Thursday 26th August is International Dog Day, an annual holiday on the pet calendar dedicated to paying tribute to our furry friends, but sadly our love for dogs has led to a rise in dog thefts in the UK.
New research from money.co.uk analysed Freedom of Information data on the number of dog thefts people have reported in the last five years, as well as which types of dogs were most commonly stolen.
You can view the full research here: https://www.money.co.uk/pet-insurance/dog-theft-report
The dog breeds stolen the most over the last 5 years
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 367 thefts
- Chihuahua – 163 thefts
- French Bulldog – 149 thefts
- Jack Russell Terrier – 107 thefts
- Pug – 97 thefts
- Bulldog – 94 thefts
- German Shepherd – 93 thefts
- Yorkshire Terrier – 77 thefts
- Cocker Spaniel – 66 thefts
- American Bulldog – 63 thefts
Staffordshire bull terriers are among the most popular dogs in the UK, so perhaps it’s little surprise that they’re one of the most commonly stolen dogs.
Not only are Chihuahuas understandably a very desirable dog, but their tiny size, unfortunately, makes them an easy target for criminals too.
The French Bulldog is the third most stolen dog. Frenchies usually cost between £1,000-£2,000 but can be worth up to £10,000, so it’s easy to see why thieves target them.
The research also revealed the UK’s dog theft hotspots. In the last five years, there were a total of 1,409 dog thefts in London.
Looking outside of London there were a total of 3,287 reported dog thefts in the last five years in the areas which responded to our request.
Top 5 dog theft hotspots (outside London)
- Leeds – 346 thefts over last 5 years
- Bradford – 244 thefts over last 5 years
- Sheffield – 129 thefts over last 5 years
- Huddersfield – 128 thefts over last 5 years
- Blackpool – 108 thefts over last 5 years
Tips on how to protect against dog theft
- Microchipping – If you haven’t already, it’s vital that you ensure that your dog is microchipped, not least because it is now required by law. This ensures that your dog can easily be identified and returned to you if they get lost.
- Be vigilant – While it’s always nice when friendly strangers come up to chat to you and say hello to your dog in the park, do remain vigilant of people you don’t know. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your dog. Don’t let them off the lead unless you’re sure that they will come back to you!
- Keep your garden secure – Try to keep your dog in view when it’s in the garden, especially in the front garden if it can be easily accessed from the street. Make sure that any gates are locked and consider fitting a bell so that you can hear if anyone opens it.
- Be careful on social media – As much as you might want to share pictures of your dog online, it’s important to be careful. Try not to give away information such as where you live and walk your dog, or take a look at your privacy settings.
- Take out pet insurance – Dog insurance doesn’t just protect your dog from expensive veterinary treatments, but some policies will also cover the cost if your pet is stolen or goes missing (sometimes known as ‘missing pet cover’). The very best policies will also cover any costs of advertising if your pet gets lost.