Zoophobia: Fear of Animals

  • Time to read: 5 min.

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Also, this site cannot and does not contain medical/health advice. The medical/health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. See our disclaimers page for more information.

It’s estimated that many people suffer from some form of zoophobia, or the fear of animals. That means that when you’re out in public, you’re never more than a few feet away from someone who’s afraid of animals. While it may seem like a silly fear to have, zoophobia can be a very real and debilitating condition. Symptoms include anxiety, panic attacks, and an overall sense of dread when confronted with an animal. 

If you suffer from zoophobia, you’re not alone. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why people may be afraid of animals and offer some tips on how to overcome your fear.

The Origins of Zoophobia

There are a few theories about where our fear of animals comes from. One popular theory is that it’s a holdover from our days as hunter-gatherers. Back in the day, it was important for us to be able to identify which animals were safe to eat and which were not. As a result, our brains developed a natural aversion to animals that could potentially harm us.

Another theory suggests that our fear of animals is rooted in evolution. Throughout the course of human history, there have been many deadly animal attacks. As a result, those who were more afraid of animals were more likely to survive and pass on their genes. Over time, this has led to a population of people who are naturally more afraid of animals than others.

Finally, some experts believe that our fear of animals is simply a result of cultural conditioning. We live in a society that often paints animals in a negative light. Think about all the horror movies you’ve seen where people are killed by wild animals. Or all the news stories you’ve heard about people being mauled by sharks or attacked by snakes. It’s no wonder we’re afraid of them!

Why Are People Afraid of Animals?

There are a number of reasons why someone may develop a fear of animals. In some cases, it may be due to a traumatic experience, such as being bitten by a dog or witnessing an animal attack.

For others, it may be a result of watching too many movies or TV shows where animals are depicted as vicious killers. And in other cases, it may simply be a matter of genetics; some people are born with a innate fear of animals. 

Whatever the cause, it’s important to remember that zoophobia is a real phobia and should be treated as such. If your fear of animals is impacting your quality of life, it’s time to seek help. 

Treatment for Zoophobia

If you suffer from zoophobia, there is some good news: there are things you can do to overcome your fear. One effective treatment is exposure therapy, which involves gradually exposing yourself to the thing you’re afraid of in a controlled setting. For example, if you’re afraid of snakes, you might start by looking at pictures of snakes online before gradually working your way up to seeing one in person. 

It’s also important to remember that most animals are not dangerous. Yes, there are exceptions like bears and sharks, but for the most part, animals pose very little threat to humans. So next time you’re feeling afraid of an animal, try to remind yourself that they’re more scared of you than you are of them!

Tips for Overcoming Zoophobia

If you’re ready to face your fears and take back control of your life, there are a few things you can do to ease your transition into becoming an animal lover. Here are a few tips: 

Start Small

If the thought of being near a large animal like a bear or gorilla is too much for you, start by spending time around smaller animals like birds or rodents. Gradually work your way up until you’re comfortable being around the animal you’re most afraid of. 

Seek Professional Help

A trained therapist can help you understand and manage your phobia in a safe and controlled environment. They can also help you identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to your fear. 

Challenge Your Thinking

One of the most common misconceptions about people with zoophobia is that they’re “afraid” of all animals. This simply isn’t true! Most people with this phobia are only afraid of certain types or groups of animals.

Challenge your thinking by asking yourself why you’re afraid of the animal in question. Is it really going to hurt me? Is it really as dangerous as I think it is? Once you start to question your beliefs, you may find that they no longer hold as much power over you as they once did. 

Join a Group

There are numerous online and offline support groups for people with zoophobia. These groups provide an invaluable support system for those who are trying to overcome their fear. In addition to offering emotional support, many groups also offer helpful information and resources that can make the process easier. 

Face Four Fears

One of the best ways to overcome any phobia is to face it head-on. If possible, slowly expose yourself to the animals you’re afraid of in controlled settings until you no longer feel anxious or scared when around them. This process takes time and patience but ultimately, it’s one of the most effective ways to overcome zoophobia. 

Phobias Similar to Zoophobia

There are a number of other phobias that share similarities with zoophobia. Here are a few examples.

  • Taphephobia: This is a fear of being buried alive. People with taphephobia often feel trapped, which can lead to panic attacks. 
  • Scopophobia: This is a fear of being watched. People with scopophobia often feel like they can’t go outside or be seen by other people. 
  • Social Phobia: This is a fear of social situations. People with social phobia often feel anxious and self-conscious in these situations, which can lead to panic attacks. 

If you’re struggling with any of these phobias, remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources and support groups available to help you overcome your fears.


Living with zoophobia can be difficult but there are ways to manage and eventually overcome your fear. If you think you might suffer from this phobia, reach out to a professional for help. With time and patience, you can get past your fear and live a life free from anxiety!

FAQ – Zoophobia: Fear of Animals

What is a Zoophobia mean?

Zoophobia is an intense fear of animals. This phobia can be debilitating, preventing sufferers from living a normal life. Zoophobics often avoid places where they might come into contact with animals, such as zoos, parks, and even their own backyard.

What causes Zoophobia?

There is no one single cause of zoophobia. In many cases, it is thought to develop as a result of a traumatic event involving an animal. For example, if someone is bitten by a dog, they may develop a fear of all dogs (cynophobia). In other cases, zoophobia may be the result of witnessing someone else being harmed by an animal.

How common is Zoophobia?

Zoophobia is a relatively common phobia, affecting both children and adults. It is estimated that around 3% of the population suffers from this phobia.

How is Zoophobia treated?

There are a number of ways to treat zoophobia, including exposure therapy, medication, and counseling. The best approach depends on the severity of the phobia and the individual’s preferences.