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Why does my Dog Stare at the Ceiling?

Your dog continuously staring at the wall might confuse you and make you think about any paranormal activity in the house. Instead of assuming some ghosts are in your house, you should know that it’s a behavioral issue in dogs. Almost all dogs stare at the walls and ceiling. However, staring for too long can make you worried.

There are several reasons for your dog staring at the ceiling. So, instead of assuming things here and there, it is better to call your vet. Most dogs staring at the ceiling can be due to a medical condition.

Why does my dog keep staring at the ceiling and walls?

Dogs often have peculiar habits. When you have lived with your dog for a long time, you become familiar with all these habits. However, a new dog owner will undoubtedly be surprised after seeing some odd habits in its dog.

Similarly, dogs staring at the ceiling is not uncommon. It can sometimes indicate a medical condition, and most of the time, nothing to worry about.

If you see your dog staring at the ceiling often, there can be a few reasons for this.

·        It could be a focal seizure:

We often consider seizures as full-body movements in dogs. However, some seizures affect only one part of the body, which can be difficult to diagnose.

A seizure that affects only one part of the body is called a focal seizure. A dog exhibiting a focal seizure will show changes in its behavior that may sound funny to you, but they can be serious. In this condition, the dog may stare intently at the ceiling or may look like it’s snapping at invisible flies.

But how can you determine if your dog is suffering from a focal seizure?

One effective way to diagnose the disease is to distract the dog when staring at the ceiling. If the dog is not distracted no matter how much you try, it signifies that the dog is suffering from a partial seizure.

However, if you find it more difficult to tear the dog away from this behavior, it is more likely that the dog has had a focal seizure.

Only a vet can diagnose whether or not the dog has had a focal seizure. So, the only solution is to seek veterinary help.

·        A matter of age:

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from cognitive decline as they grow older. If your adult dog has started showing this behavior, you should get it checked by a vet. The cognitive diseases found in dogs are the canine version of Alzheimer’s disease and canine cognitive dysfunction.

According to research, staring into space, like the walls and ceiling, is caused by cognitive dysfunction. Other signs for this disease are:

·         Lack of participation

·         Getting stuck into corners

·         Sleeping more during the day

·         Feeling restless at night.

·         Not recognizing familiar people.

As of dementia, it also has other signs that indicate that the dog is suffering from the disease. However, if the disease is diagnosed at the early stages, its progression can be slowed down.

·        Your dog may be looking for pests:

If your dog is staring at the ceiling or wall, it might be fascinated by the pests, ants, mice, or even termites. This condition is normal and does not require a medical condition.

Sometimes the dogs get bored and start looking for ways to keep themselves busy. This can include looking at pests of all kinds. The dog will look at their movements to pass their free time. If you sit with your dog and stare at the wall with it, you can know what kinds of pests it stares at.

If you want to know what kinds of pests live in your house, it is best to call an examinator. So, the pests will be eliminated from the house, and you will be safe from any damage.

Your dog may also stare at walls when you are out at your deck. Just as pests can live in the house, they can live outside too. Notice your dog’s behavior and call the examinator if you feel the problem is real.

·        It may be a compulsive disorder:

Compulsive disorders are mostly seen in bored, stressed out, overactive, and high-strung dogs. It is mostly because the dogs want to have something to do and will entail repetitive behaviors.

Staring at the ceiling and walls or any other space is a symptom of this disorder. Other symptoms include:

·         Chasing her own tail

·         Chasing lights or shadows

·         Constantly licking his tail.

Fortunately, this condition will not really harm your dog. However, it will require a check-up from the vet. Sometimes, what seems like a compulsive disorder might be an attention-seeking behavior.

When dogs are bored or stressed out, they want attention, including any kind of attention, they can only get with a compulsive disorder. If you give your dog attention and other things it wants, this behavior will itself go away.

·        Dog head pressing:

Head pressing involves the dogs standing very close to the wall and pressing their head against it. It is a common behavior in many dogs. However, it is a sign of a serious medical illness. Sometimes, the liver does not function properly and cause the production of excess ammonia. The high amounts of ammonia in the body can cause intoxication of the brain.

A vet can only diagnose this condition, so you should immediately take your dog to the vet if you notice such behavior.

Other conditions:

There might be other conditions that can cause your dog to stare at the wall or ceiling. These may include:

·         Depression

·         Prosencephalon disease

·         Problem with its balance due to vestibular disease

Other very rare diseases can also be the reason. The symptoms can also differ in dogs, and only a vet can diagnose the exact reason.


Dogs often show strange behaviors, and if your dog is continuously staring at the ceiling, it can be due to a medical condition. Seeking veterinary help is the only solution. If left unchecked, the behavior might be difficult to overcome.

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