Earthquake Safety for Pets

Living in an area like Southern California means you should know what to do before, during and after an earthquake. You also need to be prepared to care for your pet. Here is our guide on earthquake safety for pets!

What to Do Before an Earthquake

First make sure you’ve taken all the precautions necessary to prevent your pet getting lost. At the very least, these actions will also help you reunite with your pet if the two of you are separated.

Microchip your pet. We do it for $10 on Microchip Mondays in Culver City and Lakewood! Microchips work even if your pet slips out of the collar and gets lost. Then, when a pet professional scans them, they can look up your contact info. Just make sure that your microchip is registered. A microchip only works if it’s tied to a registry account. You can register for free at It’s free to register, use and update for the life of your pet!

Then make sure your pet is outfitted with a collar and ID tag. You don’t even need a scanner to see that an animal with a collar is someone’s pet and not a stray. Engrave the tag with your pet’s name and your phone number so you can be quickly contacted. As for the collar, you should only be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck.

Also vaccinate your pet. Animals are exposed to illness and dirty water during an evacuation, so it’s good to be prepared for those conditions. Come to one of our low-cost vaccine clinics in Culver City. You don’t even need an appointment!

Put your pet through obedience training and socialization. Cats and dogs cope better during an emergency if they already know how to properly behave around other people and animals. Knowing to stay close to you will also help prevent them from getting lost.

Form a disaster plan. This step will help minimize panic in the event of an earthquake. Figure out a meeting place for your family in case you need to evacuate your home and you can’t get in touch with one another. Make sure you also know a place where your pet can go. Try a pet-friendly hotel for the two of you or find a kennel near a hotel if you can’t bring your pet with you.

Pack a “go bag.” Keep these items in a location where you can quickly and easily retrieve it during an emergency.

  1. Pet first aid kit (you can buy a preassembled one if you wish)
  2. First aid manual for pets
  3. Collar, leash and ID tags
  4. Favorite toys
  5. Food and water bowls
  6. Crate
  7. 1-week supply of food and water
  8. 1-week supply of pet’s medications
  9. List of pet-friendly hotels, shelters, kennels and emergency vet clinics
  10. Puppy pads, poop bags or litter box and litter
  11. Manual can opener
  12. Pet’s medical records in a sealed waterproof container (like a ziploc bag)

What to Do During an Earthquake

If you are walking your pet outside when an earthquake happens, drop to the ground before the shaking knocks you over. Try to crawl to an open area, free of trees, power lines and buildings. Attempt to hold onto your pet’s leash. However, if this puts your safety at risk, let go. This might be heart-wrenching, but if you’re injured, you ultimately can’t protect your cat or dog. You can still retrieve your animal once it’s safe and the shaking has ended. Next, cover your head and neck with your arms and hold onto something to stabilize yourself.

If your pet is in a hard crate or carrier, leave them inside it. The structure provides them a greater level of safety and will help protect them from falling objects. If the crate or carrier can be easily moved, carry or drag it with you to safety.

If you are at home during the earthquake, let your animal find safety on their own. Cats likely won’t tolerate being held during the shaking anyway. If your pet doesn’t mind being held, drop to the ground with them, crawl under a desk or table and cover your head and neck. Grab a table leg as best you can. Again, if your pet struggles to get away, let them go.

What to Do After an Earthquake

Follow your disaster plan. If your home is not safe, calmly grab your go pack and make your way to your agreed-upon meeting place.

Thanks for reading and we hope you found this article helpful!