Why Is My Dog Looking up and Acting Scared?

There are some dog habits like a dog looking up and small gestures like waging its tail that can help us better comprehend what our furry pals are trying to say. One such habit that we are going to discuss is our dog looking up. The majority of pet owners wish they could interact with their pets in the same way they communicate with humans so that they can understand their pet’s emotions more clearly. While we can observe a few emotions through a dog’s actions and demeanor, many still have many questions about what they are thinking. now, let’s move on into the article to find out why is your dog looking up and what that means?

Why is my Dog Looking Up?

Dogs are amusing creatures who find strange and fascinating ways to keep themselves entertained. Staring up at the ceiling can be one of those strange ways.

dog looking up

Whenever dogs see something moving, like bugs or shadows coming across the ceiling, they tend to look up. Many times, a shadow up at the ceiling may grab your dog’s attention and may even scare your dog.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Look Up At The Ceiling?

Yes, it is. Dogs’ habit of staring skyward is actually rather common. Dogs are very curious animals who are highly attuned to their senses and can often detect things that humans miss out on. Hence, dogs observing something while looking up is pretty normal.

The only time you should be concerned about your dog staring at the roof is if they do so in a perplexed or worried manner.

If an elderly dog is staring at the ceiling and appears bewildered, it could be an indication that the dog is beginning to experience symptoms of dementia.

If it occurs in a dog that has just suffered a head injury, it could possibly indicate neurological issues, necessitating a trip to the veterinarian.

Some reasons your dog may be looking up at the ceiling

If your dog is showing an increased interest in the ceiling lately or has been looking skywards often, there can be multiple reasons why they are doing this. Some of these reasons are listed below:

Your dog sees a shadow or reflection

If your dog notices a shadow or reflection on the ceiling, it may get mesmerized by and continue to look at it till something else grabs their attention, or the reflection/shadow vanishes itself.

Your dog is staring at the fan.

If you have a ceiling fan, it’s not unexpected that your dig is fascinated by the revolving blades.

two dogs staring up

Ceiling fans generate a lot of disturbance and noise, particularly when set to the highest speeds. They also spread dust around, causing more shadows to be seen on the ceilings, which your dog will most definitely notice and stare up at.

Your dog is bored

Dogs, just like us, become bored. Dogs that are bored will stare into the distance or up at the ceiling. When your dog stares at the wall or upwards at the roof or lights for an extended amount of time, you know they’re bored.

Your dog is feeling anxious.

Anxious dogs are known to exhibit a wide range of unusual behaviors.

If you find your dog staring at the ceiling a lot, try to figure out if there’s a crisis or if it’s just the time of day; they do this a lot.

There could be more to it than you realize. If you feel there is something wrong, you may seek professional help.

Your dog sees an insect crawling around.

A spider or insect wandering around on the roof or walls can attract your dog’s focus. Finding and eating insects and spiders is a popular activity for many dogs.

It’s almost like a game for many dogs. Bugs are incredibly quick and a great way to keep your dog entertained. Hence they might be observing one on the ceiling.

Your dog is observing some stain on the roof.

As dogs have exceptional eyesight, they may sometimes see a spot or a stain on the ceiling or fan that you may have overlooked.

It may draw their attention and arouse their interest if it is something they have never seen before. Dogs appreciate looking into things they don’t understand, and therefore, such spots may intrigue them.

Your dog can hear something.

Your dog’s hearing is exceptional, and he can pick up on little sounds that you would miss. There’s a strong probability your dog hears something moving up in the attic or on the roof.

Whether its birds in the attic, the ceiling fan, or the air conditioner vents, your dog’s attention will be drawn upwards, making him stare at the ceiling.

Your dog smells something.

Dogs have a wonderful sense of smell, similar to their hearing. They could be sniffing out a fire inside the walls or even a dead animal that has been lurking during the winter. Some termites or insects within the walls or ceiling may have caught their attention.

Your dog may have some neurological issues.

Staring at the ceiling could suggest neurological difficulties if your dog is elderly or has just suffered a head injury. They should see a doctor if the condition persists or is accompanied by other problematic behaviors.

Your dog may be sick or experiencing pain.

If your dog spends a lot of time looking up, it could be a sign that they have a medical problem with their head, neck, or back. If they are in agony, they may raise their head or arch their back to reduce the discomfort.

It’s also possible that it’s linked to being sick. If your dog is ill to their stomach, they may turn upwards to avoid meals and scents.

Why does my dog raise its head to the sky when it’s barking?

If your dog is barking and glancing up at the ceiling, they may have discovered something inside your walls or roof. Your dog’s hearing is acute, and he or she may detect scratching or movement that you do not.

A brown dog looking up

If your dog, on the other hand, is constantly staring skyward and barking while doing nothing, something may be amiss neurologically.

Barking for no apparent cause can indicate or be an indication of nervousness, perplexity, or panic. A dog barking and glancing upward could indicate brain damage or dementia.

Why is my dog constantly writhing around and licking the floor?

Dogs are lickers to the core. However, while a random lick can be lovely when a dog starts licking excessively, it can be alarming.

This is especially true if your dog refuses to stop licking your floor, stairs, or even walls—the majority of dogs like scouring the floor for food crumbs.

However, if your dog has started licking the floor without warning, it could be an indication of a health concern, such as gastrointestinal issues.

Tips on what to do if your dog looks up at the ceiling

Often your dog may just be staring at the ceiling for no apparent reason, but to make sure you don’t overlook any serious symptom, the following tips may come in handy.

  • Keep a tight eye on your dog – try to notice what your dog is staring at and monitor them to look for any signs that may seem out of place.
  • Visit a vet – if you feel the staring might be a symptom of some underlying disease or issue, take your dog to a vet just to be sure.
  • Organize and manage their surroundings – look for anything bothering your dog, making him stare at the ceiling. Make an effort not to confuse your dog and keep their surroundings as per their liking.
  •  Keep your dog fit and active – You need to do more than just work out their bodies. This is because mental stimulation is just as necessary for dogs as it is for humans. It will also aid dogs suffering from dementia. Encourage them to try different games. Mix things up every day to avoid boredom in the long run.

Reasons why your dog looks up at you when walking

Your dog may occasionally look to you for direction as if they want you to tell them what to do. This is especially likely if your dog is already undergoing dog training, walking, or going someplace new.

dog looking up at the sky

They’ll probably gaze at you in anticipation of the next instruction if you’ve been giving them commands often. It’s your dog’s method of inquiring as to what they should do next. If it’s not confusion or looking for instructions, it may be an indication that they want something from you.

It can be more than just wanting your attention. Your dog may have a specific request: to pee before being served their meal or play fetch in the yard.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Looking Around Frantically?

Occasionally it’s nothing, and sometimes it’s a symptom when your dog acts as though he sees something.

What you can do is, look for anything that might be causing stress or uneasiness to your pet.

If you recognize something causing stress to your dog like a new person in the house, try getting rid of the stress caused or making your dog feel okay and comfortable about whatever is causing the frantic behavior.


Why does my dog stare randomly?

Dogs randomly staring at walls or things often lead to medical explanations like cognitive dysfunction syndrome or seizures. However, if not serious, it can also be a way of attention-seeking or observing something that might get overlooked by human eyes.

Why is my dog closing his eyes and looking up?

If your dog is closing his eyes and looking up, it may be to concentrate more on his hearing or smelling power. However, there can also be some underlying eye problem, or your dog might be experiencing some pain. A trip to the vet can make sure everything is fine.

What to do if your dog is squinting?

If your dog is squinting one eye, you should seek medical help right away. An ulcer or a scrape on the cornea are the most prevalent causes, though there are others. Appropriate medicine, pain control, and a firm E collar (cone) to minimize rubbing and the eye are required.

Why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden?

If your dog is acting weird all of a sudden, it may indicate they are feeling anxious or scared. If your dog exhibits any distinctive signs or symptoms, contact your veterinarian and don’t hesitate to bring them in for a check-up if they persist, since it’s always better to be safe and have a vet look at your pet.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!