How Do Golden Retrievers Show Pain? 17 Signs Your Dog is Suffering Silently

We all love our dogs to death, and we hate it when they fall sick, that is why we always pay attention to every action, attempting to know how they feel and whether they are in pain.

So, How do golden retrievers show pain? Golden Retrievers show pain through changes in their behavior, sleeping, eating patterns, becoming agitated, trembling, breathing, having urination issues, withdrawal from touches, and even lack of interest in activities.

If you wish to know how golden retrievers show pain and how to know if your golden retriever is healthy, keep reading!

How Do Golden Retrievers Show Pain? 

sick golden to show how do golden retrievers show pain

Golden Retrievers are as expressive as all dogs, even when showing pain, but the thing is, we should always pay close attention to their behavior to know whether they are feeling a bit under the weather.

Golden Retrievers show pain through signs like behavior change, urination issues, trembling, vomiting and diarrhea, and a general change in energy level.

18 Signs your dog is sick or in pain 

  1. Changes in Behavior

Most dogs are not aggressive unless provoked, so if he suddenly becomes violent or exhibits antisocial behavior, you should be concerned.

Your dog may become more relaxed and avoid areas where he is typically energetic and running around, or the polar opposite; nonetheless, a significant change in behavior is always a red signal. Any apparent change in conduct should be taken seriously.

  1. Sleeping Habits

When dogs are in discomfort, they tend to sleep more. This might be because they are trying to heal or because it is difficult for them to move about and be active.

  1. Excessive Shedding

Excessive shedding could be a sign that your dog is suffering from a health issue. Golden Retrievers are heavy shedders by nature, but if you feel their shedding is getting out of hand, it could be a warning sign. You can check my guide to golden retriever’s shedding here for the pro tips on how to manage it.

  1. Breathing Rates: Rapid or Shallow

Dogs usually don’t pant much until they’ve been playing.

Breathing patterns that become quicker or slower might indicate a problem with breathing or canine anxiety.

  1. Symptoms of agitation

In dogs, restlessness is a sign of discomfort. There might be an underlying issue if your dog is pacing back and forth, having trouble getting comfortable, or sleeping a lot less.

  1. Changes in Eating Habits

Depending on how they’re feeling, dogs will eat and drink more or less. If your dog is in discomfort, they may eat and drink less. You may look at it as your golden retriever becoming a picky eater while it could be that they don’t want to or couldn’t eat as they normally do.

The reverse may occur; dogs suffering from diseases may eat or drink excessively.

  1. Having urination issues

When a dog isn’t feeling well, he or she may pee or defecate in unusual areas. This might be a stress reaction, but it could also be the result of a medical condition such as diabetes.

  1. Imbalance and stumbling

Balance problems are uncommon in dogs. A dog who falls over stumbles, or otherwise loses their posture might be hurt, sick, or suffering from a stroke. 

Your Golden Retriever’s limping is also a clear pain sign.

  1. Withdrawing from touches

dogs like ear scratches and belly rub; but, if your golden retriever is in discomfort, he may withdraw away from you or exhibit indications of stress when you touch them. 

  1. Being more vocal and loud

Your dog can exhibit pain through excessive yelping, growling, snarling, and howling.

  1. Odors and smells

Strong Odors A strong odor emanating from your dog’s mouth or ears might indicate a dental health issue, an infection, or even a gastrointestinal condition.

Does your dog smell fishy? You can learn why some golden retrievers smell like fish here.

  1. Changes instance

Swelling in the paws, legs, and face might indicate discomfort caused by inflammation, infection, or even malignancy. 

When in discomfort, some dogs adopt a stiff, hunched position, while others adopt the “prayer” posture, with their front legs on the ground and their bottoms in the air. 

  1. Trembling or shaking

your golden retriever may tremble or shake due to being cold or due to aging. But it can also indicate discomfort or something more serious like poisoning, pancreatitis, or renal disease. 

  1. Diarrhea or Vomiting

vomiting more than a few times in one day, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as weariness or drowsiness should be concerning, or if either contains blood.

  1. Coughing

Coughing is uncommon in dogs unless something irritates their throat and lungs. it might be an indication of heart or lung problems, or it could be a sign of serious heartworm infection.

  1. Waned Interest in activities.

if your dog is not up to activities such as jogging, playing, or even taking a stroll, you should consider this a red flag.

  1. A hard time catching up on walks

Is your dog falling behind? Is this a sudden shift? your dog may be in pain when walking.

The normal weight for golden retrievers according to their age and sex 

You can use the following table to check if your dog’s weight is normal for his age and sex.

AgeWeight AgeWeight 
8 Weeks5 – 17 lbs, av. 10 lbs8 Weeks5 – 17 lbs, av. 10 lbs
10 Weeks10 – 22 lbs – av 15 lbs10 Weeks10 – 22 lbs – av 15 lbs
3 Months16 – 33 lbs, av. 22 lbs3 Months16 – 43 lbs, av. 22 lbs
4 Months22 – 44 lbs, av. 30 lbs4 Months25 – 44 lbs, av. 30 lbs
5 Months25 – 52 lbs, av. 40 lbs5 Months27 – 57 lbs, av. 40 lbs
8 Months40 – 70 lbs, av. 52 lbs8 Months49 – 85 lbs, av. 55 lbs
10 Months52 – 68 lbs, av. 60 lbs10 Months50 – 77 lbs, av. 63 lbs
1 Year55 – 90 lbs, av. 70 lbs1 Year65 – 77 lbs, av, 68 lbs
2 Years55 – 90 lbs, av. 70 lbs2 Years65 – 80 lbs, av. 73 lbs

Is your golden retriever underweight? Before you panic, check out whether your golden retriever is actually too thin here.

10 Signs your golden retriever is healthy and happy 

  1. How much do they weigh 

A healthy weight encourages people to live happy, healthy lives and keeps them on track as they get older.

An adult female Golden Retriever weighs 55–65 pounds, while an adult male weighs 65–75 pounds. 

  1. Urine and stool color

Keep an eye on the color of your dog’s pee and feces when you’re out walking. A healthy dog’s urine and feces contain no trace levels of or odd coloring.

  1. Your nose in their business, or in this case.. their nose in yours

Your dog is healthy if his nose is normal temperature, not too dry or too wet, and there is no nasal discharge.

  1. White Pearls

Gums that are pink, teeth that are robust, and no indications of possibly malignant lumps are all hallmarks of a healthy mouth.

  1. Pleasant, fresh breath

A healthy mouth is the first step in having a healthy pet. Breath that smells fresh and teeth that are free of tartar accumulation are indicators of excellent health.

  1. Not too hot or too cold.

A dog’s natural body temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Alertness and excitement

A happy golden retriever is always eager to spend time with his family, welcoming you at the door, coming to play with you, and watching and observing with curiosity.

  1. A fluffy, gleaming coat

A smooth, lustrous coat is more than just a sign of good hair; it also indicates that your dog’s skin is healthy, devoid of dandruff, growths, red spots, or ticks/fleas.

  1. The color of the ears

Healthy dogs have light pink ears that are clean on the inside. They don’t have a lot of wax or crust on them, they don’t smell bad, they don’t appear inflamed, and your dog doesn’t scratch them frequently.

  1. Eyes tell most.

Shiny eyes are an indication of a healthy dog; they are not bloated, inflamed, or yellowish in appearance, they never scratch their eyes, and they have no abnormal discharge.

Related Questions 

Do Golden Retrievers have a lot of health issues? 

Golden retrievers don’t have a lot of health issues, With an average lifespan of 10-15 years, the Golden Retriever is a typically healthy breed, but they can be at risk for a number of heart, lung, and circulation problems.

Do Golden Retrievers have genetic issues? 

Golden Retrievers can have genetic issues like hip dysplasia, other issues like heart disease, entropion, ectropion, osteochondritis desiccants, allergies, hot spots, ear infections, atopic dermatitis, immune-mediated diseases like lupus, severe pigmentary can also be hereditary.

Are Golden Retrievers healthy dogs? 

Golden Retrievers are healthy dogs, They may have long, active, and healthy lives if bred appropriately. There are health problems associated with every dog breed, but Goldens are more susceptible than other breeds.

Helpful Resources 

Nine warning signs that could mean your dog is in pain

Do dog breeds differ in pain sensitivity? Veterinarians and the public believe they do

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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