why do dogs not like vacuum cleaners

4 Reasons Why Do Dogs Not Like Vacuum Cleaners?

All the reasons why do dogs not like vacuum cleaners? and what to do about it?

If you are a pet owner at some point you must have experienced a situation involving your dog and the vacuum cleaner? If yes, you must have an idea about dogs are not great fans of vacuums where some dogs declare an all-out war.

Others go into absolute panic mode on the sight of a vacuum cleaner. Yeah, dogs act like a derp more often than expected from them. But it’s not a mere stuff toy or a broom we’re talking about here. With vacuum cleaners, this derpy behavior of dogs becomes a serious concern.

Not just vacuum cleaners, many animals, including cats and dogs, are also terrified of brooms. 

If dogs can panic at the sight of something as simple as a broom, then the vacuum makes the perfect enemy.

We very well know the importance of vacuum cleaners and the value they provide. So it’s pretty clear that you will have to find a way to vacuum in peace without your dog panicking.

Putting away your vacuum just because your dog has grudges is not the most rational thing to do. 

Vacuum cleaners are essential cleaning partners in our houses. Your dog will have to learn and adapt to that sooner or later.

Luckily you can gradually train your dog to act gently whenever there’s a vacuum cleaner near. Still, considering dogs’ reaction to the sight of vacuum cleaners, you have a lot of work to do.

Also, it’s pretty hard to answer why dogs do not like vacuum cleaners?

After all, they don’t speak.

But that’s exactly what we’re here for. In this article, we’ll try to analyze why dogs do not like vacuum cleaners.

Not just that, we’ll also provide you with practical tips on how to get your dog to like a vacuum cleaner.

Why Do Dogs Not Like Vacuum Cleaners?

Let’s break down all the possible factors which make your dog hate the very existence of vacuum cleaners. The following factors explain why do dogs not like vacuum cleaners.


This is a major one.

Undoubtedly vacuum cleaners are very noisy machines—one instant, your dog is vibing in the solitude of the house.

And the next moment you start the noisy motor of your vacuum, how do you expect your dog to behave.

Dogs have a highly sensitive hearing sense and can pick up sounds of different frequencies. 

What may sound normal to you could be distressing for your dog.

Most modern vacuums are not as loud as their predecessors.

Brands market their product based on how little noise they produce.

Still, any vacuum’s motor with an even mediocre suction capacity when turned on can wreak havoc on your dog.

Moreover, the sudden noise created when you turn up the vacuum takes some pets in shock.

Dogs, like other animals, are prone to noise pollution, and any exposure to it can be harmful or dangerous for them.

Why Do Dogs Not Like Vacuum Cleaners – The Smell 

Second to noise, how a particular object or environment smell is sacred for dogs.

Your tail-wagging friend uses the sense of smell to recognize its environment as either safe or not.

This is an evolutionary trait in dogs, using the sense of smell for interacting with their environment. 

By now, you must be pondering how vacuum cleaners trigger dogs through smell.

Well, the thing with vacuums is that although they are supposed to clean, the contrary is also true.

While you are vacuuming carpets or floors, many of the dust and allergens are going free in the environment.

You might not notice this, but where vacuum cleaners collect 90% of the dust.

It leaves out 10% in the open.

This effect is due to the inefficiency of vacuum cleaners.

While some vacuum cleaners guarantee to suck 99% dirt particles, it is just an ideal scenario. 

The sudden change in the smell of your house environment triggers your dog and makes them act weird.

Some dogs will instantly get into attack mode feeling someone has breached their territory.

As dogs are quite intelligent animals, they can quickly conclude that the smell’s change is due to the vacuum cleaner.

This makes them consider the vacuum cleaner as a foreign object imposing threat to them or their owner. 


Vacuum cleaners, when moving, give the impression of some robot or animal walking.

Dogs just can’t take that. Especially automatic vacuum cleaners that wander around in your house on their own.

These vacuum cleaners can take your dog in surprise and cause them to panic. 

After all, it is pretty understandable any foreign object coming towards you out of nowhere can give you a stroke.

Then if it can happen with us humans, then why would dogs be an exception. As dogs are pretty clever, they can tell the difference between a human and an object like a vacuum cleaner.

While they probably expect movements from humans or cats etc. but probably not from vacuum cleaners.

Vacuum cleaners are not supposed to start moving for a dog, making a noise like a zombie suddenly.

When they see vacuum cleaners move like that, they act as if aliens have invaded the house.

A Threat 

Dogs have personalities entirely as humans do.

From fierce attack dogs to jolly retrievers, how your dog reacts to a vacuum cleaner is variable.

The attack dog breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, German shepherds, bulldogs, etc., can react very violently.

A fully functional moving vacuum with a whirling motor would give your dog an impression that the house is under siege. 

One thing these attack dog species are known for is being very possessive about their space and owner.

Even though you might think that the vacuum cleaner is in no way a threat to you, your dog wouldn’t agree.

The sight of a vacuum cleaner provokes your dog to get into flight or fight mode.

Of all the other reactions like running away or hiding under a table, this is the most concerning. If your dog develops a habit to attack the vacuum cleaner, it could harm itself.

How to Know if Your Dog is Afraid of Vacuum Cleaners?

Although as a dog owner, it will be evident to you and briefly mention the signs that depict your dog is afraid. Following along these signs will help you pinpoint what aspects of the vacuum cleaner scares your dog the most.


Drooling is a natural reaction of dogs and other animals when they are distressed or fearful. Excessive salivation is also a sign of anxiety when dogs are drooling.


This is an evolutionary act. Dogs urinate either when they are afraid or when they have to mark their territory. A vacuum can scare your dog and also appear to threaten its territory.

Hiding Under Furniture 

This is a classic behavior depicting some form of stress or fear in the animal. Hiding under the table or any furniture means that your dog is terrified and seeking some form of cover.

How to Make Dog Not Scared of Vacuum?

As we stated earlier, you can train your dog to be at peace with the vacuum cleaner. However, note that this change won’t happen overnight and require some time and effort from your side.

Encourage Positive Interactions

Just like a child can befriend his biggest so-called enemy in no time doing something together. Your dog needs the same positive association with the vacuum cleaner.

If your dog just reacts weirdly every time you vacuum, it is very likely it has developed a grudge for it.

But don’t you worry, there is a lot you can do about it.

To implement a positive interaction, you’d need a handful of dog treats, and that will do the job. 

Choose a place where your dog feels comfortable, like your bedroom or kitchen.

Slowly bring out the vacuum cleaner at a distance from your dog. Here, the dog might get concerned before going entirely into panic mode.

Throw in a treat or two at this point. Engaging your dog with a treat will keep it relaxed and comfortable with the environment.

You can then bring the vacuum cleaner further closer to the dog, all while throwing the treats.

Repeating this practice over a few weeks will train your dog’s subconscious.

Eventually, it will learn to classify the vacuum cleaner as a safe component of the house.

There is another technique to help your dog interact positively with the vacuum cleaner. Try putting your dog’s favorite treats on the vacuum cleaner’s body or close to it.

Your dog will hesitate at first, but the food’s temptation alone will help him overcome his fear and approach the vacuum.

Over time he’ll learn that the vacuum imposes no threat whatsoever and act normal around it.

Avoiding Noisy Vacuums and Other Trigger Points

If you wish to help your dog with its fear of vacuum cleaners, avoid you need to make sure of a few things.

From how much noise a vacuum makes to how it moves can greatly impact your dog’s behavior. We know that dogs are very susceptible to high-frequency noise.

And that’s one thing almost all vacuums do. 

Keeping your dog in view, choose a vacuum that has the soundproof feature.

Many vacuums in the market are now much quieter than their predecessors. It would be best if you went for them.

Well, what if you already have a noisy vacuum at home and do not wish to buy a new one. In that case, you can try to train your dog to act calmly when someone is vacuuming.

To implement this, you need to provide your dog with noise exposure slowly. This might sound unconventional, but when your dog is comfortable, play noisy audio in the background in low volume.

And little by minor, increase the audio volume over days until it reaches the level of vacuum cleaner noise. 

This gradual exposure will inhibit your dog’s instinct to panic and act violently instantly. And hopefully, when you vacuum for real, your dog may not react at all as it will be at comfort with the background noise already. 

Here is our suggestion if you are looking for a quite vacuum.

Bottom line

Hopefully, we answered the question of why do dogs not like vacuum cleaners.

Dogs and vacuum cleaners might not go along very well at first, but that’s not the end. It is certainly not one of those ‘either my dog stays or my vacuum cleaner’ situation.

The primary reason why we love dogs so much is that they are very adaptable and easily trained.

So carry on vacuuming your house without making your dog scared following the steps mentioned in this article.


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