Why Does My Dog Keep Looking Up At The Ceiling And Sniffing?

Has your pup developed a strange habit of looking up towards the ceiling and sniffing again and again? Well, it is normal behavior for dogs to look up. Still, if the dog repeats this behavior more often than not, it can be due to gastrointestinal problems, epilepsy, flea medications, seizures, tumors, ticks, habits, etc. It can also be due to some psychological problems at the same time.

In this article, we will answer the question: Why my dog keeps looking up at the ceiling and sniffing? How to stop such behavior in your dog of looking at the ceiling and sniffing and many things related to the same. Let’s read the article to find out more about all these things.

Why Does My Dog Keep Looking Up At The Ceiling And Sniffing?

Why Does My Dog Keep Looking Up At The Ceiling And Sniffing?

There can be numerous small or big reasons why your dog is looking up at the ceiling and sniffing. It may be due to your dog’s listening to some voices like that of a fan, squirrel, mice, etc., or they might be feeling a cold draft. It can also be caused by your dog’s habits, dementia, ticks, tumors, blocked anal canals, flea medication, epilepsy, etc. Let’s learn about the reasons for dogs looking at the ceiling in a little more detail.

1. The Dog Senses Something up on the Ceiling

If your dog keeps on looking at the ceiling and barking, it may be due to a sense of something up there that the dog has.

It may be some pests that your dog senses up in the ceiling, so you need to do pest control. For example, the dog may sense a sound and point the snout upwards whenever it senses something.

The dog may try to follow where the pests go, and for that, they may twitch the ears, nose, etc. So the highly probable scenario is that the dog may be sensing some rodent or squirrel up there in the ceiling. And the dog might sense some water leakage or wood-eating termites up there, so be careful.

2. Anxiety


Anxiety has proved to be one of the main reasons your dog keeps looking up at the ceiling and sniffing. First, make sure that there is nothing that makes your dog anxious. If something makes your dog anxious, remove it from your dog’s surroundings.

Dogs start behaving strangely when they get anxious or scared, and looking up at the ceiling and sniffing is one of the anxious behaviors of your dog. Therefore, be careful around your dog and remove such things that avert your dog’s attention.

3. Dogs are Understimulated

You may notice the weird behavior in your dog if it doesn’t get enough exercise or a walk. For example, staring up at the ceiling may be one of the weird habits that your dog develops due to lack of exercise.

The dog may do so to keep itself occupied. It may be waiting for some cockroach or lizard to come, and they can notice them. It can be exciting too.

Excessive licking, pacing, and avoiding eye contact are other such symptoms, along with staring up at the ceiling, that indicate the dog gets tired and uses this method to escape boredom.

4. The Reason can be Light and Shadows

Is it a once-in-a-while task for your dog to look up at the ceiling, or does it happen frequently?

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Lights could be another reason for your dog to look at the ceiling from time to time. Dogs may either be fascinated by the lights or get scared of lights.

5. Dogs May be Jittery

Dogs May be Jittery

Besides others, if your dog gets bored, the other common reason can be the uneasiness of your dog. Your dog may become uneasy and sniff around the ceiling for any pests.

The dog may look up to detect some noises or weird sounds that may sound interesting to the dog or scare them.

6. Dogs May Feel a Cold Draft Above Them

Notice if there is any particular spot where the dogs do such behavior. It can be near vents or windows, as the reason can be the cold burst of winds that flow onto the dog. As the cold wind flows over the dog, it may try to find out the air source. It may be due to the dog’s liking of the chilled air that the dog receives.

As cold air pushes in and warm air pushes outside, it leads to the formation of drafts due to improper insulation. The cold air may come from afar or an opening in the wall, and it sometimes comes from cracks in the window.

7. Infestation of Ticks

If your dog is looking up and shaking its head, it may be due to a tick infestation in your dog. Look for ticks under the eyes of your dog. Sometimes it may be difficult for you to remove ticks from your dog’s body, so take help from the veterinarian.

Finding ticks under the eyes of a dog is common. The tick may travel up the dog’s scout and under the dog’s eye, so be careful.

8. Canine Dementia

Have you heard about canine dementia? Starting at the ceiling for a long time and sniffling or staring at walls can be due to canine dementia.

After 13 years of age, studies have observed that canine dementia becomes common in most dogs. Canine dementia also includes symptoms like disorientation, house soiling, loss of appetite, sudden irritability, etc.

The brain of the dog usually becomes weak, and the dog starts forgetting things in old age. There can be neurological issues too. Dementia can be the reason for a dog staring at the ceiling or getting lost between work and play.

9. Growth of an Eyelid

Another cause of your dogs looking and staring at the ceiling for a long time can be the discomfort in your dog’s eyes. This discomfort can be due to extra growth or tumors in your dog’s eyes.

Most dogs have tumors on their eyes and extra skin masses, and it’s considered normal in dogs as most dogs have it. But fortunately, most of the tumors in dogs are not cancerous, but it’s important to remove these tumors from your dog’s eyes as soon as possible. Contact the veterinarian immediately for dogs if you notice your dog’s red or itchy eyes.

10. Entry of a Foreign Body Into a Dog’s Eye

Besides eye discomfort due to ticks, other reasons that can cause your dog to look up and stare at the ceiling for too long can be foreign bodies. For example, there can be foreign bodies like grass seeds that are so small that they can easily enter your dog’s fur.

The grass seeds are common in the summer season and are so small that they are not noticeable. However, the grass weeds can easily enter the dog’s nose, paws, ears, etc. They can be harmful and cause discomfort in your dog’s eyes, so be careful.

11. The Dog May Suffer From Partial Seizures

What may seem like an ordinary daydream of your dog to watch up on the ceiling can be a sign of something extremely serious. If your dog is looking at the ceiling, the long staring session can be due to partial seizures. It is not as strong as seizures but tends to affect a particular part of the brain.

As a particular part of the brain gets affected, so does the effect on a particular body part. So it would help if you were careful at first only as it may seem not harmful at first or seems ordinary, but with your dog’s aging, it can worsen, and the condition will keep worsening.

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Dogs who suffer from focal seizures or partial seizures seem to be having a continuous staring session and look lost.

Read More: Why Does My Puppy Have Loose Stools At Night?

12. The Dog’s Anal Canal May Have Become Obstructed

If your dog is staring at the ceiling during sitting and then again turning back to look or lick at their bum, it may be due to some irritation or blockage in your dog’s anal sac.

The anal sac of a dog is composed of two pouches that secrete a foul odor and, if not properly empty, can cause harm to your dog.Therefore, it is beneficial for your dog’s health if you don’t trust yourself. Hence, suppress your dog’s anal canal and take the dog to the vet for its problem.

13. Impact of Flea Treatment

Impact of Flea Treatment

If you have applied flea treatment medication on your dog’s skin, it can be a reason for your dog to stare at the ceiling for a long time and sniff. It’s believed that the flea medication has isoxazoline pesticide that the dog may lick.

On licking such medication, the dog may look up at the ceiling for a long time, then bite its tail and look up. Due to flea treatment, your dog may suffer from seizures too. You don’t need to apply the medication to your dog’s body; it can be due to some cat or dog that comes into contact with your dog and from whom the dog licks such medications. If you notice any such problem in your dog, consulting the vet is your first duty.

14. It Could be Suffering From Idiopathic Epilepsy

Idiopathic epilepsy can be a reason for your dog staring up at the ceiling for a long time. The particular reason behind this disease is still unknown, but it can happen in any dog or even in humans. The reason for the disease is unknown. Hence the name it has is idiopathic epilepsy.

Most golden retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, and vizslas suffer from this disease. It would be best if you also looked for symptoms like shaking, drooling, house soiling, whining, and disorientation in your dog. Seizures may appear within the age of 6 months to 5 years as the disease is believed to be inherited. Male dogs are most prone to this disease of idiopathic epilepsy.

15. Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal Problems

Studies have found that stargazing or looking towards the ceiling for a long time can signify some illness that your dog may be suffering from.

The illness may be associated with your dog’s mouth, stomach, or esophagus, that is, with the upper gastrointestinal tract.

It’s often believed that the pain in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract causes the dog to stretch its neck and raise its head. At first, gazing at the ceiling for a long time, such episodes will happen seldom, but with time or by passing years, the episodes will become more common and intense.

Suppose your dog is suffering from a gastrointestinal tract problem. You may notice other signs and symptoms in your dog like gagging, vomiting, feeling nauseous, weight loss, dry heaving, excessive drooling, painful swallowing, etc.

16. May have Developed the Fly-Catching Syndrome

Fly catching can be an ailment in dogs and can also be regarded as a syndrome in dogs. According to the veterinarian, it is a rare condition in dogs but can be a reason for your dog looking up at the ceiling for a long time.

It can have symptoms, including licking, jumping, looking up for a long time, swallowing, etc. But the main thing is what may cause such problems. Food allergy, hyperactivity, vitreous opacity issues, etc., can be the reasons.

17. It Could be Your Dog’s Usual Habit

It Could be Your Dog’s Usual Habit

It may be a weird habit for your dog to sniff and look at the ceiling for a long moment; if you are not seeing any other changes in your dog, then it may be due to some weird habit your dog has.

However, keep in mind that any bad habit in your dog does not develop overnight.

The weird habit may be due to some incident in the dog’s early life since, at that time, it was not corrected, so it continued as it is and became a dog’s habit.

What to Do If My Dog Looks Up At The Ceiling and Starts Sniffling?

When you notice such behavior in your dog, it becomes necessary to know what may be the reason for your dog’s behavior. To get the answers to do this, you should observe your dog’s behaviors. Here are some tips that will guide you through it and help to protect your dog.

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1. Watch Your Dog Closely and Carefully

There can be many reasons for your dog to behave weirdly and keep looking up at the ceiling, but the main point is to teach your dog carefully. When you closely monitor your dog, you will know the exact reason behind your dog’s behavior.

You should watch the behavior of your dog; if your dog does a few things,

  1. Is your dog always looking in the same direction?
  2. How long does your dog look in one particular direction?
  3. Have you observed any other changes in your dog’s behavior that sound fishy?
  4. When exactly did they start this behavior?

Record the results of your observation. If it’s tough for you, make a video recording for other details.

2. Consult a Veterinarian

 Consult a Veterinarian

Any problem related to your dog should be defined and consulted by an expert veterinarian who can handle your dog well.

Some conditions may mess up your dog’s brain, and you can’t easily detect such conditions in your dog. So you should consult a veterinarian when you consider a change in behavior in your dog.

Not only can you get to know about the condition and reasons, but the vet will provide your dog with some medications that will reduce the pain and can help you cure the condition or disease in your dog.

3. Manage Your Dog’s Environment

Manage Your Dog's Environment

It is important to keep the environment in which your dog lives safe and secure, especially when your dog is suffering from seizures.

Studies have shown that when the dog faces seizures or looks upwards, the dog may fall, causing trouble. So it’s better to take your dog away from stairs or windows during seizures to ensure your dog’s safety. Besides this, if your dog is suffering from dementia, don’t confuse it intentionally by changing your dog’s surroundings or relocating things again and again.

For example, you can reduce the light amount and the background music in the room where the dog stays.

4. Always Check the Label First

Always check the label or consult your veterinarian before purchasing a tick or flea medication for your dog. If your dog has a medical history, the vet will know exactly what to give him and what not to give him in terms of medications.

It is not unknown that taking the medications for flea treatment can cause problems for your dog, including seizures, so considering a vet is best. When you go for the medications for your dog, there are a few things you need to consider, though.

  • Is the medicine suitable for your puppy’s age? : As Some treatments are designed for adult dogs, and using them on puppies may be harmful, so be careful giving any medications to dogs.
  • Consult about the dosage: Depending upon the age, weight, breed, and other factors, the dosage is given to your dog varies. Therefore, it is necessary to know the exact dosage your dog requires, and for the consultation, no one can be better than the dog’s vet.
  • Report: If your dog’s health suffers due to medication, notify the manufacturer.

5. Keep Your Dog Fit and Busy

Keep Your Dog Fit and Busy

Your dog needs to work out and stay fit. Working out is important for their physical health and is necessary for the dogs’ mental health.

Working out leads to stimulation in the dog’s brain, and thus it remains healthy. Make your dog try out new games like hide and seek and others to avoid boredom.

Canines or dogs suffering from dementia will benefit from this too. Finding treasure, playing hide and seek, playing with blocks, and playing with interactive toys are just a few things you can do to keep your dog entertained.

Also Read: Dog Looking Around Frantically: 8 Possible Reasons

Final Thoughts

Being a pet parent is a serious responsibility, and you must fulfill it. But, first, you have to notice even a slight change in your dog’s behavior and make sure it is not a disease symptom or something serious.

You may notice your dog doing many funny things, such as stargazing or looking at the ceiling for too long, but it may be time for you to be alert. There can be many reasons for your dog to behave absolutely weird, and look up at the sky. The article here helps you to know more about this.