How To Tell Your Dog Is In Pain

Pet Travel Center

We all love our furry friends, but sometimes the hardest thing is that we can’t communicate in the same language. So, if our dogs aren’t feeling good, they can’t tell us. Even sadder, it is in a dog’s instinct to try and hide any illness or injury. Since dogs can’t and don’t want to tell us when they are not feeling their best, it’s up to us to play detective. We have to keep our eyes and ears open for any signs they do give off. Here are some of the things you should look for that tell your dog is in pain.

1. Your dog is hiding more than usual

It isn’t unusual for a dog to hide. Some dogs are frightened easily or get nervous and like to hide to calm down. Some like having privacy and will go under the bed or table to get some alone time. But if these behaviors aren’t typical for your dog, this should be a red flag. If you notice your dog hiding more than usual, make an appointment with your vet to get your dog checked out.

2. Your dog is more aggressive than usual

Everybody can have a bad day, even our dogs. If a dog is in a bad mood, they can lash out at their human family more than usual. If your dog has a bad mood as a one-off, don’t worry about it too much. But if their personality changes and a normally friendly dog is now highly aggressive, this is a troublesome change. Make an appointment with your vet to get to the bottom of the issue.

3. Your dog seems depressed and won’t eat

It is rare for a dog to want to skip a meal. Dogs are very social and happy creatures. It isn’t in their nature to be sad or refuse food. If this happens to your dog, partner with your vet on what your next steps should be. It could be that your dog ate a bug or something that has made their tummy feel upset, or it could be a sign of something more serious.

4. Your dog doesn’t want you to touch them

In general, dogs enjoy pets and affection from their humans. If your dog has traditionally enjoyed and sought out touch and now recoils from it, that could indicate an issue. It’s hard to speculate on exactly what it could be. But the best course is to contact their vet. They can walk you through your next steps.

If your dog isn't as social or motivated as usual, you might tell your dog is in pain  and should consult your vet asap. - PetTravelCenter
If your dog isn’t as social or motivated as usual, you might tell your dog is in pain and should consult your vet asap.

5. Your dog is limping or avoiding a specific paw or leg

This is a clear indication that something has happened. It could be many things, from a sprain to a tendon rupture. But if your dog seems to avoid using certain body parts or walks with a limp, schedule a checkup right away, especially if it seems to come out of nowhere. 

6. You notice a change in your dog’s breathing

Dogs will pant, sometimes quite vigorously after a good run or play session. On the flip side, some dogs will breathe very slow and deep during their naps. If you notice your dog breathing strangely, consult your vet. This could indicate a multitude of issues, including involving the heart.

7. Your dog is crying more than usual

Anyone with a dog has to admit that sometimes our canine friends can be dramatic and cry and whine. For some, this happens a LOT more than for others. But if howling, crying, or whining isn’t in character for your pet, or they are doing these things excessively, contact your vet. This could be a sign of trouble, and your dog is in enough pain to vocalize it. 

8. You notice a change in your dog’s bathroom habits

Dogs are all about routine and rhythm. This is especially true with their bathroom visits. If you notice your dog has to go more often or not as often, that could be a sign. Another thing to notice is the quality of their stool. If it is more liquid or you see blood, there is an issue. And if there’s an increase in accidents inside your home, it might also be an indication of something more serious. Make an appointment with your vet right away.

Wrapping Up

Dogs will try very hard to hide any ailment they are experiencing. It is our job as pet parents to be on the lookout for any changes to our dogs in their behavior, mood, or physical appearance. If you notice anything and think you can tell your dog is in pain, you should not panic—your dog may suffer from various things, and some might be easy to treat. But to be safe, do contact your vet right away to see the next steps you need to take.   

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