What’s with the dog staring up towards the ceiling? We’ll List the Top 9 Below.

Updated on April 16, 2023

A dog’s gaze is occasionally drawn to the ceiling. While a casual glance here and there is to be expected, prolonged staring could indicate trouble. If your dog is staring at the ceiling, it may be because he or she is picking up on sounds or sights that are invisible to humans. It could also mean that your dog is sick. Discuss the possible causes of your dog’s incessant staring at the ceiling.

There are many reasons why dogs stare up at the ceiling. It’s possible that something is residing on your roof, or perhaps your upstairs neighbors are up to some shenanigans. The ceiling might be illuminated with patterns of light. Your dog could be suffering from something as minor as an eye growth or tick to something much more serious like epilepsy or ocd.

Many of us think an alien has invaded our homes if we catch our pets staring at something invisible to us. We can’t claim to be experts on the supernatural, but we can tell you why your dog might be staring at the ceiling. There could be anything from parasites to cancer in your dog’s system, so it’s best to have a vet take a look if you’re worried. Now that the sage has had a chance to relax, let’s get to the top reasons why dogs stare at the ceiling.

Why Does Your Dog Stare At The Ceiling?

Reasons why dogs stare at the ceiling have been compiled. The range of topics covered ranges from interesting to humorous to slightly serious. Gaining as much knowledge as possible on the subject is something we strongly advise. You should take your puppy to the vet if you have any concerns about his health.

Let’s take a look at the most likely causes of your dog’s fixation on the ceiling.

Critters In The Roof

A dog’s hearing and sense of smell are among its strongest senses. It’s possible that there are animals up there if your dog is staring at the ceiling and you have a roof. You should check for and get rid of any strangers in the house if your dog needs some quiet time.

Noisy Neighbours

Your apartment’s upstairs neighbors may be the cause of your dog staring at the ceiling. Even though we can hear extremely loud noises, it’s possible that your dog can hear and even smell much more subtle sounds.

They could be scratching at something, playing with a new pet, or preparing a delicious meal. It’s possible that your dog is able to hear and smell what you’re saying.

A Tick Or Growth On The Eye

Ticks are common on dogs. Due to their habit of running and rolling on soft surfaces like grass and sand, they are an easy target. Unfortunately, the skin around the eyes is ideal real estate for ticks because of the proximity of veins there. Inspect the area around and inside your dog’s eye if you notice that he or she is staring upwards frequently.

You might find development if there aren’t any ticks in the area around your eye. Although most canine eye growths are not cancerous, we all know how frustrating it is when Fido has one. If your dog has a growth or tick on or near his eye, he may be looking upwards to alleviate the pressure, itching, or irritation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD is not unique to humans; it has been diagnosed in canines as well (OCD). This condition runs in families. For some, the condition arises because of worry or boredom. Sometimes, when a dog is scared, he or she will look up, and this may become such a routine that it leads to obsessive compulsive disorder.

A dog with OCD may also exhibit behaviors such as excessive licking, lip smacking, nibbling on objects or their limbs, or biting at imaginary insects. If OCD is diagnosed and treated early, it can be cured. Have your dog examined by the vet if you suspect he suffers from OCD so that treatment can begin right away.

Light And Shadows

Dogs’ vision is different from our own. Meaning your dog may be fascinated by the way light and shadows play across the ceiling. To figure out what your dog is staring at, try rearranging the furniture in the room. Test whether adjusting the position of the lamp or the drapes, both of which could be responsible for creating unwanted shadows, makes a difference.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

Similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans is canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS).

Even our furry best friends can develop dementia as they age. The average onset age for CDS in dogs is eleven, and the probability of a dog developing CDS increases with age.

After ruling out other potential conditions, a veterinarian can diagnose CDS in your dog. The most reliable indicator is a shift in your dog’s behavior and the way he interacts with his surroundings. A symptom of canine dementia is fixation on the floor or ceiling.

Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety and sleep aids if a diagnosis of CDS is made for your dog. It’s also possible that a high-antioxidant diet and vigorous exercise will be suggested.


Imagine that your dog keeps staring at the same spot on the floor, wall, or ceiling. He might be experiencing focal seizures if that’s the case. It’s possible that epilepsy or a toxic substance is to blame for these. Medication to treat the underlying condition and control the symptoms of canine epilepsy is essential.

If you think your dog is having seizures, it’s best to take him to the vet.

Enjoying The Breeze

If your dog is looking up, he may be trying to catch a whiff of the fresh air blowing through an open window or vent. The same way that canines enjoy having fresh air blow in their faces while traveling, they seek the same sensation when at home. If your dog sits in the same spot every time he looks up at the ceiling, this could be the cause of his fixation on the ceiling.

Even if your dog seems to be enjoying the summer breeze, keep in mind that the same draft could leave them shivering in the winter. Remember to take precautions to keep your dog warm if necessary.

Something In The Eye

In case there’s something stuck in his eye, your dog might be looking skyward for attention. Hairs and dust particles can get stuck on a dog’s eyeballs, giving them a unique perspective on the world. If this is the case, the strange behavior should end once the intruder leaves the field of vision.


There could be many causes for your dog’s fixation on the ceiling. Maybe the breeze is nice today, or he’s just watching the shadows play across the ceiling. There’s a chance your upstairs neighbors have something delicious cooking or a cute new hamster. It’s possible that your dog is eavesdropping on the critters up in your roof, or that he has an eye tick or growth.

Staring blankly at the ceiling or nowhere in particular could be an indication of a serious medical condition such as dementia, epilepsy, or obsessive compulsive disorder. You should take your dog to the vet if you notice that he or she is staring at the ceiling for an extended period of time and it is causing you concern. It might just be mice, but by getting him checked out, you might be able to spare your furry friend some distress.




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