All You Need To Know About Dog Experiencing Headache

February 5, 2017

Sometime we tend to ask – Do our dogs get headaches? Some experts will say no while others will say yes. There is just a lot of speculations about dogs having headaches but it is believed that they really can have!

Since dogs cannot talk, we cannot be sure if his head hurts or ask how they feel and what they feel, unless. Of course, the pain is already noticeable based on their behavior. Common sense will tell us that it is possible for every creature to have a capacity to experience pain from headaches, the answer to the question – do dogs get headaches is yes”.


What are the Possible Symptoms?

Since we can’t really be sure that our dog is experiencing headaches, we can rely on symptoms to answer this problem.

Dog headache symptomps

Here is the list of dog’s symptoms:

1. He is sensitive to any light or sound

Having headache makes your dog very sensitive to any light and you might find him/her hiding away to dark and quiet places like closets. Having a direct contact to sunlight, he may squint his eyes (half eye closed) like his eyes hurt when he sees sunlight.

Your dog might also be sensitive to any sound and will prefer to stay away from loud noises like television or radio and even to the shouting made by children.

2. Having unusual behavior like tearing and making unusual vocalization

If he tears objects unusually like he is irritated and not feeling comfortable, this can be a sign that he feels something wrong. Also, if you hear your dog whining and/or whimpering without any known reason, this can also be the sign that there is something bad going on.

Since dogs are not able to speak, this can be their way of telling you things. However, your dog can whine or whimper as a sign of different kinds of pain and identifying if it is because of headache can be very difficult for you to do.

3. He prefers to be alone

This can be very unusual since dogs are known to be playful who enjoy their family and owner’s company all the time. A normal dog will always show his interest in playing and other physical activities that you give to him.

If you notice that your dog’s behavior suddenly changed, and shows lack of interest in playing and prefers to stay alone, it is a significant sign that he is experiencing a headache.

4. Doesn’t want to be touched

A normal dog will always love your touch and will always find ways to have a pat on the head or a scrub in the neck. If your dog does not want to be touched, stroked, pat, scrubbed, then he might be experiencing migraine or headache.

This can be in a way of defensive behavior. If he doesn’t want you to touch his head or neck, this is a very obvious sign of pain that he experiences on his head.

5. Hitting against any object or furniture

Rubbing his head onto any object or furniture is a way of relieving themselves from pain. This is a good sign of a headache.

6. Panting

Panting is very common on dogs and can still do this even if they are feeling normal, so this symptom is very tricky to spot. However, sometimes a dog will show excessive panting when they are experiencing some pain.

Watch out if he is panting unusually, such as panting in the middle of the night. This can be a serious case.

7. Refuses to eat

Would you eat when something hurts? This same goes with a dog too.

When a dog is in pain due to headache or other illness, he will less likely to eat. Sometimes he will forget the appetite too.

8. Unusual change of temperament & behavior

Dogs can feel like humans. They can have a bad temper when he is in pain. This can lead them to be aggressive and biting any people that get near or close to them, even their owners.

On the other hand, some dogs, when experiencing something bad, can be needier than usual and may always seek attention from its owners.

9. Other physical symptoms

  • Continues tearing.
  • Looking fatigued.
  • Nasal congestion or discharge.
  • Red eyes.
  • Trembling.
  • Worried look for no reason (furrowed brows).
  • Dull expression.
  • Frequent blinking.
  • Difficulty concentrating.

These symptoms do not only apply to headaches. They can also be symptoms of other illnesses like allergies, high blood pressure, spinal or neck strain, eye problems and dehydration. If these symptoms are persistent and continuous, this can be a sign of a very serious health issue of illness.

  • If you have a dog that shows any of these symptoms, consult directly your vet and do not attempt to treat him on your own. Also, do not give your dog NSAIDs without a vet. These are very dangerous to your dogs.

Possible Causes

Do dogs get headache? Causes of headache

Causes of secondary headache include (human-induced):

  • Gear related like inappropriate crating.
  • Training related like jerking on dog’s collar or tying an animal not ready to be tied.
  • Chemicals from smog and fires that contain high carbon monoxide, pesticide exposure, food and field spraying, nitrites in food, pig weed or pasture drought-stressed plants.
  • It can also be hormone induced like when your dog is having menstruation, hormone treatments like Calcitonin.
  • Histamine induced that provokes allergies.
  • Irregular and intense activity that cause let heat exhaustion.
  • Caused by any serious illness like inflammatory process in body or brain, malformed blood vessels in the skull or neck area, seizures and tumors.

Again, since we can’t be sure whether our dogs can experience headaches or what causes particular symptoms, it is important to recognize some helpful basic information about this problem.

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About the Author


Hi, I’m Sara and I would like to thank you for checking out my blog. I have been around dogs since I was kid and I cannot imagine life without one. So now, I am sharing with you the knowledge I have accumulated over the years and hopefully it helps you too.

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