How To Tell if Your Dog is in Pain

It can be hard to see that your dog is in pain sometimes since they can’t speak like us. They tend to suffer in silence. 

how to tell if your dog is in pain

However, there are some signs to look out for that show when your dog is suffering. Some are obvious and others are subtle. Your pet can be in pain for many reasons, such as infection, arthritis, or even cancer. The sooner you see these signs, the better chances they will have to recover and feel better again. We made a list to help you tell if your dog is in pain:

Signs Your Dog is Sick or In Pain

Aggressive Behavior 

Watch out if your dog starts trying to bite you, or becomes antisocial and tries to hide from you. It could be a sign that they are hurting. The aggressiveness is due to their instinct. That is their defense mechanism.

Shaking or Trembling 

Shaking or trembling doesn’t always mean that the pet is feeling cold, might be a sign of something else. There are many reasons why your dog could be acting like that, like poisoning, injury, or kidney disease.

Changes in Activity Level 

Did you notice that your usually active dog that used to always come to greet you at the door, and now they simply don’t do that? If your dog is lethargic, meaning more tired than usual, there’s a possibility that your dog is sick. 

Too Much Grooming

If your puppy starts licking excessively at a certain part of their body, it could mean that it is hurting them, like a wound. If they are licking their paws, it is probably because they’re trying to calm themselves because they are in pain.

Change in Daily Habits

Watch if your dog is refusing to eat, or if they’re hungrier or thirstier than usual. It might mean that your dog could have cancer, an infection, kidney disease, or many other conditions. 


Vocalization is probably the most obvious sign that your pet is feeling unwell. If they’re howling, yelping, or growling, it could indicate that they’re hurting.

Eye Changes

Just like in humans, you can see if your dog has certain diseases by looking at their eyes. See if their eyes are swollen, red, or if they’re blinking rapidly.

Mobility Problems

Is your puppy limping, avoiding to walk or climbing the stairs? These mobility issues could potentially mean a sign of sore paws, an injury, or even arthritis, especially if your dog is old. 

Changes in Posture

If your dog has their front legs and chest on the ground with their butt up in the air, they’re taking the praying position, which could be a sign that they are hurting.

How to Help Your Dog and What to Do Next?

how to tell if your dog is in pain

It is crucial that you don’t try to treat them yourself with human medication, because they might not be appropriate, or could even worsen your pet’s condition. 

If you notice any of the above signs, you should take your pet to the veterinarian to investigate and treat the problem, so that your furry friend can feel better quickly.


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