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Animal Pain Awareness Month: When Is It, and How Is It Celebrated?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

a sick dog after surgery in vet clinic

Pain can be experienced in many ways, whether surgical, from disease, or old age, and a lot of it can be prevented if pet owners are aware of their pet’s health and well-being.

September is Animal Pain Awareness month and is intended to inform and educate pet owners about how our animals can feel pain and discomfort. The goal is to help pet owners become more aware and learn about their pet’s health to improve their quality of life. Proactive pain management and prevention can save your pet’s life.

What Is Animal Pain Awareness Month?

Animal Pain Awareness month is a month that brings awareness to our pets and their health. Pain can easily be overlooked in our pets, especially because they hide it so well. By bringing attention through Animal Pain Awareness Month, pet owners become more knowledgeable and proactive about the health of their pets.

It encourages pet owners to learn the signs of pain so they can easily notice the subtle changes in behavior. By paying attention to their pet’s behavior, pet owners can manage their pet’s discomfort and help reduce the risks later down the line, potentially saving them from a serious illness or condition.

sick australian shepherd dog lying on grass
Image Credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

The Importance of Recognizing Pain in Pets

Sadly, our pets can suffer from pain longer than they should because they cannot tell us. They are also good at masking their discomfort and hiding pain, which is an instinct to protect themselves from predators, as it could be a sign of weakness.

Often, by the time the pain is really visible, the condition has become chronic. That is why it is so important for owners to be more aware and pay closer attention to their pet’s activity levels, eating habits, behavior, and personality changes, so that you can get your pet to the vet sooner than later.

Signs Your Pet is In Pain

The most obvious sign that your pet may be in pain is typically sudden or unexplained behavioral changes.

Other signs that your pet may be in pain include:
  • Difficulty getting up or down
  • Difficulty settling down
  • Excessive licking or chewing of part of the body
  • Increased sleep
  • Decreased activity levels
  • Hiding
  • Irritability
  • Decreased or no appetite
  • Hesitation to jump
  • Apathy
  • Increased vocalization

If you suspect your pet may be in pain, you should monitor it for the previous signs.  Assess whether the behavior is common after exercise and if it occurs more in the morning or afternoon. Take note of all the changes you may notice so that you can help your vet with as much information as possible to help determine the problem.

How to Celebrate Animal Pain Awareness Month?

Animal Pain Awareness month is a time to get actively involved as a pet parent rather than celebrate. However, the fact that more awareness and knowledge are being shared and spread can be celebrated. You can participate in several activities to spread awareness about Animal Pain Awareness Month.

Schedule a Vet Appointment

Setting up an appointment with the vet for a check-up can be the first role as a pet parent that you can take. Your vet can pick up any early signs of discomfort or pain and provide the necessary treatment or preventative care. This will give you peace of mind about your pet’s health, and you can chat with your vet about your pet’s health and what you should look out for.

male vet examining a cat with stethoscope in clinic
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Spread the Word on Social Media

Social media platforms are ideal for spreading knowledge and information. Use your platforms to communicate with friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers about Animal Pain Awareness Month, and you can create a small event, such as a walk, to get more people involved.

Use Your Business to Help Promote the Month

As a business owner, you can reach a lot more people. You could offer a discount, run an ad banner on your website, share awareness graphics, and get people to donate to the local shelter. There are many things you can do as a business owner, so get creative, and it will be a benefit to your business and pets.

Adopt a Pet

Many pets desperately need a family, and if you have extra space in your home and heart, consider adopting a pet in September. Be sure to post a picture with your new companion to spread awareness, and you may even inspire some animal lovers to do the same.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Pain Free

As a pet owner, there are many things you can do for your pet to ensure they stay in optimal health and help prevent prolonged pain and discomfort.

  • Behavioral changes are the most obvious sign of pain. Learn your pet’s body language so you can easily pick up signs of discomfort.
  • Stick to routine visits to the vet. Your vet can diagnose early signs or indications of pain or discomfort.
  • Ensure your pet receives a high-quality, well-balanced diet.
  • Keep up with your pet’s dental hygiene.
  • Ensure your pet gets regular exercise and playtime.
  • Consider other methods of treatment, such as laser therapy and acupuncture.
  • Be cautious when your pet is in pain; even the gentlest pet can lash out when it’s in pain.


Animal Pain Awareness Month is in September. It shines some light on how we can become more aware of our pet’s pain and be proactive and help manage their pain to avoid further issues that can be more harmful. Proper pain management can help reduce risks and potentially save our pets’ lives. You can get involved by creating and sharing awareness in September in various ways, including a routine check-up with your vet to ensure you haven’t missed any signs that your pet may be in pain.

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Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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