Dog theft in the UK is on the rise, with a six per cent increase recorded in 2023, according to a report by Direct Line.

The Dogs Trust has revealed advice for dog owners looking to protect their pets, following the recent increase in pet theft reports.

Dogs Theft Awareness Day, which falls on Thursday, March 14, aims to raise awareness about this issue.

The Dogs Trust is pushing for pet theft to be treated as a unique crime, considering the emotional toll it takes on families and individuals.

At present, the theft of a dog is considered under the same light as the theft of household items such as phones and bikes.

The leading dog welfare charity offers guidelines to reduce the risk of dog theft, such as ensuring the security of homes and property boundaries, monitoring dogs closely, reviewing privacy settings on social media posts of dogs, and ensuring that dogs are searchable through tags and microchips.

Dog owners are also warned against leaving dogs unattended in public and in cars.

The Dogs Trust provides additional information and resources on their website.