Dogs do not show pain in the same way as we humans do, which is why it is important to learn how to recognize the signs that indicate some kind of pain. As pet owners, we must make sure that our dogs are healthy, loved and well cared for.
That’s why we buy them the best food we can, and try to provide them the best entertainment. And of course we never want them to suffer, but dogs have no way of telling us that something is hurting them. So how should we know if our dog is in pain?
Signs that your dog is in pain
These are the most common signs that there’s something wrong with your dog or that your dog is in pain
1. Hard breathing or shortness of breath
Most dogs breathe hard occasionally when they are stressed, excited or if they are hot or tired from running, but if they do so for no apparent reason, it can definitely be a sign that they are in some pain.
2. Excessive licking or biting some parts of their body
Dogs that excessively lick or bite a specific area of their body may do so because they feel pain there. They can lick or bite broken nails, open wounds, irritated paws, and even tumors under the skin.
3. Decreased appetite
Dogs often refuse to eat when they are sick or when something hurts, so if you notice a sudden decrease in their appetite, it may be a sign of pain. For example, a dog that has injured its neck will not want to bend down and eat from its plate because it causes it pain.
4. Limping or strange walking
When a dog is limping, it is definitely a sign of pain or some kind of discomfort. Dogs can limp due to arthritis, sprained muscles, ligament injuries, back or neck injuries, stiff joints or broken bones. You can recognize the pain in these situations by noticing that your dog is hesitant to climb stairs or climb higher places.
Excessive drooling can be a sign that the dog is feeling pain in the abdomen or that it’s sick. These situations indicate that the dog is upset and in extreme pain. Flatulence is a serious condition that causes severe pain in the dog’s abdomen. This condition can be very dangerous and you must seek veterinary help immediately.
6. Behavioral changes
Dogs that feel pain can become aggressive. They can growl in such situations, even when somebody just walks past them. Some dogs that experience pain or discomfort are also sad and depressed, have a reduced appetite, sleep more than usual, hide, have no interest in playing or walking.
The ability to recognize if your dog is in pain comes down to knowing his or her normal behavior. If the dog behaves strangely and shows some of the above symptoms it may feel some kind of pain or discomfort, and therefore it is very important to seek the advice of your veterinarian. It is never a good idea to give the dog medications yourself, as it can cause it other problems including various types of gastrointestinal problems.