Signs your Dog is in Pain
Learning What to Look For
One of the best things we can do to better connect with our canine companions is to learn how to think, look, and listen more like dogs, especially when it comes to pain evaluation. In situations where the pain is more chronic, like bone or joint pain such as arthritis, this can potentially save your dog years of suffering in which their condition otherwise might have gone untreated. Here are the top five signs to look for to ensure your beloved pet never has to suffer
1. Slowing Down
As our dogs age, we assume that they inevitably slow down. Though this may be true in some circumstances, it isn't always the complete story. In many cases, dogs will slow down because they are in chronic pain. Over time, dealing with this day-to-day pain begins to wear them out, and they naturally begin to slow down as a result.
2. Sleeping More or Longer
Humans do this one too. Have you ever had terrible body aches from a cold or a debilitating migraine? All you want to do is stay in bed. The key here is to notice anything that is different from the norm in your dog's sleeping behavior. If you notice they are sleeping more, especially in the morning, or go through a sort of ritualistic stretching behavior before getting up that they didn't used to do, it may be an early warning sign of discomfort.
3. Slow to Sit Down or Get Up
For dogs that are in severe pain, even a completely untrained eye can tell they are struggling to get up or down. But to identify the subtle and early changes that may or may not be occurring, watch your pet carefully you know them best. Are they doing anything they didn't before, such as thinking about sitting, thumping themselves down, or walking themselves into a lying down position? Are they more hesitant to get up when you ask them to? These are all indications your dog is suffering.
4. Avoiding or Having Difficulty with Stairs
For dogs in pain, what was once the normal, easy task of going up and down stairs quickly becomes a challenge. In the early stages of chronic pain, you may notice that they slightly hesitate prior to going up the stairs almost as if they need to muster the energy or convince themselves that they can actually do it. In the later stages, they may have to bunny hop, using both hind legs together to push off a step. If you notice this in your dog, there is definitely a problem.