Signs That Your Dog is in Pain

Dogs can be very communicative when they want to be. It isn’t too difficult for Fido to get his point across when he needs a walk, or wants you to play with him. Our canine companions aren’t always that clear when they are in pain, however. That’s why it’s important for you to watch for warning signs. In this article, a North Bethesda, MD vet lists some signs that your dog is in pain.


Limping is one of the earliest signs of arthritis, but it can also be indicative of several other health issues. Even if your furry buddy only limps briefly when he first gets up, consult your vet.


If Fido isn’t feeling well, he may not be very sociable. Dogs that are sick often withdraw and/or isolate himself from their human pals.

Lack of Appetite

If there’s one thing we can say for sure about Man’s Best Friend, it’s that he has a very, very healthy appetite. It’s almost always a red flag when Fido isn’t interested in eating and/or drinking.

Unusual Movements/Posture

Stumbling, staggering, dizziness, and uneven gaits are all warning signs that something isn’t right. Fido may also sit or lie in a stiff or odd position, or get up and down repeatedly.

Tummy Upset

Just like with people, an occasional, isolated upset stomach isn’t uncommon. However, if Fido frequently vomits or has diarrhea, contact your vet.


Dogs often lick or bite at sore spots. If you notice your canine buddy fussing at a specific area, he may be in pain.

Uncharacteristic Vocalizations

Fido may very well whimper if the cat steals his bed, or if he wants you to share your food with him. However, uncharacteristic and/or prolonged whining, whimpering, howling, barking, or growling can all be signs of pain and/or illness.


If Fido is having trouble getting up or down, walking stiffly, or climbing in and out of the car, he could be hurting.


It’s normal for Fido to pant a bit when it’s hot out, or after a vigorous game of Fetch. However, prolonged panting can be a warning sign. It’s also a red flag if your dog’s panting can’t be attributed to heat or activity.

Contact us, your North Bethesda, MD vet clinic, if you see any of these symptoms in your dog. We’re dedicated to offering excellent veterinary care!

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