My Dog Is Afraid Of The Refrigerator! 6 Reasons + Solutions

Despite their wagging tails and playful demeanor, many dogs like to see themselves as the bold protectors of their human families.

They bark at the mailman, chase away squirrels and often puff out their chests in a display of canine courage – portraying an image of toughness that’s quite endearing!

However, beneath this facade of bravery lies a story that’s not quite so heroic.

It seems that many dogs, regardless of size or breed, are actually scared of more than they like to let on to!

Take my dog Duke as an example. He loves to tromp around the forest, on hikes and in the backyard as if nothing in the world could bother him. But he’s scared of the silliest thing – stuff that flies!

That’s right, birds and butterflies alike can make my big ol’ tough dog start barking as if we’re under attack. It’s pretty amusing to witness.

But, as a good dog owner, I, of course, am working with him to make sure these flying creatures scare him less and less so that my good boy’s quality of life can keep improving.

So what do you do when your dog is scared of something silly? Why is my dog afraid of the refrigerator? And can I do something about it?

The quick and easy answer is that your dog is that your dog is afraid of the fridge because of the noise, smell, previous bad experiences, the newness, strangeness, old age or because of some other thing the fridge is ‘doing’ to your dog.

Fortunately, with a little patience and work, you can help your dog through whatever her issue with your refrigerator is.


Some refrigerators can be surprisingly noisy, especially when the compressor kicks on to regulate the temperature.

These sounds can make dogs uncomfortable, particularly if they’re not used to them.


An unassuming but possible cause of your dog’s fear could be the smell emanating from the refrigerator.

It might sound strange, but certain odors can be off-putting to dogs and make them apprehensive.

Bad Experience Near The Fridge

A traumatic event near the refrigerator might have left a lasting impact on your dog. For example, if something fell off the fridge and startled her, she could associate the appliance with that frightening experience.

New Or Strange

Dogs can be wary of new or strange objects in their environment, and this includes appliances like the refrigerator.

If you’ve recently brought a new fridge into your home, give your dog some time to get used to its presence.

Encourage her to investigate on her own terms, and offer treats or praise to create a positive association.

Old Age

As dogs age, their senses and cognitive faculties can decline, making them more sensitive to new experiences.

Some older dogs may struggle to cope with changes in their environment, and this can contribute to seemingly irrational fears, like being afraid of the refrigerator.

Scared of Something Else

Your dog’s fear of the refrigerator might not actually be about the fridge itself.

Many other triggers could make your dog seem to be afraid of the refrigerator when it is something else.

Consider the following examples and think about how your dog shows her fear of the fridge.

  • Lights Dimming When Fridge Comes On: The process of your fridge turning on may cause the lights in the room to dim briefly. This might startle her when it happens making her ‘afraid of the fridge’.
  • Carbon Monoxide (Propane Powered Fridge): If you have a propane-powered refrigerator, it could emit carbon monoxide. Humans usually don’t notice carbon monoxide until it’s too late, but dogs can act strange when exposed to this deadly gas.
  • Slippery Floor In Kitchen: It could be something near but unrelated to your fridge. For example, your dog could be associating the refrigerator with something like the slippery hardwood or tile floor in the kitchen. Your good may be reluctant around the fridge because she’s uncomfortable walking on the floor’s surface.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Scared Of The Fridge?

If your dog has suddenly developed a fear of the refrigerator and there haven’t been any significant changes, like a new fridge or you recently moved to a new home, it’s time to investigate the possible underlying reasons.

Your dog is probably experiencing an issue related to one of the reasons I mentioned earlier (noise, smell, bad experience, newness, strangeness, cognitive decline).

Dogs have keen senses that can pick up on changes undetectable to humans. Pay attention because your dog may be having new negative experiences near the fridge that you’re not even aware of!

Think about it. Your fridge might be making a new noise, perhaps a high-frequency sound that your ears just can’t pick up, but your dog’s can.

To your dog, this sound could be confusing or even scary, causing her to become wary of the fridge.

So, if your dog suddenly seems fearful of the fridge, don’t dismiss it.

There could be a hidden factor at play that’s causing your furry friend distress.

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Scared Of The Refrigerator?

Identifying the signs that your furry friend is afraid of the fridge can make all the difference in helping her feel more comfortable.

Here are some common behaviors you might notice when your dog is feeling fearful:

Obvious Signs Of Fearfulness

  • Running away: If your dog suddenly bolts from the room whenever the refrigerator kicks into action, she might be afraid of its noise or presence.
  • Hiding: If your dog starts retreating under furniture or into corners when the fridge is running, it’s a telling sign her fear is taking over.
  • Whimpering: Listen for any audible signs of distress, like whimpering, as these can be an indication your dog is feeling uneasy around the fridge.

Signs Of Noise Anxiety

  • Whining: Similar to whimpering, whining is another vocal sign that your dog may be experiencing noise anxiety from the refrigerator.
  • Pacing: You might notice your dog aimlessly wandering, pacing back and forth when the fridge is active. This could indicate her uneasiness with the sound.
  • Panting: Excessive panting and drooling are physical symptoms of fear and anxiety in dogs, signaling that the refrigerator might be an issue for her.

How Can I Help My Dog Overcome Her Fear Of The Fridge?

Worry not!

There are effective ways to help your dog conquer her fear of the refrigerator:

Create Positive Associations With The Fridge

  • Use treats and praise: Gradually build positive connections by offering your dog treats and verbal praise in the vicinity of the fridge. Start at a distance she feels comfortable and gradually move closer.
  • Increase exposure slowly: Be patient and consistent, allowing your dog to take her time as she gains confidence around the fridge.

Ensure A Comfortable Escape Route

  • Designate a safe space: If the fridge still proves too much for your dog to handle, ensure she has a comfortable place to retreat to, like her bed in a different room.

Address Underlying Issues With Appliances

  • Fix electrical issues: If you notice your lights dimming when the fridge turns on, consult an electrician to investigate and fix potential electrical problems.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector: If your dog seems unusually anxious around appliances like the fridge, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector to rule out any health risks. You should have one in your home anyway!

Seek Professional Help

  • Call in the experts: Sometimes, a professional pet behaviorist or trainer is needed to provide personalized guidance to help your dog.

Summary And Conclusion: My Dog Is Scared Of The Fridge!

Figuring out why your dog is scared of the fridge can be a puzzling task.

It could be due to a number of reasons such as the noise it makes, the smell it emits, or an underlying electrical issue.

To help your furry friend conquer this fear, consider creating positive associations with the fridge using treats and praise, and increasing exposure to it gradually.

Always be sure your good girl has a safe space to retreat to if she feels overwhelmed. Address any potential electrical problems and consider the installation of a carbon monoxide detector to rule out health risks.

For stubborn fears, seeking the help of a professional pet behaviorist or trainer can provide personalized strategies.

Remember, patience and consistency are key.

By taking these steps, you’ll not only help your dog overcome her fear of the fridge but also foster a more relaxed and comfortable home environment for her.

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