Earthquakes Are Frightening For Dogs, Cats, Other Companion Animals – How To Help Them Cope, Soothe Their Fears

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If you were scared yesterday during the earthquake, your companion animals were likely more fearful than you. Since there will likely be more aftershocks, it’s helpful to know how to help and keep your pet safe. 

From Sara at PETA: Like humans, animals feel panic and fear during earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes and run equal risks of injury and death.

From the USGS website titledCan animals predict earthquakes?

“The earliest reference we have to unusual animal behavior prior to a significant earthquake is from Greece in 373 BC. Rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes reportedly left their homes and headed for safety several days before a destructive earthquake. Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects exhibiting strange behavior anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake. However, consistent and reliable behavior prior to seismic events, and a mechanism explaining how it could work, still eludes us. Most, but not all, scientists pursuing this mystery are in China or Japan.

“An earthquake forecast was made in China several decades ago, based on small earthquakes and unusual animal activity. Many people chose to sleep outside of their homes and thus were spared when the main earthquake indeed occurred and caused widespread destruction.  However, usually no large earthquake follows this type of seismic activity, and unfortunately, many earthquakes are preceded by no precursory events whatsoever. The next large Chinese event was unheralded and many thousands of Chinese died”

From an article at Wag!:


“Reassure Your Pet

“An earthquake can be scary, and if there’s a lot of damage, it can actually alter the landscape and smells that your pet is used to.

“Your pet will likely be highly anxious and stressed, but your calm and loving presence can help them cope. Keep an eye on their behavior, as they may become defensive or aggressive.

“Be sure to give them lots of love and pets, attend to any medical needs, and use familiar scented toys or bedding, or pheromone products to help them calm down.”

So if your fur babies seem extra stressed since yesterday, you can help by providing extra cuddles (but not too tightly), talking soothingly to them, and providing them with familiarity. Every animal expresses and needs affection in a different way, and you know what your companion animals, whether dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, snakes, or other,  need the most.

Banner Image: Rescued dog. Image Credit – 5033181


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