It’s meal time and your dog is happily following you to get the frozen chicken meat from the fridge. However, the moment you go over to the oven to have the meat heated up, you find him hiding in one corner of the kitchen, shivering with fear.
This makes you wonder what’s causing his fear of the oven?
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Bright Lights In The Oven Frightened Him
Your dog sees a sudden light in the oven during the heating process and that terrifies him.
He is unsure what that lighting is all about and if there will be any threat to him.
The light looks like a “fire” to him and, along with the heat that is emitting from the oven, he may think that it is a fire breakout.
That’s certainly going to make him flee away!
Smell Resides In The Oven Freak Him Out
If you are using the oven to bake a marinaded ground spiced chicken, the odor that is left in the oven is going to make your dog stay far away from it.
This is because there are certain scents, such as the ones from ground spices, hot peppers, fresh herbs as well as citrus fruits that dogs typically dislike because they irritate their sense of smell.
It could also be the case that the burning smell of your food turns him off.
In fact, any burning smell never fails to make the dog jump out of his skin. It’s their instinctual behavior!
Noises From The Oven During Heating Scared him
When the oven is heating up, sudden booming sounds can be heard because the igniters are dirty.
The igniter that is supposed to heat up and light the gas is accumulated with grease and food residue over time.
When the element needs to heat through the dirt and filth to ignite the gas, this can lead to that freaky popping sound.
This scary loud noise from the oven, which is similar to the noise of a gunshot or fireworks, can freak your dog out and cause him to panic. He will run away from the oven and hide in one corner of the house.
Heat From The Oven Startles Him
The surface of the oven can get pretty hot as you are heating up the food. Depending on the type of food being heated, the temperature of the oven can be set to be as high as 450 °F.
That intense heat generated by the oven can be terrifying to your dog when he is in proximity to an open oven (when you are bringing out the food).
He could feel the heat and started to feel uncomfortable. If he happens to touch the door of an opened oven, that could cause a burn on his paws.
So you need to keep an eye on your dog when you are cooking or baking. You want him to enjoy the food that you are making, and not to get hurt.
That’s why you need to make sure that he doesn’t go near the oven when he smells the aroma of the food in the oven.
You can do so by setting up a baby gate to keep your dog away from the kitchen.
He Is Traumatized By Painful Burning Experience
If your dog ever gets burned as the result of touching the oven, that will create a long-lasting fear for him.
The burn on his paws can take weeks to heal up completely, and he will have difficulty walking. He might not be able to go anywhere without being in pain.
This will create immense discomfort for him whenever his injured paw touches the ground.
That will make him start to associate the oven with an unpleasant, painful experience and will create a phobia in him towards the oven.
Appearance Of The Oven Stunned Him
If your dog has a tendency to be fearful of cardboard boxes, he might be scared of the oven as well because it resembles an enclosed box to him.
He sees the oven as a potential risk of danger, that is, he could be trapped inside if he sticks his head in it (assuming your dog is a small breed such as a chihuahua).
That makes him wary of the oven and afraid to go near it. He needs to be desensitized to the oven through training.
Radiation From The Oven Terrify Him
According to Federal law (21 CFR 1030.10), an oven may leak up to 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter at a distance of approximately 2 inches from the surface.
This limit is well below the level at which human beings are known to be harmed.
Thus, you might not feel the radiation emitted from the oven, but your dog is certainly able to sense it and this scares him.
Tips for Helping Your Dog Overcome Oven Fear
When helping your dog overcome their fear of the oven, it’s important to start with short exposure periods.
Begin by simply having your dog in the same room as the oven while it is turned off. Gradually increase the duration of exposure over time, always rewarding calm behavior and providing positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement techniques
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool when it comes to changing your dog’s behavior and associations.
Use treats, praise, and play to reward your dog for calm and relaxed behavior around the oven.
This helps them associate positive experiences with the oven and reduces their fear over time.
Creating positive associations
Help your dog develop positive associations with the oven by placing treats near it or engaging in fun activities nearby.
For example, you can scatter treats around the oven or play a game with your dog while standing close to it.
This helps shift their focus from fear to positive experiences associated with the oven.
Consulting a professional
If despite your efforts, your dog’s fear of the oven persists or worsens, it may be beneficial to seek professional help.
A certified dog behaviorist or trainer can provide specialized guidance and develop a tailored plan to address your dog’s specific fear.
They will have the expertise to identify underlying causes and recommend effective techniques for overcoming the fear.
Patience and consistency
Overcoming fear takes time, patience, and consistency. It’s important not to rush the process or push your dog beyond their comfort zone too quickly.
Each dog is unique and will require their own pace of progress. Be patient, understanding, and celebrate small victories along the way.
Remember that every dog is an individual, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s essential to adapt these tips to suit your dog’s personality, needs, and comfort level.
By employing these strategies and providing a supportive environment, you can help your furry friend feel more at ease around the oven over time.