Did you know that February 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day? While romantic celebrations with your significant other is typically what the date is known for, there is also a lesser talked about day; Pet Theft Awareness Day.
That’s correct; February 14th is also a day to bring awareness to the millions of pets stolen every year. Despite being a common occurrence- more common than you think- pet safety is rarely discussed. On the other hand, human safety is a much more discussed topic. Growing up, its common for people to learn safety tips from their parents that will benefit them throughout their lives. Locking your doors, not walking alone at night, and staying alert are just a few of many safety tips constantly reiterated to us humans. However, unlike us, dogs (and other pets) don’t have this level of understanding of hidden dangers in the world. That being said, the duty of preventing pet theft falls onto the pet owners. We get it; the idea of someone stealing your precious pet is frightening. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary discussion to be held to ensure that your pet does not become one of the millions of stolen pets every year.
As a team of dog owners and lovers, our fur babies are everything to us. Dogs shower us with so much love and make life so much sweeter, which is why we will always put their safety first.
To mark Pet Theft Awareness Day, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips suggested for keeping your dog safe from being stolen.
Stay Close By & Avoid Leaving them Unattended
Simply put: staying close to your dog is a great way to ensure their safety. Pet thieves are much less likely to try to steal a dog when the dog’s owner is nearby ready to intervene. Remaining close to your dog at all times is the most effective way to prevent anything bad from happening- no matter where you are. In the event you cannot remain physically close to your pup, its recommended that you keep your dog in your line of vision. For example, many pet owners love frequenting dog parks to get their four-legged friends some exercise and fresh air. While your dog will likely immediately rush to run around and play with the other dogs, you should watch keep watch of them constantly. The unfortunate fact is that pet thieves may only need a split second to snatch up your dog, and they will likely be waiting until you are not paying attention to jump into action.
Furthermore, it is also strongly advised not to leave your dog unattended, and this is especially true when preventing pet thefts. When pets are left unattended, this creates the opportunity for anything to happen. Leaving your dog outside while running into the store may seem pretty harmless, but that is not always the case. Since it has been shown that most pet thefts are “crimes of opportunity”, leaving your dog alone- even for only a couple of minutes, is much riskier than you think. Rather than leashing up your pup outside or keeping them in your car while you run into the store, consider postponing your errands to a later time when your dog isn’t with you. Even if you leave your dog unattended all the time and they’ve been fine, it only takes one time for your life- and your dog’s life, to change forever. Thus, it’s best to not take this risk by not leaving your dog unattended in the first place.
Keep Your Dog Secure
Having a secure environment for your dog is an absolute necessity when it comes to your pet’s safety. At home, this environment could be a fenced yard. However, when you’re on the go with your dog, the fenced yard will not be with you. Don’t worry though; there are other options available for pet owners. Are you going on a road trip or camping trip and concerned for your pet’s safety? Bring your dog’s travel-friendly crate to guarantee their protection every step of the way. Securing your dog in a heavy-duty dog crate is a great way to know where they are at all times, preventing them from running off. Since most dog thieves are opportunistic, a sturdy dog crate can be a powerful tool for keeping your pup away from harm.
Bonus: The Impact Stationary Dog Crate and Impact Collapsible Dog Crate have locking slam latch doors, meaning you can safely secure your dog inside of their crate and have complete confidence knowing that no one can steal them from it.
Leash them Up
It is advised that dog owners always follow some best practices for keeping their pup out of harms way. The #1 tip from tons of experts and veterinarians? Keeping your dog leashed up whenever you’re on the move with them. When your dog is on leash, you have complete control over their movements. Not only is this great for navigating busy streets or trails, but this is also an excellent way to prevent theft. After all, it would be pretty difficult for a pet thief to run off with an animal when that animal is on a leash.
Not all dog leashes are created equal, so there are a few must-have features that every dog owners should look for in a leash. First of all, regardless of your dog’s size, it is crucial that any leash is made from a strong and durable material. The whole purpose of a dog leash is to keep your pup right by your side, and this purpose is defeated when you have a flimsy leash that can be broken easily. Additionally, newer dog leashes are sometimes equipped with a secondary loop handle closer to where the leash and collar connect. This is a feature you should always look for in a dog leash, as it provides extra protection for your pup. Are you concerned about crossing a busy intersection with your pup? That’s no problem; simply grabbing the secondary loop handle ensures your dog is right by your side.
The chew-resistant Impact Dog Leash, constructed from heavy-duty Ballistic Nylon, is the most versatile and functional heavy-duty leash for everyday use. Lightweight with a comfortable loop handle, this tug-resistant leash allows you to easily control and guide your dog through trails, parks, and your favorite walking routes. Plus, the carabiner-style clasp offers the highest level of security when attached to your dog’s collar, as it’s pull-resistant against even the largest and strongest dog breeds.
Consider Additional Security Measures
For pet owners looking to implement additional precautions, there are a variety of safety options available. First of all, it’s essential to protect your pup at home. One of the best ways to do so is with a secure fence. When letting your dog out to go potty or simply get some exercise, there’s always the chance they may wander off. As every dog parent knows, our dogs can sometimes be a little mischievous and seek out trouble. While most of the time it’s relatively harmless, there is no guarantee. That being said, keeping your dog in an enclosed environment with a fence ensures that you always know where they are, decreasing the likelihood of a pet thief getting their hands on your dog.
Fences aren’t the only safety precautions available to pet parents. A new technology that has had a massive impact on recovering stolen pets are microchips. A common procedure where an electronic chip is inserted below the skin, microchipping is a technology that has many benefits for pet safety. When a pet is microchipped, the chip's unique serial number can be scanned at most veterinary practices. If that pet was previously reported as missing or stolen, their microchip will be flagged. In the unfortunate case that your pet is stolen, this can be a great asset in getting your pet back.
We hope this information has been helpful in educating you on the importance of pet safety and pet theft prevention. Be sure to follow these safety tips to keep your loyal companion out of harm’s way!