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Five Signs Your Dog Might Be In Pain

Posted on 20th January 2022

Puggle puppy sat on carpet looking into the camera to represent a very new young puppy starting puppy power classes

Dogs are masters of disguise and this is particularly true when they are not feeling well or have pain somewhere.

I often hear owners tell me that their dog can't be in pain as they are still chasing a ball or playing with their friends. But the fact is, that they will do things they love even if it hurts.

In our healthy dog month, here are 5 signs you may see that point to hidden pain.


1. Changes in appetite

One of the most common signs of hidden pain is a change in appetite for our dogs. This can range from not eating at all to guarding food instead of eating it to stealing food.

Tooth pain is something we should check for often.

Look also at what is coming out of the other end. Digestive pain is hard to diagnose but can be easily detected with some more information.

Look at water intake decreasing or increasing alongside appetite changes


2. Change in sleep patterns

Just like people, dogs will miss out on rest if they are too sore to sleep.

Look for your dog being unable to settle or being more restless than normal, pacing, panting and generally demanding more attention


3. Fur changes

Fur patterns can change over points of pain origin particularly over joints.

Look for unusual texture, thinning fur or your dog nibbling or licking compulsively at areas of themselves


4. Disobedience

If your dog knows how to sit and is now refusing to do so there will be a reason for this.

Sometimes this can be association of something scary last time or it can also be because it can be uncomfortable to sit.

Imagine doing 2000 squats and then being asked to sit down, then being punished if you don't do it quick enough.

Notice if your dog sits wonky or finds it hard to get up from lying down.

Perhaps they no longer want to jump in the car?

In any case, get a vet check or ask a physio or chiro to take a look at them to make extra sure.


5. Aggressive outbursts

Ever snapped at someone when you have a headache? Wanted everyone to go away and leave you alone.

When in pain, dogs are much less likely to move away from things they don't like and resort to snapping and biting instead.

This is because it is often too painful to move so they don't and try and make us go away instead.

Please see your vet if you see any unexplained or sudden aggression in your otherwise normally tolerant dog.

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