These Household Items Scare Your Dog the Most, According to One Survey

published Jan 19, 2022
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West highland terrier sitting on the floor
Credit: Michele Walls/Shutterstock

If your dog hides anytime you get out the vacuum cleaner or freaks when you turn on the blender to make a smoothie, he or she is not alone. According to a study conducted by U.K. price comparison site Compare the Market, four in five dogs are plagued with panic by at least one household appliance.

Compare the Market polled 1,000 dog owners to find out which household appliances are the main villains in dogs’ lives. They found that the vacuum cleaner is by far the most stress-inducing with 45 percent of pet parents reporting their dogs simply can’t handle being in the same room as the vacuum.

The second-most-hated appliance on the list is the hairdryer, with 24 percent of dog parents reporting their dogs can’t cope when the thing is turned on. Next on the list is the lawnmower, followed by the washing machine, then the blender, and finally, a broom.

And one in five dog parents said that when their dog’s appliance enemy is near, their pups begin exhibiting misbehaviors like excessive barking, chewing, or attacking the appliance.

Compare the Market also found that most dogs choose flight over fight when the appliance in question is brought out and they’ll simply leave the room to avoid confrontation. But 22 percent of dogs will actually go one step further and hide under tables or sofas. And sadly, some really panicked dogs resort to shaking and crying in response to a vacuum or hairdryer being turned on. Poor babies!

Dr. Heather Venkat, a veterinarian consultant, told Compare the Market that pet parents can take a few steps to lessen their dogs’ fear and anxiety when it comes to household appliances. Give your dog plenty of space to move away from the noise or give your dog a natural, stress-relieving supplement or vet-prescribed medication to lessen their fears.

It looks like the war between dogs and the vacuum cleaner rages on with the vacuum taking the lead.