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4 Signs Your Pet May Be Suffering From Pain

Pets are unquestionably the best companion people can welcome into their lives. These animals make an excellent family to their owners and make their owners feel extremely loved and valued. However, how do you know if your pet may be suffering from pain?

Owning pets contributes to one’s health, such as stress relief, emotional support, increased physical involvement, increased opportunities for outdoor and social activities, and more.

Because of the merits that pets bring into your life, it’s only fair to give back the love and happiness that they’ve given.

As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to take good care of the health of your pets as they aren’t aware of it themselves.

Whenever they’re in pain, you should find out the problem and have them treated as soon as possible.

4 Signs Your Pet May Be Suffering From Pain

Recognizing Pain In Pets

First and foremost, pets naturally try to hide their pain as much as they can.

Hiding pain is a characteristic that animals have developed as they evolved to protect themselves from predators who want to take advantage of their weak condition.

Until today, when some animals have been domesticated, they still show this kind of behavior.

Therefore, here are the top four signs to look for that may indicate that they’re in pain:

Sad Labrador with broken leg at vet

1. Limping

Pets such as dogs and cats have no problem walking on all fours.

However, if you’ve noticed that they’re struggling with walking, which is limping or abnormal walking, you should monitor them closely before bringing them to the vet.

Is there any swelling or bleeding? Can they still stand and walk?

There are numerous possible reasons why your pet is limping.

Sudden onsets can indicate trauma and injury while the gradual buildup of limping can be caused by a bone or joint disease.

If they demonstrate the following signs other than limping, see your veterinarian immediately:

  • Extreme pain such as aggression, trembling and vocalizing
  • Noticeable fracture
  • Fever over 103.5 ℉
  • Excessive swelling

Rest and confinement will help your pet recover from limping.

According to Pup Life Today, to keep your dog in tip-top shape, you can add the best joint supplements as prescribed by your vet.

Owners bringing their pet to veterinarian

2. Physical Changes

In addition to limping, there are a few signs that can immediately tell you that your pet is in pain, particularly physical changes.

Thus, perform a thorough inspection of your pet and look for any bleeding, swelling, wound, abrasions, sores, protruding bones, and the like.

Take note of the following tips on how you can physically examine your pet:

  • Look closely into your pet’s eyes. They should be the same size, moist, and don’t have any abnormal discharge.
  • Have a good look and smell on the ears.
  • Make your pet smile to examine the lips, teeth, gums, and tongue.
  • Place your hand on your pet’s chest and notice the heartbeat. Irregular heartbeat and abnormal respiration should be a cause of concern.
  • Run your hand from the neck, spinal column, then into the end of the tail, and look at your pet’s response.

Brown dog laying on exam table at vet office

3. Unusual Behavior

The next sign is a rather easily detectable one.

Since you know your pet best, you should be able to notice if there’s something wrong with your furry friend by examining their behavior.

If your pet isn’t as cheerful and noisy as it used to be, then it might be experiencing pain.

Also, aggressive and hostile behavior indicates that they’re in pain and in their defense mechanism.

To have a better idea of what’s causing their pain, you can try touching them slowly.

Make sure to calm down your pet before holding them. If your pet attempts to bite you after touching its tail, for instance, then it means that they’re experiencing pain in the tail.

Moreover, examining your pet’s usual habits is also important to detect abnormal activity. Thus, it’s paramount to pay close attention to them throughout the day.

If you see any significant changes in their habits, like decreased frequency of eating and drinking, increased lethargy and tiredness, and hiding in dark or narrow places, then you shouldn’t hesitate to inform your vet.

Gray cat getting exam at vet

4. Excessive Grooming

Lastly, if your pet is grooming excessively than usual, especially in the same area of their body, this may indicate pain in that certain site.

Typically, your furry friend will even lick and chew aggressively on this part of the body to ease their pain, but it’ll only do more harm to them.

Excessive licking and chewing can cause skin wounds, hair loss, and ulcerations.


Pets are cheerful and naughty members of your family. However, if they’re feeling unwell or in pain, it should immediately reflect on their behavior and actions.

To sum it all up, your company and attention is the most important way to identify if your pet is experiencing pain.

The signs discussed in this article are only a few red flags that you should assess one by one to confirm if your pet isn’t in a good condition, then obtain immediate medical intervention.

Melissa C

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Super helpful article! I shared to my twitter!

Veronica Lee

Friday 20th of November 2020

Our fur babies can't talk so it is really very important that we look out for these signs. Thank you!

Sarah L

Friday 20th of November 2020

Very good things to look for. Have to take good care of our pets.

Debbie P

Thursday 19th of November 2020

Thanks for these important signs.

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