Keeping your dog safe

Dog lost reported 172 dogs stolen in 2019, with a stark increase to 456 stolen in 2020, that’s a rise of 170%. Of course this is extremely worrying for all dog owners, but can we be proactive?

Dog theft is a great concern for many dog owners at present, with a dramatic rise of devastating incidents.

Dog lost reported 172 dogs stolen in 2019, with a stark increase to 456 stolen in 2020, that’s a rise of 170%. Of course, this is extremely worrying for all dog owners, but can we be proactive?

Is there something we can do to keep our beloved dogs safe? And ourselves for that matter. Here are a few Do’s, Don’ts and Top Tips that you may not have considered, which can make all the difference to keeping you and Fido safe.

At Home

Don’t assume your garden is safe. There are ways to reduce the risk of theft from your garden, by erecting high fences and securing gates with locks. Still, supervising your dog whilst exercising or toileting in the garden, will mean you can act quickly if any unwanted visitors try to access your garden!

Keep your doors locked even when you are home.


Never leave your dog tied up unattended, outside a shop, for example. Don’t leave them alone in a car, even if it is locked. 

When out and about, always make sure your dog’s collar has an ID tag fitted, with your surname, address, postcode and telephone number. It is also important to make sure microchip details are up to date.

Try not to walk alone, find a friend or family member that can accompany you. That age-old saying ‘safety in numbers’ can certainly apply here. If you do have to walk alone, WALK WITH CONFIDENCE. Before setting off tell someone you trust; the route you plan to take, the time you are setting off and plan to be back. You may be able to share your live location with them via a mobile device.

Mix up your routine; change the location and times of your walks so as not to be predictable. Walk without headphones if you can, so that you can be mindful of your surroundings. Be cautious of people asking questions about or showing an interest in your dog, even if they appear to have good intentions.

Training that can make a difference

If you allow your dog off the lead, don’t allow them to stray too far or out of sight, be sure they have solid recall. If their recall is questionable, this is something you can

work on, practice practice practice. Having a solid recall could be key to your dog’s safety. Discourage other dog walkers from giving your dog treats. While they are being kind and your dog probably loves them, this repeated action can encourage a dog to go up to strangers. One day, that stranger may not just have tasty treats up their sleeve, but a very sinister agenda.

“I taught my dog the skill ‘middle’ so she knows to stay extremely close to me on command when I require.”

Social Media

We all love to share wonderful photographs of our favourite four-legged family members, however, have you thought about who might be viewing these snaps? Keep your social media accounts private. If they are public, always refrain from tagging any locations that you walk regularly, or about regular routines. Does your dog have his or her own social media account? Do they have an extensive following? If so, have you considered if this could make them particularly sought after?

The great thing about the K9 Nation app is that you can choose to keep your account private if you want but still access all the useful features on offer.

Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers

It may be necessary to leave your dog in the care of someone else, perhaps they need a walk whilst you’re at work, or you have a holiday booked and prefer to use a pet sitter over a local kennel. 

When choosing and interviewing for this role, it’s important to check they have relevant qualifications and are DBS checked. Listen to your gut, if you are unsure about how they have presented themselves or if their documentation is questionable, reconsider. When you have selected a professional to provide the care you require, check in on them, or ask them to give you regular ‘pupdates’.


Who doesn’t love a gadget?! There are a few that could help keep you and Fido safe.

  • Security cameras – there are many exterior and interior security cameras on the market, and some can link to an app on your mobile phone. This can be an extra bonus for when your dog is home alone, log in to the app and see what mischief they are making! Some have motion and audio sensor settings, allowing you to be notified via the app if motion or audio are detected by the camera.
  • GPS trackers for canines! Yes, you read that right! These trackers can fit on your dog’s collar and be tracked via an app on your mobile device. Some can pinpoint the dog from any distance. There are varying options on the market, so do your research to see which best suits your fluffy friend (waterproof is a good idea!) and your budget.
  • A personal alarm – don’t underestimate the power of a personal alarm. This can swiftly scare away predators and alert others that you are in danger. Make sure you secure a personal alarm in an easily accessible area, not zipped up inside a pocket or deep in your handbag, but on your outerwear so that you can trigger it promptly if such a situation arises.
  • Farb gel or criminal identifier spray – a small canister that you can hold at arm’s length (after triggering your personal alarm) spraying a red gel dye onto your attacker’s face, body or clothes. This can give you vital seconds to escape and call the police. Farb Gel will dye the assailant’s face and clothing for a number of days, making them easier to spot. It is legal in the U.K. however, to be used in an emergency only, no testing on your partner! Keep this easily accessible to grab immediately after triggering a personal alarm.

Our Expert

Ginger Paws offers dog walking in Dereham (Norfolk) and surrounding villages. I always carry a military-grade personal alarm and farb gel, both secured to a treat belt with instant access. I take extra care to ensure all dogs have the most fun and safest experience possible. Fully insured, DBS checked, canine (& human) first aid trained.

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