How to Tell When Your Dog is in Pain

Keep your eye out for these subtle signals from your dog

Knowing whether or not a human is in pain is usually pretty easy to figure out. Humans cry, complain, and use a common language that other humans can understand. Dogs, however, can’t use these same mechanisms to tell us they are in pain. They don’t cry, they don’t complain (at least like humans do), and they don’t speak English. Dogs have entirely different communication systems and mechanisms for expressing distress. As dog owners and lovers, it’s up to us to be able to look for and decipher these messages from our canine companions. We’ve compiled some of the most common signs and signals that your dog may be in pain, to help you take better care of your pup!

Excessive vocalizations

Humans who are in distress will often let others know by crying or complaining. Dogs will also express pain through increased vocalizations but it’s not easy to pick up unless it’s accompanied with movement, like standing up or sitting down. Vocalizations to look out for include whining, whimpering, yelping, growling, and even howling.

Changes in appetite and drinking habits

It’s pretty common knowledge that when your pet has a sudden change in their food and water intake, it’s likely that there is a medical issue. From a pain standpoint, drastic changes in appetite are simply due to the fact that it hurts for your pet to move. It’s always a good idea to get in contact with your vet as soon as you notice eating/drinking changes.

Excessive grooming

Licking their paws is a normal behavior for dogs. It’s hygienic and calming. However, if your dog it constantly licking their paws it can indicate your dog is in distress. Dogs will over-groom their paws in an attempt to sooth themselves and distract from the pain. If your pup cuts themselves , they will often care for the wound by licking it. Dogs will lick themselves in a similar way for internal pain. If they’re stomach is hurting, they will sometimes start to groom their stomachs.

Altered breathing

Another indication of pain in your dog is increased breathing and heart rate. A dog in distress may breathe much faster and shallower, as if they had just gotten back from running around the backyard. If your pup has just been laying around, but is breathing as if he just exercised, it is very likely that they are in pain. Call your vet as soon as possible when you notice this.

Other signs of pain in your dog include:
  • Inability to rest
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in eyes
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Changes in body posture
  • Withdrawing or hiding
  • Seeking affection or comfort

Help our community of pet-lovers and share your experiences! What signs did your pet give when they were in pain?

Take Your Dog to Belle Isle Park!

Take your Dog to Belle Isle Park!

A Detroit historical landmark not to be missed by human or canine!
Belle Isle Park
2 Inselruhe Avenue
Detroit MI, 48207
Becoming Michigan’s 102nd state park in 2014, Belle Isle Park in Detroit is a must-see for you and your pup! Not only is it beautiful with it’s views of the Detroit skyline, it is also rich with historical landmarks and cultural significance. While you’re learning about Detroit’s rich history, your dog will be learning important socialization skills! 
The 982-acre island park on the Detroit River between the United States and Canada is home to a wide assortment of educational and recreational opportunities. Among these include an aquarium, conservatory and the James Scott Memorial Fountain.  



Belle Isle boasts both wooded, unpaved nature trails throughout the park, and a paved foot/bike path circling the island. If a more secluded walk with your dog is what you’re looking for, the nature trails will not disappoint. According the the Belle Isle Conservancy, Belle Isle features a rare wet-mesic forest containing specimens that mimic the Detroit ecosystem of hundreds of years ago. The trails will take you through the heart of the park and connect back to some the main attractions lining the perimeter of the park. 
The paved walking/running and bike path lining the perimeter creates a 6-mile loop. Being more populated than the nature trails, the paved path provides an excellent opportunity for working on leash training and working on obedience even in areas with lots of distractions. The paved path also provides year-round walking alternative to to the nature trails. 


Beach and Water Sports 

In the summer time, follow these paths to one of the beaches open to swimming! Dogs will have a blast running along the water and be able to cool off in the Detroit River waters. The beach stretches a half-mile and is a hot spot for visitors during the hot summer months. At the Flynn Pavilion you can even rent watercrafts, like kayaks, to enjoy the cityscapes directly from the water. In the fall when the beach is less busy, bring your younger dogs to enjoy the beach to work on obedience training. 


Main Attractions

You will be amazed to learn about all of the awesome and educational attractions the island has to offer! A short list includes the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Belle Isle Nature Zoo, Belle Isle Aquarium, and the Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse. The James Scott Memorial Fountain runs from June 11th to September 20th and, during the lighter visitor times, provides an excellent backdrop for puppy obedience training. Do not forget to check out the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory while you’re there. It is the country’s oldest continually running conservatory and boasts 13 acres of beautiful plant life. All are open year-round, except for the nature zoo (open from April to October), and have no admission fee! There’s practically no excuse to not go and check out these awesome Detroit landmarks. 

Take your Dog to Oakwood’s Metropark!

Take your Dog to Oakwood’s Metropark!

Run and Romp along the Huron River bank

Oakwoods Metropark

32911 Willow Road

New Boston, MI 48164

(734) 782-3956

The leaves are finally starting to change color here in Southwest Michigan. There’s few better ways to enjoy this change in seasons than heading on over to a park to spend time with your favorite dog.

Drive just about 35 minutes south of Detroit and you’ll find yourself along the Huron River. Nestled on it’s banks is the Oakwoods Metropark, located just outside Flat Rock, Michigan. Boasting 1,765 acres, this park is known for it’s scenic trails and nature center.


With so many acres, Oakwoods Metropark has many options to choose from when it comes to hiking. You can discover 5 miles of self-guided trails past towering hardwood trees, an ancient sandbar, and scenic overlooks. You will also view a variety of wildlife when traversing any of the 5 nature trails that lead to stops like a butterfly garden and a scenic 3-acre pond. If you and your dog are more active, a paved 3-mile hike/bike trail, with flat terrain, extends all the way to a 15 mile paved, hike/bike trail at Lower Huron and Willow Metroparks. Making the round trip totals up to a 30 mile excursion!

For all our bird and dog lovers, while you’re out hiking, make sure to keep your eye out for bald eagles, osprey and other birds. At the Nature Center, you can also meet “Hawkeye,” the red-tailed hawk. There will also be plenty of waterfowl wading along the river.


After you and your furry friend are done with your hike, make sure to relax and take in the beautiful fall scenery with a nice picnic. The scenic woodlands, open meadows and backwaters of the Huron River serve as the perfect backdrop for your rest at the Cedar Knoll Picnic Area. Available to any picnickers are tables, grills, and vault latrines.

Nature Center

Even if you leave your dog at home for the day you can experience nature first hand at the Oakwoods Nature Center. The Nature Center and surrounding nature trails offer an “Up-North” escape in the heart of southeast Michigan. With over 350-acres of nature study area and lots of exhibits to learn about local wildlife and history, the Center has everything you need to get away. Be sure to check out the 700-gallon turtle tank while you’re there too! Their friendly interpretive staff is always eager to answer questions and offer any advice for what’s new and exciting to see and do in the parks

Upcoming Park Event: Evening Lantern Tour
Dates: October 20 – 21, & 27 – 28
Times: 7 PM, & 8:30 PM
Cost: $12

Overview: After a hayride, a lantern-bearing guide will lead you through the dark, pumpkin-lit woods to encounter various characters and uncanny situations. This tour showcases Michigan’s legends and local history. Advance ticket purchase only, (734) 782-3956.

What’s your favorite type of hiking trail to take your dog on? Let us know and leave a comment!

Kong Toys: Why We Love Them!

Chewing is natural; Kong makes it fun for your dog and stress-free for you!

Puppies and senior dogs alike should have Kong toys to play with. Seasoned dog owners are probably already aware of the numerous benefits these toys provide. If you’re new dog owner, or haven’t yet been introduced to the magic of Kong, this blog is for you! But before we dive head first into the toy benefits, let’s first learn about chewing benefits! [Read more…]

Halloween Pet Safety

Here’s a few tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween!

Halloween is meant to be a fun and silly holiday to eat candy and dress up. Unfortunately, it can end up being a scary trick, rather than a tasty treat, for our four-legged family members. But do not fear! We’ve gathered some helpful Halloween tips and advice to protect dogs and cats alike. With some precautionary prep-work and knowing what to look out for, this year’s Halloween can be stress and scare free.

[Read more…]

Can Dogs Get Colds?

Can Dogs Get Colds?

Does your dog have the sniffles? Watery eyes? Is he sneezing and coughing? Can dogs catch colds? Yes, they can, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the type of cold virus he’s caught (just as human colds can vary in severity). How do you know when your dog has a cold or something worse? How do you treat his symptoms? Not to worry — we’ll give you everything you need to know about dogs and colds so you can be sure you’re taking good care of your precious pup.

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Take Your Dog To Lake Erie Metropark

Take Your Dog To Lake Erie Metropark 

32481 W. Jefferson
Brownstown, MI 48173 – Map Me
(734) 379-5020

Just a short drive from the city, behold three miles of captivating Lake Erie shoreline and sweeping vistas that you can only get with a Great Lake and great river at 1,607-acre Lake Erie Metropark. Follow the path of lake freighters moving up and down along the Detroit River against exceptional views of Sugar Island, Grosse Ile, and Celeron Island. Scan the sky of this popular bird-watching site, with more than 300 species recorded, and you just might spot a migrating broad-wing hawk or bald eagle flying above. This designated “Important Bird Area” is one of the premier hawk-watching sites in North America.

[Read more…]

Why Do Puppies Get Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them


Why Do Puppies Get Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them

Has your dog or pup ever had hiccups? If it continues for more than a minute or two, here are some tips on how to cure dog and puppy hiccups. Every mammal that has a diaphragm can experience hiccups. While some animals like birds and reptiles don’t have diaphragms, they can still do some kind of involuntary action similar to hiccupping, such as when amphibians perform a gulping action.

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How to Introduce Grooming to Your Puppy

How to Introduce Grooming to Your Puppy

Grooming a puppy isn’t something you can dive right into. Instead, you’ll need to slowly introduce your pup to things like taking a bath and being brushed or styling with clippers and scissors. Some puppies might enjoy this kind of attention right from the start, but others need more time to get used to being handled this way. You can begin puppy grooming right away by taking small steps and focusing on creating a positive association with grooming activities.

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Take Your Dog To Lower Huron Metropark

Take Your Dog To Lower Huron Metropark

40151 East Huron River Drive
Belleville, MI 48111 – Map Me
(734) 697-9181

With easy access from I-275 and I-94, you’re never far from the natural beauty of Lower Huron Metropark’s 1,258 acres of mature woodlands, grassy meadows, and the scenic Huron River. Run or inline skate along a paved, hike-bike trail. Shoreline fish or canoe along the river, as you observe swans or geese floating on the water. In the summer, coast down a water slide or drift along the lazy river at the Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center. Ice-skate or play a game of hockey on three, picturesque frozen ice ponds during the winter. Lower Huron Metropark also offers scenic picnic areas, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. Come for a few hours or stay for the day.

[Read more…]