What can you do to keep your pet safe?

It’s no secret that instances of pet theft are on the rise. Recent crime statistics data from NSW and Victoria have confirmed that there were more than 300 cases of animal theft a year in Victoria during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021*. NSW saw nearly 200 pets stolen over the same period**.  Recently, we saw National Pet Theft Awareness Day, an idea originally instigated by a US animal charity organisation.

Statistics aside, losing your beloved companion in this way is absolutely heartbreaking for pet owners as most pets really are vital and treasured family members. Some breeds are proving to be more popular with thieves, most notably pedigrees including Staffordshire bull terriers and bull terrier crossbreeds, bulldogs, and cocker spaniels.

At Petcover, we know how much your pets mean to you – we’re pet owners too – and whilst some of our pet insurance policies cover costs for lost pets including rewards, we would all prefer to ensure that our pets don’t go missing in the first place.

Here we have our top 5 suggestions for keeping your pet safe from theft.

1. Get them microchipped and de-sexed.

This is so important, as it means that if your pet goes missing and is found by a kind soul (most people are!), any vet can quickly and easily scan the chip and locate their owner. De-sexing and spaying are also a safe choice for your pets, keeping them healthier and less likely to stray. In addition, make sure they have ID tags on collars with an up-to-date phone number so you can be contacted quickly.

2. Lock the gate!

If your pet is at home on its own, make sure doors and windows are locked and secure (if inside) and they have plenty of food and water. If outside, shade, food and freely available water is essential. Garden gates and garage doors should be locked and difficult to break into. Consider installing external cameras for added security. Inside, you could get an interactive dog camera which enables you to check in on your pet throughout the day via your phone. You can even load it with treats that you can dispense on demand.

3. Get neighbourly.

Get to know your neighbours and introduce them to your pet. They will be more likely to notice if something is amiss during the day when you’re not home and your pet is on its own. Maybe they could even pop over for a play or perhaps give your pet a treat if you plan to be gone for more than a little while.

4. Get a good lead.

Taking your pet for a walk to the shops but can’t take them inside with you? Invest in a good lead and harness that keeps them safe and secure to where they are tethered – and harder to snatch. Try and keep your absence brief – being left alone in an unfamiliar and exposed environment can be quite stressful for many pets and cause anxiety. If the shopkeeper is friendly, ask if you can bring your well-behaved pet inside – if that’s not an option, perhaps come back when you don’t have your pet in tow. Some of our pet insurance policies will cover you for theft or straying but it’s important to always check your Product Disclosure Statement for the full terms and conditions.

5. Get them out of the car!

This should go without saying, but as tempting as it can be to just ‘pop’ into the service station and leave the window open with your pet in the car? Just don’t do it. They won’t mind getting out for a mini walk adventure, even if it is only for 5 minutes! This goes for any other places you visit and park – bring your pet with you.

Once you’ve taken all the steps you need to keep your pet as safe as possible, taking out pet insurance can be a great way to really give you that peace of mind that if anything unexpected does happen, you’re covered.

* crimestatistics.vic.gov.au

** NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

How Petcover can help your pet

Petcover specialises in offering quality, straightforward pet insurance with a range of policy options that suit your needs. Whether your pet is big or small, furry or scaly our range of cover options are packed with added benefits. Accidents can happen at any time and the reality of veterinary costs can come a quite a shock. With our range of cover levels for dogs, cats, horses and exotic animals, why not get a quote today?

* When determining if the product is right for you, please review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) available on the product page.