10 Warning Signs Your Dog Is in Pain

10 signs of dog in pain

Dog pain is quite a common sensation experienced by your canine companion, and goes undetected most times. However, good dog owners pay attention to their dog's pain. Since dogs do not have mouths to speak, early detection of pain in your dog could prevent severe pain later on. Additionally, you can easily prevent damage caused by chronic pain by applying pain medication and other pain management routines early on.

How do you know your dog is in pain since it can not talk? Several early signs can inform you of your dog's health. To help you treat pain, you need to pay attention to these signs to catch chronic pain in time. We will discuss ten warning signs you can use to detect if your dog is in pain and how to offer pain relief for dogs.

What Causes Pain in Dogs?

sad dog, dog in pain, black dog sad

Dogs, like humans, feel pain just about the same way. Dogs could experience pain for various reasons, including dental problems, arthritis pain, cancer, bone disease, etc. Additionally, dogs experience discomfort after surgical procedures, and pain relief starts to emerge over time.

Since dogs cannot speak, it is quite difficult for them to obtain pain relief. Sometimes, these dogs must rely on natural pain relief, which takes time and may not relieve pain like pain medications.

As dog owners, you must look for specific pain symptoms to help your dog control pain. Once you notice subtle behavioral changes in your dog, you must be alert to see if your dog is suffering. Some symptoms include whining, howling, whimpering, yelping, groaning, and grunting.

How do I know if my dog is in pain?

Most times, our dogs suffer when in pain. Since they cannot speak, we must pay close attention to a potential change in their behavioral patterns. You can sometimes tell your dog is in pain through behavioral changes. When you notice your dog becoming antisocial, something may be wrong with it.

Also, if you notice any display of aggressive behavior, your dog may also be suffering from pain. As pet parents, you must always keep a sharp eye on these signs. You could also see changes in their drinking, eating, and sleeping habits if they are experiencing pain. Other changes are vocal rather than behavioral. There could be a problem when your dog is more vocal than usual.

Read Also - How to Choose the Best Dog Shampoo Your Pooch's Coat

10 signs that your dog is in pain

Your dog is breathing heavily

    Although panting is usually a normal behavior in dogs, breathing heavily very often is not. If you notice your dog breathing heavily with his mouth closed or partially open, there could be a problem. If you notice such behavior, you must pay close attention to see if the dog's pain is temporary due to environmental changes or if it is suffering from other things.

    Always seek medical attention when your dog continues to breathe heavily over a prolonged period. Also, seek medical attention if your dog is coughing and breathing heavily. Heavy breathing and coughing could be signs of severe bronchitis. Instead of administering pain medication on your own, ensure to consult your veterinarian to see if the cure will consist of prescription medication or not.

    Whimpering and whining

      dog crying, sad eyes, cute dog crying

      Like babies, dogs whimper or whine when they need something. Whimpering or whining could be your dog's signal to tell you that it is in pain. If you notice a change in your dog's whimpering or whining, it could be due to pain.

      Note that dogs usually whine or whimper when they are excited. However, continuous whimpering or whining could be due to joint pain, severe arthritis pain, or moderate pain. It could also be due to more severe pain or some kidney disease. Alternatively, it could be due to a lack of blood flow in a particular area of the dog's body. If the whimpering persists, consult your veterinary medicine cabinet or veterinarian as soon as possible, for diagnosis and pain meds. Always run your natural remedies by your veterinarian before you use them to lessen pain in your dog.

       Antisocial or aggressive behavior

        Antisocial or aggressive behavior of dog, aggressive dog

        Dogs are usually very social animals. If your dog suddenly becomes antisocial or aggressive, changing greatly from their normal behavior, it could be due to certain conditions, like nerve pain, gastrointestinal upset, etc.

        You may notice that your dog no longer runs to greet you at the door or avoids interaction with you and other human beings. Watch your dog closely to understand his behavior and call a health practitioner if needed.

        Changes in Eating Habits

          Changes in Eating Habits, dog with food plate, hungry dog

          One of the most noticeable signs that your dog is in pain is a change in their eating habits, especially if your canine friend has a voracious predisposition for  food consumption. A change in appetite, or lack thereof (inappetence in terms of veterinary parlance), can be a sign of pain or discomfort. 

          If your dog’s appetite remains on-and-off for more than two days, take them to your veterinarian to get a better understanding as to what is exactly causing their pain.

          Changes in Sleeping Habits


            Your dog could be in pain if it is sleeping more than they normally do. The sensation of said pain and discomfort can make it hard for your canine companion to find a comfortable position for sleeping. They can suddenly appear restless, and start fidgeting due to their inability to lie still. In another scenario, your dog could sleep more because it is trying to either cope with, or recover from the pain that they are experiencing. 

            Excessive grooming


              Your  dog usually licks his paws. However, when it becomes excessive, there is an issue. Most dogs tend to lick and groom their wounds. Thus, if you find your  dog excessively grooming a particular area, it may be in pain.

              Shaking or trembling

                dog shaking off the water, wet dog, after bath dog

                Excessive shaking and trembling are not good signs. Restlessness could signal that your dog is in pain. If you see your dog shaking or trembling continuously, it is in pain.

                Mobility issues

                  Dogs love moving about. If you notice your dog lying in a corner for abnormally long periods of time, it could be due to issues with mobility.

                  Constant Blinking

                    blinking dog, dog sleeping with one eye open

                    Eye injuries can cause different levels of pain and discomfort for your dog. If your canine friend is constantly blinking, squinting, tearing up, or constantly trying to paw his eye, you should immediately talk to your veterinarian and request a consultation.

                    Dogs in general may contract the same types of eye injuries and/or diseases that are contracted by humans. For instance, corneal abrasion, cataract, glaucoma, conjunctivitis etc. And if they are not treated properly, may lead to permanent blindness.

                    1. Curved Back: 

                    Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of pain and discomfort for your dog, is when he is arching his back whilst tucking his belly up and under. Generally speaking, this type of position assumed by your dog is an indicator of the following: gastrointestinal distress, back pain stemming from spinal injury or pinched nerve, and even anal pain caused by full anal sac glands. 

                    When your dog arches his back, you should immediately call your veterinarian without hesitation to quickly determine the cause of your dog’s pain.

                    How to Help a Dog That's in Pain

                    You can help a dog in pain by seeking veterinary care and eventually administering pain relief medication. Suppose your dog is experiencing joint pain caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis pain, or other types of joint pain. In that case, you could issue a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug with natural anti-inflammatory properties to treat arthritis. You could also use natural remedies to manage the pain of your dog's joints.

                    Make an Appointment With Your Veterinarian

                    puppy at vets, dog in hospital for checkup

                    Once you notice unusual dog behavior, you can contact your veterinarian for help. You need to contact your veterinarian if the dog is suffering from emotional pain or pain in the nervous system.

                    Ensure you consult your dog's veterinarian before using prescription medication or joint supplements to relieve pain. Also, your veterinarian is in the best place to tell you if physical therapy or prescription medication is what your dog needs for a full recovery.

                    Modify or Stop Physical Activities With Your Pet

                    Sometimes the physical activities you perform with your pet can cause physical pain. If you notice your dog feeling uncomfortable, you can modify or stop physical activities that cause discomfort to your dog.

                    Also Read - Vitamin E for Dogs: Benefits and Uses

                    WHO IS PRIDE+GROOM?

                    PRIDE+GROOM was born because 4 New York City dog lovers wanted the same level of grooming products for their dogs that they themselves enjoyed. They looked (hard) but nothing was up to snuff. Or sniff. Like so many, we love our families and take pride in our homes, and we consider our pets to be integral parts of those entities. That said, we could not find an effective way to coif them that was on par with the way we tended to our children, our homes, or ourselves. These beloved pets are allowed on the furniture and in our beds, and yet even when fresh from the groomer, we knew they did not smell or feel as good as they could.

                    With the development of our coat-specific shampoos, conditioner and deodorizing spray, we think we found just the way to say thanks for being the best and the sweetest MVP of the house.

                    PRIDE+GROOM is the first dog grooming brand launched under a beauty platform, with formulas made in a clean beauty and scent lab. We know beauty is not only skin deep. We did a ton of research to create the entire line. Each product is formulated with its own unique blend of essential oils sourced from around the world.

                    IN DOG WE TRUST

                    Shop our entire line:  www.prideandgroom.com

                    Author Image

                    HEATHER PERLMAN | CO-FOUNDER, CCO

                    Heather Perlman is a designer whose career spans some 20 years. She has worked as an art director for several advertising agencies with such clients as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Microsoft. As a graphic designer Perlman has designed and produced everything from invitations to book covers to corporate identity and collateral for hotel groups, restaurants, independent schools, and various celebrities. Nothing much is safe from a revamp in her eyes. She can’t help it. She’s sorry.