Dog Is Limping But It Shows No Pain When Touched

Last Updated on December 12, 2021 by Marco C.

Small injuries are common with dogs, however, what’s happening if your dog is limping but it shows no pain when touched? The anatomy of the dog is just as complex as human anatomy, and there can be many reasons behind your dog’s limping. It’s best not to panic for no reason and inform yourself as to why dogs limp and what could it mean.

My Dog Is Limping But Not Crying

It’s entirely possible for your dog to be limping but not being in pain. This is, however, very rare. Veterinarians say that dogs rarely limp without actual pain or discomfort, even though there are a few reported instances where a dog would limp to get positive attention or food from the owner.

If your dog is limping but not showing any pain, you should still take it to see the vet if the limping persists.

Most vets recommend taking your dog for a visit if it’s been more than 24 hours with the limp. This is because most minor traumas like sprains and hits will resolve within that time period on their own. If your dog is limping for a longer period, something more serious might be at hand.

It’s also possible, even though unlikely, that your dog is actually showing signs of pain without you realizing it. That’s why it’s crucial to understand all the ways your dog can express pain!

How Do Dogs Show Pain?

“My dog is limping but shows no sign of pain!” – even though this is entirely possible, it doesn’t mean that your dog isn’t in pain. It can just mean that you’re not recognizing one of the signs of pain your dog is showing you! There are many different ways your dog can express pain and it’s important to know how to recognize them all.

Barking and Whimpering

Both barking and whimpering are very common ways of showing pain. Barking in this sense can, but doesn’t necessarily have to point towards aggression. It’s common for dogs to bark just to get your attention, and in this case, your dog may be barking to tell you that it’s in pain. It’s also possible for your dog to bark or whimper on its own, without you causing any pain. You don’t have to put any pressure on your dog’s wounded body part to make it whimper or bark.

Barking and Whimpering

Learn more about: Rottweiler Bark Sound and Their Meaning

Asocial Behavior

It’s also common for dogs to become more asocial when they’re sick or in pain. Your pup will often hide in its house to shield itself. This sort of behavior is especially uncommon for dogs that love spending time with their owners. Your dog is much more likely going to run to greet you as soon as you get home. But if it prefers to stay in its house, then pain or illness could be the reason, especially if you notice other signs of pain!

This is especially important if we’re discussing limping. If your dog hurts one of its legs, it’s definitely going to try to avoid using it for walking. The best way to do that is to avoid walking completely.

This also includes aggression. Dogs that are in pain feel that they need to protect themselves and they’re going to become very defensive. This means that they might even show signs of aggression to their masters, whom they love. If this is the case, it’s most likely because your dog is in some sort of pain, not because it stopped loving you.

Sudden Changes In Weight

It’s very common for dogs to lose a lot of weight when a medical problem is at hand. This medical problem can also be mental, not physical (stress, for example, is a common cause). However, there are many illnesses that cause dogs to put on a lot of weight very quickly. Be it weight gain or weight loss, if your dog loses or gains a lot of weight in a short amount of time, it could be sick and you should consult with your vet!

Changes In Coat, Figure, Posture, and Body Language

There are many minor indicators of something important going on.

Firstly, your dog could start shedding excessively. This is a common symptom of many illnesses and sometimes even injuries! It’s also very common for stress to cause excessive shedding. Your dog will, by instinct, spend a lot of time licking its wounded area (similar to how we clench a part of our body when we feel pain). So, if your dog hurt its leg, you shouldn’t be surprised to see your dog licking it.

Additionally, it’s possible for your dog to start shivering, very similar to a person suffering from a fever.

If this is the case, we recommend that you take your pup to the vet urgently!

Your dog will also change its posture if something’s horribly wrong. It may walk much more slowly, dragging its tail behind, shuffling from side to side. Identical to the way people change the way we behave when we’re ill, dogs do that too.


Lameness is not uncommon with dogs, but luckily, it’s mostly acute. It’s usually a symptom of a minor injury that happens in everyday life and it will pass soon. However, it can be a symptom of something more serious, like a serious injury or an illness. It is, however, unlikely that your dog will develop lameness without expressing any pain. If you notice your dog limping for more than a day, we suggest that you take it to the vet!

In summation, if you notice that your dog is limping but it shows no pain or leg swelling – it’s most likely okay. Limping is very common with dogs, just like it is with people, and most minor trauma will take care of themselves. You should only be concerned (but not panicking) if the limping goes on after a day. Also, try to learn all the ways your dog can show pain. Just because your dog isn’t being vocal (barking, growling, or whimpering) doesn’t mean that it isn’t in pain.

Read more about: Dog Limps After Running