Protect your pooch from dog nappers

Posted on 8 May, 2017

Dog napper

The ITV programme This Morning recently talked about the rise in the number of dog thefts in the UK. The programme highlighted that since 2013, 5,000 dogs have been reported stolen in England and Wales, however, dog theft campaigner, Debbie Matthews suggested the figure could be much higher.

Following the theft of her two dogs back in 2006 (who were returned safely), Debbie started the Vets Get Scanning campaign to encourage vets to become more proactive in identifying stolen dogs. Having your dog fitted with a microchip by the time its eight weeks old has been a legal requirement since April 2016.

It’s crucial for helping ensure a lost dog is returned to its owner, but it’s also important in the fight against dog nappers. Vets will usually scan dogs at every check-up and so can alert the police and owners if any dog turns up that gives them cause for concern.

There are other precautions that both dog owners and homesitters looking after dogs can take to ensure their pooches remain safe.

Here are our suggestions:

  • Don’t leaves dogs tied up outside shops, restaurants etc. Many dogs are stolen when they have been left alone, even if left for just a few minutes.
  • Dogs shouldn’t be left in cars for the same reason. Even a locked car is easy for a determined thief to break into.
  • Make sure your dog has good recall before letting them off the lead. Having treats with you when you walk your dog is handy, even if your dog is good at coming back.
  • Don’t be distracted by your phone when walking your dog. It’s important you know where they are at all times. Remember, it only takes a second to snatch a dog.
  • Vary the times and routes you take when walking. Potential thieves could be watching, so not doing the same walk at the same time every day can prevent your dog becoming a victim to theft.
  • Don’t leave your dog unaccompanied in the garden. Many dogs are stolen from gardens so it’s best to only let them out while you are watching, unless you are certain it is 100% secure.
  • Be careful about strangers asking questions about you and your dog.
  • Be extra vigilant with puppies, especially if they are a popular breed. French Bulldogs, Springer Spaniels, Chihuahuas and Labradors are some of the most popular target breeds.
  • If you leave your dog at a kennel when you go away make sure you ask about security, as kennels can be a target for thieves.
  • Using a homesitter can be a safer way to have your pet looked after when they go away, as they will be fully briefed on how to keep dogs in their care safe.
  • Remember to change your address if you move house with the pet register that your pet is microchipped with.

Taking these simple precautions can ensure you never have to go through the heartbreak of having your dog stolen.

Call us on 01296 630 730 or click here to book a live-in homesitter to ensure your pooch remains safe and happy while you're away.


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