Dogs tend to hide their pain well. This is a defensive behavior dogs have inherited to avoid showing weakness or vulnerability in the face of predators. Over time, dogs have evolved to become experts at masking pain symptoms. Pet owners need to keep a close eye on their dogs so they can spot signs that their pups may be in pain, even when they aren’t outwardly whining, groaning, or whimpering. In this article from Love Wink Products, we’ll discuss a few subtle ways dogs express pain and what you can do to help.
Symptoms of Pain
Dog owners, always tuned into their furry friends, should watch for those subtle hints that something’s amiss. Maybe your playful pup, who used to dash up the stairs or eagerly fetch a ball, now hesitates, hinting at some discomfort. As their loyal companion, it’s our job to pick up on these silent cues. If they’re suddenly obsessed with licking a specific paw or joint, it’s a little alarm bell that they might be hurting there. Those moments when they seem lost in thought or more subdued than usual can also be telltale signs. It’s all about decoding these little shifts in behavior. After all, our four-legged pals can’t tell us they’re in pain, but their actions might just give us the clues we need to help them out.
Symptoms of Stress
Spotting symptoms of stress in your dog is essential for understanding their well-being, as stress can be an indication of pain or discomfort. However, your dog’s stress may also be a reflection of your own. Dogs are highly perceptive and can pick up on their owners’ emotions, including work-related stress. Some common symptoms of stress in dogs include restlessness, irritability, excessive barking, or clinginess. These signs are a cue that you should evaluate your dog’s overall environment and routine, and consider taking steps to reduce your own stress levels.
Altered Eating and Drinking
Like humans, dogs tend to experience a change in appetite when they’re dealing with pain. The American Kennel Club explains that illness is one of the most common reasons for appetite loss in dogs. If your dog isn’t eating and is exhibiting other signs of illness, such as coughing, vomiting, or diarrhea, get to a vet as soon as possible. If your dog has developed an infection or disease—or swallowed a foreign object—they’re likely in quite a lot of pain. Dogs experiencing abdominal distress may also show abnormal postures, such as assuming a ‘praying position’ with their rear raised, arching the back, or lying on one side more than usual.
Changes in Activity Level
Pain often results in changes to a dog’s activity level. According to Vets Now, pets who show signs of lethargy or exercise intolerance may be suffering from underlying conditions. In younger dogs, reduced activity may indicate a serious, acute problem while older dogs showing lethargy may be experiencing pain due to age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis. Either way, a visit to the vet is in order.
Alleviating Pain in Dogs
Your veterinarian will diagnose the source of your pet’s pain and recommend appropriate treatment options. If the pain is due to a chronic condition, your vet can tell you how you can make your dog more comfortable at home. Be sure to follow their recommendations diligently. For example, your vet may recommend special dietary guidelines, supplements, medications, and/or physical therapy exercises.
If your pet is recovering from an injury or experiencing pain due to age-related conditions, consider purchasing a few supplies to help your dog get around the house more easily. For example, Ruff Ramps from Love Wink Products provide a gentle slope for pets that have trouble navigating stairs, jumping onto the bed or sofa, or getting into the car.
Consider Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is a valuable investment, both for your financial peace of mind and the health of your dog. When it comes to detecting and addressing pain in dogs, early intervention is crucial. With pet insurance coverage, owners can seek prompt veterinary attention without worrying about expensive medical bills. Pet insurance essentially removes financial barriers and encourages pet owners to seek professional help at the first sign of discomfort or pain, even if the symptoms appear subtle. Do some research to learn more about pet insurance and how it works!
As pet owners, we hate the thought of our furry friends suffering in silence. By keeping an eye out for signs of stress or discomfort, you can get your dog the treatment they need as quickly as possible. And if you invest in a solid pet insurance policy, you won’t hesitate to seek professional guidance from a veterinarian the next time your dog is in pain!
Is your dog struggling with stairs? The Ruff Ramp by Love Wink Products was designed with thoughtful features including a non-slip surface, safety rails, and stabilizing posts to ensure your dog is safe and feels secure. Check out our products today!