How You Can Tell Your Dog Is In Pain

sick dog

Seeing our pups in pain can lead to feelings of helplessness. We want nothing more than to assist them and make their pain go away. But, oftentimes, it’s quite difficult to tell if dogs are in pain since they don’t speak our language. While there are some more apparent signs of a dog in pain (like limping), the symptoms aren’t always so obvious. Dogs will partake in particular behaviors that may seem subtle but could hint at them being in some sort of pain. Below are six symptoms that may be a sign that your four-legged pal is in pain.

1.) Heavy Panting

dog panting

Panting is a pretty typical behavior for dogs. Dogs tend to pant more heavily when they’re partaking in exercise or when they’re outside in the heat. But, when your dog engages in heavy panting even though she hasn’t been exercising or outside in the heat, it may be a sign that your pup is stressed from the pain that they are in. If your dog begins panting heavily out of nowhere, it’s probably best you and your dog visit the veterinarian.  

2.) Excessive Grooming

dog grooming

Cats aren’t the only ones that lick to clean themselves. It’s actually normal for dogs to lick and groom themselves like their pet counterparts. However, it’s not normal for licking and grooming to become an obsessive behavior. Dogs in pain tend to lick their paws constantly in an attempt to alleviate their pain. When dogs get hurt, they typically tend to care for the wound by licking it to clean it. This doesn’t only happen when dogs get visible wounds, but when they have internal pain, as well. If you begin to notice your pet engaging in excessive self-grooming, it may be wise to take a trip to the vet.

3.) Lack Of An Appetite

dog not eating

Like humans, dogs don’t eat when they aren’t feeling well. If your pup usually eats well and you notice they start refusing to eat, then that may be a sign of underlying issues, including dental problems, liver problems, kidney problems or even cancer.

4.) Differences In Sleeping Patterns

dog in bed

Dogs will sleep a lot more than usual when they’re experiencing pain because they’re trying to recuperate or heal, especially when it becomes too hard to move around.

5.) Unusually Aggressive Behavior

dog biting

When animals are injured, many of them will tend to go into protection mode and will want you to stay away because they’re concerned you’ll hurt them. If your pup growls at you seemingly unwarranted, it may be because he’s concerned you will touch him where he’s hurting.

6.) Changes In Their Eyes

dog eyes

Dogs with eye pain will noticeably squint or will have noticeably smaller pupils. The opposite holds true when dogs have pain in other parts of their body as their pupils will become larger.  


Written By: Ace

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Katelyn Buck