Prior to being domesticated animals, dogs would hide any physical pain they were experiencing so as not to appear weak and vulnerable to predators.
This was simply a survival tactic they were born with; however, thousands of years later - even though they are predominantly domesticated creatures - canines do experience many forms of pain in their daily lives.
Since the last thing we want is for our best friends to be in pain, here are 5 common ways dogs subtly show pain that we can all look out for as dog owners.
1.) Joint Pain
Dogs often have joint problems. My boxer tore her ACL (she also had hip issues which are common to the breed) yet she never once cried about it. But she definitely limped around the house often. Notice if your dog becomes less active and likely to move around. If they have trouble going up stairs, if they limp, don't like being picked up, or if they just don't seem as excited to go on walks and runs like they used to - this can all be indicative of joint and tendon pain.
2.) Teeth/mouth Issues
Periodontal disease and teeth decay is very common in dog breeds and probably more so than you realize. According to various sources, over 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease so checking your dogs chompers is crucial! Mouth disease that attacks the teeth and gums can not only be painful but also spread to other organs. The good news is, it's highly preventable. Make sure you are brushing and checking your pups teeth regularly and getting them professionally cleaned a few times a year. Treats focusing on canine dental hygiene can be a great way to maintain your dogs health.
3.) Skin Issues
Dogs will naturally scratch/itch themselves, so skin issues can be a little harder to recognize. Areas where dogs scratch the most can often become raw and painful so keep an eye out for excessive irritation. Also, check your dogs regularly for ticks embedded in the fur, hair or skin. (Especially for dog owners who live in more rural areas). Proper tick and flea treatments are important to administer annually, and vitamins like fish oil - which is also great for human skin - can be a good supplement for your pups' skin care needs.
4.) Ear Aches
Ever notice your dog rubbing at his/her ear or shaking it's head an abnormal amount? Most of the time, there isn't a huge issue, but it can be a sign of serious ear discomfort. Bacteria, infection and allergies can all affect the ears so make sure your dogs ears are clean and dry as often as possible. Don't worry, there are special doggy ear wipes for this type of maintenance.
5.) Stomach Problems
My friends' husky pukes all the time. And most often it is self induced. He will actually eat grass outside to help facilitate the vomiting. But the bigger issue is why his stomach feels upset all the time. If this is the case with your pooch, take him/her to the vet. Once cleared, it might be time to change up your dogs food/diet.
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