Why is My Dog Scared of Flies? A Comprehensive Guide

Why is My Dog Scared of Flies


Why is my dog scared of flies exactly? Well dogs, often seen as brave and fearless creatures, sometimes exhibit behaviors that baffle their owners. One such behavior is the seemingly irrational fear of flies. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this peculiar canine fear.

Flies, in brief with their their small size, can be a source of great distress for our furry friends. The buzzing sound, their unpredictable movements, and past traumas can all contribute to this fear. But why exactly are dogs afraid of these tiny insects? Research has shown that dogs have a remarkable sense of hearing, which might make them more sensitive to the buzzing of flies.

In this article, we’ll explore the top reasons that might explain this behavior and offer solutions to help your dog cope better.

Top 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Afraid of Flies:

  • Quick and Erratic Movements
    • Flies’ sudden and unpredictable movements can be unsettling for dogs, triggering their instinctive fear responses.
  • Sensitive Ears
    • Chiefly dogs can hear frequencies much higher than humans. This heightened sensitivity to sound makes them more aware of the buzzing, which can be distressing.
  • Previous Experience
    • Prior history can lead to a traumatic memory, making them associate all flies with potential pain and danger.
  • Lack of Exposure
    • Dogs unfamiliar with flies might react with fear due to the sheer unfamiliarity of these creatures.
  • Negative Experience
    • A previous trauma, such as being swarmed by flies, can lead to a lasting fear. This is at this instant true for rescue dogs who might have lived in environments infested with flies.
  • Genetics
    • Some breeds are genetically predisposed to fearfulness. For the most part encounters with new stimuli, like flies, can be in addition unnerving for them.
  • Anxiety
    • Dogs prone to general anxiety might perceive flies as potential threats, leading to a heightened fear response.
  • Aging
    • As dogs age, their senses, such as vision and hearing, might weaken. Conversely, this can make them more reactive to stimuli like flies.
  • Lack of Control
    • The unpredictable nature of flies can make dogs feel they lack control over the situation, leading to fear.
  • Flies are Scary
    • Simply put, some dogs find flies scary. The sensation of a fly landing on them or buzzing around can be too intrusive for many dogs.

Recognising Why Your Dog is Scared of Flies:

Check the signs:

  • Attempt to escape or hide when a fly is present
  • Tremble or shake
  • Exhibit behaviors like panting, whining, or barking excessively

How to Help Your Dog Overcome the Fear:

  • Positive Reinforcement
    • Reward your dog with treats and praise when they remain calm in the presence of flies. This helps them associate flies with positive experiences.
  • Desensitization
    • Gradually introduce your dog to flies in a controlled environment. Over time, this can help reduce their fear. Here’s a guide on understanding and managing such behaviors in dogs.
  • Creating a Fly-Free Space
    • Take steps to ensure your home is free of flies and provide a safe space for your dog where they won’t be constantly stressed by the presence of flies.


  • So, why Are Small Dogs Scared of Flies?
    • Smaller breeds might perceive flies as larger and more menacing. Their heightened sensitivity to sound can also make them more reactive to the buzzing of flies.
  • Should I Let My Dog Chase Flies?
    • While many dogs enjoy the chase, it’s essential to ensure they aren’t chasing harmful bugs.
  • Why Do Flies Bother My Dog?
    • Regular grooming can help reduce this attraction.

In a word, while the fear of flies might seem irrational to us, for our dogs, it’s a real and sometimes distressing issue. Understanding the reasons behind this fear and taking steps to mitigate it can help your dog lead a happier, less stressful life.