Why Does My Dog Stare Into Space? [10 Reasons and 5 Ways to Address It]
“I’m bored.” “There’s nothing to do.” “What am I looking at?”
These are all phrases we hear in our heads when our dogs stare into space.
The truth is, they’re probably not bored or staring aimlessly for no reason.
There could be a few reasons why your dog stares off into the distance…or the sky.
Ever wondered why your dog stares into space sometimes?
Well, we have the answers.
Here are 10 reasons why dogs do it and what you can do if they stare too long.
Why does my dog stare into space?
Your dog is staring into space because he’s in deep thought, bored, or has an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian. If he is shaking, he might be having a seizure. Take him to the vet ASAP.
- Thinking About Food
- Feels Good
- Neurological Condition
- Bad Eyes
- Staring at something you can’t see
Suppose your dog stares into space for more than a few minutes at any given time, and there is no reason behind it, like boredom.
In that case, he should be taken to the vet as soon as possible. Because this could mean that something serious has happened.
It could also be a personality quark. Lots of dogs are just naturally curious and like to explore.
They will stare into space for a few minutes at any given time because they are trying to figure out what is going on in their surroundings.
The world around them, which can be very interesting!
10 Reasons Why Your Dog Stares into Space
Your dog is most likely staring into space because he’s daydreaming.
Yes, dogs daydream just like humans.
It’s a way for them to escape the monotony of their lives.
They are bored and need something new to not be so restless all day long, or they’re just trying to figure out what is going on around him/her that they can’t see because it’s too far away from his nose!
They stare into space in an attempt to get rid of boredom by imagining things like chasing squirrels up trees.
Or maybe even thinking about how much better life would have been had s(he) ‘d never met YOU!!! 😉 Just kidding!!
Dogs daydream for a variety of reasons. It’s not a big deal.
#2 Thinking About Food
Your pup could also be daydreaming of their next meal – just like us, humans!
It’s fascinating to see how much thought goes into eating for them.
They will imagine the taste of their favorite food and how it feels in his mouth. They might even be wondering what they’ll eat for breakfast tomorrow! 😉
I know I do!
#3 He Feels Good
Your dog could be staring into space because they feel good.
This is a common occurrence when your dog has just eaten.
They feel good, so they lay down and stare into space for a while to enjoy the feeling of fullness in their stomachs!
It’s also possible that he feels really relaxed after taking his medication or getting groomed by you (or someone else).
In this case, he’s not bored or stressed but feeling really good.
If your dog stares too long, it could also mean that he has an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
This is a disorder that causes your dog to have repetitive thoughts and behaviors.
It can be very difficult for dogs with OCD because they are constantly in mental pain or discomfort, but it’s not always easy on the owners either!
Dogs who suffer from this condition often stare into space as an escape mechanism.
This means you may notice them doing so more than usual if their symptoms worsen at any given time of day (or night).
If these signs sound familiar, then talk about getting professional help ASAP.
Anti-anxiety medication may help your dog if he has OCD.
Your dog is staring into space because he is bored.
Yes, dogs get bored too!
It’s important to keep your dog stimulated and entertained.
Boredom can strike any dog. They need stimulation to keep their minds active.
If your dog is bored, have you played with him recently? If not, then it’s time to get creative!
If you’re not sure what to do, take your dog for a walk or play fetch with him in the backyard!
You can also give him some new toys and puzzles- there are plenty of dog game ideas on our site that will keep their boredom at bay!
If you’re dog seems down in the dumps and is staring into space, it could be due to depression.
Depression can happen for several reasons: they may not like their living environment, have separation anxiety or just miss you!
If your dog is depressed and staring into space, then try these things first before taking them to the vet’s office:
- Give him some extra love (and maybe even more treats!)
- Spend time with him outside on walks, so he gets used to being around people if he has been cooped up inside.
- Take away any life stressors by making sure there are no loud noises nearby when trying to sleep, which will help calm down anxious dogs.
*Note: If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms with depression or anxiety, please go see an animal behaviorist immediately!
These include but are not limited to
- Excessive panting/barkiness when left alone at home (separation)
- hiding from family members who they usually love being around
- urinating inside more than usual (which is common among dogs suffering separation anxiety).
- Other behavior that is out of character
#7 Neurological Condition
The most common neurological condition in dogs is canine epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. Which are episodes where your dog loses consciousness and may have muscle spasms or uncontrolled movements for up to 30 minutes at a time (or more).
The cause can be genetic, but it’s not always clear what triggers them in individual cases.
Some dogs will experience one seizure then never again, while others might suffer from recurring ones every few months.
Take him to an animal behaviorist specializing in neurological conditions as soon as you become aware there could be something wrong!
Staring into space could be a sign of a seizure or other neurological disorder.
#8 Bad Eyesight
One of the reasons your dog may stare off into space might be because his/her eyes have become weak.
This can prevent him/her from seeing clearly at any distance, which is why he/she often stares blankly.
Eye problems are most common in older dogs, but they can affect young dogs too.
If your dog has a hard time seeing, he may be staring into space because his eyesight is too blurry to focus on anything.
If you notice that one or both of their pupils are dilated, and the whites around them appear red (known as cherry eye), it could also mean they have an infection.
Owners with dogs who suffer from these symptoms should take their animals to the vet right away.
#9 He’s Staring at Something You Cant See
Perhaps your dog just seems to be staring into space, when in reality, he is staring at something you can’t see.
Suppose your dog is staring at a spot on the ground. In that case, it could be that he’s trying to catch sight of an animal or object in his line of sight.
He could be waiting for a sudden sign of movement.
If this happens often, try moving furniture away from windows (or wherever his line of sight is) so there isn’t anything blocking his view.
If nothing changes after doing these things, then consult with the vet about possible eye problems, as mentioned above.
If your dog is staring into space and seems to be unresponsive, it could mean he has dementia.
Dementia in dogs can occur as a result of old age or diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s can gradually get worse until your dog no longer recognizes you at all. This may lead him back outside, where his instincts tell him that there are other animals around who might want to play with him!
It’s important for owners dealing with their pets’ mental decline to provide them the best care possible. Ensure they have plenty of stimulation so that you don’t lose touch completely before time runs out on both sides.
Dementia can also be from old age. Not all dogs will show the same symptoms, but some of them are:
- Inability to recognize people or objects
- Inability to problem solve. This can lead a dog to not remember how they got into a dangerous situation.
- Disorientation. Such as going from room to room as if he doesn’t understand what he’s doing.
If your dog is showing some of these symptoms, you might want to check with a vet.
#5 Things You Can Do If Your Dog Stares Into Space
First, you want to understand if the problem is serious or not.
If it seems like a neurological or health problem, you should take your dog to the vet.
The second thing is that it might be a behavioral problem and not an illness or disease at all!
Dogs are emotional and physical. There are plenty of things that could cause them to stare into space!
Third, give him plenty of stimulation.
You can try this: put some treats in front of him, so he has something else on his mind other than staring into space.
Fourth, make sure he’s getting enough exercise.
If your dog is a puppy or young adult and not exercised properly for his age group, then this could be the problem!
You can try taking him on walks more often to wear off some of that energy.
So it doesn’t build up inside like an overfilled balloon waiting until you pop it…or worse if they’re sensitive types who take things personally (like my old Dauchsand).
Fifth, make sure you give them plenty of love.
Dogs are emotional creatures, just like us. They can feel lonely and sad, and if they’re not getting enough attention from you, then it’s possible that could be the reason for their staring into space.
The best way to make sure your dog is happy and content with his life, give him plenty of love! Give them a lot more than just food or walks!
Well, that’s all, folks!
Now your know why your dog is staring into space!