Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Yes, dogs do get headaches.

Many veterinarians agree with recent research results that dogs can get headaches like humans.

Now, let’s dig deeper to understand how and why our dogs may get headaches.

Like humans, our brain has informed the body’s pain through the pain receptors.

It wakes up the alarm in the body to save it from more damage.

So, if the things that cover our skull and neck, like nerves, blood vessels, or muscles, swell or constrict, pain is induced, and our brain alarms the body about it.

Dog headaches can be an early sign of hidden problems like brain tumors, ear or tooth infections, etc.

As you know now the answer to the question “do dogs get headaches”, continue reading to get more information.

Signs Your Dog Has A Headache

dog lying under blanket

Sensitivity To Light

One of the most common signs that show your dog has head pain is. that he avoids the areas that have bright lightning.

He will also get irritated by the sunlight.

Sensitive To Touch

A dog experiencing severe headaches is also sensitive to touch.

Generally, suppose your dog is fond of getting a pet massage, and you notice a sudden change in its behavior.

In that case, it can be a sign that your dog is emotionally not good and experiencing a dog headache.

Strange Behavior

Some dogs respond to pain with stress behavior like licking, panting, or pacing.

That is one of the most common signs of dog headaches.

This kind of behavior causes many problems for dogs, like anxiety, and loud noise also irritates them.

Food Aversion

Dogs show loss of appetite when they have a severe headache.

You will notice that your dog, who loves food, suddenly shows no interest in food, which can be a way to know that your dog has headaches.


Likewise to human headaches, dog headaches also cause laziness.

A dog with head pain may take more time to rest and sleep.

They are to provide themselves relief go to bed earlier and get up later in the morning, or their headaches make it difficult for them to get up earlier.

What Causes Dog Headaches

dog with red bed bottle on head

There are various causes of dog headaches.

Some of the most common causes are the following:


Do dogs get headaches from allergies?

Yes, we see that human have various kind of allergies, just like dogs also have allergies to multiple things or condition which causes headache.

Some kinds of smoke, chemicals, and other infected bacteria present in the environment are the reasons for allergies that cause head pain.


The summer season is also responsible for the pain that dogs face.

Hot weather is one of the most common reasons for headaches that cause overheating.

The head pain caused by overheating is very dangerous for dogs and should be treated as early as possible.


Congestion means a stuffy nose, and it usually happens when nasal, adjacent tissues, and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid, causing a stuffy, plugged feeling.

Like humans, it also happens in dogs.

Congestion in dogs causes headaches. Treat it immediately.

Cold Or Flu

Cold or flu is also the reason for a dog’s headache.

It causes nasal congestion, and nasal congestion leads to head pain.

Proper medication is very important to provide to cure it in many dogs.

Head Or Neck Injuries

Dogs are pets that are sensitive to injuries.

Head and neck injuries commonly lead to head pain because it affects the nerves directly.

Head or neck injuries arise for example due to pressure on the dog’s neck while walking.

These injuries cause pain perception in the head more often.


Stress is the reason for headaches in humans.

Just like that, stress also causes headaches in dogs.

Common sense suggests that any creature can get stressed due to their condition.

Try to not stress your dog and give him enough time to rest and chill.

Dental Problems

dog teeth

Our canine friends commonly can have tooth problems that cause pain in jaw bones and the teeth root.

Here are some most common dental issues that can occur in your furry friend:

  • Plaque: Plaque is a soft film-like layer of bacteria and food debris accumulating daily on the surface of a dog’s teeth resulting in a tendency for tooth infection.

  • Gingivitis: The plaque then becomes tartar, causing inflammation and irritation of the gums called gingivitis which is gum disease.

Medical Issue

Medical issues are of different kinds.

There are small medical issues, which can be fixed fast.

But there are for sure other, worse, medical issues.

A brain tumor is a serious health issue in dogs like other animals.

That causes pain perception in the head.

The treatment of brain tumors is complex. That’s why it affects the dog’s life.

Excessive Activity

Some vet observations indicate that excessive energy loss, physical activities draining the nerves, and more vigorous head movement can cause headaches and exhaustion in dogs.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Headache?

You can treat the headache of your furry friend with affection, care, and understanding of the pain.

Dogs also need space and comfort to recover from disturbing issues like humans.

Here are some basic common sense first aid steps that can be taken on the spot for a speedy recovery.

Address The Environmental Reason For Headache

Environmental factors play an essential role in causing headaches.

To know what to do about your dog’s headaches, it is important to find the cause and eliminate it. This is always the first step.

Create A Safe Space

little grey dog chilling on couch

A dog with a headache shows signs that it would like to rest in a cool, dark, and quiet place, away from other people, children, and other pets reach.

So it can be the most effective way by providing them a dim or low light (not dark as it can frighten a dog), quiet, and cool space to rest.

A doggie safe space can provide comfort items like toys, bedding, food, and water.

Your dog will recover from an apparent fear or insecurity also when it is given the freedom to leave the space when it is ready.


Water is crucial in recovering from headaches as it soothes dehydration caused by excessive sunlight exposure, heat in the environment, and fatigue.

Rest, calmness, and hydration give relief and boost the recovery speed of your canine buddy.

It may take some time but has pleasant and lasting effects on your dog’s life.

If you want to know more about the hydration of your dog. Read our article on “how long can dogs go without water

Give Your Dog Space

We human needs space the same way dogs also need space.

We should give them some rest.

They should get relief from the daily fatigue of the day.

Hot Or Cold Compress

A hot or cold compress is very effective in curing headaches.

When we put it on the neck area, it reduces pain.


Cbd helps treat headaches.

Try it for your furry friend.

It can fix the sleeping problem of dogs caused due to headaches.

When their head hurts, it may be possible that they can’t sleep and this makes headaches even worse.

Oral CBD is also helpful in preventing anxiety and pain and leads to good sleep.

Stop Petting

We have to stop petting dogs because sometimes it also causes trauma for them and leads to a headache.

Excessive petting sometimes affects their muscles and causes pain perception.

Limit Heat & Sun Exposure

Overheating causes canine headaches in dogs.

That’s why according to veterinary advice, we should limit heat and sun exposure for the excellent health of our dogs.

Are Headaches Common For Dogs?

dog not looking amused

Yes, headaches are common for dogs just like us humans.

Different veterinarians around the world confirm that dogs get headaches.

We all know that brain works as a messenger in the body.

When the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles that cover our skull and neck swell and constrict, pain in the head is induced.

Dogs have the same system. That’s why they also experience pain in this situation.

Can A Dog Get A Migraine?

Another yes – dogs also get migraine, just like humans.

We have already discussed why dogs have migraine in the above paragraphs.

Like humans, animals also feel pain and can bear that pain.

But as pet owners, we also must take good care of our pets.

Migraine causes a specific change in the behavior of our dogs.

Like licking, pacing, frequent swallowing, panting, etc.

But we are glad to hear that we can heal it through medications.

Can Dogs Get Pain From Barking?

two dogs barking

Dogs get pain from barking.

It is not suitable for a dog to bark every time.

It is even unhealthy and stressful for the dog.

The reasons why the dog bark excessively is some disease, pain, or anxiety.

Breed and genetic predisposition are also the cause of excessive dog barking.

It also led to headaches, with caused many other medical conditions.

A good veterinarian can treat this cause of excessive barking of dogs.

How Are Dog Headaches Different From Human Headaches?

How we express our pain is the main difference between human and dog headaches.

We both express our discomfort in different ways.

Because our furry friends cannot speak and communicate in a way that we consider odd is a big difference between us.

How the dogs express their discomfort is following:

1: They used to rub their heads on the floor, or other things present nearby to show their discomfort.

2: They usually hide where nobody can find them, such as under the couch, beds, or other hard-to-reach places.

3: Food aversion is also a way to show their discomfort because they have to lower their head for it, like low head carriage posture.

Dog Headaches Can Usually Be Managed At Home

A dog’s headache depends on its circumstances usually.

And so we can observe and manage the disturbances and unusual events on the spot to avoid more troubles.

dog gets his treats

Like, if your dog has allergies to smoke or fumes, it can be managed by keeping your pet at some distance for a moment and cleaning the environment.

Likewise, you can give first aid at home; some home remedies can be excellent.

When Do I Need To See A Vet And Get Veterinary Advice?

Our pets need regular checkups.

If our dog has a headache and all the remedies are not getting help, I think we should take veterinary advice or see a vet for the proper diagnosis of the reason for the pain.

Your canine friend should get a thorough checkup for reasons of chronic pain, some possible infections, injuries or wounds, and even migraines.

Once your pet’s problem is evident with the tests, the head hurts; it would be more manageable to avoid the pain in the future and improve its quality of life.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “Do dogs get headaches?”

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.