10 Tips for Preventing Dog Theft

Losing a pet can be a truly agonizing experience. Today we'll offer some important advice on preventing dog theft to help you keep your canine safe.
10 Tips for Preventing Dog Theft

Last update: 24 September, 2019

Losing a pet can be a truly agonizing experience, whether the animal escapes or is stolen. Therefore, preventing dog theft is very important, especially when it comes to young dogs and purebreds. Remember that this crime is often related to the dog breeding business.

In today’s article, we’ll present a list of tips to help prevent dog theft.

Is preventing dog theft possible?

The answer is yes. If we act responsibly and take the necessary precautions, we can keep our dogs safe. Of course, there have been cases of careful, responsible owners who were victims of dog theft. However, they don’t make up the majority. In reality, they make up a very small percentage of dog theft cases, given that the circumstances of these thefts are often exceptional.

In most cases, dog theft occurs as a result of negligence by the owner. Unfortunately, this is a crime that is becoming more and more common in large cities around the world. In Latin American countries, for example, there are many cases of pet theft that have to do with the business of dog breeding. In Venezuela, narco-traffickers even stole Golden Retriever puppies in order to place drugs in their bellies, surgically, and then take them to Spain.

A dog panting.

To face this problem, there are several habits, customs, and recommendations that dog owners should keep in mind. Below, we’ll tell you all the tips you need to know and put into practice in order to avoid dog theft.

1. Preventing dog theft: Don’t leave your dog alone

Don’t even leave your dog out in the yard by itself–even if you’re watching from the window. In just the blink of an eye, thieves can snatch an animal without anyone noticing. Of course, this is more difficult in the case of medium or large-sized dogs, or guardian-like dogs. However, when it comes to small breeds like Toy Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers, you need to be extra careful.

2. Teach your dog not to accept food from strangers

This can be a bit of a challenge since dogs are big eaters and their appetite can get the best of them. However, there are different ways to get your pet to turn down food that comes from strangers. That way, you’ll prevent someone from getting your animal’s attention in order to commit dog theft.

3. Don’t walk your dog without a leash

Teach your dog to walk next to you using a leash and collar, and don’t take them off until you’re indoors. Taking your dog out without a leash and collar makes it the perfect target for thieves. And these items don’t just prevent theft, they also keep dogs from running into the street, chasing another dog, or attacking someone.

4. Preventing dog theft: Microchip your pet

In many countries, subcutaneous microchips are available for veterinarians to implant in the loose skin between a dog’ shoulder blades. These tiny chips help owners know the location of their dogs, whether lost or stolen. While this measure won’t prevent dog theft, it can help you recover your missing pet.

5. Avoid dangerous places

When you take your dog for a walk, make sure you stick to frequented public areas. Avoid dark alleys and streets that don’t get a lot of traffic. Even if your dog is strong and intimidating, you should still stay away from areas that seem suspect. That way, you can avoid sudden assault and the violent removal of your pet .

6. Don’t let your guard down

Even if your dog isn’t a purebred, you can still become the victim of dog theft. Of course, most dog thieves target purebreds in order to make a profit (by selling or breeding them). However, others will steal any dog they can get their hands on and use it for things like illegal dogfighting, pornography, and the animal fur market.

7. Change your habits

Another way to avoid theft is to change the routine you take when you walk your dog. If you walk your dog every day after work, take the same streets, and the walks always last 30 minutes, you’ll be an easy target for thieves. Therefore, you’re better off alternating your schedules and routes and making sure nobody follows you.

8. Don’t show off your purebred

Focus on having a good time with your pet while you’re out rather than showing him or her off on social media.

9. Tell people your dog is spayed or neutered

When you run into someone suspicious on the street who tries to strike up a conversation about your dog, keep your guard up. If they ask, you can say that your dog is spayed or neutered, or that it’s adopted. That way, the person will be less likely to want to steal your pet.

You can also say you got your canine from a shelter or that someone gave him or her to you. This will further reduce the chances of theft, even if you have a purebred.

A dog in a garden.

10. Put an identification tag on your dog’s collar

Identification tags don’t only help if your dog gets lost. They also let people know that your dog has an owner. If someone sees your pet on the street, they’ll be able to contact you and help you reunite.

If you apply these tips, you’ll considerably reduce the risks of you and your pet becoming the victims of dog theft. Be sure to share this information with anyone you think needs it. And remember, responsible owners have happy pets.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.