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Do Dogs Get Headaches?

April 03, 2023 | 3 min read

Updated April 03, 2023

By Sarah Milton


Published: April 2, 2023

Summary: If you’ve ever wondered “can dogs get headaches?”, in this blog, we’ll learn all about whether dogs do experience headaches or not... 


As humans, we all know what a headache feels like. But can our canine friends also experience headaches?  

Do Dogs Get Headaches? 

It’s thought that dogs can develop and do experience headaches, but there is limited research on headaches in dogs, and they are very hard to concretely diagnose as they don’t tend to have obvious or unique symptoms.  

It doesn’t help that dogs are non-verbal creatures – that said, it would be pretty impossible to know a human has a headache without them directly communicating they are experiencing one! 

If a dog has a headache, they may appear to be: 

  • Lethargic (they may be napping more frequently) 
  • Unresponsive 
  • In pain when their head or neck is touched 
  • Having trouble staying still 
  • Nauseous  
  • Sensitive to bright lights (they may recoil from them or close their eyes when exposed) 
  • Sensitive to strong odors 
  • Uninterested in playing or moving 
  • Disinterested in food 
  • Shaking 
  • Carrying their head low 
  • Pressing their head 

PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Witnessing a dog press their head against a wall calls for immediate veterinary attention, as this is a common sign of numerous very serious issues, such as brain disease or even toxic poisoning. If this is the case, taking your dog to an emergency vet is essential. 

a red and white Spaniel sleeps on their front on wooden decking in the sun


It’s worth noting that all of these behaviors above don’t necessarily indicate a headache as they can often represent other health or wellbeing concerns in canines. The signs of a headache in a canine may more probably indicate ear or sinus issues or dental problems.  

Dogs are excellent maskers of pain, so it is rare for them to exhibit physical discomfort unless it’s completely unavoidable for them. If you are worried about your dog in any way, or they start to show any signs of not feeling themselves, you should always contact a professional veterinarian and have them looked over.  


Author Maharaj, Nandini “Do Dogs Get Headaches?” American Kennel Club, Dec 09. 2022  

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Sarah Milton

Authored By

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!




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© 2023 PetLab Co.

The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
*In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022