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Have you ever been in an earthquake? Do you live in an area prone for earthquakes?
Are you prepared to protect your dog if an earthquake happened today? Tomorrow?
Earthquakes are unexpected and strike without warning. Unlike hurricane’s and sometimes tornadoes, you have no notice with an earthquake. strikes.
Because no one knows when that “Big One” will happen, you can be prepared. If you live in an earthquake prone area, at some point you’ll experience the earth shaking below your feet.
1. How Dogs React Before an Earthquake and How to Protect them
During times of natural disasters pets are always scared, nervous and jittery. Some may even slobber and drool excessively.
I do believe that dogs can sense earthquakes. Maybe only a few minutes before it strikes, but most animals will have a sense of anxiety. Some will bark, whine or even try to get out. It’s perfectly normal for them to act a bit abnormal right before an earthquake.
Having the appropriate items on hand will help with their stress. Thunder shirts to help them feel comfortable. Booties to avoid stepping on glass. Plenty of Food and Water.
2. My Dog Sensed an Earthquake. True Story.
I was home with my Black Labrador Retriever. She was the an older dog, normally very calm and easy going.
I was sitting sorting laundry when she started running in circles and pawing the carpet in the living room. She started whining at the same time the earthquake hit the Seattle area.
In Seattle we get earthquakes, most we don’t even notice. It’s nothing like Los Angeles or other places. However, this day it was a fairly large one, it shook the house, the streets looked like a roller coaster and books started falling off the bookshelf.
I ran to the kitchen table and my dog followed right behind me, shaking.
Did she predict an earthquake coming? I believe she did. What tipped me off was her abnormal behavior.
Check out this video of a Sophie, a Yellow Labrador retriever minutes before an earthquake. ( Yes! Sophie gets out safely!) This was pretty much my dogs reaction.
3. Can Dogs Sense or Predict Earthquakes?
People have long reported that their pets began behaving strangely right before an earthquake.
There have been several studies performed investigated a pets ability to predict earthquakes. The belief is that they’re hearing is more heightened than the average human being. They can hear the rumblings in the earth a few minutes before we feel the earthquake shaking.
After the big earthquake in Japan, a 9 magnitude earthquake a study was performed investing pet owners accounts of their pets acting abnormally right before the earthquake.
Out of 1259 Dog owners 236 of them reported their dogs acting strangely. 115 cat owners out of 703 reported the same strange behavior minutes before the big one hit.
The study concluded that pets can predict earthquakes. They all displayed behavior changes seconds to minutes before the earthquake.
This is called Seismic Escape Response. It’s believed to be linked to a dog’s ability to hear high-frequency sounds such as rocks moving and breaking below the earth’s surface. It works similar to a dogs whistle. We can’t hear the high-frequency sound, but the dogs can hear it when blown.
However you should never rely upon your pets predicting earthquakes for you.
4. Three Things to Do to Prepare for an Earthquake with Pets
- First and foremost the best thing you can do for your pets is to make sure they can easily be identified.
- Place an emergency dog sticker at the front door and window notifying emergency personal there are pets inside.
- Have a “Go Bag” packed for your dog along with your items.
- Gather a First Aid Kit for your Pets.
5. Gather a First Aid Kit for Dogs and Cats
Earthquakes and emergencies can happen at any time. When they do you want to be prepared with a dog first aid kit just as you would for yourself.
Always keep your kit well stocked and contained in a box or bag. I have a backpack as a “go bag.” Inside my go-bag I have my items, plus my emergency kit for my dogs. This way I’m always prepared.
If making a kit seems daunting. You can buy a complete Pet’s First Aid Kit and simply add important items like leashes, collars and important papers.
6. Tips for Pet’s Earthquake Preparedness
First Aid Kit Supplies for your Pets
- Extra collar and leashes
- Familiar Toys
- Collapsible food and water bowls
- 1 Week of non-perishable food
- 1 Week supply of water
- 1 Week supply of your pets medications if needed
- Styptic Powder
- Vet Wrap
- Pet Specific Healing ointment – For minor cuts and scrapes.
- Adhesive Tape
- Antibacterial ointments
- Blunt scissors
- Diarrhea medication for pets
- Digital rectal thermometer
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Medicine dropper
- Plastic storage container
- Self adhesive bandaids
- Litter box for cats as well as litter
- Manual can opener
- Copy of veterinary records in a waterproof bag.
- Doctor’s letter if an emotional support pet.
7. Three Things to Protect Yourself and Your Dog During an Earthquake
Always have your pets wear a collar and name tag, even when inside the home if you live in an earthquake prone area.
All earthquakes cause sudden and rapid shaking from the shifting rock under ground. Earthquakes cause buildings to fall and can result in building to collapse and trees to fall.
Earthquakes can happen anywhere and without warning. They can even cause fires, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches and often damage roadways.
8. Stay Safe with Your Pet During an Earthquake
Drop and Crawl: Immediately drop in place and crawl to table, desk or anything sturdy to hide under. If your pet is within reach and is calm, place him/her underneath you and cradle your pet. If your pet is with you wait until the shaking subsides. Don’t try to grab them if they aren’t within reach.
Never try to hold on near a window or a doorway.
Dogs and Cats have an amazing ability to instinctively protect themselves and find a hiding spot. Sometimes a frightened pet may try to scratch or bite you. Don’t hold onto them if they are trying to get away. They will run off and find a safe space to hide.
Cover and Hold: Cover your head and neck to protect yourself from falling debris. If your pet is with you, keeping them covered in the crook of your body will protect them as well. Hold on to a table leg or whatever you’ve crawled under to help stabilize yourself and your pet from the shaking.
As soon as the shaking stops your pets going to want to get away. If you can safely hold him or her from stepping on glass or broken items, that’s great. If they are trying to escape let them so that you don’t get bit or scratched.
Remember that aftershocks can be as significant as the earthquake itself. Keep your pets on a leash or if crated, leave them in a crate.
Never leave your pets in case of evacuation. Take them with you.
If you have to leave them, do not leave them in crates, chained up or with no way to escape.
My dog is just as important as my kids. I’d never leave them. Please take them with you.