Why Are Dogs Afraid of Vacuums? – All About It In Depth.

It is not uncommon to see pets afraid of some household objects. Dogs, in particular, have been known to be scared of household vacuums and other power-driven equipment.

And that’s why we liked to answer a major question from so many readers that why are dogs afraid of vacuums.

Although not all dogs are scared of vacuum cleaners, most dogs have one reason or the other that has made them unfriendly with household cleaning robots.

Cleaning with a vacuum becomes challenging if you have an anxious dog that is scared of the machine.

Unfortunately for dogs, most dog owners often purchase vacuum cleaners for cleaning their rugs and carpets. In fact, some of the vacuum cleaners in the market are specifically designed to clean fallen pet hairs like those of dogs from carpets and rugs. The use of these vacuums makes them a must-have in the homes of dog owners.

Yeah, this is something we here at PetHairGuard, like to explain to our fellow pet owner friends.

Reasons Why are Dogs Afraid of Vacuums

reasons for why dogs are afraid of vacuums - with precautions & prevention measures

You may not understand what your dog is passing through whenever you wheel out that strange robot from its hiding place. It is important you understand the reactions of your dog and why it is so scared of an innocuous machine whenever you carry out a cleaning session. Want to know why your dog is scared of vacuums, see the reasons below.

  • Strange structure of the vacuum:

    To your dog, the vacuum is such a strange object. It is entirely different from a human and an animal. The height of the vacuum, the hose, and design make things worse for your dog. The vacuum often appears suddenly from a hiding place to disturb the peace of the house with a loud noise. After a destructive action on the floor coupled with an irregular motion, the vacuum soon becomes silent and goes into hiding again. The strange activity of the vacuum can be scary to your dog.

    Most dogs that are not well socialized are often victims of a threat as provoked by the cleaning action of vacuums. Dog owners that get their dogs from a backyard breeder or from a pet store would most like experience a vacuum fearing dog. The fear may be due to the fact that such dogs have not been well exposed to loud sounds or strange objects when they were at the puppy stage.

    Yeah, strangely but this could be one of the reasons why are dogs afraid of vacuums.

  • Bad experience:

    If your dog is always afraid whenever your vacuum cleaner starts working, there is a likely hood that your dog might have had a bad experience with a vacuum before. This may be in the form of a threat using the vacuum by the previous owner. This is possible if you bought or adopted your dog.

  • Noise:

    Vacuuming is often accompanied by a varying degree of noise. The degree of noise made is dependent on the type of vacuum cleaner used. If you hear discomforting noise when you vacuum, it is simple to understand that such noise will be disturbing and may cause fear for your dog.

    The reason is that dogs are unique pets with a sensitive visual and auditory organ. The noise from your strange looking vacuum cleaner may seem a sign of danger to your dog, which can evoke fear.

  • Smell:

    The cleaning action of vacuums often arouses smell in the room. The smell may be foul and irritating to your dog. The high suction ability of vacuums makes them sniff dirt from the floor. By so doing, an unpleasant smell may evoke, which may induce fear in dogs. Since dogs also sniff things on the floor, they may become afraid of the aggressive sniffing of vacuums which is different from theirs.

  • Strange motion:

    The motion of a vacuum cleaner does not follow a regular pattern. A vacuum combs the nooks and crannies of the room for dirt until there is a clean floor. Some vacuums need humans to operate them by pushing them along the floor and under furniture. The random movement of vacuums and their operators in harmony may induce fear in dogs. Dogs may become afraid when they feel their owners are threatened or vulnerable by this act.

  • Vibration of vacuums:

    There are vacuums that have a high suction ability. These vacuums often vibrate when used in cleaning the floor. The rotating power motor causes much of the vibration. The vibration alone may scare your dog and takes away its peace for the whole vacuuming period.

  • Food crumbs battle:

    A dog may see a vacuum as an indomitable rival that eats up all food particles left on the ground. Dogs may start entertaining fear of being eaten by the vacuum one day if they go near it.

  • Instinct/Gene: 

    Some dogs, most times interpret any strange object as harmful. It may be part of their hereditary attribute gotten from at least one of their parents. It may seem difficult to let your dog see that a vacuum cleaner cannot kill nor cause harm if it naturally has a phobia for it. Signs that shows your dog is afraid of vacuums

The Following Signs Show That Your Dog is Scared of Vacuum Cleaner

  • Drooling when it sees you vacuuming.
  • Urinating at the sight of your vacuum.
  • Going into hiding when your vacuum comes on.
  • Frequent barking.
  • Pacing.
  • Brawling.

How to Handle the Fear of Your Dog for Vacuums

There are three general methods to solve the issue of fear of your dogs for vacuums. They are: ignoring, accommodating, and exposure. These methods can be used differently to achieve different results.

  • Ignore: This method is employed when your dog shows a little degree of fear for your vacuum. You may choose to ignore the situation and still use your vacuum cleaner when your dog is in the room. The dog may soon get used to the operation of the vacuum with time.
  • Accommodate: Accommodating your dog means you accept its fear and then ensures it is not overwhelmed by your vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming is done when the dog is out for a walk or when the dog in another room.
  • Exposure: The bulk of the task in this method is desensitization. Desensitization is the gradual exposure of your dog to its fears. This can be done in increments until your dog is fully convinced of the harmless nature of your vacuum cleaner.

Some Desensitization Tips to Allay the Fear of Vacuums of Your Dog

  • Keep your vacuum in an open space when not in use for your dog to see.
  • Adjust vacuum height or make it close to the floor as much as possible when it is not on.
  • Let your dog investigate the machine in the lying position.
  • Place things familiar to the dog near the vacuum cleaner.
  • Place a treat near the robot when off for your pet to pick up.
  • Gradually start exposing your dog to the machine when on.


The above tips are useful to help your pet acclimatize with the use of your vacuum cleaner in the home. Besides, you could seek the help of a veterinary doctor to solve the problem of fear of vacuums in your dog. Medical attention and therapy have proven to help fearful dogs. Understanding the reasons why dogs are afraid of vacuums will give useful insight into how to assist your dogs to ease their fears for vacuums.

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