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10 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is In Pain

Dog Pain

It would be so amazing if your beloved puppy or full grown dog could tell you when they are experiencing pain. Since they can’t, it is up to you to be vigilant and watch out for the signs of pain and discomfort.

Recognizing these signs enable you to act quickly, seek medical attention when needed and bring comfort and healing to your precious companion. There are some subtle signs that your dog is in pain. When it comes to your four-legged wonder, why risk anything.

Below are the signs that tell you something is going on with your dog.

Loss of appetite

Dog Appetite

One of the most telling signs of pain, discomfort or other underlying health issues is loss of appetite in dogs. It is most likely that your dog will stop eating if experiencing some sort of pain, tummy cramps or indigestion.

Even the usual food choices and treats will not coax your pooch to dig in until the feelings subside and your four-legged companion feels better.

Low energy mode

Low Energy Dog

If your pet is usually high on energy, bounds towards you each time you call and is low on energy all of a sudden it could indicate pain of some sort. Older dogs with arthritis gradually become less keen to move around.

When your dog goes from energetic to sulky and won’t budge, it may be time to investigate to find out the cause.

Excessive barking

Dog Barking

You know what gets your pet barking. It could be the door bell ringing, the welcoming barks that greet you when you get home or other dogs barking in the vicinity that gets your pooch to join in.

When your dog barks more than usual or unnecessarily, it could mean something unusual is going on with your pet. Howling in pain or yelping is a clearer signal of the same thing.

Restlessness and pacing
High energy dogs will pace on occasion to burn off excess energy. This type of restless pacing can be the norm when the usual time to go out for walks or playtime in the yard is approaching.

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Restlessness, where your dog can’t seem to rest or sit still can point to an underlying cause that is making your pet uncomfortable.

Changes in sleep patterns

Dog Sleeping

Like most dogs, your pet likely enjoys snoozing and dozing for many hours each day. When the usual sleep pattern seems disturbed, it could mean something.

If your dog is sleeping a lot less than usual and looks uncomfortable, the reasons causing these may be well worth looking into.

Grass eating

Dog Eating Grass

Your dog instinctively knows what to do if in pain or discomfort. Issues with digestion or an upset stomach can make your pooch chew grass. The grass induces vomiting which then makes your pet feel better.

If your dog is looking out of sorts, is not eating, is low on energy and doesn’t recover even after eating grass when let out in the yard, you may want a vet to look into the cause.

Excessive scratching or grooming

Dog Scratching

Grooming is something you probably observe your pet doing on an everyday basis to stay clean and spruce up. If your pet has floppy ears, excessive scratching of the ears can point to some infection or discomfort of some sort.

Excessive licking of one or all paws can mean something is irritating or painful in the paws. If accompanied by slight or a lot of limping, you can check to see if there is redness, an insect bite or something stuck in the paws.

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At times when the pain comes from an insect bite or some minor issue, a cold compress and reassuring hugs will work wonders to heal and make your pooch comfortable. At other times, pain and discomfort can require medical attention.

Tremors and shaking
Cold weather makes dogs tremble from the cold. Fear of some sort can also do the same. When your dog is snug and warm and you notice tremors or trembling, there could be a health issue causing pain.

Ingesting foods considered to be toxic for dogs when eaten in large quantities, for instance grapes or chocolates may cause tremors in dogs.

Signs of stress

Dog Stress

You know your dog is stressed out when you see your pooch panting much more than usual. Panting after playtime, on an excessively hot day or after a run is normal. Panting in these cases regulates your dog’s body temperature and keeps it comfortable.

Excessive panting results from stress and feelings of anxiety that can occur during visits to the vet or when a bath is imminent if your dog doesn’t enjoy baths.

Hiding or aggressive behavior
Pain can change your dog’s behavior temporarily. Much as we are not the same when experiencing pain or discomfort, your pet may act and behave differently when experiencing these. Hiding away can also indicate something is up.

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If your dog tries to hide under the table, tries to get under the furniture or lurks in a corner, you may want to find out what’s going on. Aggressive behavior also points towards health issues or uneasy feelings in your pooch.

If your pet snaps at you when you try to talk or coax it out from where it is hiding, it could mean pain. The hiding is your dog’s way to rest awhile and recover.

10 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is In Pain


  • Anonymous
    March 16, 2021

    this helped with my lab she is so much better now that we went to the vet.

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