Dog Hanging Head Down – [What Should I Do?]

Dogs are beloved companion animals that bring joy and companionship to millions of households worldwide. As pet owners, we strive to provide the best care and attention to our furry friends, but there are times when unexpected health issues arise.

One concerning behavior that may cause alarm is a dog hanging head down. This can be a distressing sight for any pet owner, and it is natural to wonder what could be causing this behavior and what steps should be taken to address it.

We will discuss the reasons behind a dog hanging its head down, potential health concerns, and the appropriate course of action to ensure the well-being of your canine companion. By understanding the underlying causes and taking the necessary precautions, we can help our dogs lead happy and healthy lives.

Dog Hanging Head Down

What Is Head Pressing?

What Is Head Pressing

Head pressing is when a dog or cat compulsively presses their head against a wall, furniture, or other objects. It may seem harmless, but it can be a sign of a serious underlying health issue. Head pressing is often associated with neurological disorders or brain damage, such as tumors, infections, or inflammation. If you notice your pet exhibiting this behavior, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Your vet can conduct tests and exams to determine the cause of the head pressing and provide appropriate treatment.

Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Hanging Head Down

Possible Reasons Why Your Dog Hanging Head Down

The following are the main reasons why your dog may keep his head hanging down and not lift it for hours and sometimes even days. If you’ve noticed that your dog has been keeping his head down more often than usual, there could be a few possible reasons for this behavior.

The possibility is that your dog may have an underlying medical issue, such as neck pain or an ear infection, which causes discomfort when they hold its head up. It could simply be a habit your dog has developed. Suppose you’re concerned about your dog’s behavior. In that case, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues and develop a plan to help your furry friend feel better. Here are some reasons why dog hanging head down:

1. Displaced Disks

Your dog may keep his head down due to displaced disks in the neck. This can cause discomfort and pain, which may lead to your dog keeping his head down to relieve the pressure. It is probably the main reason for this particular problem.

The disks in your dog’s neck may slip from their position for various reasons. If they take more stress and pressure than they are supposed to, the disks in their neck may fall and cause severe pain.

2. Severe Arthritis

Severe Arthritis

Your dog may also keep his head down due to severe arthritis. If that is the case, the dog will feel extreme pain and not lift his head. It will happen because he will feel unbearable pain if he tries to lift his head.

A possible reason why your dog may keep hanging his head down is due to severe arthritis. Arthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness, making it difficult for dogs to hold their heads up. This can be especially noticeable in older dogs or those with pre-existing joint issues.

3. Cardiac Disease

If anything like cardiac disease or congestive heart failure happens to your dog, he will keep his head down most of the time. Due to this problem, he will need frequent breaks to regain his breathing energy.

As cardiac diseases drastically decrease the oxygen, the dog won’t have much power to breathe like a normal one. Your vet may recommend additional tests to diagnose the condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Dogs with cardiac Disease can still enjoy a happy and healthy life with proper care and management.

4. Genital Infection

Genital Infection

While there can be many reasons why a dog may keep hanging his head down, one possible cause is a genital infection. Dogs with genital infections may exhibit symptoms such as lethargy, decreased appetite, and a general lack of interest in daily activities they once enjoyed. You may not consider this option in this specific circumstance.

But sometimes, it happens. Especially if the dog is female, there may be a problem with her genital organ failure. Try to convince your vet to consider this option if the vet finds no other reason for this problem.

5. Snakebite

Your dog may also keep hanging his head down if he gets bitten by a snake. Sometimes, snake bites can be very painful. For this reason, the dogs may keep their head down. If you see your dog is not lifting his head, check for bite marks on the face and neck of the dog.

If you notice that your dog is persistently hanging his head down, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment. Early intervention can help prevent potential complications and ensure your furry friend receives the necessary care.

6. Aging

If you notice your aging dog hanging their head down, it could signify various health issues requiring veterinary attention. Hanging the head down can indicate pain or discomfort in the neck or spine, which could be caused by conditions such as arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, or cervical spondylomyelopathy.

It is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and look for other signs of illness or injury, such as decreased appetite, difficulty walking, or changes in behavior. A veterinarian can conduct a thorough examination and recommend appropriate treatment options to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort and improve their quality of life.

What To Do In Case Your Dog Keeps Hanging His Head Down?

What To Do In Case Your Dog Keeps Hanging His Head Down

If your dog keeps hanging his head down, it may indicate an underlying health issue or emotional distress. Observing your dog’s behavior and noting any other symptoms or changes in its routine is essential.

Possible reasons for this behavior include neck pain, ear infections, dental problems, sadness, or anxiety. To address the issue, it is recommended to seek advice from a veterinarian who can determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment. In the meantime, keep your dog comfortable and offer plenty of love and attention to help them feel better.

1. Give Some Initial Treatment

It may not be possible for you to get your dog to a vet the moment he starts to keep hanging down his head. Sometimes it may take hours to get to a vet. What will you do if that is the case? Even though the vet is nearby, you need to give your dog some breathing space when you find your dog is facing this problem.

First, You have to remove your dog’s collar. As the pain will most probably be in the neck, the dog will feel relieved if you do so.

Second, if you are sure of a snake bite, carry your dog instead of letting him walk. Any possible movement of the dog will increase the blood cell flow. If the taste has venom, it will be hazardous for the dog to let walk.

Third, apply a cold pack to the neck of your dog. You can individually use it during the drive. You can even do it if going to the vet is impossible on that day. It will relieve the pain of the dog for the moment.

2. Emergency Tip

Remember, this is only to provide relief from arthritis. If you can’t afford a vet or in emergencies, you can buy pain relief medicines to relieve your dog’s pain. It will save the dog from extreme pain for some time.

3. Go To A Vet

Don’t try to make any excuse if visiting a vet is possible. Dogs feel extreme pain if something like disk displacement happens to them. But they can’t utter words and make you feel their pain. See a vet by carrying your dog as soon as possible. The pain will mostly disappear by following the vet’s instructions.

4. Suggest Your Vet Consider Acupuncture

If your dog keeps his head down, it can indicate various health issues. One possible solution to consider is acupuncture. This traditional Chinese medicine practice involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and improve overall well-being.

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating a range of conditions in dogs, including chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety. If your dog’s head-hanging behavior persists despite other treatments, it may be worth discussing acupuncture with your vet as a potential option for improving their health and quality of life.

5. Go To A Chiropractor

Just like seeing an acupuncturist, you may also consider seeing a chiropractor. Sometimes, chiropractic care is the best possible solution for your problematic dog. If your dog keeps his head down, it could indicate underlying health issues.

One probable cause of this behavior is neck pain or discomfort. In such cases, visiting a chiropractor may help relieve the pain and improve your dog’s quality of life. But never go to a chiropractor or an acupuncturist before visiting a vet. It may bring dangerous outcomes for your dog.

What Not To Do If Your Dog Keeps His Head Down?

What Not To Do If Your Dog Keeps His Head Down

Knowing what you should and should not do is important if your dog keeps his head down. While providing love and comfort can help your dog feel better, certain actions could potentially worsen the situation.

1. Do Not Buy Medicines Without A Prescription

There is a trend nowadays. If we face any health issues, we just Google the symptoms and try to buy the recommended medicines instead of going to a doctor. It would be best if you did not do that, not even for your dog. First, go to a vet. Get a prescription.

Then buy medicines for your dog. In fact, giving the wrong medication or dosage could make your dog’s condition worse. Instead, scheduling an appointment with your vet as soon as possible is best. They will be able to properly diagnose the underlying issue and prescribe any necessary medications or treatments to help your furry friend feel better.

2. Do Not Try To Fix The Neck On Your Own

Similarly to the previous section, we often try to fix the displaced joints of our bodies by ourselves. If your dog keeps their head down, it can signify a severe neck injury or another medical issue. While trying and fixing the problem on your own may be tempting, resisting the urge to do so is essential. Manipulating your dog’s neck without proper training and knowledge can cause further harm and worsen the situation.

Instead, seek veterinary care for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will have the necessary skills and equipment to address issues with your dog’s neck or spine safely. Remember, when it comes to your furry friend’s health, it is always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional help rather than risk further injury.

3. Do Not Delay Visiting A Vet

If your dog is keeping their head down, it can be a sign of a serious health issue. While there are many things that you can do to help your dog feel better, one thing that you should never do is delay visiting a vet. A qualified veterinarian can determine the underlying cause of your dog’s symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.

Diagnosing and treating your dog’s condition alone can be dangerous and may further harm your furry friend. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry about your pet’s health. So, if you notice any concerning symptoms in your dog, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a trusted veterinarian.

Know The Signs Of Aging

Know The Signs Of Aging

As our furry friends age, they may exhibit signs indicating their advancing years. One common symptom of aging in dogs is keeping their head down. This can be a sign of pain or discomfort in the neck or back and indicate vision or hearing loss. Other symptoms of aging may include changes in appetite, weight loss, decreased mobility, and an increased need for rest.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, you must schedule a visit with your veterinarian to ensure they receive proper care and treatment as they age gracefully. Remember, like humans, our dogs deserve love and attention as they enter their golden years. You can watch for specific signs to determine whether or not your dog is aging too rapidly.

  • Change In Dietary Intake: If a sudden change in your dog’s diet happens, it may be due to difficulty chewing.
  • Change In Activity Level: If your dog seems to have less energy than when they were younger, it may be due to the pain of arthritis or Disease.
  • Change In Attitude: If your dog seems more fearful, it could lead to a prolonged illness.

Recognizing Neck And Back Pain In Dogs

Recognizing Neck And Back Pain In Dogs

Recognizing neck and back pain in dogs is important for their overall well-being. If you notice your dog hanging their head down or showing discomfort when moving their neck or back, it could be a sign of pain. Other symptoms to look out for include reluctance to move, stiffness, changes in posture, and decreased appetite.

It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your dog is experiencing neck or back pain, as they can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to alleviate your dog’s discomfort. Early recognition and intervention can help prevent further complications and ensure your furry canine friend receives the necessary care.

Transverse Process Fracture

A transverse process fracture is a type of injury that can occur in dogs when they hang their head down for an extended period of time. This can happen when a dog is hanging their head out of a car window or when they are playing and accidentally gets their collar caught on something.

When the head hangs down, it puts pressure on the neck and can cause the transverse processes, which are small bony projections on the vertebrae, to fracture. This can be a painful injury for dogs and may require veterinary proper treatment. If you suspect your dog has a transverse process fracture, seeking veterinary care as soon as possible is important to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.


When a dog hangs its head down, it can be a sign of pyrexia, also known as fever. Pyrexia is a common symptom of various underlying health issues in dogs, such as infections, inflammation, or systemic diseases. When a dog has a fever, their body language temperature rises above the normal behavior range, which can cause them to feel lethargic and exhibit unusual behaviors like hanging their head down.

It is important to monitor your dog’s temperature and consult a veterinarian if you notice persistent fever or other symptoms. The veterinarian will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of the fever and provide appropriate treatment to help your furry friend recover.

Neck Muscle Tension Syndrome

Neck muscle tension syndrome is a common condition that can occur in dogs when they hang their head down for extended periods of time. This can happen when a dog is left on a leash tied to a post or in a crate with limited movement space. Hanging their head down can cause strain and tension on the muscles in their neck, leading to discomfort and pain.

Providing dogs with proper exercise and mental stimulation is important to prevent them from engaging in behaviors that could lead to neck muscle tension syndrome. If you notice any signs of degenerative disc disease or pain in your dog’s neck, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

My Dog Has Been Hanging Her Head Low And Walking

My Dog Has Been Hanging Her Head Low And Walking

Abnormal behavior in dogs is often the first indicator of vestibular disease. This may be an early warning indication that anything is wrong before any other symptoms emerge. Animals that “push their heads” against a wall or corner while remaining still engage in an aberrant activity known as “head pressing.”

Mammals have powerful limbic (emotional) systems. These systems control some weird behaviors and feelings, including the “fight or flight response,” which can be experienced as anxiety. These dynamic systems are part of what makes us mammals so aware, intelligent, and socially complex. However, these same emotional systems can drive aberrant behaviors such as head pressing if the animal’s nervous system is compromised.

Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve In A Dog’s Neck

Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve In A Dog’s Neck

If your dog suddenly has a case of stumbles, drooling, and lip-smacking, you may have noticed that she is unsteady on her feet and has difficulty breathing. This is often the first sign of a pinched nerve in a dog’s neck.

It is called a “pinched nerve” because one of the spinal cord bones or vertebrae has shifted, causing a pinch on the nerves in your dog’s neck. This causes pain management weakness in the neck muscles and additional weakness that travels down your dog’s back. These are the three most common signs of a pinched nerve in dogs:

  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Reduced strength in the back legs
  • Drooling, unusual licking or chewing motions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing


Dogs can’t speak. They do communicate with their species, though. But we don’t understand anything about their communication in most cases. They let us know if they are in trouble by creating gestures and showing symptoms that they are not okay. If you see your dog is keeping his head down, visit a vet without wasting a second.

Even though they are old, you should do the same. As in almost every case, they get the proper remedy from an experienced vet, so why let them suffer? We hope now you understand why dog hanging head down. Keep your dog’s health conditions. Only a few things are as beautiful as a healthy and lively dog.


What Does It Mean When A Dog Hangs Its Head Down?

When a dog hangs its head down, it can be a sign of various things depending on the context. In some cases, it may indicate that the dog is feeling submissive posture or fearful. Hanging the head tilts low can be a way for dogs to signal to others that they are not a threat and are submitting to their authority.

Why Is My Dog Moving Slow With His Head Down?

If you notice your dog moving slowly with their head down, it could be a sign that something is wrong. There are several possible reasons for this behavior. It could be due to heart pain or discomfort, such as a neck region injury or an ear infection. It could also be a sign of illness or fatigue.

Why Does My Dog Slam His Head On The Floor?

If your dog slams his head on the floor, it could cause concern. This behavior, known as head pressing, can indicate an underlying medical condition requiring a veterinarian’s attention. Head pressing can be a symptom of various life-threatening conditions, such as Neurological disease disorders, poisoning, or brain tumors.

What Are The Symptoms Of Parvo In Dogs?

Parvo is a highly contagious viral degenerative disease that can be life-threatening for dogs. It primarily affects puppies and unvaccinated dogs, causing severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Some common symptoms of parvo in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea (often blood vessel ), loss of appetite, lethargy, and dehydration.

Can Dogs Have Panic Attacks?

Yes, dogs can experience panic attacks. Similar to humans, dogs can become overwhelmed by fear or anxiety, leading to a panic attack. During a panic attack, a dog may exhibit symptoms such as rapid breathing, trembling, pacing, excessive barking or whining, and even destructive odd dog behavior.

Micheal L. Garcia

Hi, I’m Micheal L. Garcia Dog Lover & Freelance Photographer. I was born in New York In 1991. I was probably 8 years old, playing in the back yard of our house in my Village, and in a few distances, I Found a Labrador puppy just playing. A few times later, When the puppy saw me, He just came to me & started playing Form when I started to love dogs. Now I have 3 dogs. After a certain period later, I have a question: Why don’t I start a blog? Then I start my blog, And My moto is the impactful helper of your dogs.

Recent Posts