What are the symptoms of animal phobias?

The symptoms arising from an animal phobia are very real and uncomfortable, and manifest in physical sympathetic responses as well as psychological reactions. Contact with, or in some cases just thinking about, the feared animal may cause the following symptoms:

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hyperventilating
  • heart palpitations and chest pains
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • panicked feeling
  • extreme avoidance of the feared animal
  • interference with normal activities because of fear of the animal
  • excessive anxiety and feelings of doom

Animal phobia is different than a realistic fear of a dangerous animal or anxiety about an unpleasant interaction with a particular type of animal. Healthy fear is a natural response to an actual danger, whereas a phobia elicits an extreme or irrational response that disrupts an individual's normal life.

Continue Learning about Phobias

How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel
How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel
As Erica Jong, author of the 1973 feminist novel Fear of Flying, wrote, way down deep almost everyone has a fear of letting go. But air travel is incr...
Read More
What is coulrophobia?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. Horror writer Ramsey Campbell noted that he thinks people are af...
More Answers
How will my phobia affect my children?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Your own phobias may make it more likely that your children will suffer from phobias of their own. A...
More Answers
What can I do if I freeze when approaching narrow spaces?
Shelley Peterman SchwarzShelley Peterman Schwarz
To get “unstuck” from a freeze that may occur when you approach narrow spaces, try these tips:Do...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.