Pet Health, Senior Dogs

9 Things to Do if Your Dog is in Pain

Many times we may be made aware that our dogs are experiencing chronic pain. They may yelp at the touch or when they move.  If your dog is communicating pain you may feel helpless and not know where to start.  However, here are some things that you can do right away if your dog is in pain.  

Beige furry dog lying on back with a person holding his paw as if the dog is in pain.

What to do if your dog is in chronic pain

Our first instinct will be how we can help our dogs in pain so here are some things you can do immediately to help dogs in pain.

Reach Out to Your Vet

Contact your veterinarian if you see any changes in your dog’s behavior or see any signs that they are communicating pain.  Many sources of pain will increase if left unmanaged so it is best to immediately understand the source and see if you can help your dog.   A visit to your vet or other health expert will help you determine the source of your dog’s pain and help with a treatment plan.

Document the Pain, When it Arises and Symptoms

Have you ever left your veterinarian or your doctor for that matter and thought I forgot to mention that?  Or, wondered to yourself if you imagined certain symptoms your dog was having?  This is where documenting the dog pain comes in. 

Just as we recommend tracking symptoms of dog dementia, with a dog in pain you will also want to note the signs and symptoms of pain that your dog is experiencing. With the facts of when the pain occurs, what your dog did that seemed to be a symptom of pain, what your dog did for exercise that day (or lack thereof), and what your dog ate you will be able to tell your veterinarian as much as possible when questions arise.

Person with a note pad, apple watch and wearing blue pants sitting down and taking notes about a brown dog looking on.
Documenting dog pain is important

Confine Your Dog

Additional movement can exacerbate injuries.  Limit movement and space to avoid additional injuries. Kennels, pens, dog crates and leashes should be used to reduce your dog’s activity when advised by a veterinarian.  Your dog will also appreciate having a comfortable space to relax if he is in pain.

Comfort Your Dog

Comforting your dog is different than keeping your dog comfortable.  Comforting your dog is making them feel loved and understood.  So, along with making your dog feel comfortable ensure your dog feels like their needs are being met and they will feel that way if you are kind and compassionate.

Get Guidance Before Administering Medicines

Not only should dog owners not give medicines or treat pain without guidance from a veterinarian but giving pain medications before your vet has had a chance to assess the chronic pain could prevent them from being able to do a thorough exam.  Also, vets advise to never give your pet human medications.

Consider Natural Options for Pain Management

There are many alternative methods to manage pain that pharmacologic drugs, including acupuncture, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, laser therapy,  and chiropractic care.  Find a complete list of natural ways to manage dog pain associated with arthritis here and other ways with the help of non-veterinarian practitioners that you can support your dog.  

Work on Reducing Dog Inflammation

Pain results from inflammation and there are many ways to reduce inflammation including through diet and supplements, like turmeric, yucca for dogs  (See 5 dog foods to reduce inflammation here.

Inflammation does play a role in recovery in that it calls blood to the area to heal, at the same time a large amount of inflammation can prevent the body from healing quickly.  Focus on food and supplements that reduce inflammation, like the ingredients found in Relieve Plus hemp spray for dogs.

Relieve plus with a brown, black and white rat terrier.
Relieve Plus is a natural way to reduce dog pain

Monitor Dog Pain With Regular Vet Exams

Two woman vets in blue scrubs  with a cattle dog on the floor of a vet clinic.
Preventive pain management is important for pain management

Although we are talking here about what to do if your dog is in pain preventive and pain management which starts with your regular exams is important.  At least annually and as part of regular exams, your vet can objectively monitor, measure, and manage pain.

Watch for Signs of Aggression

Some dogs become aggressive when they had no prior behavioral issues of aggression when experiencing pain.  (see discussion of aggression in dogs in our article CBD for Aggressive Dogs.)  Keeping your dog confined and comfortable will help with this but note that the onset of aggressive behavior could be due to pain.  

Recently a friends Doberman was getting dog aggressive on walks. He engaged a trainer for support but soon learned after a visit to the vet the dog was riddled with cancer and experiencing a lot of pain.


Since it is estimated that 40% of dogs suffer from chronic pain it is a real issue that should be dealt with.  Follow these steps so you can support your dog and find a way to make him more comfortable and happy.  

The Popular Pets is working hard to raise awareness of pet pain. Spread the word so that dogs can live a longer and happier life.

How to comfort a dog in pain?

If your dog is in pain ensure they know your there, show your love just as you would any other time by being close, addressing their needs and ensuring they have a safe space. A dog treat, especially a CBD dog treat, will help if your dog has an appetite.

What can I give my dog at home for pain?

If your dog is in pain there are many natural and and at home ways to treat the pain since pain is driven by inflammation. Depending on the source and severity of the pain you can change your dogs diet to an anti-inflammatory diet, add natural supplements like Yucca and Turmeric and Relieve Plus Hemp CBD spray.

Looking to learn more about taking charge of your Dog’s Health? Learn about Pet Testing from The Popular Pets. Now offering pet testing for your the health of your pet and your peace of mind. Learn more about pet testing options.

You may also be interested in the Ultimate Guide to Heartworm

Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs and Cats FAQ

What happens if my dog sniffs Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is great for dogs and is safe to ingest and put on their skin, sniffing diatomaceous earth is not a problem but dog owners do need to be careful that dogs do not inhale DE further. The silica in DE can be harmful to dog and cat lungs, especially pets with respiratory issues. The many benefits of DE make it a useful pet wellness tool.

What if my dog licks Diatomaceous Earth?

Since DE is an excellent addition to food due to its ability to kill parasites, bind collagen and support a healthy coat and joints, licking DE is not only beneficial but suggested. DE is safe for dogs but dog lovers should get food grade DE to be safe.

Will Diatomaceous Earth harm dogs?

Diatomaceous earth will not harm dogs. DE is non-toxic and actually helpful for dogs due to its many wellness attributes. Pet lovers have found many benefits to adding DE to their pet’s food to help support a healthy coat and fend off parasites and on externally to help with fleas and ticks.