Discover 13 Reasons Why Do Dogs Get Headaches

do-dogs-get-headacheMany health conditions are the same in dogs as they are in humans. That means, your canine suffers just like you do when he gets a cold or develops diabetes since pooches have many of the same body parts as people, despite them walking on all fours. One question some owners have is do dogs get headaches.

Related: Have a Lethargic Puppy? Find Real Illness Behind

Do Dogs Get Headaches: What the Experts Say

Experts state that pups can get headaches just as humans do, although this is not able to be proven since you cannot just ask a canine if his head hurts or not.

However, vets speculate that if a pet has a similar structure within their heads that it is more or less common sense that a dog could get a headache. Not to mention, dogs exhibit similar symptoms to humans when a professional speculates it may be a headache.

These headaches range in causes; however, it is known that issues like allergies affect dogs the same way they do humans, which means a sinus pressure headache is possible.

In fact, it is possible for a dog to have severe, recurring headaches like migraines.

The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published one case of a Cocker Spaniel exhibiting signs of migraine headaches, as reported by the Royal Veterinary College in England. The female dog was spayed and five years old and had no other issues along with normal laboratory test results.

When she arrived at the teaching hospital, she was yowling and exhibiting fear-based behavior for up to four hours for three days. She was drooling excessively. She had light and sound sensitivity and appeared to be in pain.

About twice a year, she was having similar episodes since the time she turned five months of age. An MRI indicated a probable seizure disorder that was causing the migraines, which was treated with phenobarbital, a barbiturate used in humans.


When answering the question do dogs get headaches, vets have compared signs that happen in humans to the ones pups show. A pooch may experience:

  • Hyperactivity such as nibbling or having trouble standing still
  • Sensitivity to light or sound. He may seek out a dark, quiet place until a headache subsides.
  • Does not want to be touched and may react negatively when touched. He may cringe.
  • Ataxia
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Clumsiness
  • Sweating
  • Lowered head
  • Changes in posture
  • Aggressiveness
  • Head shaking
  • Irritability

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Head pressing
  • Furrowed brows
  • Staring
  • Squinty eyes
  • Frequent blinking
  • Body shakes

Your furry friend may not be interested in playing, no matter which activity you try. He may not want to go for a walk, and he may even have no desire to eat.


The causes are similar to those of humans. Sinus headaches are a problem for our furry friends. They have olfactory receptors that are 20 times stronger than humans. This means when a scent bothers them, it is more intense for them than it is for a human.

Neck or head trauma is one cause such as a dog falling from a chair, down the steps or off of a grooming table. Crating a dog improperly can cause a headache and so can dental problems, jerking on his collar too much or exposure to certain chemicals.

Hormones, intense physical activity, temperature, certain deficiencies or internal issues. The headache may be a result of losing an owner or an animal buddy or traveling a long distance.

How Common Is It

There is not a way to tell how common it is in dogs because they can get have a headache and show no signs except in cases where they pain is severe.


Let your pet rest or hide when he wants to. Treating the headache or a migraine may require treatment of the underlying cause such as by getting dental work. A change in the pup’s routine might be necessary.

Chiropractics shows to have an improvement in the pain and so does craniosacral therapy and Tellington TTouch. Pain relievers may be given to the lovable lug to reduce the pain.

However, you should never use over-the-counter drugs for people seeing as how NSAIDs should never be given to your pets, and large qualities of acetaminophen have the potential to be toxic.

The vet has specialized medicine that’s safe and effective.



4 thoughts on “Discover 13 Reasons Why Do Dogs Get Headaches”

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Your dog wants your undivided attention, and wants to play or go outside to go potty. Dogs get bored, and need to have a regular exercise schedule with plenty of off-leash trips to the dog park or dog beach. They also need to play with other dogs, and be around other people. Opt for fun, colorful dog toys that are mentally stimulating. Also include your dog in many of your outings. Trips to the local Starbucks are a plus for that special Puppuchino!

  1. We got 2 puppies in September. I have been to 3 vets trying to find out what is wrong with one of the sweet pups
    This is a reoccurring problem. She flinches and helps when you touch her head. In the more severe cases she has had a fever and lethargy. After a round of antibiotics and anti inflammatory meds she will be good as new. Last time we treated it with a couple of days of anti inflammatory meds and no antibiotics and she was perfect after. She will be fine for a week and then the head soreness will come back. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Because you’re familiar with your puppy, you can also watch for signs of illness like decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and mention those to your veterinarian.Your puppy will need to do follow-up visits with your veterinarian after the antibiotics. You can also inquire as to bloodwork. In addition,make sure that your puppy has plenty of fresh water available 24/7. Being hyper reactive to touch on her head, cringing, and ataxia, are signs of headaches. Tellington TTouch and aura work will also help your pup to relax. Keep consulting with your veterinarian to find out the underlying cause, so that you can treat it.

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