How do you know if your dog is in pain?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I’m worried about my dog – can you tell me how do you know if your dog is in pain?


Sam W.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking how do you know if your dog is in pain? That is an excellent question. It can be difficult to determine the presence of pain in some pets. Every dog responds differently to pain and may show different signs.

Some dogs will act lethargic or withdrawn; other won’t eat, will sleep more, move around less, or play less. Others may cry and be more vocal. The only signs that some dogs may have an elevated heart rate or respiratory rate. Dogs are fairly good at hiding their illness by their nature of survival. So it can be very difficult to tell if some dogs are in pain.

An article that might be helpful to you is Pain in Dogs. This article goes through some of the common causes of Pain in Dogs and symptoms of pain.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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