However, what seems like a bit of fun could have potentially serious consequences for your pet according to a dog lover who claims to be a former police officer.

Posting in a Merseyside community Facebook page, the former officer warned providing a photo and information about your dog could make it much easier for thieves to target their next victim.

The post reads: "As a former Police Officer of 20 years, it's concerning to see a new hashtag on social media #MeetMyDog challenge whereby you post a photo of your dog and provide lots of information about them.

 "Although this may seem like a bit of fun, it would not take a would-be dog thief long to work out where you live.

"Given the alarming increase in dog thefts, please be careful what you are posting on social media about your wonderful dogs. #KeepYourDogsSafe".

A quick search on Instagram and Facebook using the #MeetMyDog hashtag brings up many recent instances of people posting photographs and details of their pets.

 

 

Dognapping has seen a whopping increase across the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pet thefts have spiked and the price of puppies soared during lockdown, according to recent research by non-profit organisation, DogLost UK.

The research revealed the dramatic rise, with reports of stolen dogs 65% higher in some areas of the UK compared to previous years.

It’s believed some pedigree dogs are being specifically targeted due to this increase in demand and price.

The RSPCA recommends getting your dog microchipped as the best way to be reunited with your dog if it becomes lost or stolen.

The charity's website states: "It's now a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped, but the key thing as well is that you must also keep your contact details up to date on the database, so if you move home or change phone number."

Further advice on keeping your pet safe from thieves can be found on the RSPCA website.