Over the past few years, there has been a significant rise in dog thefts in the UK.
To help protect your dog, we have provided some simple tips on how to prevent dog theft. We also have some useful advice on what to do if your dog is stolen and guidance on how our dog insurance could support you.
Why are dogs getting stolen?
Selling dogs, especially certain expensive breeds, can turn around a quick profit. An opportunistic thief may grab a dog they want for a pet of their own. Others may be more organised, and not afraid to use force. These could be for sale, breeding or even dog fighting.
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 six feet tall with no damage that could act as an entry point. Add bells to your gate and watch your dog whilst 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.
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, unique features, and last known location. Tag local charities and vets, and make sure your post is set to ‘public’
- Go to Dogs Lost, they help reunite pets with their owners by offering free advice and support
- Look for dogs online that match your dog’s description and inform the police if you find anything
3. Be on the lookout:
- Make posters - include a clear image of your dog, a description, contact number and last known location
Our Lost and Found cover could help with the costs, including a reward for your dog’s safe return. Lost and Found is included with our Classic and Premier cover, and can be added to our Accident Only and Basic cover.
- Ask local dog walkers to spread the word and share posters
Can you insure a dog for theft?
Our Lost and Found cover could give you financial support if your dog is stolen, by assisting with funding posters and contributing to 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 Accident Only and Basic cover.
Making a claim when your dog is stolen
Dogs are beloved family members and it’s heart-breaking when they go missing, especially through theft. 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 give you the financial support you need to put your mind at ease.
Choose from our different cover options find the right insurance for you and your dog.