Protect your dog from theft
It’s no exaggeration to say that when a dog goes missing or is stolen, it is utterly heartbreaking.
Dogs for Good has put together some tips to reduce the likelihood of your dog being taken and to keep yourself safe.
Keeping eyes on your dog is still the best thing you can do to keep him or her safe. Using your phone is a huge distraction and thieves know that.
Is your garden secure? Did you lock the gate? And, as before, keep an eye on your dog when they’re outside.
Don’t leave your dog outside shops. You wouldn’t leave your wallet or handbag unattended so don’t leave your dog alone.
Tinted car windows. A relatively cheap way to keep what’s in your car less visible to prying eyes.
Keep dogs ‘building side’. Where possible, keep your dog away from the side of the road when walking.
If your dog has poor recall, ‘social walks’, on the lead around your area is fine. Give your dog plenty of opportunities to engage with what’s important to them – sniffing and looking around – and they’ll feel the benefit.
Look for safer, free-run locations where you’ve got clear sight of your dog.
Used correctly, extendable leads are a good halfway house between a lead walk and a free run.
Try altering your route and, where practical, the time you walk your dog.
Walk with someone else. Even with the current restrictions, you can still take a walk with someone else as long as you keep a safe distance apart.
Make sure you’ve got plenty recent photographs of your dog clearly showing identifiable markings.
Make sure your dog has been chipped and that you keep any changes to your details updated with the database.
If the unthinkable happens and your dog is taken, remember, you are not alone. There are plenty online groups and pages offering guidance and support. DogLost is an excellent charity which provides a free lost and found service.
You should also notify police, dog wardens, vets and local rescue centres.
Chris Muldoon, operations officer,
Dogs for Good.