Whether they are cats, dogs, birds or other animals, our pets tend to hide their pain instinctively, to protect themselves from predators. That means we need to be extra-observant to know what’s going on with them.
If your pet is behaving unusually — hiding in your closet, for instance — she may not feel well or might have an unseen injury. Other subtle signs of pain to watch for include abnormal chewing, unexplained weight loss or gain, avoiding your touch (even affectionate petting!), licking or biting excessively at a certain area, or breaking housetraining.
Any time you see your pet exhibit unusual or unexpected behavior, take her to the veterinarian just to make sure everything’s OK.
There’s more – including how you can turn training time into playtime – in Pet Connection, the weekly nationally syndicated pet feature I co-write with Kim Campbell Thornton and my daughter, trainer Mikkel Becker.