Top tips to keep your litters safe from thieves

The rise in dog theft is alarming, with many dogs being stolen to order – often to be forced into breeding on puppy farms or sold on – and frequently taken abroad. As this has also included pregnant bitches and entire litters of puppies, being vigilant is crucial.

Here’s some guidance for protecting mum and pups from harm

1. Be very careful about with puppy viewings. Always take and check the details of any prospective purchaser

2. Never be alone when a prospective purchaser comes to view the litter

3. Always limit the number of people viewing the dogs at any one time, so you don’t get distracted

4. However trustworthy they may seem, never, ever, let anyone take one of your dogs off your premises for any reason– whether that’s a walk down the lane or to 'see how well they fit in the car'

5. Never advertise puppies with photos together with your address – only give your address out once you are satisfied the individual is genuine

6. Consider fitting CCTV

7. Ensure your perimeter fencing is secure and there isn’t anything nearby that could be used to climb over it

Should the worst happen, and your dog or puppies are stolen, dogs insured with Kennel Club Pet Insurance have cover that will pay for advertising and a reward. Our policies also come with free membership of Pet24, a 24/7 service to help owners and their pets reunite.

And always get a Crime Reference Number if your dog is stolen – a microchip alone is not proof of ownership so this is vital.