Animal models are commonly used in brain ageing research. Amongst these, models where rodents are exposed to d-galactose are held to recapitulate a number of features of ageing including neurobehavioral and neurochemical changes. However, results from animal studies are often inconsistent. To better understand the characteristics of the model and effects of d-galactose on neurobehavioral and neurochemical outcomes in rodents we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. We applied random-effects meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of study features. Our results give an overview of the characteristics of the d-galactose rodent ageing model, including neurobehavioral and neurochemical outcomes. We found that few studies took measures to reduce risks of bias, and substantial heterogeneity in the reported effects of d-galactose in included studies. This highlights the need for improvements in the use of the d-galactose rodent ageing model if it is to provide useful in the development of drugs to treat human ageing.