Lockdown has resulted in many of us spending much more time at home leading to a huge increase in dog ownership. Hey, why not! They love you unconditionally (for the most part), they love cuddles and make great companions. They are also a good reason to take the regular walks that are so necessary for us all.
Sadly, this period has also seen a significant rise in dog thefts which are estimated to have more than doubled during lockdown. We’ve all seen and heard heart-wrenching stories of lost and stolen dogs on the news and social media. Our beloved four-legged furry family members are increasingly at risk of being spirited away from our houses, parks, and cars.
Lifefyle has some useful tips to help you keep your dog safe and where they belong:
1. Ensure your dog is microchipped and registered with a recognised microchip database. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it means that if they go astray for any reason, they can be quickly traced back to you. Upload the microchip registration details to your Lifefyle App so you can always find them quickly, from wherever you are.
2. Make sure to keep your contact details on your dog’s collar tag. Your phone number is key, and your postcode and your name if you like; but DON’T put your dog’s name on the tag — this can be used by thieves who want to lure your dog away by calling out its name.
3. It’s a great idea to keep recent pictures of your dog so that if the unthinkable does happen you have an accurate likeness to help others reunite you. Keep a copy in your Lifefyle App right alongside their microchip registration details and veterinary records.
4. Of course, you want to post lots of lovely pics of your dog on social media, but first check your privacy settings; does your social media profile give away your home or work location? Can it be seen by the wider public? Does the picture contain location tags? There are organised thieves scouring social media for just this kind of information. Think before you post!
5. Be vigilant when walking your dog. Know where they are at all times. Don’t wear headphones or get distracted by a phone call or someone you meet.
6. Be wary of friendly strangers asking your dog’s name or taking too much interest.
7. Never leave your dog alone in the car or tied up outside a shop.
8. If your dog has free run of the garden, ensure fences and gates are secure, visible CCTV security systems can also be a great deterrent for would-be thieves.
9. If you happen to see a dog that seems lost, take a few minutes to ensure it finds its owner before you rush back to your next Zoom call. As you would hope, someone else would do the same for you.
These few simple steps can spare you the terrible heartache of losing your beloved pooch and not knowing if you’ll ever see him or her again.
Download Lifefyle to keep your important dog documents and information secure all in one place, including reminders for vet appointments, and other important tasks!