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Unfortunately, dog thefts are on the rise - something we owners would rather not think about.
But while the thought of someone taking our precious furbabies might be just too heartbreaking to bear, burying your head in the sand is probably the very worst thing you can do.
Being vigilant is just not enough!
The demand in those wanting a dog during the past year has led to a rise in dogs being stolen from their owners.
And with money to be made by greedy criminals, it’s not only opportunist thieves you need to be aware of, it’s organised gangs making a living out of the crime.
But there are some precautions you can take to minimise the risk of your dog being taken.
From GPS trackers to specialist dog cameras, here are 8 products you should consider buying to protect your dog.
If your dog has not yet mastered recall, a training line is ideal. Not only are they great for teaching your dog recall, it can help to keep them safe when exercising outdoors in open spaces.
This outdoor training line from Pets At Home is fab with it being 10-metres long. You can allow your dog to go off and explore with the peace of mind that they can’t run off. And it’s only £7, an affordable way to help secure your pet.
But be careful around passers-by, cyclists and other dog walkers, in these situations it might be best to keep the line shorter.
Anti-theft dog lead
You absolutely can’t put it past criminals to try and steal your dog even when they are on a lead. They can be extremely brazen in their efforts.
This is where an anti-theft lead can help.
Made with a stainless steel wire rope positioned between the outer layers, this lead from Amazon will make it hard for it to be easily cut. It’s also finished with a strong locking carabiner fastener to make it difficult for your dog to be unclipped.
For real peace of mind, a GPS tracker allows you to monitor your dog’s location from your mobile phone. If the worst does happen, you can track into their live location, also helpful if your dog has a habit of wandering off or climbing the garden fence.
With the Tractive GPS tracker, you can get extra reassurance by going into Live-tracking mode for location updates every two to three seconds You can even mark out a virtual fence - like your garden - where you’ll get an alert if they leave.
The tracker costs £44.99 plus subscription fees - but you can’t put a price on our dog’s safety, they are just too precious.
It might sound drastic, but not only can a personal panic alarm help to keep you safe, it could also protect your dog. If you are out and about and someone tries to steal your pet from you, setting off the panic alarm will act as a good deterrent.
They are relatively cheap to buy and will just give you some added security when out on walks.
This personal attack alarm from Amazon is just £6.95 and can reach 130 decibels. It’s police-approved and has a torch.
These small little gadgets are a cheap and effective way to ensure your dog remains safely by your side. They can be locked on to your dog’s lead or harness for added security.
Besides keeping your dog safe, they can be used in a number of ways including for keys, bags and water bottles.
You can buy a pack of 10 coloured Carabiners from Amazon for £14.99.
If you think your dog is completely safe in your garden, think again. Even a fence and a locked gate isn’t enough to deter thieves. But a Ring doorbell or a visible home security camera can act as an effective deterrent.
Currys sell a range of video doorbells including the popular Ring doorbell with prices starting from £89.
The minute anyone comes to your door, you can get a notification to your phone. You also scroll back through footage to help police identify thieves if they do try to take your pet.
Another camera device that will help you to keep an eye on your furry friend is the Furbo. With super-clear full HD, you’ll be able to keep a check on your dog when they’re home alone. Or if they’re simply in the other room.
You can also communicate with your dog with two-way audio, as well as night vision, barking alerts and treat tossing.
The Furbo can be bought from Amazon for £189.
It is a legal requirement for dogs to have their owner’s name and address inscribed on their collar or ID tag when out in public. They need to be identifiable should you become separated.
While this won’t act as a deterrent to thieves, it will help you to be reunited with your dog should they become lost.
There are lots of lovely ID tags from sellers on Etsy in a range of different shapes, colours and designs.