Our pets rely on us to play with them, give them praise, snuggle with them when it’s cold, and most importantly take care of them.  As pet parents, we need to know and recognize the signs that our animal is in pain, so we can quickly make them feel better.  They say dogs are “man’s best friend,” and if your best friend were feeling pain, wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to alleviate it?  September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Here are a few signs that might indicate your canine companion is in pain:

 

Behavioral changes

  • Decreased appetite — especially if he’s experiencing dental pain
  • Changes in water consumption — dogs that begin drinking considerably more or less water each day
  • Sleeping more or less — a dog might sleep more if he’s trying to heal or less if he can’t get comfortable
  • Excessive grooming — dogs that suddenly begin licking their paws excessively may be attempting to soothe themselves
  • Antisocial behaviors — if your pup has always run to greet you at the door or typically loves playing with your children but suddenly seems disinterested
  • Aggressive behaviors — dogs that are suddenly more irritable or quick to react when touched or stimulated
  • Agitation or restlessness — pacing back and forth repeatedly or difficulty getting comfortable
  • Being more vocal — an increased amount of yelping, growling, howling, or snarling


Physical changes

  • Stiff or rigid body posture — if your dog doesn’t seem to want to move a specific part of his body, or his entire body, he could be suffering from an injury or arthritis
  • Limping — one of the more obvious signs of pain and/or injury
  • Swelling — if your dog’s face, legs, or paws seem to be swollen, he could be suffering from inflammation, an infection, or worse
  • General fatigue or malaise — dogs that become reluctant to climb stairs or slower to get up
  • Heavier panting — dogs that begin panting heavily, even though they haven’t been exercising or aren’t trying to cool themselves
  • Changes in breathing — shallow breathing might be a sign that it’s painful for your dog to take a deep breath

 

If your dog is showing any signs of pain, call our office or book an appointment today.