The other day someone asked me if dogs feel pain. They mentioned that when their dogs are hurt they don’t make a noise. Before you go crazy on this person, let me point out that this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this.
Just because dogs remain silent doesn’t mean that they hurt any less than we do. I’ve seen both our puppies silently take someone stepping on a toe but on another toe-stepping occasion, they’ll speak out.
Dogs intuitively know that they must remain silent no matter the circumstance. They have that deep-seated knowledge because they’re wolf descendants. Being silent keeps you alive. You hunt with stealth and you try to keep from voicing any complaints while in the midst of a hunt unless, of course, you’ve been dealt a deathblow. Then the howl is unearthly. I’ve heard what my daddy calls a death howl before when one of our dogs almost died. You never forget it.
Let’s think about this in another way. When you take your best pal to the vet, have you ever noticed that once they figure out the way to the vet, they can put on a show for you before even get there? Mysti and Madeline, two dogs that don’t shed because of their breed, shed in a vet’s office simply because they’re nervous. Madeline even loves the vet up but she’s frightened when she thinks Dr. B is going to work on her. That’s because it generally hurts.
I rest my case besides the fact that I can feel their pain and usually know when they’re in pain.