Recognizing and Managing Pain in Dogs

Dogs can't tell us when they're in pain, so it's crucial to recognize the signs. Changes in behavior, mobility, or physical symptoms can indicate discomfort.

Dog Pain

Physical signs of pain in dogs include tight or twitching muscles, shaking, an arched back, panting, and holding their head below their shoulders.


Dogs in pain may not want to be touched, may lick excessively, vocalize more, show restlessness, aggression, or changes in sleeping habits.

Behavioral Changes

Pain can affect a dog's mobility. Signs include limping, walking slower, reluctance to jump or use stairs, and difficulties lying down or rising.

Mobility Issues

Pain in dogs can be caused by damage to bones or joints, soft tissue injuries, back problems, dental disease, infections, severe stomach upset, cancer, and surgeries.


If your dog is in pain, consult your vet. They can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests. Modifications to physical activities may also be necessary.


Treatments for pain include medications, surgery, physical rehabilitation, laser therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, massage, and heat packs.

Treatment Options

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