This is How Dogs Express Their Pain

Dogs have a different way of communicating with us, so it's essential to be able to read their cries for help
This is How Dogs Express Their Pain

Last update: 14 February, 2018

Dogs have a unique way of expressing pain, and it is very different than the manner in which humans tend to express theirs. Or, most likely, that is what we believe because we do not know how to properly interpret and understand their language.

Today we are going over the different ways in which dogs show that they are in pain. Some are pretty obvious, but others tend to be much more subtle. Due to genetic inheritance, some animals hide that they are injured or sick to avoid showing any sign of weakness. It is of utter importance that you pay close attention to your furry friend to ensure their safety and well-being.

Learn to Identify the Signs Through Which Dogs Express Their Pain

These are some of the ways in which dogs express the pain they are experiencing:

Author: LuAnn Snawder Photography
Author: LuAnn Snawder Photography
  • They become more vocal than usual: whining, howling, grunting, barking . . .
  • They constantly lick a certain part of their body: even if the dog in question does not have a visible wound, keep in mind that this may be a sign of trying to mitigate internal pain.
  • Their habits start changing: they may sleep more, lose their appetite or even begin drinking larger amounts of water.
  • Their breathing is altered or labored: for instance, panting despite not having been exercising.
  • They begin to adopt different positions for defecating and urinating.
  • They have difficulty sitting or lying down and are unable to find a position in which they feel comfortable.
  • Their movements become abnormal: wobbling, stiffness, difficulty supporting their legs, lameness, etc.

In addition, their pupils become dilated (unless they are experiencing pain in their eyes, in which case they squint them and their pupils become smaller.)

Even though dogs may not speak our language, they have different ways of expressing what they are feeling. That is why it is extremely important that we be observant and learn to decode the different signs they’re showing. Today we will tell you how dogs express their pain.

Más indicios de que tu peludo está dolorido

More Signs that Your Furry Friend is in Pain

Other behaviors through which a dog expresses their pain could be:

  • Hiding and running away from you, or on the contrary, refusing to leave your side.
  • Becoming aggressive and even trying to bite whoever approaches them.
  • Avoiding being petted.
  • Appearing depressed.
  • Seeming despondent and lacking the motivation to go on walks.
  • Not welcoming it’s family members with enthusiasm or avoiding coming when called.

How to Know Whether Your Dog is Unwell

To make sure that the change or the changes in your dog’s habitual behavior are their way of expressing that something hurts, you should try to find out in which area of the body the pain is located, even if there is no apparent wound. In order to achieve this, you must touch the different parts of your dog’s body carefully but firmly.

Be careful if their condition makes them aggressive. Remember that they may try to bite, especially if you cause more suffering by touching the affected area.

Either way, the important thing is that if the animal is going through something that you can’t ascertain, but that is altering it’s behavior, you need to take it to the vet immediately.

What are the Primary Causes of Pain in Dogs?

Among the main reasons that may be causing your dog pain, we can specifically point out:

  • Diseases of the joints
  • Dental issues
  • Different types of cancer
  • Post-operative procedures
woman hugging dog in field

That is why it is imperative that you take your pet to the vet. The sooner you determine the causes of the pain they are feeling, the faster the animal can recover, or at least become alleviated of their suffering and achieve a higher quality of life.

In no way should you try to medicate the dog on your own in an effort to alleviate their pain, much less with human products. If need be, the specialist will determine what medication the animal should take, as well as the proper dosage.

Be a Responsible and Observant Owner

So, there you have it. Even if your dog does not seem very expressive when it comes to manifesting that they are hurt, if you take a closer look, sooner than later you will notice that something is up.

Ensuring that your pet is in good health is among your top responsibilities as their owner. Don’t waste any more time and begin searching for the best ways to mitigate your dog’s pain.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.