Why are dogs scared of vacuums?

why are dogs scared of vacuums

When you start vacuuming, one thing is certain: you are not going to make friends with a dog. In many cases, a dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner. He may hide, react aggressively or bark.

I have studied why a dog is so easily afraid of the vacuum cleaner. And more importantly: what you can do about it and how you can possibly prevent it.

Symptoms of a Dog Afraid of the Vacuum Cleaner

First, let's take a look at the symptoms of a scared dog while vacuuming:

  • The dog will bark
  • Your dog is hiding
  • Peeing or pooping in the room*
  • The dog makes trembling movements
  • Ears flat, tail between legs
  • Frequent lip licking or yawning

* Do you have a dog that sometimes poops in the room and does this stop you from choosing a robot vacuum cleaner? Good news: recently some robot vacuums can recognize and dodge dog poop.

Reasons why your dog is afraid

There are several reasons why dogs may be afraid of vacuum cleaners. For example, it is not only the loud noise of a vacuum cleaner that causes fear in a dog: the smell of a vacuum cleaner can also have a major influence on your dog's behavior.

Let's list all the reasons.

  • The smell of a vacuum cleaner: in many cases a vacuum cleaner can give off a nasty smell. A dog – who also finds this smell unpleasant – may react badly to this.
  • The sound of a vacuum cleaner: did you know that a dog experiences sounds three times as loud as humans? Even we as humans sometimes think a vacuum cleaner sounds loud, you can check how loud this sounds for a dog.
  • The movement of the vacuum cleaner: you move a vacuum cleaner back and forth. A dog can become afraid of these fast movements.

Negative experiences can also play a role in this. It is strongly not recommended to force a dog to get used to a vacuum cleaner. There are much better ways to make a dog less afraid of the vacuum cleaner.

Actions you can take

We all need to vacuum; leaving the vacuum cleaner in the corner forever is therefore not a solution for a scared dog. What can you do? I give some interesting tips!

  • Choose a silent vacuum cleaner: I speak of a quiet vacuum cleaner below 60 decibels.
  • Walk the dog while someone else vacuums: are you alone? Then consider a robot vacuum that you can turn on when you are away from home with your dog.
  • Put the dog in another room for a while: it can also be smart to temporarily move your dog to another room. Bring him something he trusts.
  • Let the dog sniff the vacuum cleaner and reassure him: if a dog wants to sniff a vacuum cleaner, allow it. Speak to him kindly and spoil him afterwards.

I hope my tips make your dog less scared! Do you have additional tips or positive experiences of your own? Let us know below in the comments!

Speaking of dogs and vacuuming, did you know I've done extensive research on the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair? This makes removing dog hair super easy!

Robbert Tigchelaar
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar has made testing vacuum cleaners his life's work. He has dedicated himself to conducting fully independent and valuable tests of vacuum cleaners to provide consumers with honest advice. His expertise in vacuum cleaners has been highlighted in The Washington Post and the Daily Express.

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