I wanted to share how to recognize pain in older dogs. Remember, dogs are masters at hiding and disguising how they really feel.
Plus, I’m hoping to reach those out there that still believe that dogs and other animals don’t feel pain.
Oh C’mon! This reasoning is traced back to canine ancestry thousands of years ago. Yes, in the wild the weakest of the pack is shunned and excluded.
This is why our domesticated dogs hide their pain, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t feel pain. In the wild when a dog exhibits pain, his pack knows he is weak and he then becomes a target.
In order to recognize pain in older dogs (or any dog really), it’s critical for dog owners to understand this behavior in dogs, because the symptoms of pain may not always be obvious. However, just because the symptoms aren’t obvious, doesn’t mean the pain doesn’t exist; it just means that the dog is doing what thousands of years of survival instincts taught him to do.
Recognize Behavior That’s Not Normal
Once in awhile dogs, even the most unsuspecting dog may respond by growling or biting due to pain and discomfort. As the dog owner, you must recognize what’s normal and what’s not for your dog.
Common Signs That Could Indicate Pain In Older Dogs
- Continuous licking of a particular part of the body such as the wrists, hips or other joints could indicate dog arthritis
- Unresponsive, quiet and sleeping more than usual
- Whimpering, whining or even howling
- Clingy and seeking more affection than he normally does
- Going off on her own and not participating in activities that she always “enjoyed” such as daily walks
- Nipping at you when you touch a particular part of the body
- Shivering or trembling
- Ears flat to the head
- Panting more than usual
- Loss of appetite
- Dog caves his body when you rub his spine or hip area
A dog’s pain threshold is very similar to that of a human; the only difference is that they hide it a little better than we do.
Are You Looking For Help For Dog Pain?
If your dog is having difficulty with pain due to arthritis, hip dysplasia or joint discomfort, visiting our comprehensive guide to managing pain through both natural and prescription treatments is recommended.