Whether it’s an earthquake, drugs in someone’s bag, or an otherworldly spirit, chances are Fluffy and Fido know what’s up before you do. The creepy things pets are able to sense might freak you out. However, if you think about it, it’s actually pretty boss to have your own four-legged alert system. A lot of people think that while dogs can sense weather events and sniff out things like drugs and bombs, their abilities don’t extend to the paranormal. But if it’s ever happened to you, then you know it’s real.
Personally, my beagle BiBi twice alerted me to an apparition hovering in my doorway when I lived in historic, and famously haunted, apartment in Los Angeles. I would not have thought her a ghost hunter unless I had seen the spirit with my own eyes after she woke me up in the middle of the night by furiously barking at it. “Dogs can absolutely see spirits,” Karen Anderson, a professional animal communicator, psychic and medium, tells the pet website Chewy.
“It can be a human, another animal, sometimes non-human, like angelic energies that are around. But, just like humans, some pets are very tuned in and more sensitive, and others don’t have a clue. Every animal is different.” Because animals have heightened senses of smell, sight, touch, and sound, it’s not too difficult to believe they can suss out what’s going on in the spirit world. What else do experts claim pets can sense that humans can’t? Some of it is pretty creepy.
Perhaps you’ve seen Fluffy swatting at thin air or watched Fido barking at a blank spot on the wall. Is there anything actually there, or has your pet gone bananas? Belle Marie Nibblett, DVM, a board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist, told Chewy that pets do indeed have the ability to sense, see, smell, and hear things humans can’t. Whether or not it’s ghosts really depends on what you believe.
Some people think dogs and cats can smell fear. While this isn’t necessarily true, some animals do have the ability to interpret body language and smell pheromones, which can alert them to when a human is afraid, according to Animal Planet. It’s basically a puzzle. An animal can take all of the signals a human is giving off and put them together to determine if the human in question is fearful, happy, sad, etc.
It’s true that there are some people who think their pets are nothing more that stuffed animals that walk, eat, and poop. However, others trust their pets’ instincts above all else and won’t even entertain the idea of dating someone their pet doesn’t approve of. But can your pet really sense whether or not someone is trustworthy? According to a study in the journal Animal Cognition, dogs might actually possess this superpower. The study found that once a dog deems the cues and actions of a particular person unreliable, they cease to regard that person as trustworthy.
When they’re chasing a string or batting at a bottle cap, cats might not seem all that bright. However, cats have been known to sense when someone is going to die, which is kind of creepy. Before you freak out, your cat is not a psychic medium. Cats’ ability to sense death actually has to do with their heightened sense of smell.
A story in the New England Journal of Medicine detailed how a cat named Oscar accurately “predicted” when patients in a nursing home were going to die by going to sit by them just hours before they passed away. While in old-timey days Oscar likely would have been labeled a witch and burned at the stake, modern medicine determined that it’s actually the chemicals the human body releases when it’s dying that allow cats to sense and smell impending death.
After a natural disaster, people often report that their pet was acting weird moments before an earthquake or a tornado. Can animals really sense disaster? While the website Science ABC reported that there is no scientific evidence to indicate that animals can predict disasters, the fact they see, sense, smell, and hear things that humans don’t means your pet might be aware of what’s happening before you are.
In general, pets don’t get the credit they deserve for their superpowers. If your dog or cat begins acting out of character, and there is nothing medically amiss, it’s worth entertaining the idea the Fluffy and Fido might be hearing, seeing, smelling, and sensing things you can’t. Reward their amazing abilities with a treat,