7 signs your dog is in pain
1. Change in diet and sleep
Many dogs will change their eating or sleeping habits if they are in pain. They may go to sleep more often and for more extended periods to try to heal. Similarly, their appetite changes, in most cases, dogs who are in pain lose their appetite. But a sudden increase can also be a sign that your dog is not well.
The same goes for water; if your dog is suffering, you may notice some changes in their water intake.
A sudden and significant change in these elements is often a sign that your dog is in pain and needs your help.
2. Gasping and difficulty breathing
Does your dog breathe quickly while sticking out his tongue when he has not exercised and is not too hot? Then something is wrong with him. Your dog’s breathing is also a good indicator of whether he is in pain. Consult the vet as soon as possible!
3. Isolation and emotional change
The dog is a sociable and friendly animal which is rarely independent. If your dog is in pain, he might run away from you and try to hide, be quiet and heal. However, other dogs can become more aggressive when in pain. When you approach them, they might growl, and sometimes bite for fear that you might hurt them.
The dog’s emotional change can also depend on your relationship with him. It is less likely that owners who are close to their dogs and have a great bond with them will experience aggression from their dogs. In many cases, dogs can become more emotional than usual and be in constant search of your affection. You can also check common signs that your dog is stressed.
4. Excessive licking
A dog that is excessively licking his paws and scratching them means that he is in intense pain and discomfort. Parasites, allergies or skin disease may be the cause. Read more here if your dog has started licking his paws frequently.
5. Difficulty moving
Dogs can sprain their ankles just like we do. If you see no improvement after two days, then this can be a more severe injury. Similarly, any change in movements in general, like trouble getting up, or lying in strange positions can all be signs of pain. A broken bone can also be a cause, read more here.
6. Extra vocal
A dog who is in pain can be extra vocal and express himself in different ways to get your attention like moaning, crying, grunting, barking and howling.
7. Eye Pain
If your dog is squinting more frequently than usual, it may be a sign of eye pain. You can observe his pupil. Usually, a smaller pupil is a sign of eye pain, while a larger pupil is a sign of illness in another part of the body.
What to do if your dog is showing one of these signs?
Even if these signs that your dog is in pain are not always visible and do not indicate where the problem is coming from, your dog’s unusual behaviour may be a sign that he is suffering from something.
One of the things that you can do at first is to check if your dog has an external injury. The closer you are to your dog, the easier it is to detect any emotional or behavioural change.
It is urgent to contact the vet and while waiting for your appointment, make sure you provide your pet with a calm and quiet space. Let him rest quietly without constantly touching him. Do not give your dog painkillers or medication; even if the vet has prescribed it in the past.