Air conditioning provides comfort and relief from the hot summer days for humans and whatever pets are lucky enough to live with humans that have AC.
But not all dogs that live with AC see themselves as lucky. In fact, it seems some dogs are actually scared of the AC.
But what would make a dog fearful of something so harmless?
Why is my dog scared of AC? The quick and easy answer is that your dog is scared of the air conditioner because of the noise, the unknown, it’s too cool or dry, it’s new, or the smells.
Just like us, dogs can hear the whoosh of air from the AC, but there might be additional noises we’re not aware of that could be bothering your dog.
It’s possible your unit hums or whines at a frequency you can’t even hear! But there’s a good chance your dog can with his superior hearing.
Other sounds associated with your AC might bother your dog as well. Things like the beeps your unit makes when you adjust the temperature or turn it on and off might be at just the right frequency to hurt your dog’s ears.
The Unknown Factor
Dogs can be suspicious of unfamiliar objects and situations.
Your dog may simply not understand what the air conditioning unit is and why it’s making noises or altering the temperature.
The Air Is Too Dry Or Cool
When you control your home’s temperature with an AC, it not only cools but also dehumidifies the air.
One of these changes could be making your pup uncomfortable.
Adjusting To New Circumstances
Did you recently move somewhere with an AC, or did you just install an air conditioning unit in your dog’s usual environment?
Your four-legged buddy might just be in the process of adapting to this change. Keep in mind that older dogs, much like humans, may struggle a bit more when adjusting to new things.
While it probably doesn’t smell bad, the air from the air conditioner is probably unfamiliar to your good boy, making him suspect that AC might be up to no good.
Past Negative Experience
There’s also the chance that your dog had a negative experience near an AC and can’t shake the creepy feeling it gives him.
Maybe he was locked in a room with the AC on, or frequently tied up in the yard next to a clunky AC by previous owners, and now he just has a bad taste in his mouth.
If he associates some aspect of your air conditioner with a negative experience, it could trigger some anxiety or fear.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Afraid Of The Air Conditioner?
If you’ve noticed some peculiar behavior from your good boy when you turn on the AC, there’s a good chance he might be uncomfortable with it.
Here are some telltale signs to watch for that probably mean your dog is scared of the air conditioner:
- Hiding: If your dog is running for cover or seeking refuge under furniture whenever the AC is switched on, it’s a pretty clear sign he’s afraid of the noise or the cold air.
- Whining and trembling: Your dog might express his fear through vocalizations such as whining or whimpering, which can be accompanied by trembling or shaking.
- Pacing: When a dog feels uneasy, he may exhibit restless pacing back and forth or move around the room with an anxious and determined demeanor.
- Licking: Dogs often try to self-soothe or seek comfort by licking their owners or nearby objects. If this behavior begins when the AC comes on, it could be another clue he’s not a fan of it.
Keep an eye out for these behaviors, and if you observe them consistently when the air conditioner is running, your dog is likely scared of it.
How Can I Help My Dog With His Fear Of The Air Conditioner?
If your dog is frightened every time you turn on your cooling system, I’m sure you’d love to help him out.
If he can get over his fear, it’ll probably make your life a little better too!
Check out these tips that will raise the quality of life for everyone in your home.
Create A Positive Association
To help your dog overcome his fear of the air conditioner, create a positive association with the AC for your dog.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing just that:
- Begin in the room where the AC bothers your dog the most.
- With the air conditioner turned off, give your dog lots of love and treats just for being in that space.
- If possible, be in control of when the AC switches on.
- Once your dog is comfortable in the room, turn on the AC while continuing to shower him with affection.
- Gradually increase the time the AC stays on, all the while loving and rewarding your dog.
Eventually, your dog should become more comfortable with the AC, or at least in the spot where he was initially terrified.
You may need to repeat this process in other areas of your home, but your dog should gradually learn to associate positivity with the AC instead of fear.
Adjust The Noises Your AC Makes
Although you might not have control over the rumble your air conditioner makes when it starts up, you can try to adjust other related noises:
- See if you can reduce the volume of any beeping noises that occur when adjusting the remote control or thermostat settings.
- If necessary, consider removing the noise module altogether to minimize noise-related stress for your dog.
Consult A Vet Or Professional Trainer
Sometimes, you may need personalized advice tailored to your specific situation.
If none of the mentioned strategies seem to be working, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional:
- Reach out to a veterinarian or professional dog trainer for guidance on helping your dog cope with his fear of the air conditioner.
- They may offer additional insight and suggestions based on your dog’s unique needs and temperament.
Wrapping It Up: Why Do Dogs Not Like Air Conditioning?
Dogs may develop a fear of air conditioning units for various reasons.
These can include the sound the unit makes, unfamiliarity with the device, the dry or cool air it produces, changes in the usual environment, the different smells of dehumidified air, or past negative experiences associated with an AC unit.
If your dog shows signs of fear such as hiding, whining, pacing, or excessive licking when the AC is on, there are several ways you can help.
Creating a positive association with the air conditioner through rewards and affection can go a long way in alleviating your dog’s fear.
You can also look into adjusting the noises that your AC makes, or if necessary, seek professional advice from a vet or a dog trainer.
The key is to be patient and supportive as your good dog learns to cope with his fear.