How Do Pets Show Pain?

Animals can show pain in a variety of ways. This can differ not only from species to species but even from individual animal to animal. Here are a few of the ways that your pet may be showing they are uncomfortable.DOGS

One of the keys to determining if your dog is painful is knowing what is “normal” for them. If they are doing something out of the ordinary for their character, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Examples of this could be as simple as whining when they wouldn’t normally or crying out when being picked up. Other signs that a dog is painful is not wanting to participate in activities that they normally love like jumping into the car to go to the park or grabbing their favourite ball to play in the yard. Of course, slowing down is a part of growing older, but there is a delicate balance between growing up and being uncomfortable. An assessment of your dog’s comfort and subsequent plan for pain management can be discussed with your veterinarian.


Assessing if a cat is in pain can often time be more difficult than in dogs. Cats are “masters of disguise” when it comes to hiding their pain. They don’t usually vocalize when they are a pain like a dog would. Some subtle signs of discomfort in cats include loss of agility, hiding or just generally being less adventurous. Owners will often notice simple things like jumping onto the couch becoming a little more difficult or sensing some hesitation before the cat leaps. A discussion with your veterinarian about your cat’s comfort is essential to ensure your cat lives a long and happy life!


There are many options out there to help manage pain in our pets. It is important that these are only started as directed by your veterinarian. NEVER give a medication or supplement to your pet until speaking with your veterinarian.

Between you and your veterinarian, a plan using medications, supplements, rehabilitation/physical therapy or a combination of all three can be instituted to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible!

Written  by Jessica Sirovyak, RAHT