How Do I Know If My Dog is in Pain?

man giving medicine to a Siberian husky

Dogs demonstrate all sorts of behavior that humans may not understand some of the times. While some dogs manage to hide their pain as a natural survival instinct, others may exhibit subtle signs that will somehow let you know or at least suspect it. But, you’re not alone in asking the question, “how do I know if my dog is in pain“?

Generally, dogs have a higher tolerance for pain when compared to humans.

If you are a dog owner and want to know – is my dog in pain, you must monitor the normal activities and behavior of your pet. Generally, if your furry friend hurting, he may act or behave in an unusual way that may indicate pain.

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So, How Do I Know if My Dog is in Pain?

Warning signs that your dog is in pain and what you can do to help?

1: Limping

A common symptom that shows that your furry friend is in pain is limping. Dogs usually start limping when they are suffering from a sore paw, injury or have arthritis.

When in pain, dogs are often reluctant to climb stairs and tend to get up slowly in the mornings. Arthritis pain usually affects older dogs. However, different ways can help arthritis pain in dogs. Consult your vet to know more about the medications and treatments.

Medical attention may also be required if you notice posture changes or find that they have mobility issues in your dog.

2: Vocalization

When dogs are in pain, they tend to be more vocal. When your pet is snarling, yelping, growling or even howling excessively, he is trying to tell that something isn’t right. Examine your dog carefully to locate the cause of discomfort.

On the other hand, if a usually vocal dog tends to become quieter, it is a sign that exhibits that they may be in pain. Also, noticing changes in the way your dog whines or barks can also indicate that something is wrong with your pet.

Staying familiar with your dog’s normal behavior can make it easier for a dog owner to identify the symptoms.

3: Loss of appetite or Stomach pain

To know if your dog is having tummy troubles can be difficult at times. Take a look at some of the symptoms that can help you identify if your dog is suffering from a stomach ache.

  • Nausea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting

Also, if you notice that your pet is not eating normally, it is most likely that your dog is suffering from a stomach ailment, oral discomfort or other conditions.

4: Heavy Panting or Altered Breathing

When your dog is panting heavily even without exercising, it is a sign that your pet is in pain.

Panting is normal in dogs. However, if a dog pants at odd times or for no reason, it should be considered a warning sign. When a dog starts panting in an air-conditioned room or the middle of the night, ensures that you check for other indications of pain.

how do i know if my dog is in pain

When in pain, dogs may exhibit changes in their breathing pattern including irregular respiratory rate.

5: Change in Sleeping Habits or Signs of Agitation

When your dog becomes restless and feels uncomfortable or is unable to lie still, he is most likely in pain.

If your dog is changing his positions constantly or pacing back and forth repeatedly, it may be a cause of concern.

Pain can also affect the sleep pattern of a dog. A dog in pain may have difficulty sleeping or may tend to sleep more than he normally does.

Being familiar with your dog’s normal behaviors can help allow you to spot these symptoms in the early stages.

6: Change in Temperament and Behavior

When a dog is in pain, it is more likely that the canine will behave abnormally. Dogs may become more aggressive and tend to bite when they are touched in an area of pain.

A dog owner may also notice avoidance behaviors in their pet as they may try to shy away when they come in contact with people or other pets. However, there may some dogs that tend to crave for more attention when they are in pain.

Any change seen in the normal behavior of a dog is an indication that your pet needs medical attention from the vet.

So, we hope we’ve answered your all-important question of “how do I know if my dog is in pain” and if you have any others, please comment and let us all know because we all love our dogs.

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