Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Dog theft - how to keep your dog safe

  • 11, Mar 2024
  • Read time: 8 mins

Our loyal and beloved dogs bring joy and companionship to our lives. However, the unfortunate reality is dog theft remains a concern across many communities.

To help protect your dog, we have provided some simple tips on how to prevent dog theft. There is also advice on what to do if your dog is stolen and guidance on how our dog insurance could support you.

Dog left alone outside a shop.

Why are dogs being stolen?

Criminals usually steal dogs to either sell, breed from, or for dog fighting. An opportunistic thief may even grab a dog they want for a pet of their own. Others may be more organised, and not afraid to use force.

How to prevent dog theft

We’ve put together 10 top tips to help you stay alert and keep your dog safe at all times:

1. Train excellent recall

A strong recall command will help prevent your dog from straying when off the lead.

2. Microchip your dog

As required by UK law, your dog should be microchipped. The microchip holds your details and can help get your dog home.

3. Get your dog an ID tag

Also required by law, your dog’s ID tag should include your surname, postcode, and phone number. Do not include your dog’s name, as this can help a thief.

4. Vary your walks

Change up your routes so that your location is not predictable to a potential thief. Avoid secluded areas where possible.

5. Be alert to strangers

Do not share personal details about your dog, such as age, name, and cost with someone you don’t know.

6. Be careful with dog sitters and walkers

Do your research. Find a reputable company and get references from previous customers. Sites like Trusted Housesitters can connect you with verified sitters in your area.

7. Secure your garden

Your fence should be at least 6 feet tall with no damage that could act as an entry point. Add bells to your gate and watch your dog while they are outside.

8. Install CCTV and motion sensor lights

Although costly, these can be an excellent deterrent and help find the culprit if your dog is taken.

9. Beware of social media

Avoid uploading your location or any landmarks if you post on social media about your pet. You should also take extra care on walking or running applications that track your GPS. These apps usually give you the option to switch off your location.

10. Get a pet tracker

These are small and attach to your dog’s collar. Pet trackers enable you to see your dog’s location in real time using GPS.

What should I do if my dog is stolen?

If your dog is stolen, you need to act fast. Follow these steps for the best chances of finding them and bringing them home.

1. Report your dog stolen:

  • Go to the police and report the theft - record your crime reference number
  • Speak to your microchip database, they can tell you if anyone attempts to change your dog’s details
  • Inform your local dog warden, animal and rescue centres, and vet practices
  • Connect with local newspapers and media outlets to spread the word. Ask if they will share a stolen dog poster for you

2. Use the internet:

  • Share an appeal on social media, include images of your dog and last known location. Tag local charities and vets and make sure your post is set to ‘public’
  • Contact an organisation like Dogs Lost, who offer free advice and support
  • Look for dogs online that match your dog’s description and inform the police if you find anything. There are a number of dog selling sites that can help, such as Pets4Homes

3. Be on the lookout:

  • Make posters - include a clear image of your dog, a description, contact number and last known location
  • Ask local dog walkers to spread the word and share posters

Can you insure a dog for theft?

Our Lost and Found cover can help if your dog is stolen. It can help with costs such as missing posters and also a reward for your dog's safe return.

Lost and Found cover is included on our Classic and Premier cover and is optional on our Basic cover.

Making a claim when your dog is stolen

Dog insurance can't make up for the emotional loss or upset caused by dog theft, but at MORE THAN we could help.

We have made our claims process as simple as possible, so you can focus on finding your dog. Go to our make a pet claim page and we will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Protecting your dog

We can’t guarantee the return of your stolen pet, but our Lost and Found cover could help to put your mind at ease.

Choose from our different cover options to find the right insurance for you and your dog.

Take a look at our dog and puppy insurance and get a quote today

Share it with your friends