Why Are Dogs Scared Of Flies? (4 Reasons)

Dogs make excellent pets in part because they are loyal and protective. They can be great companions and are known for their friendly nature. Owning a dog can provide many benefits, such as reducing stress levels and improving overall health.

They also have some strange fears and behaviors, like being afraid of brooms or licking their owner’s belly button

But despite their quirks, most dog owners will tell you that their pet is worth it.  By learning and understanding why your dog does something strange or why they are scared, you can help ease your dog’s fears and make them feel more comfortable.

So, what about dogs that are afraid of flies? Why are dogs scared of flies?  The quick and easy answer is that it likely comes down to one of these reasons:

Previous Stings and Bites

While you and I know that house flies don’t bite, dogs don’t. They likely can’t even tell the difference between most flying insects.  To a dog, a house fly is just another bug that might sting or bite them.

If your dog has been stung or bitten by a flying insect in the past, it’s likely that they are now afraid of all flies because they can’t tell the difference between the ones that will hurt them and the ones that won’t.

Had Terrible Living Conditions At One Time 

If you are taking the time to look up why your dog is afraid of flies, I’m going to assume you’re a good dog owner and your dog’s current living conditions are fine.  However, most of us don’t have our dog for his entire life.

Your dog may not have always had the best living conditions.  If he came from a home that kept too many animals for the size of the property or wasn’t properly cleaned there were likely a lot of flies. 

Unfortunately, many pets that come from homes like this also had other needs that were neglected.  If your dog was living in squalor in the past, it’s possible that he associates flies with his previous, scary living conditions. 

General Anxiety

It might not be flies themselves, but rather flies are just one of many things that upsets your dog.  Dogs can suffer from anxiety just like humans.

Anxiety in dogs can be caused by many different things such as a change in the family, another pet in the home, or even just not getting enough exercise. 

If your dog is anxious or stressed,  you probably see it in other situations as well, such as how he acts around loud noises or unfamiliar people.


Maybe your dog was hit with a rolled-up newspaper or a fly swatter and maybe the sound of those hitting a wall when you get a fly upset your dog.  For whatever reason, when your dog sees a fly, he knows something he doesn’t like might be right behind it. 

So, your dog isn’t actually scared of flies, but rather is showing his displeasure about what will soon follow.

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Afraid Of Flies

Like with most things that your dog really dislikes, he will give you some signs if he is scared of flies too.


If your dog isn’t a big fan of something, he might try to hide from it.  If you see your dog trying to take cover when he sees a fly, it’s likely he is scared of them. 

Hiding might mean going into another room, getting under a bed or table, or even between your legs. Some crated dogs view their crates as a safe spot and will also make their way to their crate at the first sign of a fly. 


Dogs don’t just whimper when they are hurt. If your dog is afraid of something (like a fly), he might also make a whimpering sound. You might need to hear it a few times to realize what is going on. 

One of my dogs whimpers when there is thunder.  But the whimper is so soft that it almost sounds like a squeaky door is being shut on the other side of the house. 

Acting Aggressive (Reactive)

Dogs that are afraid of many things often become what is known as “reactive”. This simply means that they overreact to many different stimuli. These dogs aren’t actually aggressive even though it appears that way. 

Your dog might bark, growl or lunge at a fly if he is scared of them.  This is likely more common if your dog is also afraid of other things (like unfamiliar people). 

What Can You Do If Your Dog Is Afraid Of Flies?

If you think your dog is afraid of flies, you may decide to try to help.  Especially if the fear your dog has is causing your dog’s quality of life to drop.  Here are a few tips to help you help your dog get back to being a normal good boy even when some flies are around.

Reassure Your Dog

The next time your dog is whimpering about the presence of a fly, give him physical and verbal reassurances.  For instance, a good steady pet on the head while telling my dog he’s a good boy works wonders.

Each dog and owner is different, so use whatever assurances you normally do with your dog.  This likely won’t immediately stop your dog’s fear of flies overnight, but with time it will go a long way towards helping him overcome it.

Keep Flies Away From Your Dog

Not every fear can be overcome.  If your dog remains frightened of flies no matter what, your next best option might be to keep flies away from your dog.

When inside, keep windows, doors, and screens shut tight. 

If you are going to be outside with your dog and there are bound to be flies around, consider using a repellent. Just be sure to find one that is dog safe.

Talk To Your Vet

I briefly mentioned general anxiety above.  If your dog severely suffers from this, you’ll definitely want to get him some help.  Many dogs with anxiety require medication to help them get back on track.

You’ll also want to talk to your vet if you think your dog’s fear of flies is caused by an injury or another health problem. 

Summary: Why Are Dogs Afraid Of Flies?

Dogs can be afraid of flies for a variety of reasons.  The most common reason is likely because they have been stung or bitten by a fly in the past.  Other reasons include living in terrible conditions, anxiety, or associating flies with something else the dog doesn’t like.

If your dog is scared of flies, there are a few things you can do to help him overcome his fear.  These include reassuring your dog, keeping flies away from him, and talking to your vet.

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