Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs?

dog sensing danger

Many times we hear stories about dogs saving humans from danger. They do all their best to save the people whether they know them or not.

However, this is not the only ability that dogs have, they can also sense danger before it happens.

They have the ability to sense the danger before it happens through their strong sense of smell and hearing.

These senses can detect danger that is going to happen to people or natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms occurring.

History of dogs sense danger

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |

Dogs have lived in the past in the wild. They are descendants of wolves.

Because they lived in the wild in the past, they needed to learn to protect them.

Instinctively, they have the ability to sense danger before it happens.

So people in the past relied on dogs to know when danger is going to happen.

Throughout the years, dogs have proved their ability to detect danger.

Why do dogs sensing danger?

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |

Dogs have a strong ability to smell that is stronger than humans.

Their sense of smell is so high that they can smell many things strongly.

They also have a strong sense of hearing that can hear frequencies higher than humans.

Dogs can heart at frequencies up to 60 HZ while humans only hear at a 20 HZ.

This enables your dog to hear sounds that humans can’t hear like the sound of a storm forming.

Also, dogs may have UV vision enabling them to be able to see at night.

Signs that your dog is sensing danger

  • Being hyperactive
  • Shaking
  • Hiding at an unusual time
  • Persistent barking
  • Grabbing your attention
  • Responds negatively toward a person
  • Running away

Body language

  • Growling
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Jumping up
  • Guarding
  • Scratching

Dogs can sense bad people

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |

Dogs have the ability to know whether a person is a good or bad person.

There have been studies about dogs who held a grudge against people who are unkind to their owners.

In another study, dogs were reluctant to take treats from a person who refused to help their dog parent in opening the container.

They already sensed bad intentions from just a simple act which was not helping their dog parent.

The main theory behind this is that dogs use their keen sense of smell to sniff chemical changes in pheromones that people release when they have bad intentions.

When a person is aggressive, their brain chemistry changes and dogs can smell these changes.

They then react and warn their dog parent of the danger before they know.

Another theory is that dogs sense their dog parent emotions whether they are anxiety or uncertainty toward a person.

Then, they reflect these feelings in the situation

The third theory is that, like humans, dogs have instincts where they get a feeling in their gut that something isn’t okay.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t ignore these feelings when they feel them.

Dogs can sense storms

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |

Dogs can hear at lower and higher frequencies than people can.

They can even hear thunder before people can. If there is a storm, they can alert their dog parents of its coming.

Did you know that dogs have 20 times more receptors scent receptor cells than humans?

They will also respond to barometric pressure. Usually, your dog will react strangely by trying to gather them in an area and also seek shelter in a small confined space.

Dogs can sense earthquakes

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |

Dogs feel earthquake before they happen. There have been stories about dogs fleeing the city of Helice before there was an earthquake happened.

There have been stories of dogs showing signs of distress before seismic activity.

The reason for them sensing earthquakes is based on two theories.

The first is that dogs have a strong sense of hearing that they can hear rocks crumbling under the ground’s surface.

The second theory is that the dog’s paws can sense the seismic activity.

Dogs, when they are in an earthquake zone, will start to act strangely. They will become agitated and anxious. Some would flee from the area.

This change in behavior shouldn’t be ignored is your dog is warning you of imminent danger.

One famous example happened in Haicheng in China where an earthquake of 7.3 magnitude earthquake happened.

The dogs warned the people and they took into consideration the signs that the dogs showed so they immediately evacuated the area.

Dogs can sense illness

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |

Dogs can even sense illness such as cancer, narcolepsy, seizures, migraines, stress, fear and low blood pressure.


Dogs can detect cancer such as skin cancer, breast cancer, and bladder cancer.

There have been stories about obsessing about a dog parent mole or part of their body.

For example, a dog has been obsessing about a mole that a woman had. They kept ignoring other moles and only obsessed on a particular mole.

The dog also tried to bite the mole.

When the woman went to the doctor, she discovered that she had cancer and that her dog was trying to actually save her.


Narcolepsy is a dangerous disease where a person can’t control sleeping and waking cycles.

They can fall asleep in the middle of the task.

It’s a dangerous condition in which someone can have an attack while walking causing them to fall to the ground or get into a car accident.

Dogs have been known to recognize when an attack is occurring.

This mainly happens because there is a scent that a person with the attack has when an attack is going to happen; it is a biochemical change.

Trained and service dogs can detect the attack and act in order to save the person with the attack.

They can provide a warning to the person that the attack is going to happen.

Dogs can also stand over a person’s lap when an attack is coming making them less likely to fall.

They can also stand over the person if they are out in public or they can get help.


Dogs can also sense migraines in dogs and can warn them before it happens.

Dogs have the ability to sniff out signs of migraines which makes it easier to warn them.

Some dog parents reported that there were instances where their dog warned them of migraines an hour or two hours in advance.

This lets people who are going to have migraines know what to do before having it.

Low blood sugar

Dogs can also sense when a diabetic patient has spiking or low blood pressure.

However, they must be trained to be able to detect and alert their dog parents of changes in their blood sugar levels.

Based on a study, dogs were found to be able to detect isoprene which is a chemical that raises when there are low blood sugar levels.

They can easily alert their dog parents making them stay healthy.


Dogs can also detect seizures and alert a dog parent before they have a seizure.

However, dogs can’t be trained to detect seizures but they can be trained to know how to handle a person that has a seizure.

They lie on top of a person that has a seizure and ask for help.

Til this day, no one knows how do dogs know when a seizure is happening.

Heart attack

Dogs can also sense a heart attack before it happens.

Before the heart attack happens, there are subtle changes and alterations happening in the body and metabolism.

This releases a different smell or chemicals that the dog smells.

Also, there are physical changes that a person exhibits that a dog knows what is going to happen.

Death in family members

Some people say that dogs can know when a person is going to die.

They believe that it is due to bond and connectedness that a dog has with their family.

Signs that your dog can sense death in the family

There are certain signs that your dog is sensing the death of a family member.

Dogs can identify weakness in other animals by their body language.

They can sense the signs by observing other people.

Can Dogs Sense Danger Before It Occurs? |
  • Whining
  • Howling
  • Ear drops
  • Pacing
  • Staying close to dog parents
  • Acting very protective
  • Appearing sad
  • Licking or sniffing dog parents

How do dogs sense a person is going to die?

Dogs can sense a person is going to die because they have over 300 million olfactory senses in their noses compared to 6 million found in human noses.

Thus, they can sense a person is going to die through their odor.

This mainly happens because a sick or a person who is about to die has a different odor that dogs smell.

If they sense a person is going to die, they are more likely to comfort and take care of them.

How to react if your dog is sensing the death of a family member

  • If your dog is protective of a sick person, give them space and understanding
  • If your dog is whining, allow them to do so safely without injuring the sick person.
  • Let your dog comfort a sick person as long as they don’t injure the person.


In conclusion, dogs can sense danger. Through their senses which are smelling and hearing helping sense the danger.

To know more about, do dogs sense fear, check out Can Dogs Smell Fear in People and Animals?

Share your experience. Has your dog sensed danger and alert you to it before?


Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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