Does your dog stare into space as if seeing a ghost?
If so, you probably wonder why.
Here you’ll find out the real answer.
Continue reading to discover:
- The top 7 reasons why dogs stare into space.
- 4 things you can do when your dog stares into space.
- If dogs can see ghosts (believe it or not, there are a lot of people who wonder if dogs can see ghosts).
- And more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog stare into space?
- Can dogs see ghosts?
- 7 reasons why your dog stares into space
- What to do if your dog stares into space?
Why does my dog stare into space?
The reasons why your dog stares into space could be natural or medical. Natural ones are hearing or seeing something you’re unable to, or seeking attention. Medical ones include eyesight deterioration, an infection causing disorientation, having a seizure, or suffering from dementia.
Can dogs see ghosts?
Here we have an interesting question. Many people on the internet are wondering about it.
While we cannot rule out the possibility of our dogs seeing something we can’t, we can’t attribute the dog’s blank stare into space to the presence of ghosts.
This is a controversial topic and there isn’t sufficient evidence to support the statement that dogs can see ghosts.
What we can be sure about though is a dog’s ability to detect higher-frequency noises.
Besides hearing, your dog also has a very-well developed sense of smell.
That being said, it’s not impossible that your dog is staring at something because they’re unsure of what they’re seeing.
So, what can we learn from this?
Even though it might look like your dog has detected something supernatural, the explanation for their behavior could be way more simple.
With that in mind, let’s jump into the more likely reasons why your dog acts this way…
7 reasons why your dog stares into space
#1: Pests in the walls
This is a great first example of a natural reason.
Your dog could be staring at the wall because they detect certain sounds in it.
The noises they hear could be caused by critters.
By staying still and looking at the wall the dog could be trying to determine what is causing the noise as they won’t see anything.
If it happens often, it’s not a bad idea to have an exterminator check your home.
#2: Outside noises
Dogs are famous for having acute hearing.
It’s possible that your dog detects noise frequencies coming from your neighbor’s home or from the street.
Sure, to you it might seem like nothing but your dog is wondering what’s going on.
This is especially true when the blank stare is accompanied by a slight head tilt.
The head tilt is a dog saying ‘I don’t get it’. So, they could be trying to figure out what’s up and hence stay focused while staring in space.
A big indicator of whether your dog is staring due to a noise, are the dog’s ears. The dog’s ear is much more mobile than the human one and allows the dog to maximize the hearing ability.
#3: Attention seeking
Dogs are very intelligent. Hence, if your dog senses that staring at nothing will get you to give them affection and attention, they might do it on purpose.
A loving pet owner who experiences this for the first time is bound to go to their dog, talk to them, and pet them.
#4: Eyesight deterioration
As your dog gets older, their eyesight will most likely begin to weaken.
Much like with us humans, they’ll have issues seeing clear and might need some time to adjust and focus.
#5: An infection causing disorientation
First thing’s first – let’s talk about what does disorientation in dogs look like.
Here are some signs your is disoriented:
- Tilting their head.
- Having head tremors.
- Darting eyes.
- Unable to stand.
- Falling and rolling.
- Having motion sickness while travelling in a vehicle.
Be advised that if your dog has an Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), they could feel disoriented.
When not treated, and Urinary Tract Infection could lead to Cystitis. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder.
An affected dog will feel the need to pee too often although they might not be able to get anything out.
Another health issue that can cause your dog to stare blankly is fever.
An Urinary Tract Infection is one possible cause of fever. Others are:
- Ear infection.
- Tooth infection.
- Infected kidneys or lungs.
- Bacterial infection.
- Infected wound (scratch, cut or bite).
Most common signs thanks to which you could recognize the condition are:
- A dry nose.
- Warm ears and nose.
- Lack of energy.
- No appetite.
#6: Having absence seizures/epilepsy
One of my previous dogs (Jenny) was suffering from epilepsy.
The first time I witnessed a seizure it shocked me because I had no idea what was going on. And I was just a kid.
One moment she used to be alright and the other she’d drop down on the ground. Then she’d start shaking uncontrollably while foam was coming out of her mouth…
This is just one way in which epilepsy could manifest itself.
So, what does that mean for you and your dog?
It could come as a surprise to you to learn that your dog could be undergoing a seizure while they’re staring blankly into space.
This kind of seizure is called a focal or a partial seizure.
Caution: Seizures like these could be caused by poisoning or cancer. To rule out such a serious medical condition, take your dog fro a vet-check up as soon as possible.
They’re trickier to detect. One giveaway of whether your dog is experiencing such one is if they stare at nothing repeatedly.
Another type of seizure that manifests itself the same way is the absence seizure. This is a mild form of epilepsy, also known as ‘petit mal‘.
What’s typical for them is that they cloud the consciousness of dogs without being accompanied by convulsions.
#7: Dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction – CCD)
You could consider dementia as a possible cause for your dog’s blank stare if you have an older dog.
According to a research, 60% of older dogs get dementia, especially ones that are 11 years old or older.
But what exactly is dementia?
Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms of memory loss, impaired communication, and thinking abilities. It’s a condition that affects your dog’s brain as it ages.
When a dog gets affected by dementia, their behavior changes. As a result your dog could become forgetful (and unable to recognize you), disoriented, anxious, easily scared, apathetic.
Here are some examples:
- Your dog gets lost at home.
- Your dog is hesitant to use staircases, doors or items meant fro them.
- Your dog stops responding to their name and doesn’t come when called.
- Your dog cannot perform basic commands that they used to and with ease.
- Your dog seems distant and doesn’t indulge in play.
- Your dog suddenly acts scared by you, other family members, and/or dog toys.
- You catch your dog pacing around the house.
- Your dog finds it difficult to perform some routine tasks and to learn new tricks.
- Your dog doesn’t seem enthusiastic to accept food, treats and water from you.
- Your dog gets startled when you turn the TV or the radio on.
- Your dog sleeps longer during the day and less during the night.
- Last but not least – your dog stares with an empty expression at the wall or in space.
Staring at a blank space itself is not enough to signal dementia. But do be on the lookout for any of the above-mentioned signs in combination with that behavior.
In case you spot any signals from these, head to the vet.
What to do if your dog stares into space?
#1: Stay calm
After familiarizing yourself with all of the most common possible reasons for this type of dog behavior, you could get scared. That’s understandable.
If you keep your cool, you’ll be able to rationalize and take an appropriate decision on what to do.
#2: Attention to detail
Pay attention whether your dog exhibits any other peculiar behaviors.
Take notes as soon as you spot any. This can help you and your vet act timely and accordingly to ensure your dog’s safety.
#3: Record your dog
It might be hard to convey the situation to your vet after some time has passed.
Plus, you wan’t to be sure you’re not missing on anything important. Such thing could be the duration of the blank stare.
#4: Consult with your vet
Regardless if your’re worried about your dog staring into space or not, it’s always a safe bet to consult with your vet.
If nothing else, you’ll be able to sleep with a clear conscience at night 🙂