- A dogs natural instinct is to hide their pain which makes it more difficult for owners to know when something is wrong.
- Some common indicators that a dog is in pain are behavioral and physical changes, increased vocalization, localized grooming, and changes in eating and drinking.
- If you suspect your dog is in pain, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They will do an assessment, run diagnostic tests, and hopefully pinpoint what the problem is.
One of the worst things for a pet owner is to see their animal in pain. You want to take their pain away and comfort them, but oftentimes it’s hard to even know what is causing their discomfort. It’s even more difficult because while we share a close bond with our pets, they can’t verbally communicate with us. They can’t tell us what’s wrong. At the end of the day, every dog is different, so it’s up to us to decipher any signs they might show us.
Whether it’s from an injury or an underlying health issue, a dogs first instinct is to hide their pain and suffer in silence. This is a natural instinct hardwired in them to protect against predators. Unfortunately, this stoic gesture works against owners who’s job it is to take care of them. Luckily, there are still some key warning signs to look for. Here’s a look at the most common signs your dog is in pain…
Whimpering and Whining
While dogs tend to hide their pain by masking physical symptoms, Cesars Way says they will vocalize it through whining, whimpering, yelping, growling, snarling, and even howling. This is especially true for young dogs who have not experienced much physical discomfort. Since it’s not always accompanied by physical action, it’s not easy for owners to pick up that something is wrong.
Our first reaction is to offer comfort. Just remember, if a dog stops whining, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t in pain anymore. “Whimpering or increased vocalizations, which can be intermittent, constant, or when touched, can indicate pain. Just because your dog is not whimpering, does not mean he or she is not in pain,” says veterinarian Heidi Cooley, DVM, Chief of Staff at Banfield Pet Hospital when talking to Reader’s Digest.