5 Signs Your Pet May Be In Pain

Veterinarian in Potomac, MD
No one wants to find out that their pet is injured or ill. But when they are, owners want to know as soon as possible.

Because of natural instincts to protect themselves, many pets will not show obvious symptoms of injury or sickness. Luckily, if you know your animal and his habits, you should be able to spot one of these 5 warning signs your pet may be in pain and get him the treatment he needs.

Aggressive or Sensitive to Touch

If your dog or cat is a normally sweet animal (or at least not particularly aggressive) and all of a sudden starts nipping or shying away at your touch, that’s a red flag. Your pet may be especially sensitive around a particular area, which could signal where the injury or where the cause of the pain is located.


While some animals are naturally “talkative,” if your dog begins to bark, yelp, snarl, etc., or, for cats, meow or purr more than usual, this may mean they’re telling you something is not right.

Sleeping More

Sleep is as much as a healing process for animals as it is for humans. So if you see your pet sleeping more than usual, their body may be trying to recover from something. That, or they may be in too much pain or too weak to move.

Not Eating

Much like humans, animals may lose their appetite when they are sick. If your dog or cat seems to lose interest in their food, this could be an early sign of sickness. If they seem to be hungry but drop food or water out of their mouth, this may mean they have a dental issue.

Change in Breathing

Shallow breathing may mean breathing is difficult or painful for your pet. For dogs, this could be excessive panting without having exercised. Cats may pant, too.

Overall, any change in behavior by your animal is something you will want to be aware of. It could be caused by many things other than sickness, but your pet’s health is worth more than guesswork. When in doubt, make an appointment at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital or call 301-983-8400 to make sure your pet is pain-free and healthy!

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