Why Does Your Dog Get Scared When You Cook?

It’s possible your dog gets scared when you cook, because he’s afraid you’ll feed him some of your creation! All kidding aside (this applies to me and my lack of prowess in the kitchen!), let’s talk about what’s going on.

If your dog was in the kitchen one day when the alarm went off, you had a small fire and screamed, or maybe a plate fell and caused a loud noise when it shattered, these events can all explain your dog’s fear of you cooking.

Why Your Dog is Scared When You Cook

Here are some possible scenarios that caused fear and anxiety when you cook:

The smoke detector might have gone off one day while you were in the kitchen, and since it’s such a loud shriek could have easily scared your dog. There are now negative associations for him whenever food in general or that same food is being prepared, or perhaps even when you walk or he’s even near the kitchen.

Cooking can be a noisy activity with pots clanging, oven doors banging and timers going off. It’s no surprise it scared your dog

He may have gotten hurt in the kitchen one day, and now fears everything kitchen related.

How to Stop Your Dog Being Scared When You Cook

♦ One way is to keep him out of the kitchen! Put a chew toy he loves on his bed, and lure him there.

♦ Stop the smoke detector from going off. If that’s what freaks your dog out, then preventing it from ringing is the solution.

♦ Have someone take him for a walk when it’s time to cook, but it’s up to you to decide if this makes sense, and is sustainable as a long-term solution. It can work sometimes, but realistically to see better/more permanent results, try implementing the training advice in the next point.

♦The goal of this training is to create positive experiences whenever your dog goes into the kitchen, and to show him good things happen there. For this you’ll need his favorite treats.

I don’t know how severe your dog’s anxiety is – does it only start once you’re in the middle of cooking? Only when the smoke detector goes off? Is it so bad he starts to shake when he’s near the kitchen?

Let’s say your dog is fine standing at the kitchen door, but won’t get further. That’s when you want to toss him a few treats, as long as he’s calm. Over time you’ll take one step into the kitchen and lure him with treats, then another step further in, then lure with treats. This may take a few days or weeks, but it takes as long as it takes.

Treats should only be given when your dog is in a calm and relaxed state.

If the detector scares him, find an audio of that sound, play it on the lowest volume and while that’s happening, distract your dog with a favorite bone, toy or a play session. The next time increase the volume ever so slightly and repeat. Your goal is to very gradually over time, increase the volume and not have him react. By pairing the sound with a delicious treat or distracting him with a toy he loves, your working towards desensitizing him to that sound.

You can do the same thing with everyday kitchen noises. For example, take a pot out of the cupboard very slowly, while having someone give him treats when he doesn’t react. Increase the amount of noise you make when putting the pot down or away in the cupboard. What about utensils? Do the same thing.

What you’re doing is breaking down the larger fear into smaller parts – detector, noise of a pot, silverware on the counter etc…

Why your dog is scared when you cook

Do you have a dog that’s scared of kitchen noises? What sets him off and how have you helped? Sharing helps others, so please leave your tips below.

Do you have an anxious dog? Does he go after dogs and/or people on a walk? Is he afraid of the vet? Men? Kids? The car? Do loud noises freak him out? Get in touch to book an appointment for a FREE 15 minute, no obligation consultation. It will give you the chance to let me know what’s going on, and I’ll explain how I can help. Please message me via my FB page or website.

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