How can you protect your dog on a walk?
All dogs need regular exercise, but it’s also important to keep an eye on their safety as this is the prime time for dog theft.
– Practice calling back and/or using an extended leash: In the event that an emergency or threat to your dog arises, it is important to ensure that your dog responds to your calls. Try tasty dog treats.
– Avoid Routine: This makes it harder for dog-napping gangs to track you down and figure out when to intercept and steal your dog.
– Go for a walk with a friend: choose safety in numbers if possible, a friend will provide an extra witness and reinforcement in case you come across a canine snatcher.
– Don’t reveal your dog’s name: Putting your dog’s name on their collar, harness or ID card makes it easier for strangers to lure them in.
– Be aware of your surroundings: keep an eye on your dog and avoid distractions like cell phones. Try to always have a charged phone with you and not wear earplugs when walking your dog.
– Be seen and heard by the owner: To make everyone aware that the dog is yours and that you are constantly monitoring it to deter dog food scavengers.
– Walk in open spaces: If you are uncomfortable, try to opt for open, populated spaces where you can be easily seen.
– Follow your instincts: if you suspect someone is following you or if you suspect someone, leave the area quickly.
Protect your dog on the go
– Avoid location tags on social media: This prevents thieves from finding out your address or where you regularly hang out with your dog.
– Be extra vigilant: report any suspicious activity you see.
– Use a GPS tracking collar: Consider investing in a GPS tracking collar so you know where your dog is at all times.
– Be wary of strangers asking you lots of questions: Always be wary of strangers asking unusual or constant questions about your dog (both online and in person).
– Dog walking/kennel/grooming services: Always conduct full and thorough checks to ensure they are trustworthy and reputable.
– Note emergency SOS shortcuts on your phone: these can help when you feel threatened or unsafe.
– Wear an alarm device: These can help startle attackers and attract attention.
– Refusing help from strangers: Avoid offers of help from strangers with your dog unless it is absolutely necessary.
– Tint car windows: Dog nappers are known to steal dogs from cars.
– Keep your dog on the side of the building: lead him away from the curb.
– An adult should always be in control: Make sure children always walk dogs in the presence of an adult, as dog snatchers are more likely to target those they think will be less resistant.
– Find local dog-friendly shops: to make sure your dog doesn’t have to be left outside or in the car.
Prevent dog theft from your home
– Protect your home and secure your property: Think dog cams, video surveillance and video doorbells.
– Dogs are easily taken out of yards: Front yards especially, so secure your yard with high fences.
– Locks and Alarm Gates: To prevent unwanted intruders.
– Leave a light on when your dog is home alone: this can be helpful in the evenings to make it appear like someone is home. Also, always turn on an outside light during supervised night-time toilet visits so you can see your dog at all times.
– Outdoor kennels should also be alarmed and locked: for all dogs kept outdoors, ensure kennels are adequately secured.
– Gravel your path or driveway: This makes it difficult for intruders to approach unnoticed.
– Test your home alarm regularly: to make sure it works.
– Lock your dog door when not in use: do not leave the window open in the room where your dog is.
– Don’t present new puppies online: be careful about over-sharing new pets, puppies are especially valuable to dognappers.
How to prevent dog theft by dog type/breed
– Non-chipped puppies are more valuable as they do not have ID: be extra careful in protecting the puppies as they are the main targets.
– Be especially careful with pedigree dogs: they are the most valuable and therefore the optimal targets.
– Neutered dogs deter thieves: With some thieves attempting to steal pets to breed, a neutered dog is less of a target.
– Have another person present when selling puppies: limit the number of people and only show them in a secure area to protect your dogs from theft.