Is Your Dog In Pain? How Do You Know? Can You Treat It?

Warning: I am not a veterinarian. All advice I give should be taken with a grain of salt, as with a lot of advice you may read online. I just like to help animals, through helping their pet parents, with the 19 years of experience I have gained by working in veterinary medicine.

Ultimately, you should consult your veterinarian before trying anything yourself at home.

I talk to a lot of clients at my work about their dogs and pain.

There’s a lot of different types of pain the dogs are going through, but it surprises me to hear that people don’t understand that there are medications to help dogs that are suffering from pain.

Calls I get quite often are pet parents who think they have to euthanize their dog because they’re in pain and they don’t want them to suffer.

I can understand where they’re coming from, no one wants to see their fur-baby in any kid of pain. But it doesn’t have to be so cut and dry.

If you notice that your dog is limping, has a hard time getting up, laying down, them seem “stiff” when they walk, or they seem generally uncomfortable, call your veterinarian and talk to someone. There could be a lot of different things going on, but there are a lot of medications out there to help your dog try and stay comfortable.

Probably one of the biggest causes for pain is arthritis. Most common in older dogs, but still a possibility in younger dogs dealing with joint health issues, arthritis is a disease that can be helped in multiple ways.

One of those ways being Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAID’s).

Talk to your veterinarian about your dogs pain. They may want to take some x-rays to rule out other possibilities for what’s causing the pain. It’s important information to know; the type of disease, the severity of it, and how best to treat your dog.

If your dog has arthritis, other options to help keep them comfortable are EFA, or essential fatty acid, supplements.

If your dog is in the early stages of arthritis, your vet may choose to start with EFA’s. Clinically proven to help coat the joints that have begun to loose their cartilage, EFA’s are great to start your dog on, or add to an NSAID regimen.

There is a food made by Purina Veterinary Diets, that has the EFA supplements in it called JM (Joint Mobility)

It’s expensive food, but I have heard wonderful feedback from a few people who have tried it.

I put the link above to find the food, but it may be best to get it from your vet, if possible.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin products are also good to add too. There are so many products out there to choose from, one that we recommend is

But talk to your vet and do some research, look at reviews.

There are also injectable medications your veterinarian can give to try and help stop the breakdown of the joints, one of them being Adequan:

If you try these, or if your dog’s arthritis is advanced enough and you want to try and get your them some pain relief right away, as many of the products I mentioned above can take some time to start working, discuss NSAID therapy with your vet.

There are many options to choose from, some inexpensive and some costing upwards of $3 per pill, there is a medication out there that can help your dog.

If you try one, and it doesn’t seem to help, then inform your vet and see if you can try a another one.

Every dog is different, just like people, and certain things may not work as well for one dog as it does for another.

One important note to add is that NSAID therapies can be hard on the liver and/or kidneys. It’s important to check your dog’s bloodwork prior to starting an NSAID and then keeping track of those values throughout treatment. Discuss this with your vet, especially if funds are tight or your pet is in it’s later stages of life.


Veterinarians, generally, want to help your pet.

If you don’t think your vet is doing a good job, or not understanding your or your dog’s situation, contact another one.

It’s important to know that your dog doesn’t have to suffer in pain and you don’t have to suffer by watching them be in pain.

Arthritis is an incurable disease, but one you can help manage and try to keep your fur-baby comfortable for as long as you can.

If you have any questions, or ideas that you would like to see me write about, I would love to hear about it.