With more and more dogs being stolen, I am getting rather nervous. What can I do to keep my dog safe?

Nik Oakley advises…

Dog theft has risen by 23 per cent over the last three years, so it’s an issue that every owner needs to be aware of. These days, it is organised crime rather than opportunistic theft. Having said that, never, ever leave your dog tied up outside a shop or in your car, as that is asking for trouble. But don’t think your dog is safe on its own in the garden either. It’s so easy for a thief to lean over a fence or undo a latched gate.

If you’re out walking and someone shows undue interest in your pooch, don’t share how valuable he is or what a terrific pedigree he has. Better still, if you are at all worried, vary the time and place where you walk, or walk with a friend.

Since it has become apparent that houses are being broken into solely to steal dogs, owners are increasing their security and installing CCTV. Intelligence collected by DogLost suggests that theft for breeding rather than selling on is the prime motive. To that end, some owners are neutering their pets so they are less attractive to thieves.

And if social media is your thing, resist all temptation to feature your dog – it doesn’t take much for thieves to identify where you are and when your doggie is home alone.

If you are unlucky enough to have your dog stolen, then your first port of call should always be www.doglost.co.uk for help.


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