What Is Wrong with My Dog? He Doesn’t Want Petting Anymore and Just Stares into Space

“The last couple of years, my 5-year-old dog Sweeney just kind of lies on the couch and stares off into space, and a lot of times he doesn’t want me to pet him. What could be wrong?”

A dog owner named Victoria decided to seek expert advice from PetHelpful’s Ask-A-Vet section. Who wouldn’t feel sad about this kind of situation when most of us love to cuddle our pets and take them on various adventures?

Photo: YouTube/Minutes of Happiness with Pets

However, in his response to Victoria, Dr. Mark dos Anjos made her aware that some dog personality types are similar to humans. There are those who are introverts, some who don’t like attention or touches, and there are people who would rather be alone with their imagination — it seems like they are just staring into space.

Victoria’s dog may have an aloof personality and dislike petting and cuddling because it makes him uncomfortable. Some dog breeds are also couch potatoes, not wanting to do anything all day but just the essentials. Meanwhile, this behavior of “staring into space” is common among herding dogs like Akitas and Spitz breeds.

However, there may be serious reasons for this behavior, such as the following:

Photo: YouTube/Minutes of Happiness with Pets

That’s why it’s best for Victoria to have her dog examined by a veterinarian, to get him palpated to determine if her dog has any painful parts in his body. Even if the result comes out negative, his vet should make him undergo a short trial of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and observe if there’s any improvement.

Absence seizure is another possibility, although it’s hard to diagnose and treat. It can be noticed if the dog’s head twitches, but this form of epilepsy in dogs is rather rare. Just staring into space is not necessarily a symptom of absence seizure, especially when your dog looks at you when you try talking to it.

Photo: YouTube/Minutes of Happiness with Pets

But if there are no medical issues, then it’s probably clinical depression. This is something that you can help your dog to overcome with these easy steps:

  1. Go with your dog for morning walks.
  2. Show him more love by devoting more time to play and interact with your pet.
  3. While on walks, let him enjoy his favorite treats.
  4. Delight him with a new toy.
  5. A new companion animal may also cheer up his spirits.

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