thiefNot every neighborhood has a fur-obsessed villain like Cruella DeVille stalking dogs, however pet theft still does occur. A survey conducted by the American Kennel Club showed that there were over 500 reports of canine thefts in 2013 alone, which is over a 30% increase from 2012. With domestic pet thefts becoming more common, dog and cat owners need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their pets. Some dog breeds in particular have such high intelligence, specific skill sets, or perfect markings, that they can easily become a target for people looking to make a profit from them. Expensive dog breeds can fetch a price of several thousands of dollars, and even dogs that may have no monetary value may be preyed upon by vicious and avaricious people. Even if you believe your dog is safe from intruders or thieves, here are some practical tips to help protect your dog from danger.

Precautions You Can Take

Do not give out personal information. A good rule with strangers or even acquaintances, is to stay guarded with personal information. Details about your routines, where you and your dog like to walk, events you always attend, training classes you go to, or even mentioning the hours you work should not be shared with strangers. This opens the door for information to be passed around, giving anyone looking to rob you the insight to succeed in pulling it off.

Do not let your dog off the leash. This is not only a safety measure that will guard your dog against potential lawsuits from sensitive neighbors should your pup go on a rambunctious race around the block, but will also help you keep track of your dog at all times.

Do not leave your dog outdoors often. We believe that pets should not be left outside for numerous health and safety reasons, but thievery is an important consideration. Do not give any spying eyes room to hope that your dog may be found unattended for hours on end, right out in the open. If your dog is outside, you should be outside too (or at least close by in case anything happens amiss). The best way to protect the pup is to keep your dog indoors.

Do not leave your dog on the street. This may sound obvious, but plenty of people are so trusting of strangers that they will tie their dog to a pole when they go into stores, restaurants or cafes to dine, leaving their dog unattended on a public road. This is especially unwise, particularly on busy street corners, where the dog might be taken without much notice.

Get your dog microchipped. One of the most practical ways you can protect your dog is to implant in him a tracking device along with your contact information. That way if he is stolen, you will have a better chance of tracking down the thieves and your dog.

If you see a suspicious person in your neighborhood, be sure to alert your neighbors. Look out for each other if there is a threatening or mal-intended person lurking nearby. Dogs are much safer when multiple people are watching, and informing the owner if anything seems amiss.