Owners should always be mindful of their pets’ safety. Pet theft is a growing problem locally, with many pets “disappearing” from their homes. While pet theft can happen to any pet and any owner, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that you and your pet will become unfortunate victims of this crime.
Microchip – Highly recommended for all pets, microchips make it easier to identify pets in the event they are stolen or lost. Make sure that information associated with the chip is kept up to date so you can quickly be notified if your pet is recovered.
Time Outside – Never leave your pets outside alone in your yard. Predators, human or animal, can swoop in and be gone with your pet before you know it. Similarly, never tie them outside a business establishment, regardless of how short a time you will be gone.
Avoid Strangers – When you’re walking your dog, avoid strangers by crossing to the other side of the street. Do not walk in unpopulated areas. If approached by individuals who want to pet your dog, decline, and ask them to leave you and your dog alone if they persist.
In the Car– Never leave a pet unsecured in your car or the back of a pick-up. Always lock them inside (taking all necessary precautions for temperature control) and don’t leave them for extended periods of time.
Obedience Training – Teaching basic commands like “sit” or “stay” and a good recall can help keep your dog safe in public places where he might otherwise wander off or follow someone else home.
Crate Train – If thieves decide they want to steal your pet, having them locked in a crate or other safe enclosure may deter them, as it reduces their ease of access. An added benefit is that the crate provides a comfortable and secure space for your pet when you’re not around.
These are just some simple tips that owners can use to keep their pets safe from potential thieves. While no one wants to consider the possibility that their beloved companion could be taken away from them, being aware of potential risks and taking the right precautions can go a long way toward preventing heartache down the line!