You are in the right place if you are wondering, why is my dog scared of flies? Dogs are interesting and complex animals, with reactions that might seem unusual to certain elements.
One of these unusual reactions could be an extreme fear of flies. Most dogs remain calm around flies, but this might not be true for your pup.
Luckily, we will explore all the potential reasons behind this fear to make it easier for you to understand your dog. Let us get to the details and see what could be the problem;
Why Is My Dog Scared of Flies?
It is not normal for your dog to fear flies since flies have the same effects on dogs as humans. Your dog might be uncomfortable around flies, but if the reaction is fearful, there might be a problem. So what causes an unnatural fear of flies in dogs?
- Natural impulses. Dogs have an inherent prey drive, and flies can arouse these impulses. Flies’ buzzing sounds, fast motions, and small size may activate your dog’s predatory instincts, causing anxiety or fear.
- Negative experience. Your dog may have had a negative experience with a fly, such as being stung or bitten. This could have left a lasting effect, causing them to be afraid or anxious every time they see or hear a fly.
- Noise sensitivity. Flies can make a distinct buzzing sound that dogs can hear. Some dogs are susceptible to specific sounds, such as insects buzzing, which can surprise or terrify them, causing fear or anxiety.
- Learned Behavior. Dogs are wise animals that can detect their owners’ reactions. If you’ve expressed worry or concern in the presence of flies, your dog may have learned to associate with anything negative, prompting the fear response.
- Anxiety. Some dogs are anxious and can acquire phobias or anxieties about many stimuli, including flies. If your dog already has a generalized anxiety disorder, their fear of flies could be an extension of their worry.
How To Help A Dog That Is Scared Of Flies
The fear of flies is not a common concern for dog owners, but you will be happy to know there are ways to help your dog in such situations.
Dogs are brilliant and socially aware animals, so here are a few ways you can help your dog get over its phobia of flies;
- Create a Calm Environment. Provide a safe and comfortable location for your dog to withdraw to when they are anxious. This can be a specific room in your home or a blanket-covered container to create a den-like environment.
- Positive Reinforcement. Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog to associate flies with pleasant memories. If your dog remains calm in the presence of a fly, reward them with goodies, praise, or playing.
This will aid in the formation of a good association and the gradual reduction of their fear.
- Desensitization. To desensitize your dog to the presence of flies, gradually expose them to insects in a controlled and progressive manner.
Begin by showing your dog photographs or videos of flies from a distance and rewarding them for remaining calm. As your dog becomes more comfortable, gradually reduce the distance or increase the level of exposure.
- Counterconditioning. In addition to desensitization, use counterconditioning strategies. This entails associating the appearance of flies with something your dog enjoys, such as treats or toys.
To transform your dog’s emotional response from fear to pleasant anticipation, offer these treats whenever flies are present.
- Avoid reinforcing fear. If your dog is afraid of flies, avoid consoling or calming them excessively. Although it is natural to want to reassure them, doing so may unintentionally increase their dread by rewarding the anxious behavior.
Instead, maintain your cool and provide good feedback when they demonstrate calm or relaxed behavior.
- Seek Professional Help. If your dog’s fear of flies persists or becomes extreme, it may be good to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist.
They can offer advice customized to your dog’s individual needs and assist in developing a behavior modification strategy to manage their fear correctly.
Are Flies A Legitimate Danger To My Dogs?
A question that most dog owners have regarding flies is whether they pose any real danger to their dogs. Dogs might get irritated by flies, but is there any physical danger to your dog being around flies?
For the most part, flies are harmless to dogs, and dogs will be fine with a few house flies. It can be an issue if there are many flies for the following reasons;
- Bites and Stings. Certain insects, such as horse flies or deer flies, can inflict painful bites or stings on dogs, causing irritation, itching, and discomfort. A dog may have an allergic reaction to a fly bite in rare situations, resulting in more severe symptoms.
If your dog has been attacked or stung by a fly, keep an eye on them and seek veterinary care if necessary. Be keen on your dog’s behavior and read about your environment and the kind of flies that frequent the area to prepare for everything that might happen.
- Disease transmission. Hygiene is the biggest concern regarding flies for both humans and dogs. While flies do not themselves transmit disease to dogs, they can be carriers of germs, parasites, or other pathogens.
Flies can land on decaying organic matter or waste materials and may spread hazardous bacteria if they touch your dog’s food or open wounds. This is more of an issue in locations with a high fly population or filthy settings.
It’s always a good idea to keep your dog’s living environment clean and dispose of waste correctly to reduce the risk.
How To Keep Flies Away From Your Dog
Flies make your dog uncomfortable and can cause diseases for you and your pet. You, therefore, need to figure out safe and elaborate ways of keeping them away from your dog. Here are some of the best options you can use for your dog scared of flies;
- Regular cleaning. Proper hygiene is the best way to control flies in the household. Keep your pet’s living areas clean and free from waste or food debris.
Regularly remove feces, clean litter boxes, and dispose of trash properly to eliminate potential attractants for flies.
Keeping the dog clean is also essential in keeping away flies and other pests. Regular baths and treatments will prevent the creation of odors that might attract flies to your furry best friend.
- Proper food storage. Store your pet’s food in airtight containers to prevent flies from being attracted to the smell. Avoid leaving food bowls out for long periods, especially outdoors, as this can attract flies.
- Screened windows and doors. Install fly screens on windows and doors to prevent flies from entering your home or pet areas. Ensure the screens are in good condition and free from holes or gaps.
- Fly Traps. Use fly traps or sticky fly sheets in locations where flies are a problem. These traps can aid in the capture and control of flies, reducing their presence near your pets. This will keep your pet happy and healthy, and you will have an easier time.
- Natural repellents. Some natural repellents can keep flies away. Citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, and lemongrass are all known fly repellents. You can use essential oils or plant these herbs in your garden or around your pets.
However, use caution when using essential oils around dogs because some can be hazardous in high amounts. To ensure the safety of specific items or plants, consult a veterinarian.
- Outdoor Protection. If your pets spend time outside, provide them with a shaded place or a covered kennel to keep flies at bay. Outdoor fans can create wind, which can help discourage insects.
- Fly Repellents. Consider utilizing pet-safe fly repellents manufactured exclusively for animals. Sprays, wipes, and spot-on treatments are examples of these.
Consult your veterinarian to select a product appropriate for your pet’s species, age, and health status. Check the medication with a vet to ensure your dog won’t have an allergic reaction before use.
- Professional Pest Control. Consider hiring a pest control agency if you have a severe fly infestation or a recurrent fly problem. They can assess the issue and provide appropriate solutions for fly population management.
You better understand why your dog might be scared of flies, and you can help them. Dogs have impeccable memories and learn a lot from their owners. So you must act calmly when around flies to make them feel safe.
Don’t overreact or reward their anxiety around flies; this will only worsen the problem as they learn from you. There are several remedies to keep flies away, and with proper training, you can help your dog deal with its fly phobia.