It’s normal for dogs to be scared of some things. Among the most common dog phobias are of balloons. While some dogs may love them, many dislike balloons and are even fearful of them for a variety of reasons.
This article will explore the most common reasons why dogs are scared of balloons.
Why Are Dogs Scared Of Balloons?
Commonly, dogs with a fear of balloons have had a negative experience with them. Others might be afraid of balloons because they are unfamiliar with them and are wary of the sound they make.
However, different dogs can become fearful of balloons for different reasons depending on their individual experiences.
Common Reasons Why Dogs Are Scared Of Balloons
If your dog is scared of balloons, you may need to help them get over that phobia. However, before you can address their issues, it’s essential to understand the cause of the problem.
Here are some of the most common reasons why dogs develop a fear of balloons:
They’ve Had A Bad Experience
Chances are, your dog has seen a balloon before and thought they could play with it like any other ball. It may have exploded in their face and made a loud, scary sound.
They may have even been hurt. Such an experience will be enough to make them feel afraid of balloons.
They Don’t Understand Balloons
Dogs can be afraid of strange things they haven’t had many experiences with.
Their fear could be from a lack of exposure to balloons and a general lack of confidence around things they don’t understand.
They Just Don’t Like Them
Balloons can be very weird for dogs because they look like balls but don’t behave like one. They make irritating sounds, especially when rubbed together. And, the static electricity they carry can feel very odd.
It really should be a surprise that some dogs don’t like them or don’t know how to react around them.
They’re Generally Anxious
High-anxiety dogs can be afraid of anything, and balloons are a common target. A tendency for stress can be caused by genetics, lack of proper socialization, or a combination of the two.
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Afraid Of Balloons
While dogs’ fears are often apparent to their owners, that’s not always the case. It’s essential to observe your dog’s behaviors and be attentive to both vocal and non-vocal cues.
Here are some of the signs to watch out for to determine whether or not your dog is afraid of balloons:
Barking is one of the most common ways dogs communicate distress.
Depending on your dog’s habit and level of anxiety, they may also growl and snarl at a balloon or a person holding one. They might also while or wail when they’re afraid.
Your dog’s body language can say a lot about how they’re feeling. If they’re afraid of balloons, they might tuck their tail between their legs when they see one.
They might also turn rigid, pin their ears back, and start to pant. They’re also likely to pull themselves away from the balloon.
Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Has A Fear Of Balloons?
Your dog’s fear of balloons could be just a quirk you both could live with. But if you’re around balloons frequently, your dog will feel stressed too often and their responses might even worsen.
As with any other fear, it would be unhealthy to disregard the issue.
You should be especially concerned if the presence of balloons elicits an extreme stress response from your dog.
Keep in mind that fear could lead to anxiety-driven aggression. This would lead to dogs lashing out and possibly even hurting people.
If your dog has a fear of balloons, you should do what you can to help them have more positive experiences with these air-filled bags.
Or, you can enlist the services of a professional trainer or behaviorist that has extensive experience in similar issues.
Things You Can Do To Help Your Dog Be Comfortable Around Balloons
The best way to help your dog get over their fear of balloons is through counter-conditioning. This involves slowly trying to change their emotional response to the presence of balloons through more positive experiences.
Here are the steps you need to take to teach your dogs that balloons are nothing to be afraid of:
Step 1: Create Positive Associations With A Balloon
Bring a balloon close enough so the dog knows it’s there but not too close that it brings them over the edge of their anxiety.
For every positive reaction (including not reacting), offer praises and high-value treats.
Step 2: Get Used To Being Close To A Balloon
Once you’re confident that you can bring the balloon closer without eliciting a negative response, do so and treat your dog heavily.
Bring the balloon closer and closer until you’re actually able to touch it to your dog’s body without them showing any signs of fear.
Remember to observe your dog for signs of stress and take it as slowly as they need to. Otherwise, you might just worsen their condition.
Step 3: Teach Your Dog To Interact With A Balloon
Balloons can be fun for dogs to play with. Many dogs have a good time bouncing them on their snout to keep them away from the ground.
But before your dog can actually have fun with a balloon, you need to teach them how to properly interact with one so that it doesn’t pop and worsen their fears.
Your dog’s first few interactions with a balloon need to be heavily supervised. Teach them not to bite or paw at the balloon.
Through treats and praises, encourage them to play with it gently and only by letting it bounce on their snout. Eventually, they will realize that balloons can actually be great fun.
Dogs are commonly afraid of balloons, as well as some household items like brooms and vacuums. It’s essential to determine whether your dog is actually scared of balloons and why it might be so.
That way, you’re able to find the best ways to help them cope with being around balloons or even getting over their fears entirely.