DOG GUIDEHealth & Diet

Dog In Pain: Signs, Management Tips, and MORE!

Many of us know what it’s like to experience pain, but can our dogs feel the same types of pain we do? The short answer is yes! Their bodies respond similarly to ours when experiencing things like arthritis or muscle strains. However, there are some differences between how dogs and humans: communication! That’s why our dogs need us in their most difficult times because they can’t describe what and how they feel aside from certain actions and wailing. And in this article, we’ll list the ways of helping our dogs to recover or lessen the pain they feel.

But first, let’s identify the types of pain they might experience and what are the signs that your dog might exhibit.


It is important to know the signs of pain in your dog. If you don’t know what those are, it is going to be even harder for you to find treatment for them. The more time passes, the longer their suffering will go on and that’s not something any pet owner wants!

There are two main types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is short-lived physical discomfort caused by an injury or disease. Chronic pain lasts longer than three months (although there may be periods where there isn’t any). You will know if your dog has acute pain because they’ll show signs like limping or hiding away from people and other dogs. These are all things that can be fixed with medication but only if you recognize them as being symptoms!


The first step to knowing if your dog is in pain is learning how to recognize the signs of pain. If you can recognize these signs, then you’ll be able to identify when your dog needs treatment. Let’s take a look at some of these signs and what they mean:

dog in pain
Photo credits: Regine Tholen

? Sleeping more than usual.


Sleeping more than usual can be a sign of pain in dogs, cats, and rabbits. Doing this more than usual can also be a sign of pain in humans. But when you’re dog is sleeping more than usual it might mean something else is wrong! Your dog may be too tired to tolerate the pain in its body!

? Restlessness, inability to get comfortable.

Restlessness and an inability to get comfortable are a sign of pain. You might notice your dog pacing back and forth in the house, or restlessly circling in one spot while lying down or even while standing up. If they aren’t able to settle down, have them spend time in a quiet place where they can relax.

It’s also possible that your dog may be more irritable than usual because of their injury. For example: if you know that your dog has arthritis, but now their hind legs are hurting from an injury then it’s likely that their arthritis will be more painful for them too!

? Lethargy.

Lethargy is a sign of pain. Dogs that are in pain may be lethargic (lazy), slow, and not as interested in activities they usually enjoy. Lethargy can also be caused by other factors such as a lack of sleep or being old. But these symptoms would have to be present for several days before you can rule out pain as a cause.

If your dog has been lethargic for more than three days, it’s time to see the vet! It could mean something serious like cancer or another illness.

? Trembling, shaking, panting excessively.

If you notice your dog trembling, shaking, or panting excessively while they sleep, it could be that they’re in pain. Also, look out for excessive drooling and appetite loss, changes in eating and drinking habits, and being aggressive, grumpy, or moody (these will be tackled later on). Ultimately, if you think your dog is in pain it’s a good idea to get them seen by a vet as soon as possible.

? Changes in eating and drinking habits.

Changes in eating behavior and drinking habits are also a sign of pain. If a dog is in pain, it may eat less or eat its food slowly but be more interested in water. It might also drink more water if it’s in pain. But that’s not always the case. if your dog isn’t used to drinking lots of water, this can be a big change!

? Being aggressive, grumpy, or moody.

Dogs are social animals, and they will often show signs of pain when they are in pain. One of the most common signs that your dog is in pain is if this previously happy, bouncy dog suddenly becomes grumpy or moody. Some other common signs include being aggressive towards others or even you.

While it can be hard to tell if a dog is in pain because we cannot communicate with them verbally as we do with humans. There are still some behavioral signs that may indicate that your pet is hurting. One sign would be an increase in clinginess. If your normally independent pup suddenly wants to cuddle all day long and doesn’t want to leave your side, it may be because she’s hurting!

Another sign could be aggression towards you or other pets. Dogs don’t normally bite their owners or other people unless provoked! Another sign could also be some general irritability. If it won’t let you sit down on the couch and keeps growling at everyone who comes near him while he’s laying there sulking on his bed, chances are good he’s feeling bad too (which means no one else should try sitting next to him either).

? Licking paws or rubbing face more than normal.

If your dog is in pain, it may be licking or chewing on his paws more than normal. If this is the case, the site it’s licking is where the pain is. Your dog will often lick one paw over and over again (or chew on one area of its face). It’s important to find out what’s causing the pain so you can treat it appropriately.

If you notice this behavior, talk with your veterinarian about what could be causing your pet pain and how best to treat them.

? Excessive drooling or appetite loss.

When your dog is in pain, it may show signs of drooling more than usual. This may be because the mouth area is sore and painful to touch.

It’s also possible that your dog will experience a loss of appetite or not want to eat and drink as much as usual. This can be due to pain so it’s important that you seek medical help from your vet if you notice this behavior.


It’s hard to see a dog in pain, but it’s even more complicated when the dog is at home. You can’t take them to the vet every time they have an ache or pain, but what else can you do? Dogs are adaptable creatures and can live with pain for a long time, but it’s still nice for you to help out when you can. You can give your dog some relief at home, if necessary. The best thing to do is try all of the things on this list together because that will be the most effective way of helping your pet!

? Let them rest.

Sleep is a great way to help your dog relax and heal. Let your dog rest as much as possible, but be careful not to let them get too tired or they may try to sleep through the pain. If your vet prescribed medication for your pet, make sure you give it on time every day until the medicine runs out.


? Give your dog some non-prescription painkillers.

As with any medication, it is always best to ask your vet before giving a painkiller to your dog. There are many different types of painkillers available, and they vary in how much they cost, how much they can do for your dog, and how long the effects last. If you’re looking for an over-the-counter option that won’t break the bank and won’t have as strong an effect on your dog’s system as prescription medications, non-prescription painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen are good options.

Some dogs will be able to cope with taking one kind of pill every day without issue. While others might need two pills every 12 hours or three pills every eight hours depending on their condition and how quickly they need treatment. In some cases, a topical cream may be prescribed instead if there isn’t enough room inside the mouth for oral medication due to dental issues like missing teeth. This should still be administered in conjunction with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications though just not orally.

? Apply heat or cold therapy.

If your dog is in pain, you can use heat or cold therapy to help ease the discomfort.

>>Heat therapy

Heat can be used for hot spots, abrasions, and spasms. You can use a heating pad, a warm water bottle, or heated rice bags (be sure not to burn your dog). Wrap the item in a towel and place it on your pet’s body part for 10 minutes at a time. You might need to do this several times per day until the swelling goes down.

>>Cold therapy

Cold therapy may help reduce inflammation from sprains or strains by helping to decrease blood flow in damaged tissues. It’s also useful when treating the pain associated with arthritis in older dogs. Ice packs wrapped in towels are commonly recommended for this treatment. Apply them directly over the affected area for 10 minutes at a time every hour as needed until symptoms subside.

? Provide extra food and water.

You can help your dog by increasing the amount of food and water they are consuming. It’s important to make sure your dog is drinking enough water. If not, they may need to go to the vet. If your dog isn’t eating or drinking enough, you can try moistening its regular food with warm water (not hot!). This can also be helpful if they have difficulty swallowing due to pain or discomfort in their mouth or throat.

? Make sure they’re comfortable.

Keep your dog comfortable by providing a soft bed to sleep on and a place where they can rest without being disturbed. If your dog has trouble getting up and down from the floor, provide them with a comfy blanket or toy to make it easier for them to get around.

? Go see the vet.

If your dog is in pain, it’s best to get it looked at as soon as possible. If you can’t get to the vet right away, call a 24-hour emergency pet clinic. They should be able to help you out with over-the-phone advice and get you set up with an appointment.

Ask your vet if you have any questions about how your dog feels! The veterinarians love dogs (and cats and birds too!) so don’t hesitate to contact them with any concerns you may have about your furry friends.


? Can dog suffer from body pain the same way humans do?

Yes, dogs can suffer from body pain in the same way humans do. Most veterinary hospitals have doctors who are experienced in diagnosing and treating chronic pain in dogs. The same doctors may also be able to diagnose acute (short-term) pain, which is often caused by an injury or physical problem that can be treated with medication or surgery.

If your dog is experiencing chronic or acute pain, it’s important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Because dogs can’t tell us how they feel, we rely on them to show us signs of discomfort so that we know when it’s time for treatment.

? Can you take ibuprofen for a dog?

Ibuprofen is a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is used to relieve pain, reduce fever and reduce inflammation. However, it is not recommended to give ibuprofen to dogs if it’s not advised by your vet. Although there are non-prescription painkillers for dogs available, ibuprofen can cause stomach upset and ulcers. If you have concerns about your dog’s pain or discomfort contact your veterinarian first.


? Do dogs feel better after a bath?

Yes, your dog will feel better after a bath. A bath can help to relieve pain because the water helps to relax their muscles. It is important to use a shampoo that is designed for dogs, as many shampoos designed for humans are not safe for pets. The shampoo should be pH balanced and hypoallergenic, as well as tearless.

? Do dogs feel pain when put to sleep? Is euthanasia an option?

Yes, dogs feel pain before, during, and after they are put to sleep.

While euthanasia is one of the most humane ways to end a dog’s suffering (as opposed to letting them suffer until they die naturally), it can still be terrifying for your pet. It’s important to remember that your dog may have some type of anxiety about being put down. This is especially true if your pet has ever been abused or neglected in the past.


If you’re concerned your dog might be in pain, don’t hesitate to call the vet! The sooner they can diagnose the issue and treat it, the better. Remember that dogs can only speak through their actions. So if something doesn’t seem right with their behavior, pay attention and ask questions.

If you’re still unsure about your dog’s situation and it keeps on crying, you can check our next article on how to calm it effortlessly. Just click here.