Can dogs be afraid of smoke? Get Your Pet Thinking

My dog is scared of smoke- who cares?

Dogs that are wary of the odd bonfire because of the smoke are one thing, but what about a dog that is terrified of entering a kitchen?

Many of us only have the occasional bonfire or if it is a BBQ there are plenty of safe places within a house that a dog can escape to.

But if the fear of smoke becomes a fear that is related to being in your kitchen, or being there when the oven is on, your dog’s fear of smoke becomes a much bigger issue.

After all, we could stop having bonfires or even BBQs if it caused our dogs too much distress.

But how many of us could seriously stop using our ovens because of the terror that it triggered in our dogs?!

And now to more fully understand what a huge impact being scared has on our dog and us, I want to quickly look at the most common ways that dogs show fear.

Is it bad for dogs to smell fire smoke?

Chemicals released from burned materials such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and cyanide are dangerous and poisonous for your pet. Inhalation of these chemicals can result in severe lung injury, burnt airways and death. The signs of smoke inhalation can include but are not limited to: Severe coughing.

There are lots of reasons why a dog can be scared of smoke. Smoke is a very sensory experience. Most smoke has a very strong smell to it and thick smoke interferes with or blocks vision. Not only that but smoke also moves and swirls around, a dog can move away from smoke only to be covered in a few seconds later.

Are dogs more sensitive to smoke?

Pets are also susceptible to the damaging effects of second-hand smoke. Exposure of dogs to second-hand smoke has been associated with a greater occurrence of allergies, eye problems, and respiratory problems (including lung tumours).

Why are dogs scared of smoke? | DogVela

We have a rescue dog and, over the past 10 months since we got her, weve helped her get used to lots of things that frightened her; the kettle, the oven, a black vase on the window sill, rubber toys, etc… However, she is really struggling with the smell of smoke. This includes bonfires and BBQs, and she wont even go in the garden if a neighbour is having a BBQ. This gets to the point where she gets upset because shes so desparate to go to the toilet, but her fear keeps her indoors. Normally with her anxious behaviour, weve done very slow exposure to get her used to the thing shes afraid of, but obviously, this is hard to do with smoke. Plus, its not just nerves – she is really scared of it. I dont want to push her, but I also hate watching her get upset because she wants to go out but cant. Any advice?

OP, do you think it is the smoke or that she has associated the smell of smoke with something scarier (e.g. fireworks)?

We dont know her full history as she came to us at 3.5 years old, so its possible something happened with fire that has traumatised her. Just want her to feel safe in her own garden, which will be increasingly hard over the next few weeks with bonfire night coming up

Have you tried the DAP collar? We were given one by the Dogs Trust, when we adopted our rescue dog from them – she is somewhat neurotic, but it did help.

Oh bless her heart. I would ask the vet if there’s anything she can have to relax her, then take her out in it repeatedly but just for a minute or two each time, with you, on leads, lots of reassurance and praise etc.

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