If your dog has a defensive or attacking reaction to your vacuum every time you turn it on, you must be scratching your head. Is my dog scared of vacuums? Why are dogs scared of vacuum cleaners? Well, the more likely answer is that the dog is indeed scared of the vacuum cleaner.
However, there’s still a small chance that the dog is not afraid of the vacuum, but simply reacting naturally. Today, we answer this question in detail. Also, we will propose a few things that you can do to make the situation better.
Why the dog may not actually be scared
Often, you’ll a dog nipping or running after other moving objects – cars, mowers, brooms, and bicycles. This is natural behavior stemming from the fact that some dogs were traditionally used for herding other domestic animals.
So, this may simply be a manifestation of the dog’s genetic composition. In fact, once you finish vacuuming, the dog will think that it’s thanks to its lunging, barking, running after, or nipping at the vacuum cleaner.
Also, the dog may think that you want to engage in a game with this new toy. Therefore, instead of concluding that the dog is afraid of the vacuum, try to find out if it is reacting naturally or if it just wants to play.
Why are dogs scared of vacuum cleaners?
More often than not, the reaction of your dog, once you remove the vacuum from storage and turn it on, is fear. But what makes most dogs afraid of vacuums?
Let’s find out why dogs hate vacuum cleaners…
1. Natural fear
Fear is a natural trait that is passed down from generation to generation. For the survival of numerous species including dogs, fear helps to avoid harm. Being overly courageous against a stronger and more dangerous animal can result in injury or even death.
Having been living in the wild before domestication, dogs still carry this trait and may exhibit fear when you turn on the vacuum cleaner. However, some dog breeds express fear more than others. So, you may want to keep your dog away if it’s too afraid of the vacuum.
2. Lack of early exposure
Just like your child, dogs need to be exposed to home appliances at a tender age. This will help to learn that these appliances are part of life. They’ll also get used to the various types of noises produced by vacuums, blenders, teapots, hairdryers, and so on.
So, if your dog seems afraid of vacuum cleaners, chances are that they were not exposed at a young age. Experienced dog breeders are aware of this fact and take the necessary measures. However, it’s always good to double-check with them.
It goes without saying that if you got your dog at a questionable source or shelter, you may want to train the dog yourself. That is, if. It’s still young (about 4 weeks old).
3. The vacuum is too noisy
The dog may not necessarily be afraid of the vacuum, but the noise could be hurting its ears. So, always try to get a low-noise vacuum cleaner. Also, if the vacuum starts producing high-pitched noise, get it checked by a professional as soon as possible.
There are a few vacuums for Labrador hair that you can consider. They work well with all forms of pet hair and are pet-friendly.
4. The vacuum looks intimidating
Lastly, your dog can be scared of how the vacuum cleaner looks, especially if you have just replaced the old one. With time, however, this fear should die down if the dog has previously been exposed to vacuum noise.
Also, if you have a robot vacuum, the dog may get scared of this ‘noisy thing’ that keeps moving around from one corner to the other. Again, early exposure is critical to ensuring that the dog doesn’t run away, look away, or ‘attack’ the vacuum.
What to do if your dog is scared of vacuums
Vacuuming with a scared dog can make the task 100 times more difficult. Besides, you may spend a lot of time on the floor instead of attending to other household chores. While it’s not easy to change this situation, there are a few things you can do to vacuum in peace.
a) Early exposure
As mentioned above, dogs that experience vacuum cleaners at an advanced age tend to be more scared. So, the earlier you let the dog learn about vacuums, hairdryers, blenders, coffee makers, and other noisy home appliances, the better.
To avoid this scenario, always adopt dogs from reputable breeders and shelters. Also, while the dog is still young, regularly turn on such appliances so that it becomes a norm for them.
b) Avoid noisy vacuums
Most vacuums are loud. However, there are a few gems that a relatively quiet. You can compare the noise rating (in decibels) among a few options and select the one with the lowest noise level. Also, any damage that results in high-pitched noise should be corrected before the next vacuuming task.
c) Keep the dog away while vacuuming
This is the simplest thing to do if all other attempts fail or your dog was not exposed to vacuum cleaners early enough. When you’re about to vacuum, leave the dog on the porch, yard, or inside the kennel. Bring it back when you finish.
Also, you can put the dog in one room as you vacuum the other. Repeat this process until you finish vacuuming the whole house. This way, you’ll get to finish the job quickly while ensuring that the dog isn’t stressed out.
d) Use a pet pheromone diffuser
Dog calming pheromones are known to work for general stress, separation anxiety, and noise phobias. However, before you buy such products off the shelf, you must consult your vet – the dog could have underlying medical conditions.
Most dogs are scared of vacuum cleaners because of how they look and the noise they produce. Lack of early exposure is the leading cause of this fear. However, you can do a few things to ensure that you clean your house peacefully.
The easier option is to keep the dog away as you vacuum. However, you can avoid this situation entirely by adopting a dog that has already been exposed to household appliances. This brilliant YouTube video by Dog Discoveries sheds some more light on why dogs hate vacuum cleaners: