DOG thefts have hit a terrifying seven-year high in Britain, it has been revealed.

Over 2,700 pooches were stolen in 2021 alone and the number is rising, according to experts.

And reported hot spots are worryingly popping up all over the UK with London, West Yorkshire and Kent amongst the worst for dog napping.

But thanks to dog lovers at PuppyHero.com, there are measures you can take to prevent every pet owners worst nightmare becoming a reality.

So they shared their top nine tips to keep your prized pooches safe.

One of the most important measures to avoid a dog napping is to avoid routine.

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This makes it harder for dog kidnapping gangs to track you and work out when to intercept and steal your dog.

Try taking different routes on dog walks and maybe consider kicking your dog out for a wee in the garden at different times of the day when at home.

Another key tip the experts shared was practicing recalls with your dog.

It is vital to ensure your mutt will respond to your calls in case of an emergency or threat.

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To help, try using tasty treats for your dog as this will help get your pooch in the habit of coming back. Failing that, get an extendable lead.

You should also be careful of strangers asking you a lot of questions.

Always be wary of an unknown person asking unusual or constant questions about your dog – this applies both on and offline.

Strangers could be gathering vital facts about your pooch which could determine its value if stolen.

And avoid location tags on social media, this prevents thieves from knowing your address or where you regularly travel with your dog.

Dogs are also easily taken from gardens, especially front gardens, so another key security measure is to make sure to you secure your garden with tall fences.

Leaving a light on if your dog is home alone is also a key tip the experts shared as makes it appear like someone is in.

Alongside this, always turn an outside light on for supervised late night toilet trips so you can see your dog at all times.

Proof of ownership is absolutely fundamental if your dog is taken, so it is important that you have documentation of ownership in order to make sure there is no dispute in the event of it getting snatched.

Make sure you lock your dog flap when not in use as well and don't leave the window open in the room your dog is in.

It may seem obvious, but it will stop your dog wandering out when you're not looking and can stop a dog thief crawling into grab your best friend.

And while it may seem obvious, you must get your dog microchipped.

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This will be done by your vet, is relatively pain free for the dog and is cheap to do.

It is also required by law in the UK before the dog is eight weeks old.

PRIZED POOCH

Dog breeds that are most likely to be stolen and their average price tag for 2022:

  1. French Bulldog – £1,707.71
  2. Bulldog – £2,221.08
  3. Yorkshire Terrier – £1,156.85
  4. Chihuahua – £1,009.53
  5. German Shepherd Dog – £1,055.26
  6. Maltese – £1,050.78
  7. Shih Tzu – £1,000.92
  8. Labrador Retriever – £1,271.20
  9. Poodle – £889.12
  10. Siberian Husky – £856.80

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