Natural Alternatives for your Dogs Pain
As humans, one of the hardest truths of life is that there are going to be occurrences and circumstances that are out of our control.
One of these occasions is when a pet falls ill with something we can't take away for them, or experiences pain that we can't take on for them.
When dogs experience pain, it is always heartbreaking, but when it is your dog that is having to deal with the discomfort and misery of physical discomfort, the situation can become unbearable for you.
The craziest part of it all is that dogs often try to diminish their symptoms and hide the fact that they are hurting from their owners. It's a protective measure, if you will.
But this means that if you can tell your dog is hurting, then he or she must have been in pain long before you noticed. This isn't because you weren't paying attention, nor is it because you do not love and cherish your little doggy friend.
To put it simply, dogs will cover up symptoms of pain until the intensity becomes unbearable and they can no longer uphold the facade. If you notice that your doggo is in pain, no matter how severe, you should seek professional help with diagnosing and resolving the source of the problem.
By the time you are aware that your dog is having discomfort, your pup will need to be seen by the veterinarian.
We believe in staying informed and learning about various types of medication on your own, even though vets are trustworthy experts. See, there are always potential side effects to prescriptions, and it is up to you to learn about what could possibly go wrong when administering certain drugs to your ill pup.
So many people and so many businesses make the claim that they know how to cure your dog's pain. Many of them are right, too. But how do you know if the remedies you are learning about online are truly effective or not? The truth is that you don't. Not until you do your research and analyze the facts, that is.
So, let's talk about what you should give your dog for pain. We'll discredit a commonly believed myth about medication for dogs in pain, too. Then, we'll dive into the world of natural pain relievers and point you in the right direction for your dog's situation.
How Do You Know if Your Dog is Experiencing Pain?
Over the years, dogs have come to adapt a trait that keeps them from exhibiting signs and symptoms of pain. It has become instinctual for dogs to cover up any reaction that can be deciphered as a pain response.
The way dogs see it, letting anyone see that they are hurting is too much of a risk for them to take. When dogs are in pain, they believe that they will be at an even greater disadvantage than if they were to play it cool and shrug off the symptoms of dog pain.
This all comes back to the instinctual nature of animals and the way they avoid showing signs of vulnerability. Dogs who are injured will be viewed as less capable than their healthy counterparts, therefore turning them into a target and lowering their threshold for staying alive.
This is only really relevant in the outdoors, but domesticated animals still hold onto certain traits that their species developed. The instinct to not disclose the way they really feel is one of the behaviors that dogs exhibit to this day.
This behavior has caused many false beliefs to arise. Some people are convinced that dogs simply do not feel pain, and that is why we rarely ever bear witness to them in physical agony. This misconception is very, very, very detrimental, primarily because it is equally as incorrect as it is naive and oblivious.
Dogs feel pain to a similar degree as we do. Assuming that your pup is not in pain simply because you cannot tell is on the border between ignorant and irresponsible. Just because we cannot visibly see the symptoms does not mean the pain doesn't exists.
So, while it’s vital to remember that dogs are not entirely invincible, it might be even more important to figure out how we can identify a dog experiencing pain. But how can you possibly identify a dog in pain if none of the signs or symptoms are terribly obvious?
It sounds difficult, but the more you grow to understand your dog, the easier it becomes to determine when something is wrong with your dog’s overall well being.
You’ll know that your dog is experiencing pain when he or she starts to act in usual ways. The abnormal behavior of your dog will be a clear indication that something is going on, and you should pay attention to anything that your gut tells you is a little weird.
Symptoms that Your Dog is in Pain
If at any point your dog starts to behave in ways that concern you, we highly suggest that you take your canine to the emergency room at the vet.
Now, it may sound drastic, but it's far better to seek too much help than it is to let situations transpire instead of taking action. But before you can be proactive, you need to know that there is something to act on in the first place.
Here are a few factors to take into consideration when trying to figure out if your dog is in pain:
Swollen Regions on the Body
Another thing you should pay attention to relates to swelling on your dog's body. If there are any places that appear to be discolored or misshapen, your dog might be trying to communicate his or her discomfort.
The swollen areas might be related to the pain, but they could also be a result of your dog trying to handle the pain.
Excessive licking, biting, and gnawing over and over again in one region of the body might just be your dog's way of saying, "Hey! Help me, please! Ow!" Dogs always have a reason backing their actions, so it’s very unlikely that your furry friend is causing more pain to his or her body without a cause.
The best thing you can do is take your dog seriously when things seem a little off or different than usual.
Positioning of Your Dog’s Tail at Rest
One way that dogs communicate is by dog tail language. A healthy, happy dog that is comfortable within its current surroundings will walk around with his or her tail sticking straight up into the air.
This is a sign that your dog is carefree and excited to be alive. However, when the tails of dogs face downward and are tucked under their bodies, it is a clear indication that dogs are really not having it.
Whimpers and high-pitched squeals tend to accompany this position of their tails, too. You will often notice that the eyes of dogs will seem to grow in size when dogs are under duress, too. In fact, this response is responsible for the term puppy dog eyes.
In the case of dogs in pain, not only will the pup’s pupils be larger than usual, but their eyes might also be bloodshot. If your dog physically appears differently, then it is yet another sign that something is wrong.
Scratching, Biting, and Excessively Aggressive Behavior
When dogs are in pain, their first thought -- after hiding the symptoms -- is to express their anger and frustration with the situation. This usually presents itself in the form of biting themselves, fellow dogs, and people alike.
In times of distress, dogs do not discriminate. The feisty canines will sink their teeth into anything if it means they'll have a temporary outlet for their frustration.
Not all dogs exhibit dangerous behavior as a symptom of their pain, though. Some furry friends turn inward and try to fix the problem on their own. By biting certain parts on their bodies and favoring one limb over the other, dogs are giving away some hints that something is bothering them. So, how can we tell our dog is in pain?
Along with biting comes a noticeable difference in behavior. Dogs that are experiencing pain will act up, which does often lead to overly-aggressive behavior and dangerously hard playtime with other dogs.
However, the exact opposite is possible as well. A dog that is usually outgoing and playful might retreat as a symptom of pain.
If your little puppy is usually going crazy and booking it around the room, but lately seems to sleep often and slowly stroll around the house, then pain might be the cause.
Rarely, if ever, will a dog become energized and active when he or she is hurting. The usual response is a decrease in energy.
The more drastic the change in energy, the more likely your canine kiddo is trying to handle pain. Keep an eye out for behavioral patterns and any changes that occur within them because energy tends to be the number one sign that dogs are in pain.
The Do's and Do Not's of Relieving Your Dog's Pain: What Not to Give Your Dog
If you are wondering if you can give your dog ibuprofen, the roundabout answer is no. Absolutely not. The thing about pain is that we want to relieve our dog from their misery as soon as possible.
Furthermore, people don't always realize that pain relievers designed for people, such as Advil and Tylenol, are not suitable for treating pain in dogs. But this is not entirely common sense. Your dog is in pain and you want to help, so why not give them something you know reduces the symptoms of pain?
We get the logic behind that idea. However, what works for you and me does not work for canines. In fact, administering medicine designed for humans to dogs can even exacerbate their symptoms.
In the absolute worst case scenario, your dog could suffer immensely and possibly pass away as a result of imbibing remedies that humans use to pain.
We do not want that.
The point we want to drive home is that you shouldn’t ever assume you can give your personal pain relievers to your dog. The types of medicine to keep away from dogs are…
- Naproxen, like Aleve
- Acetaminophen which is in medicines intended to decongest the body
- Ibuprofen, which is an ingredient in drugs like Motrin and Advil
The best rule of thumb to follow when looking to treat your dog’s pain is to leave it up to the professionals. While we certainly encourage that you educate yourself about your pup’s options, and learn about the pros and cons of each over the counter medication, only vets have the power to make a decision about prescriptions.
Prescription Pain Medication for Dogs: Positives and Negatives
When it comes to pain relief medications for dogs, there are four main types:
- NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Generic, non-specific pain relievers
Antihistamines act as resolves for allergies that your dog might have. While they are very effective when used correctly, antihistamines do cause high levels of drowsiness in dogs. They are safe to use when monitored and appropriately administered, but it is very wise to keep an eye on your dog when he or she is under the influence of antihistamines.
Antiemetics are intended to control and halt vomiting that persists in dogs. Drugs like Cerenia are intentionally designed for use as a preventive measure. For example, if your dog is prone to getting nauseous as a result of motion sickness, the vet may advise you to give your dog an antiemetic.
The one major side effect of antiemetics is that the drugs can be too much for some dogs, therefore causing more nausea than they solve.
NSAIDs are often prescribed for dogs with pain relating to inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications work to reduce internal swelling among joints and bones, thereby decreasing inflammation levels and increasing your dog’s comfort once more.
Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen, along with many medicines that are commonly taken by people.
The Alternative, Natural Approach to Pain Relief for Dogs
The side effects of prescription drugs are not brief. This is not only true for dogs, but for people, too. When it comes to prescribed medications, most people are aware of the potential for pills to work in adverse ways. Higher numbers of side effects coincide with lab-made products.
But what if you want to try a natural approach to treating the pain your dog is experiencing? Is that possible? You bet it is! As the days go by, more and more research unfolds regarding the positive effects of CBD oil for pain.
While CBD oil is not nearly the same as marijuana, we thought we would give a bit of a history lesson as it relates to cannabis-based products. Cannabis was welcomed into the medical realm of things as of the year 1996.
Beginning in the state of California and now a law in thirty-two states, medicinal marijuana is legal in more parts of the U.S. than it is illegal. Many states have allowed for the recreational use of marijuana as well.
While weed and CBD are closely aligned, they do have very different, distinguishing properties that also set them apart. Unlike CBD, weed contains high levels of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
CBD provides the healing, soothing, and calming nature of marijuana, all without the changes in thought processes and sensation that weed brings. With CBD, your dog will be free of his or her pain symptoms! Even better, there are literally zero harmful, negative, or detrimental side effects of CBD. What more could we want for our canine friends?
CBD oil is like a miracle worker for dogs with pain. Cannabidiol has transformed into a holistic method of relieving pain, both for human beings and for animals. Prescription medications used to be the only way for dogs to find solace from their pain, but CBD is on the rise.
While we can't predict whether or not CBD will someday be the go-to medication for pain relief, we have high hopes that it will continue to climb the medical ladder and make its way to the top of the list.
Where to Buy CBD Oil for Dogs in Pain
Are you eager to try a holistic, natural approach to relieving your dog’s pain? Look no further than Innovet! We produce CBD oil, treats, capsules, and soft chews for dogs. This variety allows you to select the form that your dog will like the most. Our CBD oil for dogs is specifically designed for canines that are exhibiting signs and symptoms of pain. CBD oil for dogs in pain is the number one all-natural way of treating unbearable pain, all the while refraining from being psychoactive or causing any unwanted bodily changes.
We also offer CBD dog treats, hemp-based soft chews, and hemp CBD capsules for your fluffy friend. Our CBD oils and hemp-derived products are top-notch. We wouldn’t ever put our name on something that we didn’t believe in, and you can trust that our products will serve your dog well.
With Innovet, your dog’s health and wellness come first. Our CBD are the best and your dog deserves nothing less.
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.
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The Innovet Team