My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Dogs In Pain: What You Can Do

Dogs are heaven-sent. And they are not called man’s best friends for nothing. They are one of the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom and constantly need human affection. And any dog lover will understand when you tell them that a dog’s love is the purest there is. This is why we all want our dogs to live the best and the longest life possible. This is the reason why we should always aim to give them only the best products and maintain the healthiest diets.

It is not a secret that not all dogs are the same. Therefore, it is essential that you understand and know when there’s something wrong with your dog’s usual behaviour. While there are obvious symptoms, there are also others that are hard to notice. To help you identify them, here are a couple of things to note that may indicate our dogs are in pain:

  • They show a difference in behaviour – Your dog may be a goofy bunch of fur and always the happy kind. One symptom to note if your dog is not feeling well or is in pain is when his/her behaviour changes. Just like humans, some dogs will exhibit irritability when they are dealing with pain. You might notice that they are not as energetic when greeting you, don’t get excited when offered a treat, or for some, they become aggressive when bothered. 
  • Change in habits – Whether drinking, eating or sleeping, a dog in pain will show changes in these habits. Most of the time, just like humans, when our dog is in pain, they experience loss of appetite or sleep most of the day. We must observe their habits to know if they are going through something.
  • They may be vocal – While there are dogs who suffer in silence, some may be vocal and make sounds such as yelping, growling, snarling and even howling. This is their way of communicating what they are feeling, and you should not ignore it. It is easy to spot a happy and excited dog. However, as dog owners, it is vital that we understand them, especially when they are trying to relay a message.
  • Constantly licking their paws – When it comes to injury, humans first instinct is to tend their wound or go to a doctor, but in the animal kingdom, specifically in the canine world, their first instinct is to lick themselves. Licking serves as a stress reliever while trying to locate the most painful area to see if they can do something about it as a thorny bush pricked them. Some study says our dogs believe that by licking themselves it can promote fast healing.
  • Changes in breathing – Breathing heavily for dogs is quite normal as this helps them cool down during warm and scorching weather. But, if they pant for no reason and have an abnormal breathing pattern such as shallow breathing, this might be a sign that there is something wrong with your pet, as this could indicate pain. 
  • Difficulty in moving – Movement rigidity and hobbling while in motion are some dangerous and apparent signs when it comes to pain. Like burnt or punctured paws or inflamed joints due to arthritis for senior dogs. They may also refuse to move into different places and stay immobile in a particular area for an extended period of time.
  • Changes in posture – Engorged body parts like paws, extremities and even face are apparent signs of pain. This is due to inflammation that may lead to infection or, worst, cancer. While dogs manifest pain, you can see them in an awkward posture like downward position wherein they lean their stomach on the ground. This sign may indicate abdominal pain as they are trying to ease it with that position.
  • Signs of trembling – During winter and heavy rains with rumbling thunderstorms, our dogs tend to tremble due to their sensitive hearing and lack of ability to warm themselves. This is totally normal. But if your dogs shake and tremble for no reason, that could be a severe sign of pain due to food poisoning, kidney disorder, or pancreatitis. Large intakes of prohibited food like chocolate and xylitol are toxic to our pets, and one of the danger signs is extreme muscle tremors.
  • Swelling – Swelling indicates an injury, which takes place in a different part of their body, such as joints and paws. The swollen part is a sign of muscle damage and inflammation wherein fluid and blood cells are moved to the injured area, which results in an enlarged part And obviously will result in pain.

Supplements For Dogs In Pain

While vets may prescribe medicines to help ease your dog’s pain and address the root cause, there are also some natural botanicals that may aid with pain and inflammation. Take note that it is crucial to consult your dog’s veterinarian before using any of these supplements alongside their medications or as part of their wellness routine.

Turmeric – This root contains curcumin which is a powerful compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric has been scientifically proven to be effective in the management of arthritis and is commonly given to dogs with joint problems such as arthritis that is typically associated with stiffness, discomfort, and even pain.

Cannabidiol – This hemp plant compound is commonly known as CBD. It is a better choice compared to its cannabinoid cousin THC, which is the culprit of euphoric and high feeling marijuana users get. CBD is a non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating cannabinoid that carries a wide array of health benefits. According to anecdotal evidence from many dog owners, CBD has helped lessen their pet’s neuropathic pain, including seizures. For humans, CBD oil has been reported to be effective in the management of anxiety, sleep, pain, as well as general wellness. 

Boswellia – Commonly known as Indian frankincense, Boswellia has been used since early times to help manage chronic inflammatory problems and other health conditions. For dogs, Boswellia is said to assist in maintaining healthy joint function and in controlling inflammation which helps lessen the pain.