Our pets are part of the family, so we should take the same care to keep them safe and healthy as we do with the human members of our clans. The most obvious thing to do is to have a collar with your details on for cats and dogs, as well as a microchip. Collars can be taken off by dog thieves but a microchip is invisible to a pet thief and will help reunite you with your pet should they be stolen for breeding or fighting.
Pets can be stolen in premeditated attacks by people looking for pedigree breeds to sell on or use for breeding. Alternatively it could be by people looking for animals to use in fights, but they can also fall foul of burglars who have broken in to steal your valuables, which end up stealing your pet as well. There could also be an issue of an intruder injuring your pet, or your pet injuring the intruder if a scuffle occurs.
You should train your pet not to confront strange people in the house, and to leave and go to a place of safety in case of the break in, or other situations in which they feel threatened. This can be as simple as having a pet door and introducing your pets to your neighbours so they feel safe next door as well as in your home – the success of this largely depends on your neighbours but it could save your pet in an emergency; this could also see your pet attracting attention if anyone is in medical difficulty at home as well.
It is wise to keep pets hidden from view when they are left alone, either at home or in the garden. The temperament of your pet has a lot to do with this, as if they are anxious or nervous their behaviour could be challenging, but having a space with food, water and shade is vitally important for their health and safety. Avoid leaving your dog in a front garden where it can be seen from the street and allow them to use the back garden instead, where they are less likely to be seen. If pets are kept indoors make sure they are not allowed access to rooms where they might cause damage or be seen by a burglar when you are not in.
Finally, if you have an alarm system with indoor motion sensors it’s important they are set not to give a false positive if they are triggered by pets. If you have a large dog this may mean keeping them away from areas with motion sensors while you are out, or setting the sensors to ignore motion at low heights. We can advise on the best way to set up alarms to address this issue and also on systems which are most suitable for people with pets.