Pet owners are being urged to ensure their dogs are kept safe and sound as many areas of the UK report an increase in dog thefts. The issue of stolen dogs seems to have increased in recent years, with pedigree breeds being targets as well as more common types of dogs.

While some animals are being taken to be sold on, with highly-desired dog breeds fetching ever-increasing prices, others are being taken for activities like dog fighting.

With this in mind, police in several areas of the country are reiterating how important it is to keep your dogs secure and to report any suspicious activity.

So how do you keep your dog as safe as possible?

Lock your doors and gates

You should make sure that any external doors are locked at all times, especially when you aren't home. This will keep your home safe as well as your pet.

For added security, you should also ensure that any gates are secure to keep your pooch safe when they're in the garden as well as when you aren't home.

Microchip them

Your dog should be microchipped so that people can access their information if they go missing. While you might have a tag on their collar, this can be removed, whereas a microchip is always there.

Listen out

It is important to keep an eye out for any instances of possible dog theft in your area. This will ensure you know what is happening and so you can take extra precaution if need be, as well as look out for anyone acting suspiciously around your property.

Being aware of dog thefts also means you'll have an idea of how they are being done. Some people have reported dogs going missing from home, while others have actually had leads snatched from children's hands. Knowing what to look for in your area will keep everyone safe.

Report it

If you notice anything suspicious, such as coloured stickers being put on your front door or garden gate, people hanging around or anyone trying to lure your dog away when you are letting them run off lead, it is important to alert the authorities.

Written by: Hannah