9 Signs That Your Dog Is In Pain

signs a dog is in pain

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Pain, according to Monheim, is an unpleasant emotional experience usually initiated by noxious stimulus and transmitted over a specialized neural network to the central nervous system where it is interpreted as such.

As humans, pain often compels us to lie on our side when we sleep when we have back problems, or take medications when we feel feverish, or go straight to the emergency room when we could no longer contain it.

And just like us, these are the different behavioral changes and signs that would confirm that your dog is in pain.

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Walking slower or refusing to walk

Walking and exploring outdoors is one of the best rewards for dogs. I have never seen any dog who does not like this activity, even the physically disabled dogs.

This is why when you see that your dog does not want to walk outside or even inside your house, he or she might be in pain.

Reluctance or inability to lie down or get up

Dogs are very active in nature. In the olden days, they were bred to either hunt in the wild or help in herding and guarding sheep and other animals.

Once your dog is unable to simply get on their paws or lie down, there is something wrong with them and you have to have them checked by a professional.

Not wanting to be touched

If your dogs refuse to be pet or touched, it might be in pain. This is often accompanied by hiding and trying to keep away from people.

However, other dogs might manifest the opposite- they may seek more attention and affection from you.

Excessive paw-licking

Whenever a dog is in pain, stressed, or depressed, you might observe that they have this excessive grooming behavior such as paw licking or rubbing their face with their paws.

Changes in Appetite

Dogs might show a loss of appetite when they are in pain. They often refuse their food and do not want to drink.

This will eventually lead to weight loss which might cause dehydration or worsen their condition.


Aggressive dogs are dogs that are feeling discomfort. Dogs feel the need to be hostile when they do not feel safe or if they feel pain.

They are in protection mode to defend themselves from danger, and this happens more often if they are in pain.

However, aggression can mean something else, so carefully examining your dog might help you detect if they are injured or in pain.

Grunting or Whimpering

Dogs that are in pain often make grunting or whimpering noises to try and communicate how they feel.

Some dogs even cry and tear up if they are feeling pain or discomfort. Remember to always be keen and observant of your dog’s behaviors so you can immediately bring him or her to the vet.

Twitching or trembling

Twitching or trembling may occur if a dog is having seizures, so if this happens, you have to be more alert because your pet may need a trip to the vet.

Arched back

An arched back, along with the inability to open the jaw, which is medically known as trismus, is a definite sign that your dog might be suffering from tetanus infection.

Immediately sending your dog to the vet will help improve his condition, and having your dog vaccinated will help prevent this.

Once you observe any of the signs stated above on your dog, you have to keep an eye on him and see if his condition worsens.

It will be of help if you take videos of how your dog behaves or take pictures of any abnormalities that you have found on his or her body, so you can send them to your vet for a professional opinion regarding your dog’s health.

Remember that a dog’s health and safety is a responsible dog owner’s priority.