Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Do dogs get headaches? It’s a question that veterinarians, pet owners, and dog lovers have been asking for years. Generally, the answer is yes. Dogs do suffer from the same type of headache that humans do. However, there are some medical conditions that can cause a dog to experience a version of headaches and even migraine-like symptoms. The causes and possible treatments of these conditions will be explored in this article.

Do Dogs Get Headaches?Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Yes, dogs can get headaches. However, due to the fact that dogs cannot communicate their pain in the same way that humans do, it can be difficult to diagnose such an issue. The symptoms of a headache in a dog can include sensitivity to light, disinterest in activities, and a reluctance to move, as well as rubbing the head or neck against objects. A veterinarian should be consulted if any such symptoms appear.

When Might They Have Headaches?

Headaches in dogs are not common, though certain medical conditions such as hypothalamic epilepsy or vascular malformations can cause a dog to experience headaches. Headaches in dogs might be indicated by rubbing their head against a wall or floor or shaking their head frequently. Other signs of headaches may include dilated pupils, salivation, sensitivity to light, or unusual vocalization. If your dog is displaying any of these signs, it’s important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis.

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What Causes Dog Headaches

Dog headaches, just like those experienced by humans, can have a variety of causes. In dogs, headache symptoms can include signs like head shaking and tilting, increased sensitivity to sound and light, eye-rolling, head pressing, seizures, and drooping eyelids. In more severe cases, a headache can be suggested by visible facial swelling.

The main causes of dog headaches include:

  • Infections, such as canine distemper, Lyme disease, or rabies
  • Tumors or polyps
  • Trauma or head injuries
  • Abnormalities, including masses and cysts
  • Allergies
  • Metabolic disorders, such as kidney or liver failure
  • Congenital or hereditary abnormalities
  • Hydrocephalus (abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid)
  • Migraines and other chronic neurological conditions

It is important to note that not all cases of headaches in dogs are caused by a disease process, and some dogs simply develop occasional headaches for no discernible reason. However, it is important to have your veterinarian examine your dog if you suspect he may be having headaches. This is because, unfortunately, some diseases that cause headaches in dogs can be fatal if left untreated.

Signs of Headache in Dogs

Signs of Headache in Dogs can vary depending on the severity and cause of the headache. Common signs include:

  • Unusual yawning or facial expressions
  • Lethargy
  • Unusual panting or drooling
  • Pawing at the head or face
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Rubbing the head against objects
  • Tilting or shaking the head
  • Unusual vocalizations (including whining, whimpering, or groaning)
  • Changes in appetite or behavior
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Unusual sensitivity to light or noise
  • Reddening of the eyes
  • Unusual sensitivity to the touch
  • Unusual blinking or dilating of the pupils
  • Loss of vision

How to Help If Your Dog Has a Headache

Headaches can be very uncomfortable for dogs just as they are for people. If your dog is suffering from a headache, there are a few things that can be done to help alleviate their discomfort.

  • Check for Allergies – It is common for allergies to cause headaches in both humans and dogs. If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from allergies, take them to the vet to get checked out and discuss the best allergy medications and dietary changes for them.
  • Try Natural Remedies – Aromatherapy and herbs can be used to alleviate the symptoms of headaches in dogs. Chamomile, lavender, and peppermint are all known to help relax the mind and body and can help reduce headaches for your dog.
  • Offer a Massage – If your pet is comfortable with it, offering them a head massage can help them relax and relieve their headache. Start by gently running your hands over their neck and shoulder muscles, then massage their forehead in a circular motion.
  • Check for Parasites – Parasites can also cause headaches in dogs, so have your vet check for parasites and suggest the proper treatments.
  • Get Some Exercise – It can be beneficial for your dog to get some exercise, as this can help alleviate the pain from a headache. Start by taking them for short walks, and slowly increase the distance and intensity of their activity.
  • Monitor Their Eating Habits – Ensure that your pet is eating what they are supposed to be eating and drinking enough water. Make sure that they are eating a nutritious diet that is tailored to their age and breed.

These are a few ways that you can help if your dog has a headache. If the headache persists after following these steps, a visit to the vet may be necessary to diagnose and treat the cause of the headache.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Headache?dog 3 3

If your dog is suffering from a headache, it is important to first determine the cause of the headache before treating it. Possible causes of a dog’s headache could be anything from a head injury to an infection. Treatment for the headache will depend on the underlying cause.

If the headache is the result of an infection, your veterinarian will likely prescribe antibiotics. For a head injury, your veterinarian may suggest pain medication to help manage the symptoms. In either case, it’s important to follow the advice of your veterinarian and make sure your dog is monitored during treatment. Additionally, make sure your dog gets plenty of rest and check in with your veterinarian for follow-up care.

Home Remedy for Dog Headache

  • Ensure your pet is getting enough rest: Regular exercise and adequate restful sleep are essential to a dog’s overall health and should help minimize headaches.
  • Provide plenty of water: Dehydration can trigger headaches, so make sure your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times.
  • Provide proper nutrition: Feeding a nutritionally balanced diet will help prevent headaches from occurring or recurring, as will avoiding foods with too much sugar or salt.
  • Monitor your pet’s stress levels: The physical and emotional stress of being over-exerted, anxious, or scared can cause headaches, so your pet should be kept as free of stress as possible.

Prevention of Headaches in Dogs

  • Maintain a regular routine: Structure and routine are important for keeping a dog healthy and happy. Establish a regular schedule for meals, exercise, walks, and playtime, and stick to it as much as possible.
  • Monitor your dog’s nutrition: Many dogs suffer from nutritional deficiencies, which can contribute to headaches. Make sure your dog’s diet is balanced with enough protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
  • Avoid exposure to toxins and stress: Exposure to toxins, such as cigarette smoke or pollution, can cause headaches in dogs. Try to limit your pet’s exposure to these types of substances. Additionally, reducing your pet’s exposure to stressful situations, such as loud noises or overcrowding, can help keep headaches at bay.
  • Massage and gentle exercise: Massage and gentle exercise can reduce muscle tension, which can ease headache pain. Try giving your pet regular (but gentle) massages, and provide regular, low-impact exercise, such as walks or swimming.
  • Consider natural supplements: Certain supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids or magnesium, can help reduce headache pain in dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about what supplements might be best for your pet.

How Are Headaches Similar in Dogs And Humans?dog 1 1

Headaches in both dogs and humans can be caused by a variety of things. These can include medications, stress, eyestrain, food allergies, and more. In both dogs and humans, headaches can also be caused by a sinus infection. Similarly, in both dogs and humans, non-medicinal pain relief and rest can be helpful in managing the headache.

How Are Headaches Different in Dogs And Humans?

Headaches in dogs and humans vary in their causes, symptoms, and treatment. In humans, headaches are often caused by tension, stress, hormonal changes, or certain medications. Symptoms of headaches in humans include pressure or pain in the head, temples, or behind the eyes, nausea, and dizziness. In dogs, headaches are less common but can be caused by an injury or illness, such as a brain tumor. Symptoms of headaches in dogs may include excessive panting, restlessness, confusion, and loss of appetite. Treatment for headaches in humans typically involves pain relievers, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes. In dogs, treatments may involve antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroid medications.

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Q. What do dogs do when they get headaches?

A. Signs of headache in dogs can include whining, shaking their head, rubbing their head against objects, or hiding.

Q. Do dogs get headaches from barking?

A. Yes, dogs do get headaches from barking.

Q. How often do dogs get headaches?

A. Headaches may be common in dogs that become stressed or anxious in certain situations.

Q. Do dogs get headaches after a seizure?

A. Yes, dogs do typically get headaches after a seizure.


The answer to “Do dogs get headaches?” is a resounding, yes. While canine headaches can be different than ours, they are certainly very real. Dogs can experience headaches due to stress, certain medical conditions, and due to external influences such as loud noises or irritants. It is important to watch your pets closely for any changes in their behavior that could be attributed to a headache. If you experience any of these changes, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for an evaluation.

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