How to Recognize Pain in Your Dog and What You Can Do to Help

As pet owners, we are responsible for protecting our dogs at all costs. Dogs have proven to be tough, stoic animals; instinctively, they will try to hide their pain. We want to do our best to care for our furry family members, but what if we don’t even know they’re hurting? Learning the warning signs of a dog masking their pain can be life-changing as you may be able to catch something before it’s too late.

Physical Changes

Some of the first things you can look for are the physical signs your dog may be displaying. A dog in pain might have a hard time breathing, so if you notice excessive or heavy panting from them for a lengthy period of time, this could be concerning. With that, they could exhibit shaking or tremoring. Unfortunately, both panting and shaking could also be signs of excitement, anxiety, or other feelings that aren’t necessarily associated with pain. So keep in mind these may not be enough on their own to determine that there is an issue. Ideally, you should look for these warning signs in addition to other significant changes before you take any action.

Additional physical changes can be seen in their posture, the way they carry themselves, as well as issues with their mobility. This can look like trouble walking, limping, or no longer being able to jump on or off the furniture. As far as their posture, they may hold their head lower than normal, below their shoulders, and their back may be lifted with an arched spine.

Physical issues can be difficult to keep track of. You may see them exhibiting a certain behavior and feel something is off, but how can you know that behavior is more than a one-time event? Using the FitBark collar and app can help you pay attention to these issues, especially changes in activity and mobility, so you can detect something fast. Not only will this tracking help you make sense of even the most subtle of behaviors, but it can help you communicate these issues to your veterinarian or trainer.



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