As Dog parents, we want to do everything possible to keep our pets healthy and safe. Unfortunately, that whole language barrier thing can make it difficult to figure out what our furry friends need and how they feel. But just because canines can’t communicate with words doesn’t mean they are not communicating. Your dogs will find a way to get the point across if they are anxious in pain or if they need something from you. If you aren’t sure what this looks like. No worries, here are 16 signs that your dog is crying out for help.
1. Your dog excessively licks or Grooms a certain area-
If your dog has an injury like a cut on the Paw, they will do everything they can to alleviate that pain. One of the most common behaviors dogs use to comfort their physical discomfort is excessive licking or grooming.
If you notice your dog is biting, licking, or grooming a certain area of their body more often than usual or for a longer period of time than normal, they could be trying to tell you they’re in pain and need help. You may want to take a closer look, get the area, look for foreign objects, bruises, cuts, swelling, leading redness and anything else that looks unusual. And remember, excessive licking could also be due to food allergies.
2. Your dog drags their butt along the floor-
Your dog dragging their bottom on the ground is also known as scooting. And it is almost always a sign that something is irritating your dog more often than not. This irritation has to do with Anal Sac problems. And while humans can’t really relate to it, dogs have anal sacs located on both sides of their rear end that contain a foul fishy-smelling liquid. Each time a dog defecates, a small amount of the scent is emptied from the sack dogs use these senses to communicate with other canines or signal to other animals. These anal sacs can become blocked, inflamed or abscessed. This is why dogs start scooting. They attempt to relieve the pain and discomfort. Your dog may also try to lick the affected area in order to feel better. You may also notice a strong fishy odor, usually around your dog’s bottom.
If you see your dog scooting, lift up their tail and check for anything that might be causing the irritation unless you see something obvious, such as a piece of stick or poop stuck to their fur, get them checked out by a vet. Don’t leave it untreated for too long. Blocked anal glands can develop into serious issues such as infections and anal gland abscesses. Remember, Anal Sac problems aren’t the only reason dogs May scoot their butts. Other causes is of dog scooting include allergies, parasites, worms or general irritation, often seen after grooming
3. Your dog Paces back and forth-
The dog’s pacing is anxious behavior. And if your canine is pacing back and forth, they’re trying to tell you they are uncomfortable. If you see your dog pacing around your home, assess what it is about the current situation that might be making them nervous. Remove that element from their environment and help your dog.
For example, suppose you notice your dog pacing back and forth during fireworks are when there is loud construction going on outside your home. In that case, they could be feeling anxious due to the loud unfamiliar sounds in these situations, distract them with a toy or move them to a quiet area of your home to help them feel safe and comfortable.
4. Your dog shies away from petting-
Most dogs love a good ear scratch or belly rub. But if your pet pulls away or flinches when you try to pet them, it could be a sign that they are in pain. Now your dog could just be telling you that they are not in the mood. But if your dog shies away from petting, especially if they usually love it, they are probably trying to tell you that something hurts. If your furry friend is exhibiting this behavior, pay close attention, do they only shy away when you try to pet a specific area of their body. When you touch them in a certain spot or one of the pauses, do they flinch? These are all signals that your dog is in pain and that they are trying to tell you they are hurting.
5. They seem grumpy or Snappy-
Any time your pet’s behavior changes for the worse. It is a sign that something is wrong, just like people get cranky when they are in pain or feeling physical discomfort. Your dog will have the same reaction. Do not assume that a sudden increase in growling, barking or other aggressive behaviors are a behavioral problem. If you were in pain and someone wanted to pick you up or touch you, you might want to tell them to back off.
Even a gentle friendly dog may behave aggressively when they are hurting. If you’re usually gentle canine growls when you approach or touch them, or is displaying some aggressive behaviors, a vet visit is necessary.
6. They’re keeping to themselves-
On the flip side of aggression, your dog might also hide somewhere or Retreat to their crate and seem way less social than usual dogs who go from craving their owner’s attention to hiding under the bed all day are most likely in bad shade.
If your dog has lower energy levels and is not as play all or active as normal. This is something to be concerned about.
Remember, canines have inherited an instinct to hide any outward signs of pain. In the wild an animal that is injured or infirm is vulnerable to attack. And there is a survival advantage to act like nothing is wrong. Even when something most definitely is our pet dog still suppress many of the obvious signals of pain to protect themselves and their social standing in their pack.
7. They seem a bit ‘off’-
Dogs are creatures of habit, and they are usually pretty consistent with their behavior. So if they develop any new habits or seem to be behaving differently, it should cause you to raise an eyebrow. Any change in behavior is typically the first sign your furry friend is not feeling well. Each dog’s behavior is unique, so it’s important to assess how their behavior and mannerisms have changed and in what period of time. For example, if you think your pet is suddenly sleeping more than usual, you should probably take them to a vet.
8. Stinky breath-
Your dog’s breath is never going to smell pleasant, but if it’s the smell is sickening all of a sudden it can be a sign of kidney problems. Gum disease, dental disease, or tooth decay of pets teeth are home to hundreds of bacteria, and you can minimize the risks by brushing their teeth and scheduling an annual dental cleaning.
9. Your dog is panting more than normal-
Every dog pants on a hot day or after exercise, but they should not have trouble breathing after some rest or returning to Cool temperatures. If panting seems excessive compared to your dog’s normal behavior, if it sounds louder or harsher than normal, or if it occurs at strange times, a vet visit is necessary. Panting is a subtle, often overlooked sign of an underlying issue. Dogs may also pant abnormally when they get stressed or experience pain.
10. Blinking and squinting-
Eye injuries can cause varying levels of pain and discomfort for your dog. If you notice your dog blinking, squinting, tearing up or pawing at their eye, it could be a sign of an eye disease
11. Changes in maintenance habits-
Dogs are known for their almost obsessive licking and grooming. They do this to keep their coach shiny and healthy, and they do it frequently. When your dog starts to neglect their grooming routine, it may be time for a checkup. Your dog could be suffering from a range of ailments that cause fatigue, which would explain the undoing of their grooming habits.
12. Postural changes-
When your tummy or joints hurt, you might have an instinct to stretch the area. Dogs have this instinct to. So if your dog starts to display odd positions, such as the prayer position, which means bum up, front down and legs rigid, he might be having abdomen problems. It looks like a play bow, but it is anything but playful. Other positions that indicate a problem include the sawhorse rigid legs outstretched and a back that hunches or arches. These postural changes can be even more taking the shape of an arched or sunken back, or even a dropped, or tuck tail in a dog who normally has a perky tail.
13. Having accidents inside the house-
If your house broken dog suddenly starts having accidents in your home, that might be a sign that they are not feeling well, they may have a urinary tract infection or might be developing joint problems that make it difficult for them to get outside in time. Old age often causes these types of problems, as do stress, diabetes and a slew of other problems. Try to identify any psychological causes like separation anxiety, and then move into figuring out the medical cause.
14. Appetite loss-
Most of the time, dogs will gladly scarf down their entire bowl of food or steal that unattended sandwich from the table if your pooches are suddenly turning up his nose at regular food or treat, it could indicate anything from digestive issues to a serious obstruction in the intestines, which would require surgery. Any change in how your dog eat warrants a trip to the veterinarian.
15. Excessive thirst-
A few dog health issues are related to drinking excessive amounts of water. Although your dog might drink more water when it’s hot. If they are drinking too much, it might be a sign of a problem. Dogs who drink more water than usual could be developing diabetes or kidney disease. You’ll be able to tell if your pet is drinking too much water, if you have to refill the water bowl more than normal, need to go potty more often, or have accidents in the house because your dogs can’t just pipe up and tell you when they need help. It’s up to you as a pet owner to pay attention. Look for ways they might be trying to communicate and take action to get them what they need to be the happiest and healthiest.