Do dogs get headaches?

causes of headaches in dogs

Do dogs get headaches? Like people, dogs can get headaches too. The tricky part is they can’t take medicine like we do. But some signs can tell us if our furry friends have a headache.

For example, some dogs press their heads against walls, others seem sad or blink a lot, and some shake their heads often. Your pet might even complain if you touch their head, or they might hide in quiet spots when they’re not feeling well. When you see these unusual things, it’s a sign that something might be wrong.

Do dogs get headaches
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Do dogs get headaches?

Headaches in dogs happen when there’s too much pressure inside their heads, and it can be for many reasons. Figuring out why isn’t easy, so it’s crucial to watch your pet’s behavior. If they start acting strangely, it’s important to take them to the vet . We shouldn’t try to give them medicine ourselves because it might be dangerous for their life.

The most important information at a glance:

Vets say that dogs can get headaches, which they call “cephalgia.” Since dogs can’t talk, it’s up to you, as the dog owner, to look for signs of a headache. If your dog shakes its head a lot, clenches its jaw, or seems restless, it might have a headache.

  • If you think your dog has a headache, you should see a vet right away. Don’t give them any medicine on your own; let the vet handle it.
causes of headaches in dogs
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Knowing if a dog has a headache

When dogs have a headache, they might show these signs:

  1. Being annoyed
  2. Shaking their head a lot
  3. Feeling extra sensitive when you touch their head
  4. Holding their jaw tight
  5. Acting restless and whining
  6. Shivering
  7. Being very tired
  8. Acting differently
  9. Seeming sad

Important: These signs might not always mean a headache. Trust your feelings and experience. If you’re unsure, it’s better to ask a professional for help.

Possible causes of headaches in dogs

Dogs can get headaches like people, and there are different reasons for it. Here are some common reasons:

  1. Getting hurt on the head or neck
  2. Problems with teeth, like cavities
  3. Feeling stressed or anxious
  4. Having a brain tumor
  5. Wearing a collar that’s too tight
  6. Being around cigarette smoke or strong smells
  7. Eating the wrong kind of food
  8. Having allergies
  9. Catching a cold, having a fever, or being sick in other ways
Treating headaches in dogs
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Treating headaches in dogs

If your dog often gets headaches, it’s important to see a vet. They will check your dog to find out why they have pain. In the meantime, you can try these home remedies:

  1. Quiet: Make the place where your dog rests by dimming lights or closing curtains.
  2. Regulate temperature: Use a cooling mat or a damp towel on warm days to help your dog stay cool. (Note: Always cool from below.)
  3. Avoid stress: Make sure your dog has a calm and quiet environment, and let them be alone without other people or pets bothering them.
  4. Cuddling: Petting your dog can make them feel better and ease the pain.
  5. Avoiding Allergens: If you think the headache is due to an allergy, keep your dog away from things that might cause it.

A case study of migraines in dogs

There was a study in 2013 about a 5-year-old Cocker Spaniel with migraines. The scientists didn’t have a clear answer but made some interesting observations.

Here are the main points:

  1. Migraine pain is much worse than a regular headache and comes with sensitivity to light, nausea, and tiredness.
  2. Migraine attacks in dogs can last up to 48 hours, and afterward, the dogs feel very tired.
  3. It’s hard for vets to diagnose migraines in dogs.
  4. The dog in the study had panic attacks before a migraine. It would hide under the sofa.
  5. The dog’s pain was so bad that it would whine a lot.
  6. Cocker Spaniels with migraines acted like humans—they didn’t want to eat, were sensitive to light and noise, and felt uncomfortable.
  7. The vets tried different things, but medicine for epilepsy helped the dog a lot.

Do dogs get headaches from barking?

Dogs don’t get headaches from barking a lot. But barking too much can make them feel stressed or tired.

Find out if: Can dogs get concussed?