What Is Your Pet Telling You?
Even the best pet parent can miss signs that their pet is in pain. Many pets are masters at hiding pain, a behavior that goes back to protecting themselves from predators. Pets also love to please their humans and often muster the energy to get up and play or give affectionate greetings. Unfortunately, this devotion to their human counterparts makes it even more challenging to recognize when they are genuinely suffering. In addition, many pet parents credit “old age” to their pet slowing down. However, aging should not be painful.
How Do Pet Parents Know If Their Pet Is in Pain?
There are many common changes that may signal your pet needs to see the vet. Here are a few common changes you can look for:
- Decreased play and activity
- Avoiding going up or downstairs
- Weight loss
- Reluctance to jump (especially for cats)
- Difficulty standing after laying down
- Decreased appetite
- Over-grooming or licking a specific area of the body
- Growling or guarding behavior in dogs
- Hissing or spitting in cats
- Changes in urination or defecation habits
- Lethargy/loss of interest in social interaction
It’s important to pay attention to your pet’s activities, eating habits, and personality changes so that you can seek veterinary treatment for possible problems as early as possible. Our pets are counting on us to be their voice.