Signs Your Dog Might Be in Pain.


Sometimes, it’s not always obvious when a dog is suffering discomfort. Like many animals, they are often quite good at coping with mild, to moderate pain. This Holidays 4 Dogs article will provide some information on signs to look out for that may indicate the dog is in pain.

Signs a dog may be in pain are often, quite subtle. Naturally, dogs cannot describe their pain, or where it is emanating from. Therefore, it is important to be aware of  signs which might suggest your dog is in discomfort. Health issues could range from grass seeds, to arthritis, or, more serious diseases, so keeping an eye on potential health issue signals is pretty important.

Licking, scratching.

If your dog is licking, scratching or grooming excessively, this may suggest he is in  discomfort  – particularly if this involves an isolated spot. Dogs will literally, ‘lick their wounds’ in an attempt to clean and heal the area.

Even if there are no obvious signs of abrasion, or an open wound, they will still tend to lick an area that is causing them to feel pain – i.e. joint pain.

Lack of appetite, or not eating.

A lack of appetite can also be a sign that a dog is feeling unwell, or in discomfort. Pain might be associated with mouth problems, or digestion issues.


Aggression can sometimes be an indication the dog is in pain, especially where the dog has suffered trauma, such as a road traffic accident. Similarly, dogs may become aggressive when being groomed, or picked up. If this occurs out of the blue, it may be possible dog is in pain. It is important to take this seriously if your dog tries to hide, growls, or snaps at you, especially if this is unusual behaviour.


Although panting is perfectly normal behaviour during hot weather, or strenuous exercise, it can also be a sign the dog may be in pain. If you notice your dog’s gums are pale, almost blue in colour, this could also be a sign that the dog is feeling pain, or discomfort.


A dog suffering from pain may show signs of anxiety, or fear and this is particularly important to take note of, if the dog is usually of a calm disposition. General restlessness, malaise, or simply looking unhappy, are all signs to watch out for that might indicate the dog is suffering from pain.


Limping is one of the more obvious signs that your dog may have injured himself and, therefore, might be in pain. Also, look out for other mobility issues such difficulty climbing stairs or, getting up and lying down.


Dogs often suffer from aches and pains as they age and, in addition, there are many common canine health conditions that can cause discomfort and pain, but which are easily treatable.

However, it is important to keep an eye on symptoms to make sure the dog isn’t suffering from more serious injury, or disease.

If your dog is getting older, being more aware of the stages of discomfort he might experience, will help you to keep him happier and pain free with support from your vet.