Can Dogs Feel Dizzy?

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Introduction

Dogs can often experience some of the same symptoms and conditions that human can, so it only makes sense that doggy dizziness is a thing. Dogs can get dizzy, and in fact, it can be for a lot of different reasons. They can stumble, fall over, and lose track of where they're going.

Sometimes, dizziness can often be a problem that stems from vertigo (yep, dogs get vertigo, too!), an ear infection, injuries, vestibular syndromes, strokes, and more!
If you're wondering what to look for, how you can tell if your dog is getting dizzy, how to help a dizzy spell, and what you should do on to help reduce dizziness in your dog, we've got you covered! Check out our guide below to help keep you in-the-know about doggo dizziness.

Signs Your Dog Is Dizzy

There are a lot of different reasons your dog can get dizzy, but often, it's most important to figure out the signs your dog is dizzy before you can figure out why. If your dog is a bit more out of focus than usual, that's a good first sign that they might be a bit dizzy and be trying to get their bearings. 

Your dog can also get dizzy enough to stumble, lose their coordination, and walk funny. they might do some standard dog things to let you know they're feeling funny like tucking their tail, pinning their ears down, and whimpering. 

But your dog might also be fatigued, lazy, tired, or have no interest in getting up, playing, or doing any kind of activity. It's also possible the doggo dizziness will cause your pup some nausea. This could lead to vomiting, an inability to keep eye contact with you, and some confused behavior.

Body Language

If you're wondering if your doggo is dizzy, look for some body language cues they might be giving you:
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Weakness
  • Lack of focus
  • Dropped Ears
  • Averting eyes
  • Tail tucking
  • Ears back

Other Signs

Here are a few other body cues you should be looking out for when you're trying to determine if your doggo is suffering from any dizzy symptoms:
  • Repetitive Eye Movement
  • Stumbling and Discoordination
  • Lack of Interest in Playing
  • Inability to Stand Up
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Strange Gait When Walking
  • Cocked Head

Historical Causes of Doggy Dizziness

Doggy dizziness can come from a lot of different places and for lots of different reasons. Typically, though, doggos have a few historical causes for being dizzy. 

One of the most common reasons is from ear infections. This will cause your dog's internal balance to be a little off, maybe have him turning his head a bunch, and walking in circles. Additionally, if your pup hits his head on something too hard - just like a person would - this can cause some dizziness. Check his pupils if you suspect this is the case - they'll likely be enlarged. 

In other, rarer cases, oncoming strokes or brain tumors can cause dizziness in your dog. It can also come from something that affects your dog's vestibular system, the part of your dog that helps them with their sense of balance. If this is out of whack, your dog can get really spinny, really fast!

The Science Behind Dog Dizziness

Dogs don't get dizzy in the exact same way that people do. For example, you probably remember spinning around in the grass as a child and collapsing on the ground in a dizzy mess. Dogs don't experience dizziness from movements like this or from spinning around too much. So, if your dog is chasing their tail too hard, don't worry, this won't make them collapse in a dizzy mess like you would. 

Instead, dogs get dizzy when something affects their vestibular systems and throws them off balance. The vestibular system in your dog is responsible for maintaining normal balance, and when something upsets that balance, your dog can quite literally lose their balance, too.

How to Train Your Dog To Deal With Dizziness

Unless your dog is affected by a much more serious condition - like a tumor or a vestibular system condition - it's likely that your dog can recover relatively quickly from whichever ailment is affecting their sense of balance. 

Typically, this will require patience and medicine. Make sure your dog is okay with taking medicine. Teach them a throw-and-catch game with their pills (this might be difficult to do while they're dizzy), teach them to eat their pill with their food, or teach them to take it out of your hand like a treat. 

Making sure your dog has a grasp on basic commands like "lay down" and "stay" is going to be helpful, too. If they're having a dizzy spell, they might need a little extra motivation to stay still and lay down while it passes, training them to listen to this command could help them feel better, faster.

How to React if You Have a Dizzy Dog

  • Get your dog to lay down.
  • Contact the vet if symptoms do not subside.
  • Take your dog in for a check-up.
  • Work out a medicine plan with your vet depending on the cause of your dog's dizziness.
  • Be careful with your dog - a dizzy, confused dog might not know how to react.
  • Comfort your dog.