Did you know that many dogs will mask their pain?
Consider it a self-preservation instinct. Dogs will hide their pain to appear in control of the situation and to hide signs of weakness.
- Increased vocalizations
- Listen for excessive whining, snarling, whimpering, howling or yelping.
- Heavy panting or altered breathing
- Heavy panting without having exercised is something to take note of. Additionally, shallow breathing could indicate difficulty or pain in taking a breath.
- Difficulty in resting or sleeping
- If your dog is lying in a strange position or restless, it could be having a hard time sitting or lying down. On the other hand, excessive sleeping could point to a body trying to heal or extreme pain from trying to move.
- Non-Stop Grooming
- Dogs will excessively lick an open wound, but with internal pain, they will continue to lick the area in an attempt to fix an unseen wound. They also self-soothe through the act of licking/grooming. Watch for excessive self-grooming.
- Body Language
- Watch for stiffness, limping, restlessness, rigidity, trembling, shaking or squinting.
- Changes in Eating and Drinking Habits
- Loss of appetite and changes in water consumption are common signs.
- Behavioral Changes
- Some dogs may become extremely needy, in an effort to get you to notice that something is wrong or seek comfort. While others may hide or avoid you, worried that you may hurt them. (A protective instinct). Aversion can turn aggressive, from ears back, growling and even biting out of pain and fear.
If you dog isn’t being aggressive, you can gently and firmly feel around your dog’s body to try and locate the source of the pain, but beware, your four legged friend may instinctively bite if you touch a sore spot.
As always, make sure to consult your Veterinarian for diagnosis of your pet’s injury and treatment help.
** This important blog post was written by our Lead Trainer: Mark Dunlap