From Iceland — Animal Earthquake Anxiety: How To Reduce Doggy Distress

Animal Earthquake Anxiety: How To Reduce Doggy Distress

Published March 4, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
John Pearson

An Icelandic expert in animal behaviour yesterday urged dog owners to be aware of the anxiety that their pets might feel during earthquakes.

Hanna Arnórsdóttir, a vet at the Animal Hospital in Garðabær, said that dogs are more sensitive to seismic activity than humans, but of course they don’t understand why their world is shaking. They might react with insomnia, barking or simply look to their humans to intervene.

“Many dogs go to their owners and beg them to stop,” Hanna told RÚV. They may also try to flee or hide, but it’s important to try to avoid making them feel trapped, she added.

Although some dog owners might resort to giving their pets anti-anxiety drugs to calm their fears—especially those which have previously exhibited anxiety around fireworks— the best medicine is for owners simply to show their canine pals warmth and support.

“When the earthquakes started here, some people went for a little car ride with their dog because you cannot feel the earthquake in the car. In most cases, that is enough to show them support,” Hannah said.

The Grapevine’s own newshound Pollý has not been too impressed with the recent seismic shenanigans, and has taken to climbing uninvited onto the laps of humans around the office. It’s not easy to type with 20kg of pooch in your lap and, despite being part-dachshund, she’s bigger than she thinks. But we take our duty of care to our employees very seriously…

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!