They say dogs are “man’s best friend,” and if your best friend were feeling pain, wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to alleviate it? Here are a few signs that might indicate your canine companion is in pain:

Behavioral changes

Decreased appetite — especially if he’s experiencing dental pain

Changes in water consumption — dogs that begin drinking considerably more or less water each day

Sleeping more or less — a dog might sleep more if he’s trying to heal or less if he can’t get comfortable

Excessive grooming — dogs that suddenly begin licking their paws excessively may be attempting to soothe themselves

Antisocial behaviors — if your pup has always run to greet you at the door or typically loves playing with your children but suddenly seems disinterested

Aggressive behaviors — dogs that are suddenly more irritable or quick to react when touched or stimulated

Agitation or restlessness — pacing back and forth repeatedly or difficulty getting comfortable Being more vocal — an increased amount of yelping, growling, howling or snarling

Physical changes

Stiff or rigid body posture — if your dog doesn’t seem to want to move a specific part of his body, or his entire body, he could be suffering from an injury or arthritis

Limping — one of the more obvious signs of pain and/or injury

Swelling — if your dog’s face, legs, or paws seem to be swollen, he could be suffering from inflammation, an infection, or worse

General fatigue or malaise — dogs that become reluctant to climb stairs or slower to get up

Heavier panting — dogs that begin panting heavily, even though they haven’t been exercising or aren’t trying to cool themselves

Changes in breathing — shallow breathing might be a sign that it’s painful for your dog to take a deep breath

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it is best to check in with a veterinary professional to be sure your dog is healthy.

If your dog is showing any signs of pain, call our office.