Understanding Sudden Behavioural Changes in Dogs: The Importance of Veterinary Checks

by 30 Jan, 2024

As a dog owner, witnessing a sudden change in your dog’s behaviour can be alarming. However, understanding the underlying causes of these behavioural changes is crucial, and it often starts with a trip to the vet. Let’s dive into why this is so important.

1. The Stoic Nature of Dogs

Dogs are often incredibly stoic, masking their pain while still engaging in their favourite activities. People often believe that their dog can’t be in pain because they’re not lame. But many dogs will be eager to play or go for walks even if they’re experiencing significant discomfort. This resilience (whilst admirable!) can make it challenging for owners to plainly see when their dogs are in pain or discomfort, which a medical exam could reveal.

2. Pain Beyond the Musculoskeletal

Pain in dogs isn’t always related to their muscles or bones. Issues like gastrointestinal distress can cause significant discomfort without obvious signs like lameness. Just like humans don’t always limp when in pain, dogs also might not show such clear indicators. This is why it’s crucial to consider all aspects of their health.

3. Recognizing Subtle Signs of Pain

Pain in dogs can manifest in subtle ways that are easy to overlook. Changes in gait or posture, reluctance to walk on certain surfaces, increased sensitivity to touch, or responding more slowly to cues are potential signs of discomfort. These indicators can be mistakenly dismissed as mere quirks or stubbornness, but they could be signaling a deeper issue.

Pain significantly influences behavior, both in humans and dogs. A dog not feeling their best is unlikely to behave as their usual self, which can make training and behaviour modification less effective. If you notice any sudden changes in your dog’s behaviour, the first step should always be a consultation with your veterinary team. Once any health issues are addressed or ruled out, then it’s appropriate to seek the guidance of a qualified and ethical trainer or behaviour professional.

At DogNerd, we emphasise the importance of a holistic approach to your dog’s well-being. Understanding the root cause of behavioural changes is key to effective training and a happy, healthy dog.

Website: dognerd.uk
Email: info@dognerd.uk
Phone: 07555 514 596
Empowering Owners, Transforming Dogs – DogNerd.

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