By Laurencia

How To Keep Your Dog Safe In The City

Dog Theft - What Are The Statistics And How Can We Reduce The Risk?

dog on a leash sitting in a city street at night


What are the statistics?

Why has dog theft become so common?

What is the Government doing to help?

How can we reduce the risk?

What Are The Statistics?

According to a study by the Kennel Club, 196 dogs are stolen every month in the UK. This is an absolutely staggering figure, especially when you consider that only two percent of the cases reported to police are ever solved.

196 dogs are stolen every month in the UK

Why has dog theft become so common?

There is no one reason for rises in things like dog theft, like any rise in crime, this is predominantly a result of a rise in poverty and unemployment. Theft of any kind in the UK is most likely opportunistic, and operated by individuals. However some types of crime, like pet theft and burglaries will be operated by syndicates and gangs.

As all of us will have noticed, there was a massive increase in the amount of puppies adopted or bought during lock-down. Brits found themselves in positions where their life-long dream to have a dog was possible due to working from home.

Prices for pedigree puppies soared through the roof as the parks became heaving with fresh paws and fluffy faces.

puppy playing with a ball in the park

This has increased the number of thefts as thieves are aware of the demand in the market.

"In 2020, no suspect was identified in more than half (54 per cent) of reported dog theft cases and three per cent of cases were dismissed as not being in the public interest. In more than a quarter (27 per cent), a suspect was identified but nothing further was done due to ‘evidential difficulties’."

Source: The Kennel Club

What is the government doing to help?

Up until a few months ago, dog thefts were put in the same category as property theft. Can you believe that? Dogs as objects! Well, thankfully this has recently changed. Dogs will now be considered as the sentient beings they are (and should always have been) under British law.

"In May the government introduced into Parliament the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill which, if passed in its current form, explicitly recognises in UK law that animals as sentient beings. The bill also makes provision for an Animal Sentience Committee, which is able to issue reports on how government policy has paid due regard to the welfare of animals as sentient beings."


Dog Theft: How Can We Reduce The Risk?

There are a number of things we can do to try reduce the risk of dog theft. Of course this is never ever your fault as a dog owner. Awful people will do awful things, no matter how careful we are. HOWEVER, anything that we can do to give ourselves some peace of mind we believe, is a good idea. 

Here are the most important things you can do to prevent dog theft:

  • Microchipping
  • Collars and Tags
  • Take photos
  • Attach an alarm to your dog's collar
  • Keep constant watch over your dog off-lead
  • Stay alert

Let's get into the details for each of these...


puppy at the vet being microchipped

Microchipping your dog is now a legal requirement. However, make sure that your dog's microchip information is correct, with the correct contact details so you can be contacted in any event necessary. You can update your dog's microchip details through your vet.

For more info on microchipping your dog in UK visit:

Collars and Tags

puppy wearing a dog collar

Make sure you have purchased a good quality collar and tag with your details engraved on to the tag. Never add the name of your dog onto their collar. A simple "Please Contact My Family" with your mobile number is more than enough.

Take photos

grass dog toilet on a balcony

It is a good idea to have up to date photographs of your dogs from all angles. This will help if your dog goes missing, especially when reporting it to the police. You might recognise your dog instantly, but having in-depth photographic evidence of their unique characteristics will really help.

Attach an alarm to your dog's collar

dog using grass dog toilet in puppy play pen

Dog Safety Alarms are incredibly useful as they can be easily attached to your dog's lead and send out a (very loud) 130dmb siren, with a bright LED flashing light which will alert anybody nearby that you need assistance.

Interested in buying City Doggo's safety alarm? Find out more on our personal safety alarm page

Keep constant watch over your dog off-lead

Dog thieves are often opportunists and will seize the chance to pounce if your pup is left alone. It only takes seconds, so don’t take the chance.

Stay alert when you’re out walking

Avoid walking your dog alone, late at night. Make sure you also switch up your routine as much as possible. Try mixing your routines and walk times so you’re not walking in the same places at the same time each day.

Be wary of strangers approaching you and asking lots of questions about your dog. Do a quick 360 degree scan of the area you're entering.

Try to avoid being on your phone whilst walking your dog (we know it's hard!) multitasking effects your ability to stay alert to your surroundings. It also stops you from being in the moment, your walks should bring enrichment to both you and your dog. Mindful walkies, try it!

Interested in our personal safety alarm?

alarm for dog walkers
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