How To Tell If Your Dog Is In Pain

Dogs feel pain in the same way and for many of the same reasons as humans; infections, dental problems, arthritis, bone disease and cancer.  They also feel discomfort following surgical prodedures. Unfortunately, unlike humans, they are unable to speak to us about when and where they hurt.

You are in the best position to look for the subtle changes in behavior that may indicate your dog is suffering.  It is important to stay alert to these signs, because the sooner your dog's pain is diagnosed and treated, the sooner he or she can heal and resume a normal, happy life.

If your dog shows one or more of the following behaviors and you suspect it may be due to pain, please notify us immediately.


  • Whining

  • Howling

  • Whimpering

  • Yelping

  • Groaning

  • Grunting


  • Restless

  • Reluctant to move

  • Difficulty getting up from a laying position

  • Repetitively gets up and lies down

  • Trembling, circling or lying very still

  • Seeks more affection than usual


  • Protects a body part

  • Doesn't put weight on a limb

  • Limps

  • Doesn't want to be held or picked up

  • Hides


  • Decreased appetite

  • Withdraws from social interaction

  • Changes in sleeping or drinking

  • Lapses in housetraining

  • Sleeps more


  • licking

  • biting

  • scratching a particular part of its body


  • Coat lacks normal shine

  • Hair stands up in places


  • Grimaces, vacant stare

  • Glazed, wide-eyed or looks sleepy

  • Enlarged pupils

  • Flattened ears

  • Pants excessively when at rest


(Especially a previously friendly dog)

  • Acts out of character

  • Growls, hisses, bites

  • Pins ears back

  • A normally aggressive dog may act quiet, docile


  • Hunched, with hindquarters raised and front end down on the ground

  • Lays in a different position than usual