a friend to stay with them or leave them at home, it really is the safest option particularly at the moment. With dog and puppy prices soaring to highs we have never seen before and the recent year of lockdowns has compounded that. Dogs are very valuable to thieves. Costs of puppies have increased from around £500 to £2000 with demand for puppies being so high during lockdown.
Make sure your dog is microchipped
All dogs owners should make sure their dogs are microchipped and registered by law. It’s also very important to keep that information updated i.e. if you move house you need to update the details held with the microchip company so that your dog can be returned to you if they are stolen or lost.
Do not answer the door to anyone you don’t recognise
I have sadly heard of several stories where thieves have knocked on a door, pushed their way in pretending to be from dog welfare or rescue charities and they remove the dog from the home and the distraught owners never see them again. I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating this must be for dog owners. Please don’t answer the door to anyone you do not recognise, it really isn’t worth it. Open a window and speak to them like that until you know who they are and why they are visiting your house.
Carry an attack alarm with you to keep you safe
When out walking your dog, especially if you are out on your own, it’s a good idea to carry an attack alarm with you. These alarms are also really useful when you are out walking on your own as they are quick to activate and release a loud high pitched sound that would frighten off an attacker or dog thief and also alert other people around you that you are in danger and need help. There are various different attack alarms available so you should be able to find one that suits you.
Next week’s blog will be looking at Great Dog Walks in Wiltshire as May is National Dog Walking Month