The warning sign your dog is in serious pain revealed by vets

Dogs may have an unusual way of showing their owners they're suffering, according to vets

The warning sign your dog is in serious pain revealed by vets
(Image credit: Getty)

Vets have issued an urgent message to dog owners to look out for these lesser-known signs of their beloved hounds being in pain. 

If you're anything like us, there's nothing worse than the idea of failing to recognize that your pet's suffering. Whether it's protecting them from heat stroke (when is it too hot to walk your dog?) or ensuring they get the right nutrition, we're always on a mission to improve the quality of our furry family members' lives. 

Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell if our pets are struggling. Without the ability to speak, animals like dogs will sometimes use alternative forms of communication to express their physical anguish. 

One of these, according to the experts at Vets Now, is by behaving in an antisocial or aggressive manner. Research has also found that dogs who suddenly become hostile may be simply trying to protect themselves, rather than antagonize those around them. 

"If the pet is handled when in pain, it will quickly act aggressively to avoid more discomfort without the owner being able to prevent it," Dr. Tomàs Camps, a behavioral expert for small animals, said in a statement in 2012.

"Dogs that had never been aggressive before the onset of pain began to behave in this way in situations where an attempt is made to control them."


(Image credit: Getty)

Dogs who have previously been sociable may also start hiding from their owners or avoiding eye contact. 

Other symptoms that your dog could be in pain include sleeping excessively, rejecting food and water, and showing less interest in an activity. 

On the flip side, a sudden spike in activity - such as pacing repeatedly - could also indicate a problem. Panting despite no change in exercise patterns is another red flag to look out for, as it could indicate respiratory issues. Meanwhile, puppies will often yelp and howl if they are experiencing physical ailments. When in doubt, always bring your dog to a vet to get them properly checked out. 

Emma Dooney
News and lifestyle writer

Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for Goodto. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.