She understands her fear is irrational, but this sound, even in the space, sends her to a full blown panic attack. For pet lovers, it is hard to imagine anyone using this type of severe response to a cat or dog, however it occurs. It’s called a particular phobia, and the affliction is a lot more common than many people recognize. Fear of certain animals like cats or dogs is among the most typical particular phobias. People with a cat or dog phobia describe feeling extreme nervousness when they’re near the animal or considering the possibility of encountering the animal.

Symptoms include feelings of panic, dread and terror, a racing heart, trouble breathing, trembling and an overpowering urge to flee. People with phobias not just fear a cat or dog damaging them, but are equally scared of the panic reaction that communicates an encounter. Individuals experiencing dog or cat phobias are vulnerable to matters other individuals wouldn’t even notice. People distort phobic stimuli. They may see a cat like a saber tooth tiger with lion sized paws, as an example. And cats are so aloof and separate that they look inconsistent. Unpredictability is very frightening for phobics, he says. In Roche’s case, dogs themselves do not cause a reaction, but the barking does.

Roche clarifies that if she is in a location she can leave, her response is not as bad. But if she is in the home and hears a barking dog nearby, she’s to go inside and stay there. It is gotten to this point where she won’t use her very own backyard because she is afraid a dog will bark somewhere at this neighborhood. There are various scenarios that could be the impetus to a phobia. A direct experience or traumatic event, like a dog bite or an overly friendly dog jumping up on an unprepared kid might lead to a phobia. If a mother is scared of dogs, her son could shake her fear on hers. Vasey says, sometimes all it can take to trigger a phobia is for a reliable adult to tell a young kid that dogs or cats are dangerous.

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