This Is How to Tell if Your Dog Is in Pain

Do you own a dog?

Studies show that owning a dog could boost the quality of life. Many reports reveal that owning a dog can extend your lifespan. In the same way that dogs take care of us, we must also take care of them.

Seeing your dog in pain is never a pleasant experience. It can also be difficult to determine if your dog is in pain. Some dogs do a great job of hiding their pain.

Are you concerned about your dog's health? In this article, we show you how to tell if your dog is in pain. Read on to discover the most prevalent signs of pain in dogs.

Snapping or Biting

Even if your dog knows you, they may bite if they are in pain. They are more likely to bite people who touch or move sensitive and painful areas. Dogs will guard parts of their body and snap at people who try to reach for that area.

Your dog may start showing signs of aggression when seeing you reaching for a painful area in your body. To make sure if your dog is in pain, use a gentle hand to poke and prod the area. If you're afraid your dog might bite you, visit your dog's veterinarian.

Changes in Breathing

If you're wondering how to tell if your dog is in pain, check their breathing patterns. A dog in pain may start breathing faster. Shallow breathing and panting are also signs that your dog is in pain.

Check if there is a change in their chest or abdominal muscles. These muscles can hint at your dog's breathing patterns.

Changes in Pulse and Heart Rate

Your dog may have an increased heart or pulse rate when they are in pain. This can speed up if a person touches or moves a painful area on their body. You can ask a vet or clinic technician to check your dog's pulse and heart rate.

Changes in Posture

If your dog is in pain, they may assume a change in posture. Some dogs can hold a rigid stance, while others keep the prayer position. The prayer position helps them stretch out their abdomen.

Some dogs may be idler and lay around. Other dogs may have a difficult time staying still and comfortable. Tracking your dog's posture can be a little difficult as some posture changes are more subtle.

Eye Changes

You can see if your dog is in pain by checking their eyes. Pain in the body can make your dog have larger or dilated pupils. If your dog's eyes are in pain, they may have smaller or constricted pupils.

Some dogs may squint or paw at their eyes. The underlying cause of your dog's pain may vary. Your dog's eyes may also appear bloodshot if the pain is in their eyes.

Appetite Changes

Your dog's appetite may face changes if they are in pain. Dogs who are in pain will eat or drink less than usual. If your dog's appetite changes, the pain may be in their teeth or another part of their mouth.

An appetite change may link to a more serious condition. This could be a kidney or liver condition, and in some cases, cancer. If your dog refuses to eat, seek the help of a professional immediately. 

Drop in Energy Levels

Dogs are generally active throughout the day. If your dog is in pain, you may notice a decrease in their activity. It can be as simple as a dog who runs or jumps less to sleeping more than usual.

Changes in Mobility

Depending on which area your dog feels pain in, they may move around less. Some dogs may have the same amount of mobility but will do it differently. Your dog could start limping or be slower when climbing up and down your stairs.

Bathroom Changes

Dogs who suffer from back pain may have trouble finding a comfortable position. If your dog struggles to go to the bathroom, they may be suffering from pain. Some dogs may also suffer from constipation.

Constipation may also come from slow movement in the intestines. Male dogs may change their posture when peeing due to leg or back pain. They may find it difficult to assume their usual posture because they cannot lift their hind leg.

Your Dog Is More Vocal

Your dog could be trying to tell you that they are in pain if they are more vocal. If you notice an increase in barking, whining, or growling, your dog may be in pain. If you notice that your dog is more vocal, check for any painful areas.

It's not easy to spot more vocalizations immediately. Your dog could be trying to get you to play with them.

Constant Grooming

If your dog keeps grooming a localized area, that part of their body may be in pain. Dogs' first instinct to pain is to cleaning and caring for their wound. They may lick an open wound like a cut.

Your dog may also attempt to soothe internal pain by licking that area. If their eyes are in pain, they may lick their paws then rub their eyes. If your dog starts doing excessive grooming, check with your dog's veterinarian.

Painful Conditions That Affect Dogs

Do you recognize any of these signs your dog is in pain? Avoid waiting for the condition to get worse. Here are some common conditions that can affect your dog.

  • Cancer or tumor
  • Bladder or kidney stones
  • Cystitis
  • Ear infection
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastritis
  • Enteritis
  • Arthritis
  • Ruptured or infected anal glands
  • Patellar luxation
  • Periodontal disease, and
  • Eye problems like uveitis, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma

If you think your dog is suffering from any of the conditions listed above, seek the help of a professional. Self-prescribing medications for your dog can do more harm than good.

This Is How to Tell if Your Dog Is in Pain

Now you know how to tell if your dog is in pain. Anything from bathroom changes, appetite loss, or aggression can connote dog pain.

Is your dog experiencing any of these? Contact us today!