How Can I Tell If My Dog is in Pain?

dog in pain

Dogs, like many animals in the animal kingdom, will do their best to hide any signs of pain as a survival mechanism from their wild ancestors. As a result, it can be difficult to tell when our dogs may be suffering from pain unless there are glaringly obvious symptoms, like bleeding, limping, or whimpering. In these cases, it’s easy to see that we may need to intervene, and owners can give their pet a CBD product, like CBDfx pet tincture, to see if that helps with pain before taking their dog to the vet. 

In other cases, a dog may do its best to hide any pain, even from its owners, which is why it’s important for owners to pay close attention to their dog’s behavior, especially after an injury may have occurred. Learn more about some of the more subtle signs your dog may give you to signal that they are in pain. 

Signs Your Dog Is in Pain

Because dogs can’t outright tell us when they are in pain, we humans have to notice the signs, subtle or obvious, they give us. Some of these signs include:

  • Limping or other mobility issues
  • Swelling
  • Increased restlessness or panting
  • Excessive licking or chewing of the affected area
  • Loss of appetite or changes in drinking habits
  • Changes in demeanor, like increased aggression
  • More vocalization, such as growling, whimpering, or yelping
  • Sudden disinterest in playing or going for walks

These are just a few of the many possible signs your dog may display when they are in pain. Each dog reacts differently to injuries or sores, so it’s important to note any sudden changes in behavior. Nobody knows your furry best friend like you do! 

What Can I Do About My Dog’s Pain at Home?

There are a few home remedies you can try when you notice your dog is in pain if it seems relatively mild. If your dog is older, and their joints appear to be aching or bothering them, some owners find that joint supplements, like Glucosamine, can help their dog’s pain. 

You can also try giving your dog CBD products, like CBD-infused treats or tinctures. Research on CBD pain management for pets is still limited, though many owners have seen positive results in their dogs’ pain after giving them CBD. 

Another at-home remedy is using gentle heat or cold therapy on the affected spots like you would your own aches or injuries. Heat can be helpful for aching joints, and ice can benefit swelling, but both can temporarily ease some of the pain your dog is feeling. 

Finally, some pet owners have also found success in treating their dog’s pain by giving their pet dog-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Human NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen should never be given to your dog, as they can cause negative health effects. Some pet stores sell over-the-counter dog NSAIDs, but you may be better off getting a prescription from your vet. 

When Should I take My Dog in to See The Vet?

Many dogs get incredibly anxious when going to the vet, so it can be hard for owners to take their dog in for an exam. Some small injuries and minor pain may not require a visit to the vet, but severe injuries or long-lasting pain are best treated under the guidance of a veterinarian. 

Your vet will give your dog a thorough examination to figure out the underlying cause of your dog’s pain, and they will work with you to develop a comprehensive plan to help your dog feel better. Your vet may prescribe an NSAID, an opioid, or one of the other several types of pain-relieving drugs available to dogs. Some pain relievers, like steroids, can also come in the form of a shot. 

If your dog won’t stop licking or biting at an injury or pain point, your vet may also give you a cone that will prevent your dog from reaching the affected area. Many dogs feel nervous about wearing a cone, but it can help them heal faster and go back to playing and doing all the things a dog should do. 

It can be heart-breaking to see our best friends in pain, but fortunately, there are several things we can do to help them feel better. 

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