Why Are Dogs Scared of Vacuums?

Since the unpredictability of a running vacuum may trigger herding instincts, it gets intimidating and terrifying for the dogs to put up with the loud noise and random movements of a robotic machine. You may find this odd, but since dogs can hear high pitches from vacuums and other noisy appliances, humans cannot.

Are you a dog owner and when you turn on the vacuum cleaner for regular cleaning, does your dog make a fuss or leave the room quickly?

This article discusses why dogs fear vacuums and what dog owners should do about it.

Signs That Shows Your Dog Scared of the Vacuum Cleaner

Signs That Shows Your Dog Scared of the Vacuum Cleaner

When dogs are afraid of vacuum cleaners, they exhibit various behaviors. As previously said, some dogs can become hostile and excessively territorial.

They regard the vacuum as an adversary and believe protecting you and your house is their duty.

 Here are some of the common scared dog’s behavior:

  • They urinate: Dogs urinate when they are excited or responding to nature’s call. There is an issue, though, when a properly trained dog pees at an inconvenient time.
  • The loud sounds of a running vacuum cleaner can cause this form of urination. If your dog does this, it might be afraid of the vacuum.
  • They hide under the table: When you turn on the vacuum, your dog may rush underneath the table, sofa, or other furniture as a display of panic. In such a situation, the dog feels safe sheltering below furniture.
  • They Bark at the vacuum cleaner: Dogs constantly bark at things they perceive as a danger to themselves, and the same with vacuum cleaners. When large, noisy, moving robot-like vacuums approach them, they instantly begin to bark out of fear.
  • They run away: You must have seen your dog cowering behind or running away when it sees a bigger dog. Dogs run away from things that scare them. If your dog runs away when you are vacuuming the floor, it’s clearly because it’s afraid of it.

Reasons why your dog is afraid of Vacuum Cleaners

Dogs can be intimidated by a range of smart home gadgets, the most common being vacuum cleaner. As a result, once the suction starts, some dogs can bark at it, while others can try to hunt it down, and still, others can try to chase and bite it.

So, what is it about vacuum cleaners that frighten dogs? A Dog afraid vacuum cleaners for a variety of reasons, including:

The smell of a vacuum cleaner

Dogs possess an acute sense of smell in addition to hearing. The vacuum cleaner stirs up smells by removing dirt, pet hair, and other particles from the carpet. This might cause your dog to experience uncomfortable sensory overload.

The sound of a vacuum cleaner

It’s common for dogs to be afraid of vacuums loud noises, especially the vacuum, due to their enhanced hearing. Your dog may experience anguish, anxiety, and discomfort due to the increased and unexpected sound.

A dog not accustomed to loud noises can relate the noisy and frightening vibrations of the vacuum to danger. As a result, your dog will become anxious each time it sees and hears a vacuum.

The movement of the vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaning involves unpredictable motions around the floor.

At the same time, it cleans, so it gets a little spooky for your dog to see a rotating machine making random movements around the floor. This is another reason why dogs are afraid of robot vacuum cleaners.

Introducing Your Dog to Vacuum Cleaners

If the sounds and appearance of a vacuum lead your dog to show indications of fear and anxiety. In that case, there are things you can do to assist your dog in feeling confident and realizing that the vacuum, no matter how loud, is nothing to be afraid of.

The methods below are intended to help undestand why dogs hate vacuums and how to help them form a good connection with the vacuum, allowing it to remain at ease when you turn on the robot cleaner:

Introduce the vacuum cleaner while off

Play a game with your dog while keeping the vacuum around but off. Give them some treats to get closer to the vacuum, and let them smell and explore it if they like.

It’s okay if it would rather avoid it; ensure it isn’t scared while the vacuum cleaner is there.

Turn on the vacuum sound

Now you should try turning on the suction if your dog appears at ease with the sight of the vacuum so they can also become used to the sound.

Reward it for remaining close by distributing dog treats around it or engaging in play with them. The idea is for them to become accustomed to loudness and link it with positive events.

Turn the sounds off quietly if your dog shows signs of anxiety or extreme excitement.

Activate movement

Start tossing treats away from you for your dog to chase and discover as you move the vacuum cleaner around slowly and quietly if they appear at ease with the sound and sight of it.

This will enable them to become accustomed to enjoying themselves. At the same time, the vacuum cleaner is in motion around them to correlate its feel and movement with favorable events such as play and treats.

Stop moving it and divert them with goodies and activities if they appear excited in its movement and want to jump on it or chase it.

Are Dogs Afraid of Robot Vacuums, Too?

Are Dogs Afraid of Robot Vacuums

Robotic vacuum cleaners are not something that dogs are too familiar with. However, the following reaction may differ amongst dogs.

Many dogs can get scared, while some cannot. Some dogs may begin to bark because they perceive the robotic vacuum cleaner as dangerous to them and their family.

On the other hand, some dogs may consider it as a harmless moving item and neglect it.

Other dogs may be intimidated as well. This is especially true if your robotic vacuum is a little too noisy for them.

In this case, your dog may flee and hide or whimper whenever you turn on your vacuum to get the cleaning done.

How To Build a Tolerance to Vacuuming in Dogs?

How To Build a Tolerance to Vacuuming in Dogs

With the right training and conditioning, you can help your dog become accustomed to the vacuum and no longer be terrified. Here are some of the steps that may prove helpful:

  • Allow them to sniff: Allow your dog to hover around and sniff the vacuum while you’re cleaning. It may help the device’s reception for the dog.
  • Reward them with treats: Place your dog’s favorite toy near the vacuum cleaner to assist your dog in becoming more acquainted with the instrument
  • Distract the dog while vacuuming: Ask a family member to play with the dog while you are vacuuming, to distract the dog. Don’t force the dog to hear the noise if the dog isn’t distracted.
  • Build tolerance slowly: If your dog can tolerate the vacuum from a slight distance, progressively approach the area where they are. You may need to repeat the process several times before your dog becomes accustomed to it.
  • Make the vacuuming rewarding for the dog: Consider putting treats on the vacuum cleaner to shift your dog’s perspective of the gadget. It then ceases to be a threat and becomes more enjoyable.
  • Take tiny steps first: Begin small by running the vacuum cleaner for a few minutes. Move your dog to a different room if it has a problem with the sound. If available, seek the assistance of a family member or a friend to help you record the dog’s reaction and understand dog’s body language.


Consider your dog’s favorite hobbies and find a method to combine the sight, sounds and use of the vacuum cleaner with activities and products they like.

If your dog dislikes the vacuum way too much, you can transfer it to another place while cleaning. Teach your pet to stay calm while the vacuum is running in another room. Entertaining it with toys or muffled noises from the television or speaker can also prove helpful.

However, if your dog is anxious, you should always consult your veterinarian.

Robbert Randy

Robbert is an expert in vacuums. He graduated from the University of Applied Science with a degree in Commercial Economics in 2019. He tests and provide troubleshooting tips to vacuum users on his website. He don’t do this for profit–he simply want to research the best models out there and share his findings.

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