Both dogs and cats are being targeted by opportunist thieves and organised gangs causing heartache for owners. With pet thefts in the UK on the rise, we share a few tips to help you keep your pet safe and, hopefully, recover your pet should thieves strike.
1. Never leave your dog unattended
Whether you're out at the shops or popping out in the car, don't take your eyes off your pet and never leave your dog in an unattended car. If you know that you'll be going into a shop without your dog, ask a friend or family member to wait outside with them. A common way dogs are taken is when they're out for walks, so keep them close when you're in open spaces so that they can't be easily grabbed.
2. Microchip, photograph and register
Taking photos of your pets - particularly all of their unique markings or identification features. Should your pet be stolen or go missing, these will be vital.
Microchipping your dog is now a legal requirement for pet owners, whilst it may not prevent theft it may help you be reunited. You can search online for Lost & Found pet websites many of which let you register your pet's details for added peace of mind and in the hope that you won't ever have to use them.
3. Be wary
Take care of strangers taking an interest in your pet, particularly when out with dogs. Never share your pet's personal details, even their breed may be enough to gain the interest of thieves.
It may seem like a rather extreme measure, but setting up CCTV in your garden to keep an eye on your dog or cat may cost significantly less than the cost (both emotionally and monetary) of your losing four legged friend. Similarly, your can buy a GPS device to track your cat or dog which is worth considering.
5. Keep up to date records
Any changes to your pet should be noted by yourself, your vet (if it's a medical issue) and your insurance provider. These details can often help the police or animal protection agencies reunite you with your beloved pet.
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Last edited 3 June 2016