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The Weirdest Pet Phobias

Phobias, anxieties and fears of certain situations, things, or people are no longer limited to just us humans – our pets experience these same emotions as well.  Some of the phobias experienced by our pets may seem weird, but they probably have a pretty good reason for their fear (or, maybe not but it still feels real!).

We promise, you are not the first pet parent to love a dog with a weird fear.  And, after you read this list of odd pet phobias, you may not even thing your pet’s is that weird after all!


#1 Phonophobia

The fear of loud noises – this is probably one of the most common phobias experienced by pets, especially dogs.  Thunder, fireworks, gun shots, hammering, even popping of gum bubbles can all send dogs in to an anxious state.  Some dogs react by hiding under the bed, in the bath tub, in your lap while others simply cannot be alone and must shiver on top of you until the sound stops.

It is no surprise that dogs have an aversion to loud noises since their hearing is extremely sensitive.  Loud crashes of thunder or explosions of fireworks are infinitely louder to them than they are to us.  For a dog who does not understand weather or holidays, it probably feels like the word is ending.

#2 Monophobia

More commonly called separation anxiety with pets, monophobia is the fear of being alone.  While this fear may seem odd, it actually makes a lot of sense for dogs who are biologically disposed to living in a pack environment.

Dogs are not often alone in the wild and will even hunt and eat together in packs.  In the wild, being alone means being vulnerable to attack.  Now that you and your family are your dog’s pack, he finds safety and security there.

Separation anxiety can be caused by a lack of self confidence in a dog, which is extremely common in neglect and abuse cases.  Close training with positive reinforcement can help boost self-esteem and help ease separation anxiety.

#3 Xenophobia

Technically, xenophobia is the fear of strangers or foreigners.  Dogs are rarely able to distinguish different races well enough to have a fear of a specific one, so we use this word here to describe the “fear of strangers”.

Most, if not all, dogs will bark at strangers and be hesitant to greet them or allow themselves to be pet until they feel comfortable with them, and that is completely normal.  Dogs who have a fear of strangers may never come around to the idea of a stranger and even react aggressively toward the person.

This fear normally stems from lack of proper socialization when they were a puppy.  The peak ages to introduce your dog to new environments, people and things is between the ages of 4 weeks to 4 months to get him a well-rounded view of the world and what it consists of.  Dogs without this socialization can develop extreme phobias of many kinds, such as a fear of strangers.

#4 Pedophobia

A fear of children is another very common fear with many pets, dogs and cats alike, and may also be due to lack of exposure to kids in their younger years.  This fear can also come from a bad experience with a child, such as a pulled tail or ears, or other unintentional harm from the child.  Your pet may no longer trust that specific child, or may avoid children altogether as they age.

Kids are also loud, fast and unpredictable from the view of a pet.  All of these things together make it easy for our pets to avoid children or react aggressively toward them.

#5 Amaxophobia

Have you ever met a dog who doesn’t like to go for a ride in the car?  The fear of riding in a car, amaxophobia, is actually more common than you may thing.

This fear generally crops up when car rides always end in an unpleasant experience, such as the vet or groomer.  Frequent car rides to nowhere or to a fun place (such as the dog park or going out for ice cream) can help break the phobia and retrain your dog’s association with the car.

Some dogs may get car sick which can result in a phobia of the car.  Ask your vet about pheromones to help with car anxiety or car sickness.

There are, of course, many other things that our pets are afraid of, but these are the most common.

Does your pet have an odd phobia?  Find us on Facebook and tell us what it is!

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