What is it with dogs and vacuum cleaners?

Never seems to fail, dogs get all unhappy when you run the vacuum cleaner. Some are worse than others: Tobie acts like you’re chasing him with an axe.

And when the torture is over…


…I have to work at getting him to calm down and believe that I’ve decided to let him live.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to What is it with dogs and vacuum cleaners?

  1. Ben says:

    Vacuum cleaner noise is painful and unpleasant even to this partly-deaf senior citizen, so imagine how loud it must be to a young pooch?

  2. Judy says:

    Cats aren’t any happier about vacuum cleaners. I tell the pets that I’m going to turn the noise maker on and they should go hide now. I don’t know if it helps, but I did warn them and it makes me feel better

  3. Malatrope says:

    I think the vacuums are making an incredible racket in the frequency range that dogs hear, and that we don’t. As Ben alluded, it is probably quite painful and possibly fully twice as loud to a dog as to a human.

  4. Malatrope says:

    Here is the only hard data I’ve found, for cats. The vacuum levels are 10db down from our human sensitivity, but there’s still quite a lot of sound power in the high end that they hear. And note that the cat starts out equipped with over 20db better hearing sensitivity!

    I presume that it’s much the same for a dog.

    https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/cats+vacuum=.jpg

  5. Mark Matis says:

    Of course, SOME dogs are quite happy riding around on Roombas…

  6. makerofgames says:

    Our two pups first ran from the robovac, then spent a couple days trying to eat it, and now ignore it completely. It doesn’t affect them nearly as bad as the upright vac.

  7. Jim+R says:

    I have a vac with variable speed and an upholstery nozzle with rubbery bristles. I could set the vac to minimum speed and my cat at that time would happily let me vacuum him. Of course, this was the same cat that slept on the couch as my father-in-law and I tore out the den wall. HVAC contactor asked “Is that cat dead” as we walked by him crashed out (on the same couch.) “Nah, he just knows he can take us if he wants to.” Haven’t really tried that with any of the others…

  8. John says:

    Embiggining the image and the ears, eyes, and upper lip convey the message of every pet from time to time. “What is it with humans and their disgusting abominations to the natural order.”

  9. wayne charles dygert says:

    Others have already covered my subject. Standard vacuums are LOUD in the transonic range and dogs hearing is more acute than ours by several orders of magnitude. Rumbas are the exception because they run at a much lower speed. Your not-exceptionally-large cabin is essentially an echo filled torture chamber to Tobies’ hyperacute hearing. Best bet, put Tobie outside with door closed while vacuuming where practicable. His acute sensitivity to high frequencies will diminish as he ages but never anywhere close to the semi deafness (relatively speaking) of an older homo sap

  10. Mattexian says:

    Reading back thru posts again, and for this one it occurs to me: would some doggie chill pills (CBD chews of one type or another) work for Tobie like they do for my Bonnie Blue Boy (Australian Cattle dog) during thunderstorms? Not strong enough to knock him out, but mellow him a little so he’s not shaking like a leaf.

To the stake with the heretic!