How To Help Your Dog In Case Of Earthquake
Living through an earthquake is a traumatic experience for our dogs and for us. A million thoughts and feelings are running through our minds, and often, we forget that our dogs got scared. Not being able to help or calm our beloved pet is another feeling we don’t need after a catastrophic event like an earthquake, so here are some helpful tips that will let you know how to help your dog in the aftermath.
But first, we need to understand where their fear comes from.
Why are dogs scared of earthquakes?
All animals are scared of earthquakes, and it seems as they are more sensitive to them than we are. It can even seem that dogs can sense earthquakes before they happen. That might just be true, but it is not some 6th sense in play.
Dogs have better hearing than we do, and some scientists think dogs can hear seismic activity that precedes earthquakes. Because of that, dogs react before the actual quake and shaking begin.
When dogs get scared, their fight-or-flight sense turns up, and they get a huge adrenalin rush. They are not able to assess the situation and stick with their owners for safety. It is entirely natural, and their primal, survival instinct makes them run away. Even after the shock, dogs can stay scared for a while, and just like humans, they can suffer from PTSD.
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How to calm your dog?
Nobody loves the feeling of the ground shaking beneath their feet. Our dogs might be brave when it comes to protecting you, but they are just as scared as we are when it comes to earthquakes. The first thing you need to do is notice signs your dog has severe trauma. Some of the tell-tell signs are:
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
Those are clear signs of distress, and in worst cases, extreme stress can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and urinating in places where the dog never usually urinates.
After you noticed these signs, you will have to comfort and calm your dog down, so they don’t get into even worse shape. Here are some of the best things you can do for your dog if they are scared of earthquakes;
Create a safe space
Creating a safe space is a great idea for dogs suffering from severe trauma. Make a safe “den” for your dog. Wither in their house, crate, or just a large cardboard box. Fill it with blankets and place one of your clothing items so your dog can smell their owner. Make sure the safe space is in the house and close to you.
Food and water
Dogs under severe stress won’t want to get out of their “safe” zone. Make sure they have access to fresh water and food, and if possible, place them in the same room where the dog will spend most of their time.
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Earthquakes are mostly accompanied by loud noises, and your dog might be scared of unexpected, loud noises. You can play music or TV louder so that other noises are somewhat canceled. Even an unannounced truck passing by can trigger your dog, so tread lightly with your frightened furry best friend.
Toys will be an excellent tool for calming a scared dog. Most dogs have their favorite toys or objects they love playing with. Some dogs love their collars, harnesses, or even leashes. You can use them to distract your dog and make them forget about their traumatic earthquake experience.
Escape-proof your home
Scared dogs don’t think things through. Their fear could easily make them want to run away. You should make sure that there is no possible way your traumatized dog can leave your home if something unexpected spooked them. Keep the doors and windows closed, and keep their collar with your contact info always with them.
Call a vet
Some dogs might not respond well even to all of these things, and the only solution might be medication. There are plenty of dog-safe anxiety medications that can help your dog. If you cannot get a prescription from your vet, even something like Rescue Remedy might do the trick.
Mind your body language
We know that saying something like this might be easier said than done after an event of an earthquake, but your dog will follow your lead. Dogs feed on their owner’s energy, and they react to it. If you are calm, it is only a matter of time until your dog relaxes too. Control your feelings, and it is quite likely your dog will follow your lead.
World Dog Finder team