Why are Dogs Scared of Vacuums?

Posted: 05 Sep 2022 Human Reading Time: 2 Minutes
Dog Reading Time: 14 Minutes
Why are Dogs Scared of Vacuums?

Vacuuming is a necessity for every dog owner. However, you might have realised that anytime you pull out the vacuum cleaner, your best friend kicks up a storm and may even dash out of the room.

Of course, as a human, you know there is nothing to be afraid of. On the contrary, most dogs are actually afraid of vacuums. This might leave you wondering why this is the case.

Well, stick around to know why and what you can do, at least to manage your canine's reaction to the vacuums!

3 Reasons Why Dogs Are Scared of Vacuums

Vacuums are Loud

The loud sound is the first and most obvious reason why dogs bark at the sight of a vacuum. If you think your vacuum cleaner is loud, how do you think the dog is feeling?

Technically, our pups have a stronger sense of hearing than us. They can detect the sharpest sound humans cannot hear with the ability to perceive sounds as high as 47000 to 65000 Hz. Vacuums discharge many high-frequency sounds, which can be too much for the dog to handle

They Have a Foul Odour

Another reason why dogs are scared of vacuums is due to the strange odour they emit. Dogs' sense of smell is pretty powerful, so they can easily detect this.

You might not realise that your vacuum produces many unusual smells, but your dog will. They can sense the dust and any other particles that the vacuum can pick up. When they do, they exhibit uneasiness showing their discomfort.

Vacuums are Frightening

Dogs perceive vacuum cleaners as simply large moving objects intruding on their premises. Some dogs might see the vacuum as trying to herd them, so they will run away from it. Others bark when they see it since they might have had a negative experience with it in the past.

If you are using self-propelled cleaners, they unexpectedly tend to move while making noise which frightens the dogs. Some dogs will respond by hiding away anytime they see the vacuum, and others will bark at it. Your dog might also try to fight the vacuum cleaner out of fear.

3 Ways to Stop Dogs from Being Scared of Vacuums

You shouldn't punish your dog when it reacts negatively toward the vacuum. Instead, do this:

Allow the Dog to Interact With the Vacuum

Bring the vacuum to the dog but do not use it. Leave it with the dog and allow it to explore or familiarise itself with the cleaner. Do not force the dog to get close to the vacuum. With time, it will know that there is nothing to be scared about.

Introduce Subtle Vacuum Movement

Give your dog some treats as you move the vacuum around. Make sure the vacuum is quiet, move the vacuum closer to the dog and act like you are vacuuming. Your dog will soon exhibit relaxed body language and stop taking the treats as you vacuum meaning that it's getting used to the process.

Desensitise the Dog from the Noise

Noise mostly scares away the dogs, so you should help your canine cope with it. You can try turning on the vacuum from a different room before bringing it to where the dog is.

Give the dog a treat when you bring the noisy vacuum closer. Do this severally, and with time, it will get used to it, giving you the go-ahead to increase the vacuum volume.

Alternatively, get a quieter vacuum!


It's likely to take a while before your dog gets used to the vacuum and stops being scared of it. You can, however, always engage your pet with activity as you do the cleaning; it will cope with time.

Get control of your canine during this intense training using a slip lead. It makes your work easier! Reach out to Bully Billows for the lead, collar and more dog accessories.

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