Animal Pain Awareness Month – Harvey's Pet
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Animal Pain Awareness Month

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What are the Signs Your Pet is Experiencing Pain?

If you suspect your pet is experiencing some form of discomfort, it’s important to recognize the subtle physical and behavioral changes they may show by being more attentive to them on a day-to-day basis. This allows you to provide early care for your pet’s pain before their condition becomes worse.

Is Your Pet in Acute or Chronic Pain?

When pet parents think about whether our pets could be in pain, we often imagine acute pain. This is the type of pain that accompanies injury or that your pet may experience during  recovery from surgery. However, we are less likely to be vigilant for the signs of chronic pain. This is the type of pain that can arise from the onset of old age or illnesses like arthritis.

Physical Signs Your Pet is Experiencing Pain

It can sometimes take an experienced pet parent to pick up on the subtle clues our furry friends give us when they are in pain. Here are some of the physical signs of pain you should be aware of:

  • Panting is a normal response to stress and pain in animals. This occurs when the animal is experiencing a high level of anxiety and it can be an indication that the animal is in pain. The pet will breathe faster to get more oxygen into their systems, allowing them to handle this stressful situation better.
  • Pets often slow down when they are in pain. They may stop playing with toys, other pets, or even you. If your pet is avoiding stairs or doesn’t want to jump up or down onto furniture, this could be a sign that they are experiencing pain.
  • Some animals might shake or tremble when they are in pain. This can be a sign of acute trauma, but can also occur due to infection or inflammation.
  • When animals are hurt they sometimes arch their backs. This can mean that your pet is sore and may need some time off from exercise or other physical activity. Animals could also hold their head down low as an alternate form of this posturing.
  • If your pet is constantly licking or biting themselves, this excessive grooming might be a sign that they are in pain.
  • Rapid breathing can sometimes mean an animal is distressed or feeling pain. This is not always as obvious as panting and is a cause for concern if it continues at times when they have not recently been physically active.

Behavioral Signs Your Pet is Experiencing Pain

Pain can cause pets to behave differently, even when they don’t intend to. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Pain can cause pets to be more or less vocal than usual. This could include a cat yowling when it would normally just purr quietly to itself or a dog remaining silent when it would normally bark happily.
  • Pets can sometimes become restless when they are in pain. This sometimes means they are unable to relax or get comfortable lying down.
  • Pets can often become aggressive when they are feeling pain. They become unapproachable, irritable, and very protective.
  • Pets don’t like to be touched when they are not feeling well. When they are in pain, they might not want you to pet them or hold them.
  • Pets often won’t eat when they are in pain. They can get hungry, but they won’t want to eat.
large boxer dog with sad face, animal pain awareness month, pet pain management

What are the Signs Your Pet is Experiencing Pain?

If you suspect your pet is experiencing some form of discomfort, it’s important to recognize the subtle physical and behavioral changes they may show by being more attentive to them on a day-to-day basis. This allows you to provide early care for your pet’s pain before their condition becomes worse.

Is Your Pet in Acute or Chronic Pain?

When pet parents think about whether our pets could be in pain, we often imagine acute pain. This is the type of pain that accompanies injury or that your pet may experience during  recovery from surgery. However, we are less likely to be vigilant for the signs of chronic pain. This is the type of pain that can arise from the onset of old age or illnesses like arthritis.

Physical Signs Your Pet is Experiencing Pain

It can sometimes take an experienced pet parent to pick up on the subtle clues our furry friends give us when they are in pain. Here are some of the physical signs of pain you should be aware of:

  • Panting is a normal response to stress and pain in animals. This occurs when the animal is experiencing a high level of anxiety and it can be an indication that the animal is in pain. The pet will breathe faster to get more oxygen into their systems, allowing them to handle this stressful situation better.
  • Pets often slow down when they are in pain. They may stop playing with toys, other pets, or even you. If your pet is avoiding stairs or doesn’t want to jump up or down onto furniture, this could be a sign that they are experiencing pain.
  • Some animals might shake or tremble when they are in pain. This can be a sign of acute trauma, but can also occur due to infection or inflammation.
  • When animals are hurt they sometimes arch their backs. This can mean that your pet is sore and may need some time off from exercise or other physical activity. Animals could also hold their head down low as an alternate form of this posturing.
  • If your pet is constantly licking or biting themselves, this excessive grooming might be a sign that they are in pain.
  • Rapid breathing can sometimes mean an animal is distressed or feeling pain. This is not always as obvious as panting and is a cause for concern if it continues at times when they have not recently been physically active.

Behavioral Signs Your Pet is Experiencing Pain

Pain can cause pets to behave differently, even when they don’t intend to. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Pain can cause pets to be more or less vocal than usual. This could include a cat yowling when it would normally just purr quietly to itself or a dog remaining silent when it would normally bark happily.
  • Pets can sometimes become restless when they are in pain. This sometimes means they are unable to relax or get comfortable lying down.
  • Pets can often become aggressive when they are feeling pain. They become unapproachable, irritable, and very protective.
  • Pets don’t like to be touched when they are not feeling well. When they are in pain, they might not want you to pet them or hold them.
  • Pets often won’t eat when they are in pain. They can get hungry, but they won’t want to eat.
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What To Do When Your Pet Is In Pain

Recognizing the signs your pet is experiencing pain at an early stage is the first line of defense again illness and injury. If you believe your pet is displaying any of these symptoms or behaviors, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet can provide expert advice for managing and eliminating pain.

Remaining proactive is important all year long, not just during Animal Pain Awareness Month. The best way for you to avoid problems with your pets is by taking them for regular checkups and vaccinations at least once a year.

Harvey’s Pet has a line of pet care products that can help you manage and prevent pain in your furry friend, including natural remedies for joint pain, digestive support, and more! Shop now at harveyspet.com or call (518) 762-7613 today!

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