Preloved This is the Preloved logo mark which shows a symbol shaped to represent a speech bubble and the letter P with a love heart symbol cut out of the center. The words 'Preloved' are represented along side the logo mark.

Dog Theft During Lockdown: How To Protect Your Pooch

The Rise In Dog Theft During Lockdown: How To Protect Your Pooch

Being aware and alert of the prevalence of dog theft is just as important when you’re at home as when you’re out walking your dog. I’m sure we all know the standard precautions to protect your pooch which include keeping your gardens secure, not leaving your dog outside shops or alone in the car. However, this safeguarding alone is no longer sufficient. The incredible rise in dog theft during lockdown means that it is vital owners are aware of everything they can do to prevent it. Here are our top tips to keep your four-legged friend safe.

happy labrador puppy

1. Take a look at the lead you are using

If you currently have a fabric or leather lead, it may be worth swapping to a chain lead since thieves have been known to cut them in an attempt to steal our beloved furry friends. It’s also a great idea to ensure your carabiner clip has a locking functionality to securely attach the lead to the harness or collar. This is because thieves can pretend to pet your dog whilst quickly unclipping the lead.

the rise in dog theft during lockdown

2. Protect yourself

There are a number of devices you as a dog owner can keep on yourself to stay protected. This includes defence spray which impairs the thief’s visions and allows you time to get away from the situation. If in a residential area, a panic alarm is great to attract people’s attention so that they can assist even before the attack has taken place. And finally a body camera. If unfortunately, you were unable to prevent a dog theft, body cameras are very important as they can be used as evidence to help you retell the attack to the police. They are also a great deterrent to a thief, as they are usually quite an obvious piece of equipment. Other options to deter an attack include high viz clothing, a walking stick, or a maglite torch.

the rise in dog theft during lockdown

3. It’s all about the timing

Dog thieves tend to lurk around and observe dog walkers before their planned attack. This means that they spend quite some time understanding your everyday walking times and routes. That is why it is so important to constantly change up your routes with your pooch and vary the time in which you go. Don’t keep things consistent or predictable. Despite this, it’s still vital not to walk in the dark or at night time, never walk on your own, and always plan a route that you know well so you can get back to safety quickly if required.

taking your dog for a walk

4. Your back garden

Did you know that 52% of dog thefts are from people’s back gardens? Ways to keep your outdoor space super secure include fitting an alarm to your gates and never leaving your dog unattended, even if it is just for a few minutes.

dog laying in garden

5. Protecting your dog

Ensure that your furry friend is microchipped and the details are registered correctly. Your dog should always wear an ID tag so that your name and number are clearly displayed, especially if the dog escapes from an attack. If your dog is neutered, it’s good advice to put this on the ID tag also, as this tends to deter dog thieves.

microchipping your dog

6. A few extra walking tips

  • If because of your working hours or other commitments you are forced to walk your dog at night time, ensure your route only follows well-lit areas.
  • Don’t let your dog off its lead unless it stays within a close distance to you and their recall is good.
  • You need to be able to protect with your dominant hand, so always walk with your lead in the other.
  • It’s important to be reactive, so never check your phone whilst on a walk in order to allow for that quick response.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and the people in them. This includes large groups, people who are interested in stroking your dog, or overly inquisitive people asking for the dog’s name and other details. If it raises suspicion, go with your gut.

dog theft during lockdown

We hope you found our tips to prevent dog theft during lockdown useful. For more things pets, click here. 

Claim our Membership Discounts for March!

50% Off Our Full Membership

Our Premium Membership for £10

Zoe Allison

Zoe Allison

Writer and expert