What Causes Head Pressing in Dogs?


Many pet parents would see their dogs pressing their heads on stable objects and assume that it’s just another silly behavior on their part. But in truth, head pressing is more than just an absurd behavior and is a sign of something rather serious.

Before you seek assistance with such an issue, it is obvious to first thoroughly understand what head pressing is all about and why dogs press their heads.

Head Pressing in Dogs – Meaning

You might have noticed your four-legged pal pressing his head against stable objects (say, a wall). While this may seem adorable to you, it is more often than not a sign of serious health-related concern. Some pet parents even assume such behaviors to be a friendly head butt and overlook the issue. As you know, this can lead to severe health problems, neglecting it is never an option and thus, it is critical to take note of the symptoms associated with it.

Symptoms of Head Pressing in Dogs

It is imperative to get your pal checked to rule out the possibility of a serious problem. Hence, as soon as you detect any of the symptoms mentioned below, rush to a vet.

  • Compulsive pacing
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive water intake
  • Head pressing against stable objects
  • Lethargy
  • Mentally dull or pale looking
  • Reduction in reflexes
  • Seizures
  • Strong behavioral changes
  • Visual difficulties
Head Pressing Causes in Dogs

It is obvious, dogs don’t just head press for no rhyme or reason. There must be some reason(s) as to why they do what they do. Hence, let us look at those in detail.

#1. Brain Stroke

Brain strokes can be very fatal and occur mainly due to a blood clot or a ruptured or cut blood vessel. If your pal happens to have a brain stroke, you may notice him pressing his head against any static object.

#2. Brain Tumor

Brain tumors can be benign but some of them can very highly dangerous as well. Tumors can cause a lot of discomforts and can make your pal behave absurdly, one of which is obviously making them press their heads against objects.

#3. Lack of Essential Salts

We all know how harmful salt is to dogs but did you know dogs do need some essential salts to function? Well, lack of sodium leads to difficulty of water effectively passing throughout the body. This, in turn, leads to dehydration which in turn leads to head pressing.

#4. Parasitic Issues

Dogs that are generally kept outdoors have a high risk of getting infected with parasites such as fleas and ticks. These ticks and fleas enter the nervous system and can cause neurological problems which can lead to dogs pressing their heads against objects.

#5. Poisoning

Food items like chocolates are highly toxic and dangerous and mustn’t be given to dogs. If your pal consumes any such toxic food, you might notice him pressing his head. Toxic foods can be very fatal and can cause serious health problems like cancer, damage to the immune system, liver issues, etc.

#6. Trauma

A trauma like a concussion in the head can make your pal disoriented and he might possibly lose his sense of balance. When this happens, you may notice him pressing his head against the walls. Traumas can be critical and need addressing as soon as possible.

If you ever notice your canine pressing his head, make sure to consult your vet as soon as possible. As you have just read, head pressing can be severe and before vets can commence the healing process, it is important for them to study the issue thoroughly. Hence, make sure to take note of the symptoms before visiting the vet. Based on all of the information passed on by you, your vet will begin the required treatment procedure.