How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

The UK government announced that dog theft will become a criminal offence in the UK in 2021. With these stories in the news, you might be wondering how common pet theft is and how you can help protect yourself from dog theft.

The Kennel Club reported that, in 2020, there were 2,355 cases of dog theft in the UK, amounting to 196 dogs stolen per month. This is a heartbreaking increase from 2019, rising due to the demand for dogs over the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This new legislation will identify and track cases to build stronger evidence surrounding the problem. It will also improve the recording and accessing of pet ownership and transfer data, which is when a pet’s owner has changed. The police will also work to raise awareness about their initiatives to tackle the crime.

Preparation is the best method of prevention, so check out some of our tips for how to protect yourself from dog theft:

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

1. Keep your dog on a lead while walking

Keep your dog on a lead while you’re out walking with them, particularly after dark. This can also help keep them under control around other dogs and strangers as well! With the new Curve Pet tracker pack you can securely attach Curve, the smart GPS tracker, to their collar or harness so you can keep track of your dog when they are off lead.

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

2. Be observant of surroundings when out and about

Keep an eye on what (and who) is around you. Being on the lookout for suspicious situations gives you the chance to prepare for them ahead of time to keep you and your dog as safe as possible. 

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

3. Don’t leave your dog unattended outside shops or in your car

If you pass by a shop on your evening dog walk and remember you need milk, it can be tempting to stop, but dogs aren’t allowed inside! Resist the urge to quickly tie the lead to a post so you can quickly run inside. It only takes a couple of seconds for something to happen while you’re not around.

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

4. Be wary of strangers asking lots of questions about your dog 

A couple of questions are nice: “What’s their name? What kind of dog are they?” Can be some normal questions you hear from a dog-loving stranger. But if they keep probing for specifics, it can cross a boundary. Limit yourself to a couple of questions before continuing on your way.

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

5. Secure your garden

If your garden is accessible by the street, make sure it’s secure so no one can access it easily. When you let your dog out, keep an eye on them and who’s walking by. Being observant can help you catch something as soon as it’s happening and be prepared to act quickly.

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

6. Keep track of your dog by using collars, tags, microchips and the Curve Pet tracker pack

It’s a legal requirement to have any dogs over 8 weeks microchipped in England and Wales. Keeping your information on the database up to date, paired with a collar with your contact details on it, will give you peace of mind you’ll be reunited if anything were to happen to your furry friend.

The Curve Pet tracker pack helps you keep tabs on your dog through an app. With the Curve Pet tracker pack, you can securely attach Curve to your pet’s collar or harness and follow their adventures in the Vodafone Smart App. You can view their location history and track them in Realtime using a combo of GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular.

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

7. Keep up-to-date photographs of your pet easily accessible

Keep recent photos of your dog on your phone or laptop and save them to the cloud so you can quickly access them and distribute them to whoever will need them if anything were to happen. Take note of any distinct markings that will set your dog apart from the doggy crowd so you can let someone know right away. You can also save a picture of your pet in the Pet Profile in the Vodafone Smart App.

How to Protect Your Dog from Dog Theft

What to do if someone tries to steal your dog

If you’ve lost your dog, get help from friends and family, if possible, to assist in reconnecting with your dog

If you know your dog has been taken, the most important step is to stay calm. Next, you should:

  • Contact the police immediately to file a report,
  • Contact your local dog warden and vets,
  • Make posts on local social media groups, and
  • Contact any missing/stolen dog groups in your area.

If you have Curve, the smart GPS tracker, see if you can view their location from the Vodafone Smart App. Don’t try to go after them – instead, let the police know their last known location. 

While dog theft can happen, it’s important to not let the fear of it get too much every time your dog leaves your sight. With proper preparation, you can rest a bit easier knowing you’re doing all that you can to keep you and your dog safe.

Curve, the smart GPS Tracker battery life and features dependent on tracking mode. For land based tracking only. Zone notification frequency dependent on tracking mode. Not to be used to track people. Connectivity subscription required and Terms apply. Curve, the Smart GPS tracker required for use with Curve Pet tracker clip and may be sold separately. Subject to Vodafone network coverage and GPS signal. See FAQs for more info.
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In-House Editor

Curated by the in-house team.

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