Why Does My Dog Stare Into Space? 7 Reasons Revealed

Does your canine buddy sometimes space out? If you’ve experienced this, you are probably wondering why this happens. In this post, we’ll help you find out the real reason behind dogs staring into space. 


By the end of this post, you’ll find out:


  • Seven top reasons why your dog is spacing out.
  • Four things to do when your dog spaces out. 
  • Whether dogs can see ghosts. 

Why Does My Fido Space Out?

Your dog could be spacing out owing to a medical or natural condition. Medical conditions that can make your dog zone out include an infection that results in disorientation, seizures, dementia and eyesight deterioration. Some of the natural reasons that cause your dog to space out are attention-seeking, or they can see or hear something you can’t. 

Can My Dog See Ghosts?

This is an interesting question that many people seem to wonder about. 


While there’s no proof of whether dogs can or can’t see ghosts—(How can we prove something we also can’t see?)—we can’t also assume that a dog’s blank stare is because they’ve seen a ghost. 


This topic is controversial since there’s no way to prove that dogs can’t see ghosts. 


However, we can discuss things we are sure of, such as dogs’ ability to perceive high-frequency sounds. 


Your dog has a well-developed sense of hearing and smell. 


Nonetheless, your furry friend could be gazing at something because they aren’t sure what they see. 

So, What’s The Main Take Away?

Even though you might be tempted to assume that your dog’s spacing out is because they’ve seen a ghost, their behaviour might have a more straightforward explanation. 


Bearing that in mind, let’s look into the most probable reasons why your pooch is acting in this manner.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Staring Into Space

1. Noises From The Surroundings

Dogs are well known for their highly developed hearing. 


Your dog could be perceiving sound frequencies coming from the street or your neighbour’s house. 


The noise could be nothing, but your furry friend will still want to know what’s going on.


This might be the case if the blank gaze concurs with a subtle head tilt. 


Head tilting is a dog’s way of saying, “I don’t get it”. Therefore, your dog could be attempting to understand what’s going on and consequently stay focussed while they are in some sought of trance. 


Your dog’s ears can indicate whether your dog’s blank stare is due to noise. Dog’s can maximise their hearing capabilities since they have mobile ears that can tilt towards the direction of a sound they want to hear better. 

2. Could Your Walls Be Having Pests?

Pests are an excellent example of a natural reason why your dog is spacing out. 


Pests inside your walls could be producing sounds that only your dog can hear. 


Your dog may be staying still and staring at the wall trying to make out the source of the noise since they can’t see anything. 


Have an exterminator check your house if your dog does this often.

3. Declining Eyesight

Your dog’s eyesight deteriorates as it grows older. 


Like humans, most dogs will have issues seeing clearly and need some time to acclimate and focus. 

4. Your Dog Could Be Seeking Your Attention

Dogs are among the most intelligent creatures. Therefore, if they notice that you give them attention and affection when spaced out, they’ll likely space out intentionally. 


If you are a first-time dog owner and experience this, you’ll likely pet your dog and talk to them. 


5. Experiencing Absence Seizures Or Epilepsy

Epilepsy can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, your dog may drop down abruptly and start producing foam from its mouth while shaking uncontrollably. This can be disturbing if you haven’t witnessed an epileptic attack before. 


You may be surprised to find out that your dog could be having a seizure while it’s staring into space—this is a partial or focal seizure. 


Caution: This kind of seizure may result from cancer or poisoning. Take your pooch for a check-up at the vet immediately to rule out such severe medical conditions. 


Such seizures are difficult to detect, and you can only realise something is amiss if you notice them stare blankly into space repeatedly. 


Absence seizure also manifests itself in that same way. It’s a mild epilepsy form, referred to as ‘petit mal’.


Typically, absence seizures cloud your dogs’ consciousness without inducing convulsions. 

6. An Infection Causing Disorientation

First off, let’s look into how disorientation in dogs manifests:


The common signs of disorientation include:


  • Vomiting.
  • Head tilting.
  • Darting eyes.
  • Head tremors
  • Inability to stand.
  • Motion sickness while travelling in a car.
  • Rolling and Falling.


Note that dogs’ UTIs (Urinary Tract Infection) can also cause disorientation. UTIs can progress to Cystitis, a bladder infection if left untreated. A dog with Cystitis will have the urge to pee often, but they won’t be able to do so. 


Fever can also make your dog stare blankly. 


One possible cause of fever could be a UTI. Other causes of fever include:


  • Bacterial infection.
  • Tooth infection.
  • Ear infection.
  • Infected wound (bite, cut or scratch).
  • Infected lungs or kidneys. 


You can recognise the condition through the following signs:


  • Warm nose and ears.
  • Vomiting.
  • Shivering.
  • Coughing.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Dry nose.
  • No appetite.

7. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction – Ccd (Dementia)

Dementia can be a possible cause of blank stares for older dogs. 


Scientific research reveals that 60% of older canines get dementia, particular from 11 years old and above. 


What’s dementia?


Dementia is a general term for impaired thinking and communication abilities and memory loss symptoms. This condition may affect your canine as it gets old. 


When dementia affects a dog, you’ll notice a change in its behaviour. Your dog may become apathetic, disoriented, forgetful (won’t recognise you), easily scared, and anxious. 


Below are a few examples of symptoms common in dogs with dementia:


  • Your fido hesitates to use doors, staircases or other items meant for it. 
  • Your canine gets lost in the house.
  • They now act scared by dog toys, other family members and you. 
  • You’ll find your fido pacing all over the place.
  • They stop responding to their name and don’t approach when called. 
  • Your furry friend seems distant and doesn’t want to play. 
  • Your dog can’t follow basic instructions that they used to perform with ease. 
  • When turned on, the radio or TV startles your dog.
  • Your fido experiences difficulty learning new tricks and performing some routine tasks.
  • They stare blankly in spaces or at walls.
  • Your dog isn’t enthusiastic about accepting water, treats, and food from you.  
  • They sleep less at night and longer during the day. 


A blank stare into space isn’t enough to declare dementia. However, keep watch for any of the signs above and that staring behaviour.


Take your dog to the vet if you notice any of the signs. 


What Should I Do If My Dog Stares Blankly Into Space?

1. Keep Calm

Now that you are aware of the most common reasons for this behaviour in dogs, you could be terrified. You have to try your best to stay calm to rationalise and think of the most appropriate action to take. 

2. Pay Attention To Detail

Be on the lookout for unusual behaviours when observing your dog. As soon as you notice any, take notes that will help your vet act accordingly and in time to make certain of your dog’s safety. 

3. Videotape Your Fido

You may find it challenging to tell your vet the state of affairs after a while. Also, you want to ensure you do not forget any key thing like the duration of those blank stares. A video of the events will help you keep a record.

4. Consult With Your Vet

It’s always advisable to consult your vet whether or not you’re worried about your fido’s blank stares. By doing this, you’ll have peace of mind and will be able to provide the attention your dog needs to get back to normal.  


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