June 24, 2021

Why pets think the vacuum cleaner is the devil

Why pets think the vacuum cleaner is the devil
Dr. Chris Brown

Ask the furry family and they'd probably say no appliance sucks more than the vacuum cleaner. But just why it must be despised...or destroyed may surprise you!

Plus here’s how to ease the stress with some simple tips…

The instant removal of the vacuum cleaner is one thing dogs and cats immediately agree on. But get this. It’s not just the extreme noise hitting those sensitive ears that generates most of the stress.

So what is it?!

Well, no matter the brand or even if it’s a ‘pet hair’ specific model, every vacuum produces high frequency sounds we might not hear but their ears (which were developed to detect the high frequency sounds prey like mice make) are extremely tuned into. Yes, it's the high notes that get them!

The other factor is how often we vacuum.

Ok don't judge me, but because it’s usually only once a week, the vacuum emerging from the cupboard is an event they're never going to get used to, in the same way a thunderstorm or fireworks going off are!

So what can you do to help? Well here goes…

1. De-mystify that devil machine. Get it out in the open and leave it lying around for a few days. That way, they’ll be able to sniff it and realise it’s not really possessed. 

2. Leave it running. Taking away the novelty and instant heart pumping fear it brings will make a big difference. By leaving it on for 20 minutes you ‘flood’ them with the sound and let them realise it’s probably not worth worrying about.

3. Don’t lunge at them while vacuuming. That natural movement of the vacuum triggers their fight or flight response and will really ruin the already fragile relationship they have with it.

4. Treat them to some calmness. The main active ingredient in my Calm + Collected treats (L-theanine) has been proven to reduce their reactivity to those sounds and keep them anxiety free. Just one or two treats an hour before vacuuming (or any other stressful event) will make a big difference...

The relationship between the vacuum and the one producing most of the hair you need to suck up doesn’t need to be a rocky one. 


Calm + Collected
Calm + Collected

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