The pandemic has seen many people finding comfort in a furry little friend, and while a dog is the perfect companion in difficult times, the high demand for puppies has led to a disturbing rise in dog theft. In fact the UK charity DogLost has reported a 170% increase in dog theft from 2019.
Losing a dog can be a devastating experience and many people will go to extreme lengths to avoid the pain. The BBC recently reported on a couple that offered a staggering £20,000 reward for the safe return of their dog, the sum total of their life savings.
To avoid ending up in a situation like this it is important to understand why people steal dogs, so that you don’t end up unwittingly supporting the crime, and we will make some simple suggestions so you hopefully will never end up losing your dog.
Why are dogs being stolen.
Having a dog stolen is a devastating experience and many owners will offer no questions asked rewards for the safe return of their dog, the dog thief can simply pretend to be the one who found your dog and collect the reward.
Sometimes dogs are stolen to fulfil a particular request, whether it is for a breeder or a private owner who can’t wait to get their hands on a specific breed of dog.
Demand for puppies has increased enormously during the lock down which has seen the average price of a pedigree dog increase from £500 to £2000! This combined with the fact that the lockdown is making other forms of crime harder, breeding puppies has become a lucrative alternative.
As we’ve noted demand for puppies has increased dramatically during lock down. Many dogs that are stolen are simply sold on through various sites such as Facebook, and Gumtree.
Perhaps the saddest reason is that sometimes dogs are stolen to act as ‘bait dogs’ to train fighting dogs.
How to stop it.
Don’t let your dog out of your sight!
It might sound obvious, but your dog is more vulnerable to being stolen if they move out of your line of sight. Be wary of letting your dog round bends, or into bushes, they are far more likely to be taken if the thief can’t see the dogs owner. 16% of dogs are stolen when out for an ordinary walk, so varying your route might also help protect your pooch.
Secure your garden
Taking care of holes in fences might prevent your dog escaping, but raising the height of your fence or hedge will deter thieves from gaining access to your garden and stealing your dog. AS many as 50% of dogs are taken from gardens, so if you only do one thing to protect your pet this should be it.
Don’t leave your dog outside of the shop
This leaves your dog very vulnerable to being stolen as once out of sight a potential opportunity is created, with 7% of dog thefts occurring in this way. Bystanders provide little protection, as they don’t know who the dog belongs to.
This might sound obvious but neutering your dog means that it won’t be stolen for breeding purposes. Taking away one of the reasons dogs are stolen will help protect your dog t=from theft.
A microchip that is registered with a pet database, and whose information is kept up to date will help your dog be returned to you as easily as possible, should the worst happen.
Make sure your dog walker is legitimate
When looking for a dog walker, reach out to friends and family and try and get recommendations. While a dog walker might not be out to steal your dog themselves, not all dog walkers and created equal, some might now be quite as careful with your pooch as you’d like.
Make sure your dog is well trained
A well-trained dog that will return when called and won’t stray too far, will give a potential thief far fewer opportunities to steal your dog, than an untrained or poorly trained dog. Make sure you sign your dog up for a good puppy school and get on top of their behaviour.
Look out for info on local dog walking groups
Joining a good walking group can be very useful for finding out about dog thefts in your area, as well as providing a network of people who can keep an eye out for your dog if it has been taken.
Be careful where you buy your dog from
Carefully selecting who you buy your dog from can help decrease the demand for stolen puppies. Research your seller, make sure they have a good reputation to reduce the likelihood of illegal activity. Or even better try and get your dog from a rescue centre, not only will you be a super-hero, rescuing an unwanted puppy, but you will also further reduce the demand for stolen dogs.
When your dog is alone, make sure he’s out of sight
19% of dogs are taken from breaking into homes and 5% are taken from cars. When you leave your dog at home try to make sure they are not visible from the street and try to avoid leaving them alone in the car altogether. Making simple changes like this can remove the chance for opportunistic thieves do steal your dog.
Statistics from: http://www.pettheft.org.uk/press.php
At some point in your pets life, you’ll have to transport them somewhere. Whether for a holiday, moving to a new house or just a yearly visit to the vet, a safe secure, comfortable pet carrier is an essential purchase for any pet owner.
Finding the right carrier can, however, be difficult.
It might seem like a large carrier is best because it gives the pet more room to stretch out, and a soft carrier might seem like it would provide extra comfort. But a large carrier can seem daunting to a small animal, as they can feel like there is nowhere to hide in the large space. Similarly, a soft carrier might seem like it provides more comfort, but a soft carrier is vulnerable to knocks and may not be waterproof.
These problems are just the beginning.
A pet owner also has to consider how hard is to get the pet in, or out of the carrier? Is the viewing window the right size? How heavy is the carrier, and so on.
Here at farmandpet.co.uk we’ve created a handy guide to help you navigate the huge range of pet carriers currently on the market.
What are you going to use the carrier for?
The first thing to consider is what you’re using the carrier for. Your circumstances and when and where you use the carrier will have a huge impact on which is right for you.
For a single use over a short distance, you may get away with a cardboard carrier, however if you travel a lot, or are taking a long journey a hard case might be better.
Another thing to consider is your transportation situation. A carboard carrier is very light which is good for carrying, but soft and easily broken which is not ideal if you don’t have a car. A hard carrier is secure but heavy, but heavy, and so perhaps not perfect for carrying. In this case you may want to go for a soft sided carrier.
A lot of picking the right carrier is going to come down to your individual situation. So lets take a look at the types of carrier and their advantages and disadvantages.
You might well come across a cardboard carrier when you first buy your pet. Pet shops and rescue centres often give customers cardboard carries to take their new pet home.
While they are useful for a single, short-term use, cardboard boxes are probably not the best carriers for regular, permanent use.
Cardboard carriers are light weight and inexpensive. Making them a useful option for people on a budget who only intend to move their pet once.
Cardboard will not be able to stand up to a pets scratching. After a couple of uses you may find that your pet has opened up holes in the carrier in an attempt to escape.
Cardboard carriers are also not good with liquids. Urine, spilled water, or other liquids will weaken the cardboard, and it is not possible to adequately clean them off for future use. Similarly in the rain a cardboard carrier will become soft and spongy and can offer a quick escape.
Soft sided carrier
Soft-sided carrier. These types of carriers are usually made of nylon, and they are lightweight and easy to use. Some things to keep in mind about soft-sided cat carriers are.
Soft sided carrier are much easier to clean than cardboard, and due to their hardier build are suitable for repeat use.
Soft sided Carriers are a lot lighter and easier to carry than solid sided carriers making them a good choice for people who use public transport or don’t want to be lugging around anything too heavy, while still being reasonably sturdy.
While a lot hardier, this popular style of carrier is perhaps best for calm pets who are used to travelling. The nylon mesh while sturdy, can still be torn by a particularly determined, or distressed pet.
Another disadvantage is that the soft sides do render your pet slightly more vulnerable to knocks and bumps.
What to look for
One of the most important things to look for in a soft-sided pet carrier is that it the right size for your pet. The animal should be able to stand and turn around, but there shouldn’t be so much space that they get thrown around during a car journey.
Cats in particular prefer small, cosy spaces, that make them feel safe and secure.
If you’re expecting to take your pet on longer journeys it’s worth checking if there is room for a little food or drink, in case the little guys get thirsty of hungry
One of the most important things to look for in a soft pet carrier is that it doesn’t sag in the middle. Most soft carriers have a light frame to prevent sagging, but it is a good idea to test the carriers effectiveness so that your pet has a nice solid floor to walk around on, and is comfortable to lie on.
Hard pet carriers
Hard-sided carrier are usually made of solid, hard plastic, which makes the very durable and provides excellent protection for your pet.
As they are made of plastic, hard carriers are the easiest type of carrier to clean. Liquids wont soak in to any fabric and fur wont stick either. A quick wipe will take care of most problems.
Hard sided carriers provide the most protection for your pet. Most bumps or reasonably heavy object falling on the carrier should bounce off without hurting the carriers occupant.
The solid sides and door makes a solid sided carrier incredibly secure. A pet would have a hard time breaking out of a hard sided carrier, even if they are distressed and panicking.
Hard sided carriers are the heaviest form of pet carrier, so are perhaps not the best for travelling long distances on foot.
Being solid also makes the carrier slightly harder to store, as they have no give. You can’t squish the carrier in to a smaller space for storage.
What to look for
A good sturdy handle is essential to cope with the weight of the carrier. Make sure the handle is heavy duty and well attached so it doesn’t break off when transporting your pet.
As with the soft sided carrier, sizing the hard-sided carrier is essential. Being able to, stand, lie down and turn around, without being dwarfed by the space will make your pet much happier when being transported.
A little space for food and water is also a good idea for longer journeys.
There are many more things to consider when buying a pet carrier, but many will only become apparent when you consider you own circumstances, but hopefully this has given you a starting point to navigate your way to the perfect pet carrier.
At some point in a pets life, they’re going to have to be transported somewhere. Whether it’s for a holiday, moving house, or just a yearly visit to the vet; a safe secure, comfortable pet carrier is an essential purchase for any pet owner.
Finding the right carrier can, however, be difficult.
It might seem like a large carrier is best because it gives the pet more room to stretch out, and a soft carrier might seem like it would provide extra comfort. But a large carrier can seem daunting to a small animal, as they can feel like there is nowhere to hide in the large space. Similarly a soft carrier might seem like it provides more comfort, but a soft carrier is vulnerable to knocks and may not be waterproof.
These problems are just the beginning.
A pet owner also has to consider how hard it is to get the pet in or out of the carrier, is the viewing window the right size, how heavy is the carrier, and so on.
Here at farmandpet.co.uk we have partnered with a company that we feel provides the perfect pet carrier for small animals.
The Marchioro Range
Marchioro is family run business that has specialised in pet and garden plastics since 1957. Working with experts from several different countries, Marchioro has developed an innovative, exclusive pet line that we are happy to bring to you at affordable prices.
Marchioro’s commitment to animal care and welfare is reflected in their attention to detail and the high standards to which, every product is manufactured. Marchioro use high quality raw materials combined with state of the art injection and rotation moulding technology to create products manufactured to the very highest standard.
With such a staunch commitment to quality it is no wonder that Marchioro products have received many awards and are available in over 60 countries.
With a range of features making it the perfect plastic carrier for pets including cats and small dogs, the Marchioro Pet Carriers are a simple yet attractive carrier ideal for transporting your pets.
A tough, non-brittle carrier for pets, the Marchioro Pet Carrier’s will not splinter or harm your animal, for safe transporting at all times. Featuring a top handle for carrying, the Marchioro Skipper range is convenient, easy to use and ideal for travelling, trips to the vets and more.
A great quality, long lasting carrier, the Marchioro Skipper range of pet carrier also features vent slats in the sides for visibility and comfort, a secure wire door so your pet cannot escape and a plastic locking key for easy assembly and disassembly when in and out of use. This makes for easy and convenient storage too.
Farmandpet.co.uk is proud to offer the Marchioro Skipper 1F and 2F.
Marchioro Skipper 1F
Marchioro Skipper 1F is a well made, economical carrier ideal for small animals around 7-22 pounds.
The Marchioro F1 skipper features:
A strong, durable construction that won’t wear and break over the life of your pet.
The small pet carrier is easy to put together and take apart for compact storage when the carrier isn’t in use
A large metal door makes it easy to get your pet into the carrier while preventing them from getting out.
Ergonomic care for easy, comfortable carrying.
Side latches and additional security pins keep the carrier securely locked.
The Marchioro F1 is suitable for pets 7-22 pounds.
The metal doors are shock resistant.
Measures 19″L x 12.25″W x 12.25″H.
Marchioro Skipper 2F
The Marchioro Skipper 2F is ideal for slightly larger small pets, weighing between 9-33 pounds. It has all the same features as the F1 but is suitable for slightly larger animals.
Standard metal door can be opened from either side
Ergonomic handle for easy carrying
Side latches and extra security pins keep the carrier securely locked
Suitable for pets 9-33 pounds
Measures 21.75″L x 14.25″W x 13″H
In addition to the pet carrier Marchioro have applied their knowledge of plastics to produce a litter trey of outstanding quality.
Marchioro Bill Hooded Litter Pan
Keep your kitty litter where it belongs with the Marchioro Bill Hooded Litter Pan. This durable plastic pan features a high back and enclosed hood to provide total control of your cat’s litter. Designed for simple efficiency, the Bill is easy to disassemble, clean, and transport.
The Marchioror Bill hooded litter pan features:
Enclosed litter pan prevents litter mess and spillage
Simple to disassemble for easy cleaning
The door will help keep odours inside.
Convenient carry handle makes transportation easy
Measures 19.75″L x 15.75″W x 16.5″H
If you have a dog you may want to avoid muddy areas for a little while. Alabama Rot or CRBV is a disease that causes blood clots to form that can cause ulcer like sores and cause damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys and skin
Alabama Rot, or CRBV, was first detected amongst greyhounds in Alabama in the 1980s. After a short lived flare up, the number of cases declined and no clinical research was carried out. As a result the cause of Alabama Rot is unknown and can only be diagnosed as collection of clinical symptoms.
Alabama Rot first appeared in the UK in 2012 has seen the number of cases rise from 19 cases in 2016 to 40 in 2017, with 29 cases already identified this year.
While the chances of contracting Alabama Rot are extremely low, the disease has a very high mortality rate.
Preventing Alabama Rot
The cause of Alabama Rot is still unknown. In contrast to the cases of Alabama Rot that presented in Greyhounds in the US, the UK version doesn’t seem to target a specific breed, age, weight or sex of dog.
Some dogs who live in close proximity have become infected, however it is not clear whether they were infected by each other or whether they simply share and environment and lifestyle.
There is some suggestion that Alabama Rot can be picked up on a dogs legs and paws after muddy walks. It is advised to avoid walking through muddy areas and wash your dog thoroughly after walks and regularly check for symptoms.
The vetsforpets website is currently tracking the Alabama Rot and they have created an interactive map to show areas where cases have been reported, which can be found here.
There have so far been no examples of a human contracting the disease.
Symptoms of Alabama Rot
The first symptom of Alabama Rot is the development of sores that typically form around the elbow and or knee of a dog and have no obvious cause. These sores have will appear as small ulcer like swellings that are red and open.
Within two to seven days the dog will begin vomiting and show signs of kidney failure including reduced appetite and unusual tiredness.
Without treatment, Alabama Rot can lead to a rampant fever and eventually death.
Treating Alabama Rot
These symptoms are not limited to Alabama Rot, but if symptoms begin to manifest the dog should be taken to the vet, who will determine what’s wrong and may offer a course of antibiotics.
While the chances of a dog catching Alabama Rot are extremely low, take reasonable precautions such as avoiding muddy areas, cleaning a pet, and checking regularly for symptoms as the disease has a very high mortality rate.